Mimi Faust: Sex, Scandal, and Reality TV

How is it that the sex tape clips, filmed at production-level quality, were released the same day the trailer detailing the event was already on Vh1's website and had been televised?
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Recently a recurring star of the reality television show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Mimi Faust, released clips of her sex tape with boyfriend Nikko Smith. All articles and comments on her part range from shocked to defensive at the accidental "leak" of the video, which currently has exclusive clips for PerezHilton.com and WorldStarHipHop.com. However, in the recently-released trailer for the upcoming Season 3 of LHH: ATL, Mimi is already discussing her desire to make a sex tape with her boyfriend, her reaction to its release, and her negotiation of a compensation deal with a Vivid Entertainment executive. How is it that the sex tape clips, filmed at production-level quality, were released the same day the trailer detailing the event was already on Vh1's website and had been televised? The answer, I've concluded, is that it was a pre-planned promotion to increase ratings for the show.

The new trailer for the third season introduces several new characters, and therefore story lines, to the show. Given that in two past reunions, Faust has aimed to reconcile with her child's father, Stevie J, and his new girlfriend Joseline Hernandez, many viewers may have tuned out under the presumption that their storyline would be retired. Though this wouldn't necessary lead to Faust being cut from the show, it certainly provides incentive to maintain the spotlight, especially in order to keep those reality show paychecks coming. Lo and behold, Mimi & Nikko: Scandal in Atlanta is created. It certainly is a stunt that grabbed headlines on several online news publications and blogs, as many people attempted to discern whether or not the tape's release was an accident and why it was created period. It's probably the smartest move Faust could've made to maintain her reality television spotlight and money, but there are a couple of issues that stem from this incident.

First and foremost, Mimi Faust is a 45-year-old woman with a now 4-year-old daughter, making this completely unacceptable and inappropriate by most standards. Especially given that Faust spent much of the show criticizing Stevie J and Hernandez for being immoral on the basis of sex, infidelity, and being a negative influence around her child, this is a bold and somewhat hypocritical move for her. This is not the mistake of a misguided woman in her early twenties or a struggling child star trying to transition into adulthood, which is exactly why questions of Faust's responsibility and priorities as a parent are being so strongly questioned. The trailer alludes to Stevie J potentially taking legal action for custody of their daughter Eva, which is no joking matter for any parent. I honestly don't know how she or her child will recover from the negative publicity or legal issues that are likely fast-approaching.

Second, if this was for money, which it obviously was due to negotiating the sale of one's dignity to one of the leading pornography companies in America, this is completely unnecessary. Faust is the owner of her own custodian business, Keep It Clean, Inc., which has presumably paid her bills and provided for her daughter before LHH: ATL ever came into the picture. As the Vivid executive discusses how Faust could "make a lot of money" in the deal, I can't help but shake my head. There seems to be the increasingly popular belief that any woman who makes a sex tape will be automatically launched into fame and fortune, especially if she's relatively well-known, at least to a small audience. However, as we've seen, especially in the cases of black women, that this is not the case.

Montana Fishburne attempted to release a major sex tape to the world because of her admitted desire to be the next Kim Kardashian. *crickets* Singer Eve was caught in a sex tape scandal that truly jeopardized her career and emotional well-being for a long period of time. In one case you have the daughter of an esteemed actor, the next you have a famous rapper-singer, and then you have a reality star known for being in a 12-year relationship only to have a child in the last few years with a man who never gave her a ring. What's even crazier is that there was a video released last year by Faust's co-star and rival Hernandez engaging in sexually acts by herself, yet this didn't prove to be her claim to fame either. Compare that to Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and an entire slew of other white women who have released sex tapes to significantly profitable notoriety. Get the picture?

Faust now navigates how to recover from sacrificing her parental integrity and professional brand as an entrepreneur for the sake of what is clearly a publicity stunt for LHH: ATL, which we will see when Season 3 premieres on May 5th on Vh1. I personally am shocked at how blatantly scripted this storyline is for Faust, as the time frame between the fake leak of the sex tape and the premiere of the show is cringe worthy. There is absolutely no way that a home-made sex tape and the premiere of a show could occur three weeks apart and both be released as such high-quality productions. This, without a doubt, is the most scripted act in reality television that I've ever seen, and scripted acts are simply not that scandalous.