Original Destiny’s Child member LaTavia Roberson’s life could have been different if she had remained in the group. She became an alcoholic and in 2006 went to jail for failing a drug test while still on probation for a driving offense.
Though she claims Mathew Knowles is the reason for the group’s demise, she’s returned from rehab and has her life back on track, with plans to open a lingerie business.
She opens up to the UK’s Mirror about her past:
On Mathew Knowles:
Mathew did not mince his words and it can be tough to take that kind of criticism when you are a little girl. We would try not to let it break us. We used to call him Joe Jackson. It’s not like he beat us with his belt or anything, but he was very strict. Beyonce was the only one brave enough to stand up to him. We worked really hard. It was rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. It would be the four of us and he was like a drill sergeant. When summertime came he would start a camp at his house in Houston. He would make us wake up early in the morning and take us to Herman Park. There was a three-and-a-half mile track and we would sing while we jogged around it. Then we would go to the house and rehearse. That’s what our days consisted of, seven days a week.”
On getting signed & touring:
We were flown to New York for an audition and signed with Columbia records almost the same day. Being on tour was very intense. We were girls, we were going through puberty. Hormones were crazy. The schedule would be challenging… late nights and early days. We always switched who was sharing rooms. One week I would be with Beyonce, the next with Kelly, then LeToya. Kelly was always very sweet. She was kinda shy, especially when she was younger. I am not going to say that Kelly had bad self-esteem, but she was timid. She was definitely the quiet one of the four of us. LeToya was the jokester, I was the sassy one, Beyonce was the mamma and Kelly the sensitive one. Watching movies, she’d be the first to cry.”
On why she & LeToya decided to write a letter to Mathew expressing their concerns:
Things seemed unfair. Beyonce and Kelly had cars. I’m not saying pay checks were any different, but Mathew used to say a lot of crazy things like, ‘Y’all should be glad I’m giving you money’. We were happy for Matthew to stay on as manager, but we wanted another manager to work with him. My one regret is that I should have spoken to Beyonce and Kelly before I sent the letter. That is the one thing I would have done different. I would have gone to my sisters and discussed it with them. After that, we didn’t speak for many years.”
[Note: Following the letter, the next thing they knew, they were out. But they didn’t find out until they saw the video for “Say My Name” with two new girls in their places. They officially left Destiny’s Child in December 1999, when they were just 18.]
Her final say:
I saw Beyonce in 2003 and we just hugged and talked… it was so emotional. I spoke to Kelly last year and I asked her, ‘Do you understand why we did what we did?’ She said, ‘Oh gosh, yes’. And that was enough for me. I am convinced that if it was not for Mathew Knowles we would still be together as a band. We’ll always be sisters. Nothing can take that away from us.