From the book “Lets Talk About Pep”
It just seemed that all of my problems revolved around men – even when it wasn’t my fault. Even when I wasn’t directly involved.
One example of this was in 1994. I ended up in one of those National Enquirer type of magazines under a headline: “Is Pepa a Home Wrecker?” Remember the night Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes burned down the house of Andre Rison (former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver)? Well, I was sort of in the middle of that.
Andre and I never messed around. I’m innocent of that crime. I am so innocent. But I did know him and we were really cool. Salt-N-Pepa used to do a lot of NFL spots for Monday Night Football. And we would do some NFL parties. I met Andre at one of those parties and we hit it off. We went bowling and were bugging out and laughing. I would bump into him from time to time at different clubs. And that was it.
He told me later how everything went down. Apparently he had been talking about me to her. Telling her how cool I was. Brothers, you can’t do that. Your girl will immediately be suspicious. Now, maybe he did like me like that, but again, we never went there. One night, he and Lisa are watching TV and my video comes on, and he gets all excited and says something like “Pep, that my girl!”
Maybe she was feeling that he was trying to holler at me and she didn’t like it. That very night, we had a concert at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, and Andre and Lisa came to the show. I got them backstage tickets and the whole nine.
After the show, I was backstage and I left my dressing room for something. At the same time, Andre was nowhere to be found. Lisa came into my dressing room looking for him, and when she didn’t see me and couldn’t find him, she jumped to conclusions. She assumed that we were together. This is what he told me. She finally found him and they went home and argued that whole night. He told me he couldn’t take it anymore and left. When he did, that’s when the teddy bears and the sneakers went in the Jacuzzi with the lighter fluid and the whole house got burned to the ground.
That was a huge story. And the tabloids had started getting wind of what happened. Lisa talked about him cheating, but no one knew the whole story or the truth. Then I end up in this tabloid in a picture from the “Shoop” video with that headline: “Is Pepa A Home Wrecker?” TLC was a big group. And Salt-N-Pepa was huge, too. And you add in an NFL star and a burned-down mansion and you have the makings of a real scandal. It was about to be on. That story was going to catch fire like Andre’s house. I was saved, though. That same week O.J. Simpson decided to kill his wife and her friend in California. And nobody really cared about Andre Rison, Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, and me. Thank you, O.J.!
But that incident showed me how crazy we women can get over a man. I was Lisa. I have been on that side of it…