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Interview Fab: Jill Marie Jones Clears The Air & Malinda Williams Chats It Up

YBF chick Jill Marie Jones recently spoke with Essence.com about why she really left Girlfriends: Essence.com: Tracee Ellis Ross said in an interview that the reason you didn't return was because the cast did not receive the huge raise they were expecting. Is that true? J.M.J.: First of all, let me tell you why I left. I left because I wanted to do movies. My contract was up after my sixth season and people forget that just like the network can choose whether or not to renew your contract, I can also choose and evaluate whether or not I want to come back. My actor's chair that has Girlfriends and my name on it, you know the director's chair? Well, on the very last day of my sixth season, I told them to grab my chair and put it in my car for me. So why would I take my chair if I thought I was coming back? Believe you me, I would tell you. I뭭e never made a decision based on money. I was on the show for six years and I think that's a good run. There's so much more I want to do in my career and so much more I want to know and learn, but my departure definitely had nothing to do with money. Essence.com: That's great to hear. I think most folks speculate that you all had beef because you never responded. But that's not the case is it? J.M.J: Well, no one asked me a question. I don't believe in adding grease to fire. If I were doing an interview about something I'm working on and someone wanted to ask me something, I have no problem answering it. But for me to make a statement or a rebuttal, to me it's just silly. The rest of her article is over at Essence.
Source: Essence.com/D-Nice Photography
Malinda Williams also chatted it up with Essence about what really went down with her and Mekhi-and theyre status now: Essence.com: Some folks believe you and Mekhi are still at war. Is that true? M.W.: The biggest misconception folks have is that I have beef with my ex-husband. Who has time? I'm a very spiritual person and one of the things I base my life on is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I always try to keep it positive, and that's with anything: friendships or relationships. What happened between us happened so many years ago it's irrelevant now. Honestly, there is nothing to talk about. Besides, I don't like conflict, never have. Remember, I'm a Libra and I love balance. Essence.com: But wasn't there was a time that you were angry and spoke publicly about what transpired between you two? M.W.: When my marriage broke down I was so angry because I didn't want to stop loving Mekhi. Yes, I wanted to stop living with him and I wanted to stop doing some of the things we did together, but I didn't want to stop loving him so it made me angry because I was struggling. I don't know what I was struggling with probably struggling with myself but I was thinking, I don't want to stop loving you so how do I do that? But the world kept saying we had to fight, we had to go court, we had to be enemies, we had to be divorced and all along I kept thinking, I don't want to hate my son's father, I don't want to have disdain for him. I don't want any of those things. So that was the most difficult thing for me to accept. But it came to me one day as I was driving down the street. It was a point when I completely accepted everything for what it was and said, 'You know what? Nobody can take love from you, only you can take love from you.' And when you commit to love someone, you really do commit to love them no matter what and that's what I did. So part of me getting out of that marriage was because I never wanted to get to the point where I hated anyone. Catch the rest of that interview here.

Comments

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MY ASS WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME

MY ASS WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME TOO IF I HAD TO STOP LOVING MEKHI.HE ID TOO,TOO FINE
LIZ's picture

Girlfriends will never b the

Girlfriends will never b the same without TONI. wHAT THE fuck! Anyway which mekhi os melinda talking about? Phifer?
sitali's picture

Come on, Toni. We know you

Come on, Toni. We know you were thinking your shyt didn't stink and you didn't want to take the paycut that all UPN actors took when the network changed to CW. You are still fabulous, though. So keep those Bailey's commercials coming.
Momo's picture

JMJ actually did get a new tv

JMJ actually did get a new tv role on her ex Ray Liotta's show 'Smith' but then it was canceled after a couple of episodes. I too think Jill is not telling the whole truth behind her leaving Girlfriends. It's sad that such a lovely woman (no homo) isn't getting more movie roles. Toni Childs got on my last nerve but her role completed the cast.
Shazz's picture

JMJ actually did get a new tv

JMJ actually did get a new tv role on her ex Ray Liotta's show 'Smith' but then it was canceled after a couple of episodes. I too think Jill is not telling the whole truth behind her leaving and it's sad that such a lovely woman (no homo) isn't getting more movie roles. Toni Childs got on my last nerve but her role completed the cast.
Shazz's picture

JMJ actually did get a new tv

JMJ actually did get a new tv role on her ex Ray Liotta's show 'Smith' but then it was canceled after a couple of episodes. I ,too think Jill is not telling the whole truth behind her leaving and it's sad that such a lovely woman (no homo) isn't getting more movie roles. Toni Childs got on my last nerve but her role completed the cast.
Shazz's picture

