TRANSCRIPT | Katina Powell on motherhood, dirty money and refusi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TRANSCRIPT | Katina Powell on motherhood, dirty money and refusing to give up

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Katina Powell, photo by ABC, via The Associated Press. Katina Powell, photo by ABC, via The Associated Press.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — On Saturday morning, “Breaking Cardinal Rules” co-author Katina Powell appeared on local radio station WLLV-1240 AM and gave her most extensive public comments since the publishing of her controversial book alleging that she helped provide escorts and strippers to recruits and players for the University of Louisville basketball program.

Powell appeared on the program under the condition that she would not talk about those events, on the advice of legal counsel, but she talked about many other things.

The program, “Single Mothers Let’s Talk” is geared toward telling the stories of single mothers in the area. The following is a complete transcript of the discussion. The program’s host is Hope Blackmon. This transcript is reprinted with the permission of the station:

HOPE BLACKMON, HOST: Hello single mothers, welcome to “Single Mothers, Let’s Talk,” the very first radio talk show that is devoted to you, single mothers. I am your host, Hope Blackmon. My guest this morning is the author of Breaking Cardinal Rules. I welcome to the show, Katina Powell. Good morning, Katina, and welcome to the show.

POWELL: Good morning, Hope, thank you so much for having me.

BLACKMON: I’m excited about this show.

POWELL: So am I.

BLACKMON: I’m really, really excited. And, you know, your book is very controversial. Breaking Cardinal Rules is the name of the book.

POWELL: Yes.

BLACKMON: You know that it’s huge right now. You, I won’t say American Idol, but based off my Facebook page, I can’t agree with it right now, that page is about the world right now, OK? However, despite all of that that you’re going through in that area, today’s topic is about who is Katina Powell before there was a book.

POWELL: OK.

BLACKMON: Give us some insight about you before this book ever was written, before you came into the public eye, who was Katina Powell. So let’s introduce yourself.

POWELL: I am Katina Powell. I am a very giving woman. I’m a mother before anything. I’m also a grandmother of three beautiful grandbabies.

BLACKMON: Awwww. How many children do you have?

POWELL: I have three beautiful daughters who I’m so very close with. I’m a very giving person. I’m very determined. I’m normal. I’m just like everybody else. I’m no different than any other woman out here. I’m not different than any other single mother out here. Everything is still a struggle. I am Katina Powell, that’s just who I am.

BLACKMON: Based off what I’ve heard about you, that you are an exotic dancer, what got you into that?

POWELL: Well there was no one thing that brought me into being an exotic dancer. It was interesting, very interesting, the money was very well-needed, and I knew that was a way to make money. I wasn’t an exotic dancer for long. The paths changed very quickly. But yeah, it, an exotic dancer, um, let me get back to the question. What brought me into it? It was just the need of money, and that is honestly what brought me into it.

BLACKMON: So you didn’t feel peer pressure from anyone saying, girl you need to do this?

POWELL: No, I don’t work well with peer pressure. Peer pressure doesn’t do anything for me at all. I’m my own person at all times.

BLACKMON: OK. I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve never met anyone who has been in that adult entertainment world.

POWELL: Wow.

BLACKMON: So I am really interested in the mindset of someone who wants to get into that world. And you indicated that no one brought you in, but how did you get introduced, because there are other avenues, right?  
  
POWELL:
Yeah, there were other avenues, but everybody was dancing at that time, everybody was an exotic dancer, all the clubs were big and they were popping. I went to a club, and I decided to just dance. And I realized, very, very quickly that the dancing part just wasn’t for me. It just wasn’t for me.

BLACKMON: When you came to that conclusion that it wasn’t, what was the next thing that you started doing?

POWELL: Ah, I started working for an escort company, so I started escorting. And shortly after escorting I started doing things like bachelor parties, and, you know, just personal, private parties. Just different things. You know, it’s exciting, it is, I can’t say that industry is not exciting, because it really is. The attention, the money. It’s a game changer.

BLACKMON: Trust me, I believe it. When I think of someone in that adult world, I’m sorry, but I watch a lot of movies, and I go back to Players Club and the fighting and the girls attacking each other and all those different things. Does that happen a lot?

POWELL: Well not with me, I don’t associate myself with that type of, with that world. I don’t associate with that at all. I’m not a big people person. I’m very friendly, very open-hearted, very kind, despite what everybody thinks of me.

BLACKMON: You’ve got it heavy.

POWELL: Well, you know.

