“I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. When my mother yells like this, it’s because she loves me.”
That moment in the spring of 2005 when Tyra Banks yelled at one of her America’s Next Top Model contestants is an iconic moment in reality television history. When Banks screamed at aspiring model Tiffany Richardson after she was eliminated on the Season 4 episode “The Girl Who Pushes Tyra Over the Edge,” the world noticed.
The penultimate phrase, “I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!” is still used in memes, GIFs and even protest signs today. And even though we have watched and rewatched Banks’ temper tantrum over and over again, the scene just never gets old to us.
So where is Richardson now? Buzzfeed did some digging and found out what the viral victim is up to these days. They also share her side of the story, delving into what really happened that fateful day when Banks lost her cool.
Richardson opened up to Buzzfeed that what audiences saw was just one part of a much longer “tyrade” that really affected her, something a former producer corroborates in the article.
According to Richardson, the argument was “1,000 times worse” in reality. She was hesitant to elaborate, but when pressed for more details, Richardson said she recalled Banks yelling at her, “You can go back to your house and sleep on your mattress on the floor with your baby,” in front of the other judges, contestants and crew members. Richardson wouldn’t reveal further information about what may have been edited out of Banks’s tirade, but that particular comment, she said, “stayed in the back of my mind.” Cocks [the former producer] said that though she wasn’t there during the elimination, she was heavily involved in the editing process, and she couldn’t remember Banks saying that in any of the transcripts. She did, however, confirm that the tirade was trimmed, mainly due to time constraints.
“You can go back to your house and sleep on your mattress on the floor with your baby” sounds pretty brutal. The tirade that made it to television never really came off as mean, just a brutally honest, tough-love lecture. Maybe producers knew that what really happened needed to be left on the cutting room floor to make Banks not seem like such an asshole.
Buzzfeed’s article also uncovers some other behind-the-scenes facts: Richardson’s exit interview was manufactured from two separate occasions, and she admittedly lied the second time she took the show’s psych test to ensure her place on Season 4.
So where is Richardson now?
“I’m a completely different person,” she says. “[Tyra Banks] don’t owe me nothing, I’m good. If I would’ve took advantage of the situation, it was worth it … but I knew nothing about [modeling]. I was just like in a whole new world. … I was young and crazy, I didn’t get it.”
Richardson’s son, Chaddrick, whom she frequently talked about on Top Model, is now 14 years old. She has also since had a daughter named Chaz, who’s 9. She works a normal 9-to-5 job at a group home in Miami assisting people with mental disabilities. “It’s pretty cool, though, I’m not complaining about it,” she said. But, she said multiple times, she’s “famous-broke,” in that her notoriety reaps no financial benefits. “Every fucking day somebody is coming up to me about this show and how I could’ve won and Tyra said this and it’s like, really? It’s been 10 years. Could y’all not?” she said.
But we can’t help if we were rooting for you, Tiffany. We were all rooting for you. But you seem just fine to us.
Richardson does occasionally get back in front of the camera. Here are some pics she took with Miami based photographer Fresh Flix:
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