[quote comment="28945"][quote

[quote comment="28945"][quote comment="28907"]Ok, clearly Jill is lying her behind off about why she is no longer on Girlfriends and anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. You mean to tell me that u cant even call people that you've worked with for 6 years and say your not coming back? And Girlfriends is only a half hour sitcom, so why is it that people like Katherine Heigl who is in Greys Anatomy, a one hour drama with a longer season, can still film BOX OFFICE SMASH films and u cant? I didnt really care for Toni on Girlfriends and one thing I cant stand is lying diva types! Girl, go get yourself a job and some dignity[/quote] My thoughts exactly! Many actors do both sitcoms and movies. It's called multi-tasking and putting work in to have longevity, and her lack of drive to do both probably worked against her. But I would like to see her return to Girlfriends for the last few episodes (If the writers ever come back)lol.[/quote] I agree with these comments and several others. There were many comments that suggest giving Jill a break, but I read this interview wondering who debriefed her for this interview because they did a horrible job (of lying). I could care less what her reason(s) was for leaving the show, but be honest about it and don't lie to the public. Remember, the public are the people who would PAY to see you in any future movies or put off hobbies, meetings, etc. to come home early and watch you on another show. The interview was indeed suspect, and I am inclined to believe her departure wasn't exactly planned as she alludes to. Sadly, Girlfriends suffered upon her departure because she completed the cast of over-indulged black folks who pain shakily seek love, financial status, a new pair of shoes, and a "lawyer friend" to define their position in life. I certainly wish Jill well as she finds her way to the next biggest movie in the box office and hopefully she’ll not repeat this fabricated retort again.
VTChick's picture

Jill good luck and God Bless

Jill good luck and God Bless with whateva you decide girl! Melinda congrats to u and D-Nice. You guys make a beautiful couple. God Bless you both! Shhhhh
Shhh!'s picture

Oh, and Mellinda is F.A.B!!

Oh, and Mellinda is F.A.B!!
Nikki F.... Please say the Baby!'s picture

[quote comment="28907"]Ok,

[quote comment="28907"]Ok, clearly Jill is lying her behind off about why she is no longer on Girlfriends and anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. You mean to tell me that u cant even call people that you've worked with for 6 years and say your not coming back? And Girlfriends is only a half hour sitcom, so why is it that people like Katherine Heigl who is in Greys Anatomy, a one hour drama with a longer season, can still film BOX OFFICE SMASH films and u cant? I didnt really care for Toni on Girlfriends and one thing I cant stand is lying diva types! Girl, go get yourself a job and some dignity[/quote] My thoughts exactly! Many actors do both sitcoms and movies. It's called multi-tasking and putting work in to have longevity, and her lack of drive to do both probably worked against her. But I would like to see her return to Girlfriends for the last few episodes (If the writers ever come back)lol.
Nikki F.... Please say the Baby!'s picture

As far as Jill/Toni

As far as Jill/Toni goes...She should have kept the Girlfriends job because now she is in cheap Bailey's liquor commericals, saying like 4 words!!! So sad!
N-dub's picture

[quote comment="28896"]Some

[quote comment="28896"]Some of yall act like Jill is yall first cousin or something. Just like you are entitled to your opinion other people are entitled to theirs. As a fan of the show (previous to the departure of Toni Childs)it seems hella suspect that after all this time now your excuse/explanation is "I'm pursuing film roles and didn't want to further my contract...". That's fine but why wait until you have dropped a movie that went down faster than Supahead! Real talk you ended your run on Girlfriends to do some Bailey commercials - keep it all the way funky Jill/Toni!!! If you was pissed about your paper say that because I would respect that response in oppose to pursuing serious acting in Bailey's commercials!!! And why is it so important to be first? I'm representing like 25! 25th!!! LOL[/quote] I know I'm responding alot to folks but oh welll...I feel u on this too, pls someone tell her to keep it funky, Bailey commercials? Come on girl!!!
what?'s picture

[quote comment="28910"]I only

[quote comment="28910"]I only read the part of Malinda William's interview that was posted (without clicking the extra link) regardless, I am sort of lovin' the beginning of her response about "no one being able to take love away from you". In a fully committed, genuinely deep, and complex relationship even if there comes a point where the relationship has to end, there is a freedom we can give ourselves by arriving at a place where we can say "hey, no matter what, I chose to love that person - and to love them deeply and freely - for myself, and no one can take that away from me". Avoid taking that way from yourself. Reflection in those moments becomes more about loving the person you are when you allow yourself to be completely open to love. Okay, all of this is bordering on psycho-babble :-) but I kind of 'got what she was saying. Not bad.[/quote] I feel what you're saying, I'm going to have to read her article
what?'s picture

