What You Don't Know About Vivica A. Fox

Vivica A. Fox is truly a one-of-a-kind performer. The talented film and TV actor, producer, and host has forged a unique and remarkable career across the four decades of her career. She started out on "Days of Our Lives" and rose to fame in the 1996 film "Independence Day." Another hit followed, with the crime thriller "Set it Off" released the same year. The star has subsequently gone on to enjoy a varied career with hit comedies like "Soul Food," "Two Can Play That Game," and "Boat Trip" existing alongside TV work like the crime drama series, "1-800-Missing," and the reality show, "Vivica's Black Magic." In 2003, she notably killed it as one of the assassins in the cult classic, "Kill Bill." 

On top of headlining and producing more than 20 movies for Lifetime in the network's "The Wrong" movie franchise, Fox also enjoyed supporting roles in major shows, playing Cookie's sister Candace on "Empire," and Loretta Black on "Curb Your Enthusiasm." As she told The Hype Magazine in 2018, her diverse credits came from good old-fashioned hard work. "It takes time to build a career, and a career means being able to go through different stages and chapters of a career," she explained. 

As awesome as all this seems, Fox has encountered her share of roadblocks and heartbreaks along the way. The woman who always speaks her mind certainly ruffled some feathers, and she's had to deal with the consequences. So, keep scrolling and we'll break it all down for you.

The complications of her first marriage

In 1998, Vivica A. Fox married singer Christopher "Sixx-Nine" Harvest. As she explained to Vlad TV in 2021, at the time, he was part of a musical group waiting on a recording deal. Meanwhile, Fox's big-screen career had taken off, with three big films already released. In hindsight, the "Soul Food" star realized she'd made a bit of a mad dash to the altar and that the relationship was on shaky ground from the beginning. 

"Everyone was having their Cinderella day and I just wanted one too to be very honest with you," she told Vlad TV. "Why the marriage didn't last a long time is 'cause I didn't take the time to get to know him ... I felt peer pressure." In her 2020 memoir, "Every Day I'm Hustling" (via Essence), Fox explained she thought she was doing what was expected of her as a successful woman.

But there was another reason the actor walked away from the marriage. When Harvest's record deal fell through, she claimed that there was a huge financial disparity between them and he wasn't working as hard as she was to find new professional opportunities. "You know, a woman doesn't like paying all the bills all the time ... I had to come to the conclusion that I didn't want to be the breadwinner in this family. My mother didn't raise me to take care of a man," she told Vlad TV.

She ended her engagement to Omar 'Slimm' White

In January of 2011, the former host of the "The Cougar" was living up to her name when Vivica A. Fox, then 46, announced her engagement to the 26-year-old Atlanta club promoter, Omar "Slimm" White.  "We did get engaged on Dec. 26," the actor told People. "And we are very happy!" The couple had reportedly been dating for over a year by this point, with a source telling the outlet that the pair planned to start a family. On "Access Hollywood Live" (via HuffPost), Fox announced that she'd called off the wedding — just months before it was meant to take place.

Following her announcement, White then claimed that he was the one who had called it quits. In an open letter obtained by BET, he wrote, "I totally understand that a person would rather save face and avoid admitting their fiancé ended the relationship." Speaking to Sister 2 Sister (via BET), he added. "She's a good woman; it's just that sometimes you outgrow people."

In a tear-filled 2013 interview with Bethenny Frenkel on her talk show, "Bethenny," Fox recalled, "I wasn't happy anymore. He was a great guy, he just wasn't for me." She noted that after focusing on her career for so long, she felt the need to make a major change in her life. "I wanted to have a child and I wanted to be closer to my family," she said. "I moved away when I was 17 years old."

Fox fought for her role in Independence Day

When Vivica A. Fox learned about the role of Jasmine Dubrow in "Independence Day," she pleaded with her agent to get an audition for the flick, which stars Will Smith. "I had to audition six times to get the role," she told ET's Kevin Frazier. "I called my agent and I was like, 'Yo, everybody in town is auditioning for 'Independence Day,' why can't I?" she asked. With little film experience at the time, the "Young and the Restless" actor was dismissed as they were looking for more famous stars.

