Former Destiny’s Child member LaTavia Roberson has come forward to reveal details of her time in Destiny’s Child.
Speaking to UK newspaper The Mirror, the 29-year-old spoke about Beyoncé’s father who was the manager of Destiny’s Child Mathew Knowles, her childhood friend Kelly Rowland and her regrets about the original line-up’s demise with herself and LaToya Luckett being forced out by Matthew after they sent a disgruntled letter to their boss.
Speaking on Knowles’ tough demands on the young ladies Robinson said: “Matthew did not mince his words and it can be tough to take that kind of criticism when you are a little girl. We would try not to let it break us… But Kelly was the sensitive one, and sometimes she would go to her room and cry.”
LaTavia recalled one incident where Mathew scolded Kelly after a gig in Atlanta,1997 asking, “Where were you tonight, Kelly? I watched you mess up 12 dance steps.”
Comparing him to the late Michael Jackson's tough disciplinarian father LaTavia said, “We used to call him Joe Jackson, It’s not like he beat us with his belt or anything, but he was very strict. Beyoncé was the only one brave enough to stand up to him”
She continued, “He was like a drill sergeant. When summertime came he would start a camp at his house in Houston… There was a three-and-a-half mile track and we would sing while we jogged around it. Then we would go to the house and rehearse.”
Looking back on Kelly, LaTavia said, “Kelly was always very sweet. She was kinda shy, especially when she was younger. I am not going to say that Kelly had bad self-esteem, but she was timid. She was definitely the quiet one of the four of us.”
Roberson added: “It’s amazing how well Kelly has done since then. She has really blossomed… She is an inspiration to anyone, and I am honoured to call her my friend.”
“LeToya was the jokester, I was the sassy one, Beyoncé was the mamma and Kelly the sensitive one.”
Speaking on the band’s break-up the singer added that she regretted leaving the group the way she did and should have spoken to Beyoncé and Kelly about her concerns within the group.
“Things seemed unfair” Robinson protested, “Beyoncé and Kelly had cars. I’m not saying pay cheques were any different, but Matthew used to say a lot of crazy things like, ‘Y’all should be glad I’m giving you money’”
“We were happy for Matthew to stay on as manager, but we wanted another manager to work with him.”
After sending the pivotal letter to Mathew, the girls didn’t know that they were out of the group until they saw the video for ‘Say My Name’ with two new girls Michelle and Farrah in their places, and so left in 1999 when they were eighteen.
Roberson confessed, “My one regret is that I should have spoken to Beyoncé and Kelly before I sent the letter…that is the one thing I would have done different. I would have gone to my sisters and discussed it with them. After that, we didn’t speak for many years.”
After being an alcoholic, having minor issues with the law and entering rehab Roberson’s life is now back on track and happily added, “I saw Beyonce in 2003 and we just hugged and talked… it was so emotional… I spoke to Kelly last year and I asked her, ‘Do you understand why we did what we did?’ She said, ‘Oh gosh, yes’. And that was enough for me.”
“I am convinced that if it was not for Matthew Knowles we would still be together as a band.”
Roberson ended the interview with, “We’ll always be sisters. Nothing can take that away from us.”