BLACKMON: Because, if it wasn’t for this book, would we even know who you are?

POWELL: Yeah, you would.

BLACKMON: Really? OK?

POWELL: Because I would make myself known. I’m a normal person like everybody else. Everybody makes it seem like I’m this horrible person, and I’m not. Everybody that knows me, you have to know me to know who I am. Anybody else, it doesn’t bother me. But to know me, you have to know that I would give you anything that I have, I love my kids 100 percent. I’ll do anything for anybody. But I’m just me. I’m sort of stand-offish. I can be that way. But I’m a very giving person. And I’m normal. That’s what I tell people. I’m just like you. I’m no different from every other single mother out here, with struggles and obstacles and those kinds of things.

BLACKMON: So with the struggles and obstacles, and you went the way of making ends meet by doing the dancing and whatever the escorting and stuff. Have you ever thought about stepping away from that and looking into other fields? Like some people would be like, doing that is a horrible thing to do. Why would you want to degrade yourself? Which most people see that that’s what that is. Wouldn’t there be other avenues away from that world?  
  
POWELL:
Yes, there’s other avenues. And to make it clear, I haven’t done that in a while, in a very long time. I stepped away from that a long time ago. But I just found another avenue to go down to where I knew other girls that, you know, were in struggle, in a bind, and needed to make money, and like I said, I went into a different field. But as far as the adult entertainment, as far as escorting, as far as any of that, I’ve really stepped away from that. I’ve reevaluated who I am and what I want. So it’s, it’s been OK. It’s been OK. I can adapt to anything, and I can make a way, whether it’s this situition, that situation, I can pretty much make a way. The adult entertainment issue is pushed back, the back of the closet.

BLACKMON: I guess because of what’s going on with the controversy and everything it’s almost like they want to bring you back into that, right?

POWELL: Right.

BLACKMON: So what are you doing now? Are you going to school, trying to do other things, what are you into now?  
  
POWELL:
Now I’m venturing into different fields of my own business. I’m still trying to do the transportation service for different companies. I’m a full-time mom, regardless of how old my children are. I’m a full-time grandparent. I just, I read a lot. I write every day. Every day. So, you know, a lot of people feel like you write just to — no, I write, every day. I wouldn’t care if I just went down the street to the store, I write about it. My life is a book, and it’s an open book. I’m not ashamed of anything.

BLACKMON: We all have a story to tell, we all do, including myself, and I’ve shared a lot of things that I’ve been through, on the air. I can say I’m nowhere in the field where you are. And right now I’m really in a zone of talking of someone who has been in that adult entertainment world. I’ve never experienced that before, and there is a big difference, I’m assuming.

POWELL: Well, it’s really not a big difference. People find ways to feed their family. I think a lot of people’s lives are secretive. A lot of people will not allow you to know what they do. But don’t get it wrong, adult entertainment is one of the biggest industries out here. And a lot of girls have really come up and made a name for themselves, a lot of girls have paved the way for other girls to get into that type of industry.

BLACKMON: A lot of people see it as degrading, or a low self-esteem issue.

POWELL: Well it all depends on what you feel is degrading and gives you low self esteem. Because a lot of things that we do out here are not by the book. You know, it’s not. It’s all about the secrets that you carry, and what you will come forth with. And like I say, I don’t judge. I try not to judge at all. You don’t know a person’s struggle. You don’t know what a person is going through. Sometimes when a person’s back is pushed against the wall, a single mom, they will do anything to come out, to make a way.

BLACKMON: It’s about that particular moment, too, then later on in life when you look back about that situation, either you’re going to regret it or be like I had to do what I had to do, and I have some of those.

POWELL: Yeah. I did what I had to do, by any means. And that’s just what it was. I played everything by the book. I played life by the book. I don’t get in trouble. I’m not out here like this. I just did what I had to do to make a way for me and my children.

BLACKMON: Can I ask, what age were you when you started into that adult world?

POWELL: I was very grown.

BLACKMON: OK, very grown. (Laughing)

POWELL: Yes, (laughing) I was an adult.

BLACKMON: When you were saying you were paving the way for other girls, is there a time you say, ‘This is not where you want to be. You shouldn’t be here.’

POWELL: I can’t say that. I can’t say that I can tell anyone else that this is not where you should be. Because people have to go through experiences in life. You have to learn for yourself.  You have to go through that to understand what it’s like and the meaning of it. So I wouldn’t tell anyone, no, this is not what you’re supposed to do. You have to experience it. And you will learn this is not for me, not what I should be doing, not is not the life that I chose. That’s just what it is.