A few weeks later, Fox got her shot after a producer's wife saw her on the soap. When she showed up for her first audition in a tight, white, patent leather jumpsuit, the producer told her that the character was a stripper with a heart of gold. She was subsequently told to watch "Speed" and take notes from Sandra Bullock before coming back. "So I came back the next audition with, like, a cute little dress on, some combat boots, and ankle socks. And as soon as I walked in she goes, 'You did your homework,'" Fox recalled.

The role led to Fox being cast alongside Jada Pinkett-Smith in the seminal film, "Set It Off," after director F. Gary Gray saw her performance on-set. "Will [Smith] actually coached me for my audition for Frankie," she explained. "He was dating Jada [Pinkett Smith] at the time, so I think he was trying to get some brownie points.

She said working on Kill Bill was 'grueling'

In both "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and its sequel, Vivica A. Fox plays assassin Vernita Green. The cult classic, which stars Uma Thurman, was directed by Quentin Tarantino. In 2020, Fox explained to The Hollywood Reporter how physically challenging working on the film was. "Oh my God, I trained for six months. I literally went from a size 8 to a size 2," she recalled. "It was intense and grueling, but I loved every single bump and bruise. I'll never forget the fourth and final day of filming the fight; I counted 30 bruises on my body, and I was proud of every single one of them. I earned them." 

At one point, the "Kingdom Come" actor said Tarantino criticized his cast for not giving the film their best. Speaking to CBS News in 2018, she called out the Oscar-winning filmmaker for being too hard on his actors. "I learned a tremendous amount. I pushed my body to limits that I never knew I could, but I'm human, too, so I was just like, 'Can we get a little positive reinforcement here?" 

Regardless, Fox added that she loves and respects the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" director and continues to support his work. In 2020, she told The Guardian that after butting heads with Tarantino, Thurman advised her, "Learn how to manipulate the situation to get what you want." The phrase resonated with her, having been taught by her dad the importance of fighting smart. 

Vivica A. Fox called 50 Cent the love of her life

Vivica A. Fox and 50 Cent met in 2003 at the BET Awards, when the rapper closed his Best New Artist acceptance speech with a surprise shout-out, stating, "I'd like to thank Vivica Fox for wearing that dress." After connecting through their people, they dated briefly, making a splash on the red carpet at the 2003 MTV VMAs, according to The Sun. But by the end of that year, things had gone south, with the actor only hearing that they'd broken up on the radio. "My friends were like, 'Yeah, your boyfriend's on the radio saying stuff,'" she told The Chicago Tribune

While she felt blindsided by the nature of the surprise split, she doesn't harbor any bad feelings toward the Grammy winner. "What killed the relationship is that we just went way too public way too fast," she told Vlad TV. "He was the love of my life, I will admit that without any reservations. He will always have a very special place in my heart." She furthermore added that the persona of 50 Cent was very different from who he actually was in real life, having experienced his romantic side firsthand. Sharing a story of how he filled her house with her favorite flowers on her birthday, she said, "He's such a gentleman, he's very generous. I know him as Curtis, always will."

Vivica A. Fox feuded with Kenya Moore for years

In 2014, Vivica A. Fox and Kenya Moore were bitter rivals in the boardroom on the reality competition series, "Celebrity Apprentice" — and they didn't exactly walk away as friends either. Six years later, the actor still held a grudge against the "The Real Housewives Of Atlanta" star. On an episode of Fox Soul's "Cocktails with Queens," Fox griped, "F*** that b*tch. Nope, nope, nope." She added about their feud, "That one ain't never going away."

Per People, the two women faced off in a series of epic confrontations on the show. While Fox hurled insults at her co-star, Moore claimed the actor was experiencing wild mood swings due to menopause. Tension mounted when the "Empire" star accused Moore of stealing her phone to send tweets from her account. The "RHOA" star denied stealing the phone and felt insulted that Fox would level such accusations against her.

On a 2015 episode of "Watch What Happens Live," Andy Cohen asked the "Kill Bill" actor if she would ever forgive the former Miss USA. "I will forgive her but I will never forget," she responded. In 2021, the duo buried the hatchet once and for all. On another episode of "Watch What Happens Live," Fox announced that she had accepted Moore's apology, and said, "I am ready to let bygones be bygones."

