BY: Jodee Brown
Sex sells; the age old adage that’s become all too common in today’s society, particularly cliché within the world of entertainment. It is the easiest way to draw attention to one’s product, no matter how controversial it may appear.
Unfortunately, for some Jamaican celebs, the sexual imagery on display was not done as a predictable ploy to attract eyeballs, but were private acts exposed to the world by unscrupulous internet users. In other cases, it’s simply a case of alleged sexual misdeeds being revealed following the end of a relationship,, whether said misdeed was by the entertainer or his/her former significant other. The Jamaican entertainment industry has had its share of these controversies in recent times. Here’s a look at 10 such scandals directly or indirectly involving musicians and media personalities that permeated the pop culture scene while causing undue stress to the parties involved.
Please note that for this list, we are not including scandals including accusations of sexual assault, carnal abuse or rape, which means mentions of rape cases involving the likes of Jah Cure, Deva Bratt and Elephant Man will not be made. We’re also not including controversial lyrics, promotional pictures or music videos depicting sexual acts, as those are all merely for show and not actual real life situations.
To the list then…
10. Ishawna admits to sleeping with Skatta: We start this list with the most recent scandal to erupt within the industry. During the much publicized and frankly sordid fallout from the breakup of dancehall power couple,Foota Hype and Ishawna after nine years together. It got real nasty real quick, with revelations of abuse and infidelity by the former and alleged infidelity on Ishawna’s part after Foota claimed she was sleeping with Downsound Records producer, Cordel ‘Skatta’ Burrell during their relationship.
In a rare show of honesty in such a circumstance involving a celebrity, Ishawna admitted during her tell-all interview with Ragashanti that she did indeed sleep with him, but only after she broke up with Foota. What make this situation murky, however, is that despite the fact she was single at the time, Skatta was allegedly not as he reportedly seeing someone at the time, with rumours that Ishawna was dissing said girlfriend in music released following the revelation.
Whatever the case may be, it brought Ishawna’s reputation into question as she has been the subject of ridiculefrom fellow entertainers and the public at large, being accused of sleeping her way to success. She doesn’t seem perturbed by any of the talk though, as evidenced by this interview after Sting 2014.
9. Candice Buchanan’s nude photo scandal: Just a few months after leaks of another then CVM personality became viral (more on that later), promising media personality, Candice Buchanan was caught in the crosshairs of a media firestorm when semi-nude photos of her were leaked online in 2008.
Buchanan had been experiencing a career boom at the time, having hosted specials on BET, the Heineken Green Synergy DJ competition and reality show, The Golden Nugget. The pictures, however, did her no semblance of good and she was fired in October of that year.
It took a while, but Buchanan bounced back from the ordeal quite well, ending up as a producer on RETV and eventually moving to the United States to study film at Full Sail University and even has her own show. All in all, this controversy did little to quell her determination and is hardly ever brought up these days.
8. The Lady Saw and John John saga: This relationship became a proverbial soap opera and every episode got more and more salacious.
During the couple’s decade-plus long stint together, John John was accused of infidelity too many times to count. To cheat repeatedly is one thing, but to allegedly father multiple children while cheating raises the level of callousness involved a couple of notches. From allegedly impregnating a hairdresser to one of her neighbours, the instances of infidelity were too much for Muma Saw to bare at one point, lashing out countless times on Twitter about these happenings and even threatening to move at one point.
It’s even worse when you consider the fact Lady Saw could not have children with John John despite several attempts to do so.
7. Lisa Hyper leaked: Now we go from the scandals we merely heard about to ones we saw unravel before our very eyes.
In 2009, Lisa Hyper (then Lisa Hype) was being pushed as the First Lady of Vybz Kartel’s revamped Portmore Empire and while riding the momentum of arguably dancehall’s most popular and controversial act. But just as her stock was starting to rise, disaster struck when a picture of her giving oral sex was leaked to the masses. The picture quickly became the talk of newspapers and music forums alike, won her relentless ridicule from fellow dancehall divas and was subsequently kicked out of the Empire by Kartel, claiming her conduct was unbecoming of what was expected from group members.
Ironically, it was highly speculated that Kartel himself was the man in the controversial picture, a claim quickly refuted by Lisa, insisting it was her boyfriend. She even made a music video making light of the whole incident. Unfortunately, given the trajectory of her career since parting ways with the Empire, you could argue this incident remains the defining moment of it so far.
6. Johnny Be Bad: Christopher ‘Johnny’ Daley is arguably one of the best comedians/actors Jamaica has produced, from his days on the hit TV series, Lime Tree Lane, to his Comedy Buss series and countless appearances on the local and international theatre circuit.
But when a sex tape involving Daley leaked in 2008, it was far from a laughing matter. A video of him doing the dirty, reportedly with then girlfriend Donisha Prendergast (Bob Marley’s granddaughter) made the rounds across a couple of porn sites, featuring Daley making a few hilarious faces while hammering away. In truth, the 30 second clip felt more like X-rated comedy than an actual sextape.
Unlike most celebrities whose intimate exploits get exposed in such a public way, it did little harm to his career and he has continued to tour the theatre scene and now hosts a daily morning talk show on Sun City Radio. He and his colleagues in Jamaican theatre and comedy even saw the funny side of it, when it was mentioned repeatedly during a roast of Daley in 2013.
