You might remember Countess Vaughn as the funny, sassy Kimberly Ann Parker in Moesha and its spin-off, The Parkers, but behind the scenes the actress was dealing with some hard decisions. In the latest episode of Hollywood Divas, Vaughn reveals that she decided to have an abortion when she was 18 years old because she didn't want a baby to affect her career.
"They didn't want to see a pregnant girl up there on TV…I knew it wasn't a good look. I had to do something about it. I had to make a decision to get rid of the child for my career because I knew from the jump that if I let any of them know what was going on, they would have canceled my show," Vaughn said.
The situation occurred around 1999 when she was about to front her own show, The Parkers. The UPN show aired for five years, but who knows how things would have played out for Vaughn had she decided to keep the baby. What she does say is that things were different back then and teen pregnancy was not as prevalent in pop culture as it is today.
"I don't know if Hollywood has changed. When I was young, we didn't have shows like 16 and Pregnant, we didn't have anything saying, 'Yes, you can be a mother and [be] successful.' My role models were Janet Jackson and Halle Berry, who didn't want marriage to ruin their careers. Really, I was forced by fear. The fear of wanting to do the right thing or what I thought was the right thing at the time," Vaughn explained. "My maturity wasn't there. The way I handled the situation showed that by not talking to anyone and taking matters in my own hands that I just wasn't ready. But having a show and having money doesn't make you ready to be a parent, either."
Vaughn has since gotten married, has two children, and divorced husband Joseph James.
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(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)