I don’t think the comments

I don’t think the comments about Jill’s career move are intentionally negative. The comments are simply critical judgments base on people understanding of how the “Hollywood Machine works.” Base on Jill’s interview, it doesn’t seem she was close enough to the cast and producers of “Girlfriends” to give them a viable reason for leaving the show. I sure Jill will be back on television on a different show but I don’t think she will ever return to “Girlfriends.”
Pretty Paige's picture

SO...she gave up the show

SO...she gave up the show Grilfriends to do Bailey alcohol commercials???? Sweety thats a down grade!!! What movies has she been in? Pls somebody tell her to keep it real, she needs to go back to girlfriends and stop playin!!!
what?'s picture

I am still a little skeptical

I am still a little skeptical about Jill's story I do believe that she wanted to do movies, but I also believe something happened that she is not saying. She should have at least gave her cast members a heads up of where her head is at...I just don't know...and Malinda I am so glad she is happy and doing well because Mekhi did her wrong and I have grown to love her strength. Definitely a FAB chick on so many levels!!!
Dani's picture

Jill is lying. Where is her

Jill is lying. Where is her self respect? Like the others have said why not do movies and TV. You dont leave a job with out establishing another career path she must be under pressure to help the network. She looks pathetic up there lying and Essence looks foolish to run the story but they ran a story on Juanita Bynam so they ain;t got much sense anyway.
Pretty Eyes's picture

I thinkg she just said that

I thinkg she just said that she wanted to pursue movies after she left.
DDwindyes's picture

Jill didn't make much sense

Jill didn't make much sense but anyway...if that's what she wants to do...what is it again? Malinda is a beautiful woman...sounds like she had esteem issues...glad she's over that.
Marcella's picture

I dont understand why there

I dont understand why there is so much negativity against jill. She needs a lot of support in order to succeed with her dreams. Instead, people are choosing to be negative and I dont get it. I swear my momma always said that we as a race is our own enemy.real talk
nikaboo's picture

Oh well it's Jill's life,

Oh well it's Jill's life, Jill's decision. If it works for her that's fine. Can't live anyone's expectations but your own
Musicisourhigh's picture

I only read the part of

I only read the part of Malinda William's interview that was posted (without clicking the extra link) regardless, I am sort of lovin' the beginning of her response about "no one being able to take love away from you". In a fully committed, genuinely deep, and complex relationship even if there comes a point where the relationship has to end, there is a freedom we can give ourselves by arriving at a place where we can say "hey, no matter what, I chose to love that person - and to love them deeply and freely - for myself, and no one can take that away from me". Avoid taking that way from yourself. Reflection in those moments becomes more about loving the person you are when you allow yourself to be completely open to love. Okay, all of this is bordering on psycho-babble :-) but I kind of 'got what she was saying. Not bad.
Tupelo Honey's picture

Ok, clearly Jill is lying her

Ok, clearly Jill is lying her behind off about why she is no longer on Girlfriends and anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that. You mean to tell me that u cant even call people that you've worked with for 6 years and say your not coming back? And Girlfriends is only a half hour sitcom, so why is it that people like Katherine Heigl who is in Greys Anatomy, a one hour drama with a longer season, can still film BOX OFFICE SMASH films and u cant? I didnt really care for Toni on Girlfriends and one thing I cant stand is lying diva types! Girl, go get yourself a job and some dignity
Malika Jonez's picture

I could understand leaving

I could understand leaving the show if you had MANY movie gigs lined up. But she doesn't. We already have enough good black actresses that are talented that can't make their films fly, why did she think she was going to be any different? She should have stayed with Girlfriends. But I only give it a matter of time before we see her on another sitcom.
Chaunte's picture

Some of yall act like Jill is

Some of yall act like Jill is yall first cousin or something. Just like you are entitled to your opinion other people are entitled to theirs. As a fan of the show (previous to the departure of Toni Childs)it seems hella suspect that after all this time now your excuse/explanation is "I'm pursuing film roles and didn't want to further my contract...". That's fine but why wait until you have dropped a movie that went down faster than Supahead! Real talk you ended your run on Girlfriends to do some Bailey commercials - keep it all the way funky Jill/Toni!!! If you was pissed about your paper say that because I would respect that response in oppose to pursuing serious acting in Bailey's commercials!!! And why is it so important to be first? I'm representing like 25! 25th!!! LOL
Ms Nisha's picture

they both have such luscious

they both have such luscious lips im jealous
imnew's picture

[quote comment="28824"]ANYWHO

[quote comment="28824"]ANYWHO ..............[/quote] LOL I was pretty much thinking the same
Mart-ay's picture