5. Bad Boy Trevor gets freaky: Usually when the topic of oral sex comes up within the local entertainment scene, male celebrities waste no time in ‘burning fire’ against the act, which has been a taboo topic in local culture for God knows how long. In the case of prominent actor, Garfield ‘Bad Boy Trevor’ Reid, he not only owned up to doing it once caught, he glorified it after the fact.
He became the talk of the entertainment world when a sex tape of him giving oral sex to a woman went viral, earning him heavy criticism for the act. Once it came out, Reid was heavily defiant, insisting he did the video to help promote a website and later claimed hypocrisy on the part of Jamaican men, outrageously claiming that 99% of Jamaican men have tried oral sex on their partner before.
Since then, he’s turned up the level of freakiness another notch, calling himself ‘Uncle Freaky’ at one point and admitting to prefer doing shows in exotic clubs because audiences were ‘more honest’ than those at sessions. To each his own, as they say.
4. Kayla Mendes gets exposed: Remember Kayla Mendes? She came agonizingly close to becoming Miss Jamaica World in 2011, eventually finishing second in the pageant to Danielle Crosskill.
Nonetheless, her future seemed bright after such an achievement and only time would tell if we would see her make waves in the public eye like many former pageant finalists do.
Then, Jamaican Girls Exposed happened.
In 2012, a controversial website by the name of Jamaican Girls Exposed became a hotbed on Google search engine worldwide when it leaked hundreds of photos of naked women, some famous, claiming bigger and bigger names along the way. The reasoning behind it was unclear, but this essentially was Jamaica’s version of the much talked about iCloud hack from 2014.
Mendes was one of the high-profile victims of the hack when a video of her giving oral sex and taking anal penetration from her partner made the rounds (Viewer discretion advised). Unlike most sex tapes, which are ridden with shoddy quality, this one was quite clear and did irrevocable damage to a once promising career. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
3. Denyque gets leaked: The biggest casualty of that website undoubtedly was songstress, Denyque Dontre.
She’s one of the most eye-catching acts in Jamaican music given her undeniable beauty, often showcased in her various photo shoots. People got to see way more than they bargained for when Jamaican Girls Exposed leaked a photo of Denyque in her birthday suit fresh off a shower. The owners of the website demanded that she pay them JA$50,000 in exchange for the removal of said photo, else they would release other nudes they obtained from her phone and computer.
When word got out, Denyque raised holy hell and took immediate action, reporting the matter to police and threatening legal action if the site was not shut down, while also doing media rounds speaking out about the matter. A few months later, it was shut down when law enforcement officials located the alleged owner and slapped multiple charges on him for the running of the website, which certainly made her happy once she found out. Her actions helped shut down what could have been an even more notorious leak than it was as the website had promised to leak several other local celebrities along the way.
2. That Girl Shelliann: The song Red Rat made famous in the 90s was perfectly applicable in this highly publicized case involving Mr. Vegas and his ex-girlfriend, Shelliann McBayne, who is also the mother of his daughter. The worst part of this whole saga was that their daughter got caught in the crosshairs in more ways than one.
It all started when Vegas caught McBayne and another man having sex in his Florida home, leading to an all-time, epic rant on social media from the Heads High singer. The whole incident became a national firestorm, especially when Vegas claimed the two were doing the nasty while their daughter, who wasn’t even two years old at the time, walked in on them. He could barely contain his emotions, crying and venting in future interviews, demanding full custody of his daughter and even writing songs about the whole ordeal.
Knowing how emotional Vegas gets every so often, there were some who wondered whether Vegas exaggerated the situation for the sake of publicity. However, when the security video of McBayne’s misdeeds were released last year, it’s understandable to see why Vegas lost the plot.
In said video (viewer discretion advised), posted on WickedHype.com, the two are getting it on when all of a sudden, Vegas’ daughter enters the room (the door was open), forcing McBayne to stop her shenanigans and get her daughter back to her bedroom. When she resume her intimacy with her lover, her daughter again enters the room and catches them in act.
It’s one thing to have sex in your baby father’s house, it’s even more egregious to do so in the presence of a child. Simply bad judgement all round.
1. Spilt Milk: Once one of the hottest countdown shows in Jamaica, CVM’s Hit List, otherwise known as E-Strip was known as much for its eye candy hosting the show than the music videos and guest celebrities on display.
Prior to Charm gracing us with her mesmerizing curves as the show’s host, there was Amelia ‘Milk’ Sewell, who was quickly gaining steam as one of Jamaica’s hottest entertainment personalities considering her sex appeal and relatability to her audience. She became one of the emerging faces on CVM and her career was bound to take off in a big way due to her hosting duties on the show.
Then, in 2008, it all came crashing down when a video tape of Milk giving oral sex to her then boyfriend and popular disc jock, Michael ‘ZJ Liquid’ Brissett. The leak, which was later blamed on Brissett losing his phone, spread like wildfire on the internet and led to her immediate dismissal from CVM TV.
Four years later, Milk spoke extensively about the ordeal in an interview with Lauren O Lauren, suggesting how hard the situation was on her and her child while claiming CVM should have given her another chance despite the incident. Nonetheless, the damage was done and despite numerous attempts to revitalize her career, including music video appearances, being a judge on Tastee Talent Trail and her feature on Vybz Kartel’s short-lived reality show, Teacher’s Pet, Sewell’s public image never fully recovered from the shame attached with that infamous tape.