On Thursday March 31st 2011, Gumbumper sent out L.A based correspondent and African supermodel, Joyce Mandi to Sherman Oaks, California to interview the very beautiful, gracious, kind with a great personality, accomplished, talented, Jackie Christie who is a best-selling author, designer, manager, producer, humanitarian, entrepreneur, mother of three, and the wife of NBA star Doug Christie, among other things. Mrs. Christie shed a lot of light on her life and undertakings and that of her whole family.
GB: So we at Gumbumper have heard a lot of things about you and we would like to quash the rumors and hear right from the horse’s mouth. So can you tell us who Jackie Christie really is?
Jackie Christie: Yes I’m an author, I’ve written four books. I’m on my 5th book and it’s called sexual relations. It’s a guide, a his and hers guide to finding greater intimacy. I get a lot of fans who write me and ask me what is the secret to a 16year marriage to an NBA star, so I thought I would write the book and talk about some of my secrets. I also have a series coming out, it’s called “Jackie Christie Knows Best”, and it’s a wed series. Me and my husband starred in “Committed” on BET, for two seasons. It’s a show of our life, a reality show and I have alot of businesses and people can go to www.jackiechristie.com to find out more about me.
GB: I understand you are also a designer. Did you make what you are wearing today?
Jackie Christie: Actually I didn’t. I have a new line that’s out in 2011 called the Jackie Christie Black Collection. And I’m not wearing my clothes today but I always do.
GB: So do you think you are misunderstood in any way? Like the things people say about you?
Jackie Christie: I think I’m very misunderstood because a lot of people are intimidated by me, they don’t know how to approach me, they think that I’m really mean and they heard rumors or stories that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
GB: Well I can confirm that you’re not mean; you’re the sweetest lady alive. I Met you once before and I remember how sweet you were. So I know that that is totally false.
Jackie Christie: Thank you. I really appreciate that. It makes me feel good when I meet people and they say “you’re nothing like what the rumors say or the stories that are out there”. And you know, I basically treat people how I want to be treated and once in a while, you get those people that want to try you and then you just put them in their place and it gets misconstrued.
GB: So how long have you and Doug been together?
Jackie Christie: Me and my husband have been together for17yrs now and we’ve been married 16 times.
GB: Oh Wow! Wait… wait, come again…
Jackie Christie: (laughs). Everybody is always shouting when they don’t know about it but yes, we get married every year and it’s a full wedding. Sometimes it’s just me and my husband, sometimes it’s the whole family. We’ve gotten married on cruises, in other countries, at our home; we do the whole dress ceremony, etc. We have a saying that if you’re always planning a wedding, then you don’t have time to plan a divorce.
GB: Wow! So is that the reason behind the remarrying every year?
Jackie Christie: Yeah! On top of that, he’s my best friend, I’m in love with him and I fall in love with him every year over and over again and why not marry him? It’s a family tradition and we plan to do it for the rest of our lives.
GB: And you have three kids, I understand?
Jackie Christie: Yes, we have three kids. We have two daughters and one’s name is Ta’kari and one is Chantell and we have a son named Doug Jr.
GB: And they’re all writers.
Jackie Christie: Yeah, they’re all writers.
GB: You think it’s in the genes. I mean, the mom is a best-selling author…
Jackie Christie: (laughs) Thank you. I think reading is a big thing in out household, writing as well. My husband is a writer, I’m a writer so all of us definitely write together and we write separately as well.
GB: How did your book, “No Ordinary Love” do?
Jackie Christie: My book no ordinary love did fantastic. Actually, it’s a book by me and my husband. It did fantastic because it really quashed a lot of the rumors that were out there and it let us tell our story from the horse’s mouth. A lot of people had a lot of things to say about me and it made us quash the rumors.
GB: So, what made you guys want to write books together?
Jackie Christie: What made us want to write is the fact that we’re best friends. We traveled together throughout his 16 yr NBA career. I always went with him. Alot of people thought that I went to stop him from being around other women or cheating on the marriage. It wasn’t that at all. We just enjoy doing things together. We’re partners, we do everything together. We were talking one night and we said one day, we should write a book because a lot of people are very interested in our relationship and marriage and we can help a lot of people as well.
GB: That’s awesome! I’m very impressed. Since your husband has been retired, how has life been for you guys?
Jackie Christie: Since Doug retired, it has been exciting for me because now he can do his clothing line (he is a designer as well).he hasn’t announced it or come out yet but he’s in the middle of designing his 2012 Spring/Summer line, so it will be out later this year for next year and it allows us time to spend even more time together. I traveled with him throughout his career, we took our kids when they were really little but now that they’re older, he’s able to home school them, since he’s retired but he misses the game. You know, he loves basketball. So he’ll be back involved again eventually, one way or another.
GB: You guys were one of the 1st people to have a reality show on BET. Do you have anything in the works right now, as far as reality TV shows?
Jackie Christie: Yes, definitely. I’ve got some great offers on the table. I’ve accepted one very special offer; I’m very excited about that. I’ll talk about it in the near future and I’m a producer and I produce about 5 or 6 shows as well. So I have some good stuff in the works.