BLACKMON: I don’t know, but are your girls in this environment, too?

POWELL: No, I think everyone has changed. Everyone has the wrong — they see my daughters all wrong. My daughters are very, very independent females. They’ve been raised very well, very mannerable. They all have good jobs. They have children now. I can’t say that any of them are in that industry. We’ve all had some problems, some issues, with the situations and the choices that we’ve made in that industry, and it’s creeping up on us at this point, but I can’t say that any of us are in that industry anymore, I can’t. And I can’t say that if my back is pushed against the wall, that I will not go back to that industry. I will not say that.

BLACKMON: People see that as quick cash, or dirty money, so how do we change that perspective?  
  
POWELL:
Well what is not dirty money? What is not? You have so many people out here doing so many things, what is not dirty money. What is and what is not dirty money? We all have different opinions. So, one person’s opinion does not move me.

BLACKMON: That’s deep. That’s really deep.

POWELL: Yeah.

BLACKMON: I’m going to be honest with you, whether it was on Facebook or whatever, that you didn’t deserve this time. How would you address those people who say you don’t deserve this, don’t deserve to be a mom. What do you say about that?

POWELL: That’s deep. I deserve to be a mom. God wouldn’t have given me my children if he felt like I didn’t deserve to be a mom or wasn’t deserving of my children. The only person I have to answer to is God. I don’t have to answer to anybody else, whether it’s — no disrespect — you, or anybody. I don’t have to answer to anybody. So, me deserving, I mean, you all can have your opinions, and that’s fine. I am a single mom, and I’m a single mom who doesn’t hold her head down, walk in shame, or embarrassment. If I did it, I will stand tall and I will tell you, I walk and I stand in my truth, and that’s just what it is. I’m not deserving of a lot of things. But being a mom, I’m very well deserving of that.

BLACKMON: Like I said, I addressed some of the things that I’ve been through, and there are times when I think I didn’t deserve my two children. And things I see looking back on things I’ve been through, with my son, who just turned 25, happy birthday, Clancy — 

POWELL: Happy birthday, Clancy!

BLACKMON: Thank you. He just turned 25. I saw some of the struggles I went through with him and making sure he was on the right path. And I look at some of the struggles I went through with my daughter, who is 19, and some of the decisions I went through, and they might not have been perfect in some peoples’ minds, but for what was going on under my roof, I felt like it was the best I could do.

POWELL: Exactly. You did the best you could do, and that’s how I feel. I’ve done the best job that I can do, regardless of the decisions that I’ve made, even in the adult industry, I’ve still been the best mom that I know that I could be. My kids love me unconditionally. We are the best of friends. I can’t move without my daughters. So for everyone who says that I did this to my daughters and I should be ashamed, you couldn’t pull my daughters away from me if you wanted, you just couldn’t do it. So I think I have done an amazing job. I’m not a perfect parent, but I’m the best that I think that I could have been or be.

BLACKMON: And who is? Even those entertainers that we see on TV, you look at Michael Jackson, was he a good parent at the time. People criticized him when he had his little son, and the blanket, and he held him over the side of the balcony, people criticize that. People criticize a lot of people about the things that they have done or are doing. But you still have to look at yourself, what have you done that’s so perfect.

POWELL: That’s the question. What have you done, and is your life an open book? You can do things with your kids that we probably would not agree with. We don’t think it’s right, the way you discipline or the way you talk to, we might not think it’s right, but as long as you do the best that you can do, that’s all God’s asking for.

BLACKMON: Right. This is big, really big, and I try not to judge on anybody and everybody, because I feel like everybody has a story to share. One question I do want to ask is what did your parents think when you went into this world.
  
POWELL:
Well my mom’s deceased, she’s been deceased since I’ve been 15. So all I’ve had is my father. But my father is amazing. My father is an amazing parent, and he stands behind me 100 percent with all of this. So (laughing)

BLACKMON: I’m sorry, I didn’t know about your mom’s situation. I’m sorry to hear that.

POWELL: Oh thank you.

BLACKMON: So, your dad, I’m glad you brought him up. He is a man . . . 

POWELL: I love him.

BLACKMON: He’s a man who are into this adult world, entertainment world. Would you be scared if your dad came to see you?

POWELL: No, my father has seen me.

BLACKMON: Oh my goodness.

POWELL: So let everything begin, because I will say again, my father and my whole family has seen me. They have come to my shows and they have supported me 100 percent. They may not have thrown any money, but they’ve helped, they supported me.