I actually read the essence

I actually read the essence interview w/Jill earlier today and I feel like I don't know anymore about her decision to leave Girlfriends now than I did when I woke up this morning. You hear about actors doing sitcoms that do movies all of the time. I think that keeping your day job and doing movies whie on hiatus makes you that more likely to have a good showing when the movie comes out. It keeps your name out there. Look at those that left ER which for the longest of time was the highest rated primetime drama on tv and outside of George Clooney they are not doing all that well. and then there are the actors that I have had success in movies but have went to tv...its about having a steady pay check and still having the liberty to do movies if you choose. I think Jill may have made a spur of the moment decision and she may not come out on top in the end.
keqi's picture

yeah, i definetely don't

yeah, i definetely don't understand the negative response toward jill either. she left because she wanted to do movies. and? just as the studio would have had the right to not renew her contract, she had the right to move on herself. and for folks saying it's not a smart move: everyone doesn't live paycheck to paycheck, so if she planned ahead, i'm sure she's not exactly on wic or anything now. and as for her "doing it like that," maybe she wants to follow her bliss; perhaps it's not about being the next beyonce, just about doing good work. and she's done at least two projects since she left gf. film actors don't work constantly--projects come and go. what more do you want? ugh. some people can be sooo close minded about other people's decisions.
charli skipper's picture

I'm sure Jill stacked enough

I'm sure Jill stacked enough paper to tide her over while she pursues a movie actress career. She didn't need to wait until she had something else lined up to quit.
I'm Baaaaaack's picture

[quote comment="28864"]It is

[quote comment="28864"]It is not necessary to foster such negative energy towards Jill. This is Jill's life and her career fulfillment lies within her power. Do not judge so quickly. It takes time to develop a movie career. Many of you are not in Hollywood and well-versed on the independent or general film circuit. I appreciate that she aspires more for herself and she's willing to take a risk. You should never be satisfied with the way things are if your dreams push you to want more. It takes vision and courage to speak about your dreams even before they fully evolve. Give her time and most importantly, some support! Just because you don't see what's before her and what lies ahead, it doesn't meant that she won't transition into a successful film career. Above anything else, you should never attempt to take the light away from someone's dream. I believe in Jill's acting talent, and I recognize the labor that it takes to pursue your dreams and wait for the day when all of your work materializes...this day awaits Jill.[/quote] So well said. Amen.
I'm Baaaaaack's picture

Maybe Jill was just ready to

Maybe Jill was just ready to move on. Toni Childs was definitely my favorite character on the show, but it's still good.
djd's picture

There is one thing to take a

There is one thing to take a risk...when you have a sure thing coming. But even with her comment, she sounds like such a diva like her acting was that good to begin with. To tell you the truth, I couldn't stand Toni's character because it was the epitome of buffoonery on that show (the way she dissed her husband, her promiscuous ways and catching an STD), she was expendable. Granted, girlfriends is a little bit corny now, but it's not because she left, it's because they need fresher and more exciting material. Trust, Jill did not make the show...and what again is she doing now that she took that huge risk? It's not like she was in the movie "The Great Debaters" or something...it was the damn "Perfect Holiday"...I mean c'mon!
camilla's picture

Opinion... well said. Wish a

Opinion... well said. Wish a lot of people had your perspective...
shulamite's picture

I don't why there are

I don't why there are negative comments about Jill leaving Girlfriends. The show should have been cancelled after the fifth season. They running the same tired story lines. The CW kept Girlfriends because the show has a huge fanbase and the network needed the fanbase. Black people have limited choices in watching sitcoms with a predominant black cast. I hope Jill all the best.
kiki's picture

It is not necessary to foster

It is not necessary to foster such negative energy towards Jill. This is Jill's life and her career fulfillment lies within her power. Do not judge so quickly. It takes time to develop a movie career. Many of you are not in Hollywood and well-versed on the independent or general film circuit. I appreciate that she aspires more for herself and she's willing to take a risk. You should never be satisfied with the way things are if your dreams push you to want more. It takes vision and courage to speak about your dreams even before they fully evolve. Give her time and most importantly, some support! Just because you don't see what's before her and what lies ahead, it doesn't meant that she won't transition into a successful film career. Above anything else, you should never attempt to take the light away from someone's dream. I believe in Jill's acting talent, and I recognize the labor that it takes to pursue your dreams and wait for the day when all of your work materializes...this day awaits Jill.
Opinion's picture