She's had a lot to say about the Trump family

Before he was president, Vivica A. Fox became familiar with Donald Trump and his family when he hosted and served as an executive producer on "Celebrity Apprentice." In a 2016 interview with E News, she noted that although he was a perfect gentleman while shooting the series, her opinion of him changed after he made the move into politics. "He's turned into an absolute jerk and I mince no words when I say that," she said. "The negativity that spews out of him on a constant basis, he has brought reality [television] to politics and I've never seen it go to such a low point that it's went to." 

In 2020, Fox told The Guardian that the set of "Celebrity Apprentice" felt racially charged, claiming that the show would often pit the two "Real Housewives" stars, Brandi Glanville (pictured above) and Kenya Moore, against each other. ”I really felt there was a black v white thing going on," she said. 

As for the show's host, Fox said, "He was obsessed with becoming president and I believe it was because a black man had done it." She added that he probably should have kept his day job. Additionally, the star shared that Trump's daughter had once unintentionally insulted the Black women on the show too. "One time, Ivanka said to [us]: 'You speak very well.' We were like: 'What? ... C'mon girl. We went to school, too.'"

She was accused of destroying a male strip show

In 2017, Vivica A. Fox hosted "Vivica's Black Magic," a Lifetime reality show about male dancers. However, when Fox was asked if the men would dance for gay guys during an interview with "The Breakfast Club" (via TMZ), things got messy. Her response? An emphatic, "Hell no." She continued, "There's no need to ... they dance for women. It's called 'the ultimate girls' night out' for a reason." It didn't go down well. 

Responding to an Instagram comment (via Twitter), Fox attempted to convince the LGBTQ community she meant no harm. "I've been a FRIEND n supporter of the LGBT community for years! My intention was not to offend anyone and I'm woman enough to apologize if you felt that way," she wrote. According to Variety, the show's executive producer, Jean-Claude LaMarre, quickly distanced himself and the two agreed to part ways. Each produced their own male dancer shows with him retaining "Black Magic Live," while she launched "Xplicit Minds."

In another interview for "The Breakfast Club" (via TMZ), LaMarre accused Fox of playing dirty tricks, claiming she called his tour a fake and stole four of his dancers for her show. Per Variety, in 2017, LaMarre sued Fox for libel, slander, and contract interference, claiming she discouraged her fans from attending his shows. The lawsuit stated, "Fox's homophobic interview comments and vindictive campaign against LaMarre and Black Magic Live destroyed any economic advantages LaMarre expected to enjoy following the reality show."

Why The Wrong movies are so right for her

Vivica A. Fox has a long history of working with Lifetime. In 2003, it was the first network to give her top billing in a series, "1-800-Missing," and she hosted another show there, "Vivica's Black Magic." In 2016, director David DeCocteau approached the actor about a movie project, which ultimately snowballed into a franchise of films that the actor executive produces and often stars in, according to a 2021 interview with IOL.

In 2021, a fresh installment, entitled "Keeping Up With the Jones," included titles such as "The Wrong Murder" and "The Wrong Marriage." Fox, who plays a wealthy matriarch intent on protecting herself and her stepdaughters at all costs, said there is an important message throughout the films. "That is for women to not be so ready to jump headfirst into a relationship and trust way too much first," she said. "You got to take your time and get to know someone. But also, listen to your friends because sometimes you think, 'Oh you are just jealous cos I got a boyfriend and you don't'."

After being inspired by others like Debbie Allen and her "Empire" sister Taraji P. Henson, Fox made her directorial debut with a female-centric short film for BET called "Through Her Eyes." Speaking at TheWrap's mentorship BE Conference, Fox shared her gratitude for the opportunity. "It's a wonderful time to be a woman in Hollywood right now," she said. "And especially an African American woman."