BLACKMON: Oh wow. My . . . 

POWELL: I’m an open book.

BLACKMON: I’m sorry, I would have been like Lisa Ray’s character on Fellowship, I would have ran in the back. I’m sorry, I would have ran in the back.

POWELL: Just when it was my time to come out . .. 

BLACKMON: You weren’t nervous?

POWELL: No. I’m telling you, I am an open book. I’m not ashamed of anything that I do.

BLACKMON: I’m sorry, I would have ran off the stage!  

POWELL: No, they knew what they were coming to see. They were prepared. It was fun.

BLACKMON: Well, this definitely shows that you have a lot of confidence in yourself and you’re not ashamed of anything that you’ve done in your life’s journey.

POWELL: I try not to hold my head down for anything. When you hold your head down you can’t see what’s in front of you. So I keep my head up at all times, regardless of the negativity, all the stuff that’s been said about me, I still hold my head up. I have no reason to hold it down.

BLACKMON: What I see is a lot on your shoulders. It seems like it’s a lot, because people’s opinions can make you or break you. Sometimes, someone will say, Oh, you’re fat, but that person who is fight, it brings their self-esteem down. But someone saying you are an exotic dancer and this and this and this, it seems like it would bring you down, but you are coming across like, no.

POWELL: Not at all. You have to come with a whole lot more than that. I’m just not a female who walks in shame. I  don’t do it.

BLACKMON: Well if you can dance in front of your daddy, then girl (both laugh) I’m telling you. I see myself as Lisa Ray, I’d be out of there. I’m sorry. I know my daughter was saying that a couple of friends that just graduated from high school are going in that direction, to the adult world.

POWELL: That’s how a lot of girls pay their tuition. That’s how a lot of girls get to where they’re going, paying bills, and getting themselves through school. A lot of that. That is a way that a lot of these people are paying their tuation.

BLACKMON: I never looked at it like that.

POWELL: Well, it is. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

BLACKMON: Well, with the questions I’m asking you I’m hoping to give a perspective on the adult entertainment world. Because it is a negative.

POWELL: I look at it, as such, I feel like God said, do not judge my child because you do not know the struggle I’ve asked her to walk through or the path that I’ve asked her to take or to walk through. So, you know, it’s been a little struggle. It was pretty much a big struggle in the beginning, but hey, it’s OK now. I am Katina Powell, I will always be Katina Powell, and nothing will ever change that.

BLACKMON: Wow. Including dancing in front of your daddy.

POWELL: Including dancing in front of my father.

BLACKMON: I’m sorry, I keep going back to that, because I’m like, golly.

POWELL: You have to know what type of parent my father is, to know, because he’s not a judgmental person. I never hung with females. I hung with a lot of guys, and he was always OK with that. You know, most fathers are no, and that doesn’t look right. But it was always, as long as you carry yourself, as such, as you’ve been raised, I have no problem with what you do.

BLACKMON: Now does that world, for these young girls, like I said, my daughter has some friends in that entertainment world, does that world start leading them into drugs?

POWELL: Possibly. It can. It all depends on the mindframe that you have. You can go in and accept anything anyone gives you. My thing was not to accept anything anyone gave me. I’m here for the money. You can keep your gifts. I can buy my own gifts.  I’m here for the money, and that’s it and that’s all.

BLACKMON: So, how, do we get those young girls, who are thinking of Amber Rose, or some of those big people in that world, just to see . . . 

POWELL: And you see how big these people are. Why wouldn’t you think that, OK, if Amber Rose can do it, why can’t I do it. Social media is so big, and it shows you. We see what we see with these people, we don’t really see what these people, or what they had to go through, or the drugs, so we don’t know. Yeah, it all depends on how strong minded you are when it comes to this industry.

BLACKMON: But nobody’s teaching these girls. They’re coming in thinking, I’m going to make my money. I’m going do this or that.

POWELL: You have some of that. And you have some girls that are not a game, they are not a joke. They take this very seriously, and this is their job and this is what they do, and it’s all about the money for them.

BLACKMON: Well I appreciate you coming on the show. It looks like our time on the clock is coming to an end. But I appreciate you.

POWELL: I appreciate you.

BLACKMON: What you have heard is from the author of Breaking Cardinal Rules, Katina Powell. And I wish you the best of luck on this journey, because you do have a strong journey you have to get you.

POWELL: Thank you. I have no plans to give up. 

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