Melinda that's real rap

Melinda that's real rap sis...why be bitter...if you love him genuinely, let him go and find your peace...peel off another layer. wishing you the best with this new relationship. just live!
Marcus X's picture

Melinda that's rel rap

Melinda that's rel rap sis...why be bitter...if you love him genuinely, let him go and find your peace...peel off another layer. wishing you the best with this new relationship. just live!
Marcus X's picture

I love JMJ charater Toni and

I love JMJ charater Toni and I want her back for a few episodes. BUT the ONLY reason she is making Press NOW is b/c she has steady movie roles coming in. When she left Girlfriends she was a lil venomous then hush hush about what happened and Tracey was doing all the explaining. Tracey 'look @ me' Ross pulled one over on her JMJ just won't admit it AGAIN. I'm happy to see her NOW in some movies, and over on the CW Girlfriends' blog her name is still singing. She probably can walk back into a couple episodes if she can be in the same atmosphere as Tracey(look @ me)Ross!
Hotfox220's picture

I don't understand why all

I don't understand why all the negativity towards Jill wanting to move on. Believe it or not, alot of people leave jobs to pursue other things. It's not uncommon or unheard of whether you are in the industry or not. She said it would be difficult to do movies during the break because you only get 2-3 months and it takes alot longer than that to make a movie. Lastly, if she did leave because her castmate(s) were getting paid more than her why not leave? That's what people in regular jobs do, if they feel they are doing a job equivalent to their coworkers and they aren't being compensated, then they can either stick it out or leave. Although Girlfriends centered around Joan, all of the characters bring/brought something the table. The show is no good now and should have been canceled when Toni left.
Dolly's picture

[quote comment="28842"]that

[quote comment="28842"]that is what hiatuses are for honey. Please, a lot of tv show actors do both films and tv shows, it wasn't impossible, and it could have been worth the hustle for longevity in your acting career. hopefully she won't regret it, would hate to see her in the straight to dvd bin[/quote] You don't have to wait for a hiatus to work 2 jobs. Shamar Moore did Y&R and Criminal Minds and Victoria Rowell also Y&R and Diagnosis Murder. Back in the day for a star to get pregnant was a big no no. Now look how the celeb baby boom is skyrocketing. They build a 'nursery' for the kid. Yeah, who quits a job before getting another one.
Tina's picture

malinda is indeed FAB. best

malinda is indeed FAB. best wishes to her and d-nice...they make an absolutely beautiful couple.
nycbutterfly's picture

Sounds like the CW network is

Sounds like the CW network is paying Jill to clear the air. Her comments are very suspect to me as well. Why leave a good show to sit home all day doing nothing and why say that now. Perfect Christmas flopped. It was better if she never said anything. This changes my opinions of her.
Nicole's picture

I agree with kjen...I can see

I agree with kjen...I can see if you really were doing it like that, buy u ain't honey. She is acting like her character for real...never cared for her the Toni character personally. She reminded me of one too many selfish, blood sucking leeches I have come across in real life, lol.
Nee Nee's picture

I think Jill's response is

I think Jill's response is suspect. What movies was is, or will she be doing that led her believe that she had to leave a steady acting gig? And it's taken her a couple of years to say why she left the show because no one has asked her? Nah, babe. Either she's way too cocky about her current star power or there were other factors at play behind the scenes of Girlfriends.
kjen's picture

that is what hiatuses are for

that is what hiatuses are for honey. Please, a lot of tv show actors do both films and tv shows, it wasn't impossible, and it could have been worth the hustle for longevity in your acting career. hopefully she won't regret it, would hate to see her in the straight to dvd bin
Kara's picture

Not the best move Jill. But I

Not the best move Jill. But I do think that she is talented so I hope she will be successful. As for Malinda, I didn't know anyone cared about what happened with her and Mekhi...
Kendra's picture

Damn all that! I want my

Damn all that! I want my Toni back. Why couldn't Jill do movies and do the show? As much as I love her and think she is drop dead gorgeous the fact is her movie career has not taken off. Can't she come back to the show for what I am sure will be the last few episodes? PLEASE!!!
Bird's picture

I understand Jill Marie's

I understand Jill Marie's desire to take it to that next level but as Camilla stated the public has yet to see that next level. I wish she would come back at least for a few episodes, real Girlfriends fans need closure! Melinda Williams is so fab and GROWN! I love it! I hate drama between ex husbands/wives/lovers, etc. So un-called for!
Terri's picture

7th!!! yay!

7th!!! yay!
mee's picture

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