What she learned from her dating mistakes

After her short-lived romance with 50 Cent, Vivica A. Fox said she learned a few valuable lessons. One of the things that sabotaged that relationship was not keeping their private affairs out of the public eye. In 2017, she told The Chicago Tribune it's important to get to know someone before putting the relationship out there. "Another thing I try not to do anymore is date other celebrities," she said. Fox noted that with two famous people, things can get competitive and uncomfortable if both partners are vying for the spotlight. 

There is one specific pool of prospective suitors that are especially off-limits for the "Chocolate City" star — her co-stars. "It's like dating someone at the office — not a good move. When you work on movies or TV projects, you always see people that get in those quick relationships and it's like, 'Hmm, bad move, honey,'" she said, adding that actors often change over the course of a shoot. "I always joke that you meet their agent first and three months later is when you really meet them." 

As for what she's seeking in a man, she's not as driven by physical attraction as she used to be. In 2013, she told BET that she used to have a weakness for men with incredible bodies and great smiles. "Now, I need a man who's a gentleman, more old-fashioned," she said. "Someone who I could laugh with and have fun with."

She called out Jada Pinkett Smith's reaction to Will's slap

After Will Smith's infamous Oscars slap in March, Vivica A. Fox was taken aback by the actions of her former co-star. On an episode of "Cocktails With Queens," the "Boat Trip" star commented, "To get up, walk across that Oscars stage and strike — it was Black-on-Black crime, and I was disappointed." 

When Jada Pinkett Smith briefly addressed the incident on "Red Table Talk"– using it as an opportunity to discuss alopecia — Fox admitted that she was brought to tears by the lack of accountability shown by her peer. Making the comments on "The Wendy Williams Show" (via Daily News), she explained, "Chris Rock was assaulted — we cannot forget that — for basically telling a joke that I really felt wasn't that bad," she said. Fox, who has known the family for years, also noted that the ceremony should have been a celebration of African American voices. Instead, that message had been tarnished. "I just wish we could have just a little more accountability and for it to not seem so self-righteous on Jada's part," she added. 

Will has expressed remorse for his actions at The Academy Awards, including a public apology to Chris Rock on Instagram, which read in part, "I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

She rejected Two Can Play That Game three times

Vivica A. Fox built her career by portraying Black women's stories in an accurate and authentic way. She also expanded that on a broader scale, as she told Essence at the 2020 Sistahs in Business Expo tour in Newark, New Jersey. "I love helping African-American filmmakers get their films made," she said. "I want to make sure that I'm very proud of the product; that it's a true representation of my community and the script and the project."

As an example, she explained what happened leading up to her 2001 rom-com, "Two Can Play That Game," which also stars Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union. "I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she explained. Fox added that one of the reasons for her staying power in Hollywood is her tenacity, stating, "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other."

In 2007, Fox reprised her role of relationship guru Shanté Smith in 2007's "Three Can Play That Game," alongside "Grey's Anatomy's" Jason George, and again for a 2017 national stage tour. Speaking to The Washington Post during the show's D.C. run, Fox said the character inspired some of her own dating advice. "Find somebody that's nice, treats you with respect, and honors you as his queen," she said. "And then he earns the right to become your king."

Vivica A. Fox is still opening new doors

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Vivica A. Fox is estimated to be worth around $2 million. As she told Vlad TV in 2021 the Indiana native knew at 17 exactly what she wanted to do. "Everyone was like 'I'm gonna get married,' 'I'm gonna be a lawyer,' 'I'm going to college' and I was like 'I'm going to California and I'm gonna become a star.'" Starting out on "Days of Our Lives" and "The Young and the Restless," the prolific film and TV actor has been working in Hollywood for more than three decades.

However, when Fox began her career in Hollywood during the '80s, she was repeatedly told that films prominently featuring Black women wouldn't make money. "We couldn't do movies or open television shows because they said we wouldn't sell internationally," she explained on the "Tamron Hall Show." "But things have changed. Now we're directors, writers, producers ..." As host Tamron Hall commented during the interview, Fox's films have collectively grossed billions. She hopes to help pay the same success forward to the next generation.

After releasing her 2018 memoir, which was intended to motivate and enlighten others, the performer and producer told CBS News, "I want to let people know I've been knocked down too, and that I had to figure out how to pick myself up. I had to learn how to get out of my own way and I don't mind sharing that with others."