Tamar Braxton Speaks Out After Suicide Attempt, Says She's Been Exploited by 'Toxic' Reality TV Industry

Tamar Braxton

Two weeks after Tamar Braxton was hospitalized in Los Angeles for attempting suicide, the former Real co-host has released a powerful statement about reality television’s impact on her mental health.

“I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid,” Braxton wrote Thursday on social media. “I wrote a letter over two months ago asking to be freed from what I believed was excessive and unfair. I explained in personal detail the demise I was experiencing. My cry for help went totally ignored. However the demands persisted. … Who I was [began] to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter. It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living. I was existing for the purpose of a corporation’s gain and ratings, and that killed me. Mental illness is real. We have to normalize acknowledging it and stop associating it with shame and humiliation.”

Braxton continued, pointing out that “reality TV personalities have no union, no coat of protection, no formal representation that protects our labor, our rights, our voices. They promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of black people in show business.”

After thanking her fans for their support, Braxton promised to “do everything in my power to aid those who [suffer] from mental illness, including those of us [whose] mental illness was only a result from the toxic, systematic bondage that dwells [in] television. It was only God’s grace and his mercy on my attempt to end my pain and my life that I am here to utilize my voice.”

Read Braxton’s statement in full below:

A regular cast member of WE tv’s Braxton Family Values since 2011, Braxton also starred opposite then-husband Vince Herbert in the spinoff Tamar & Vince from 2012 to 2017. She served as a co-host of The Real from 2013 to 2016, during which she (along with her fellow co-hosts) was nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards.

Though she was forced to withdraw from Dancing With the Stars in 2015 due to an injury, Braxton returned to the world of reality competitions in 2019, winning the second season of Celebrity Big Brother. She has also filled in as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race (twice) and HBO Max’s Legendary.

On the scripted front, Braxton has guest-starred on episodes of The Soul Man, Being Mary Jane, In the Cut and The Bold and the Beautiful.

Braxton’s next reality TV venture, Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life, was set to premiere July 30 on WE tv but has since been postponed. Watch the trailer below:

“Tamar Braxton has been an important part of our network family for more than a decade,” WE tv said in a statement obtained by TVLine on Friday. “As she focuses on her health and recovery at what is clearly a difficult and personal time, we will work with her representatives to honor her request to end all future work for the network. We wish her nothing but the best.”

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)