GB: Being a celebrity, how do you feel about all the bad press you get?
Jackie Christie: When I married my husband, I found out really quickly that it was going to be an open book. You don’t really have any privacy and that’s fine. I’m married to Doug, I’m not married to the public. They’re going to form their opinion and all I have to do is I keep God first in my life and I continue doing what I do and I’m just doing Jackie and hopefully enough people will see who I am and will continue to support what we do and I support them. I let the press assume what they want so I don’t really let it bother me.
GB: I noticed you mentioned God. What role does God play in your life?
Jackie Christie: Oh my God! Jesus is everything to me. He is the force of our family, of our home, our marriage, of who we are…We don’t pretend to be perfect, you know. We’re normal human beings, we go through ups and downs, trials and tribulations like everybody else but when you have faith, I feel like you can navigate anything. So all the negative press that was out there, would hurt most people, probably stop a lot of people from continuing on doing what they do but for me it gave me strength because I knew, when they talked about Jesus, he still prevailed. A few words and silly things…It’s sad, it’s unfortunate but I feel it’s my duty and mission in life to change their minds, change their feelings and keep showing them that you rise above all that. You do good, good will come.
GB: So do you read blogs?
Jackie Christie: I love reading blogs. I stay up all night and I’m on all kinds of sites. I learn a lot from the internet. I’m so happy that it was created and it’s a world of information. Blogs are interesting. I used to write them myself but I’m always willing to hear everyone’s perspective and read other people’s stories. I enjoy reading the good things and I read some of the bad things because it teaches you what to show your kids to stay away from.
GB: We learned that you released the Jackie Christie Black Collection during the L.A fashion week. How did that go?
Jackie Christie: Oh, when I released my collection during the L.A Fashion week, it was amazing. When I did my first collection in 2009, I was nervous. I didn’t know how people would react to my clothes. They loved it! I was like, “Oh my God”! Then this year, it topped everything that I could have expected. When I did the black line, I wanted it to be deep and sensual. I just wanted everybody to feel beautiful. Black is bold and it’s confident so when I did the line, I did it with that inspiration in mind and it went very well.
GB: So where can we find your clothing line?
Jackie Christie: My clothing line will be available everywhere. Right now, I’m in the process of lining up the different buyers so that it can go into the stores. My dream is Neiman Marcus for one, and we’ll see, I’m working on it. People can go to www.jackiechristie.com . There are fashion show reels there where they can see it and it will also be uploaded in the next two weeks but I’ll hold it back until this special TV show that I’ll be doing, then I will release it on there.
GB: Do you think of expanding your line to other parts of the world like Europe, Africa?
Jackie Christie: I’m so glad you mentioned that. Africa is my dream place to go. My husband would tell you. I have to go to Africa more than anywhere else in the world. I’d love to expand my line there. Even give the stuff away there because I love it that much.
GB: What do you think about what’s going on in Japan?
Jackie Christie: What’s going on with the Japanese is hearth wrenching! It hurts a lot. I think everybody should try to help and raise funds for them. I think they’re a strong people and I’m impressed at how they’ve risen above the catastrophe as best they can and it’s unfortunate that they were hit with two big things, one right after the other and I think that they will be okay but it’s going to take all of us, just a bit of the help from everybody will help them get by.
GB: Do you have any foundation?
Jackie Christie: Our foundation is called the Infinite Love Foundation and my husband and I started it sometime ago. It goes to help all kinds of impoverished people. It doesn’t go for just one thing. There are lots of foundations out there that go for Cancer, Surgery, Food, Clothing… We help everybody! You know, somebody has to bridge that gap and that’s what we try to do with our foundation.
GB: How has being in the limelight changed your life?
Jackie Christie: Being in the limelight has changed my life in that I use it to show other people, for instance, going to publishing companies and being able to put my books out there and they become bestsellers, doing my clothing line and really striving to reach my goals, I show everybody that even if you reach for the moon and you miss, you’re still among the stars. That’s what I use being in the limelight to do. Also getting benefits, and helping people with those benefits.
GB: You started off as a model in Europe, I understand? So how would you encourage young girls that want to model but do not have the tools or are not in the right place, such girls in Africa?
Jackie Christie: I would say if they have any access to the internet, they should take Polaroid pictures, any kind of pictures they can, or they can even go on the computer and videotape themselves, upload to youtube. A lot of this is free and that’s one of the good things about the internet and we can see it here in America and I’m always looking for new faces to try to help them or bring them on to what I do because I manage on the side as well. I’ll say to them, “don’t give up. You can pool your resources together.” If there are four or five girls, maybe they can take the pictures together, pool their money and make it happen. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
GB: You just mentioned that you’re a manager as well. So you’re a manager, an author, a designer, a producer, a mother, a wife, a business woman, you have your own foundation…What don’t you do? How do you balance everything?
Jackie Christie: (laughs). It’s funny because everyone asks me, “how do you find balance in life”? The balance in life for me is to put smiles on other people’s faces. If my family is happy and healthy and they feel good, I feel the same way. If my friends are getting what they need or if I can’t help them, then I’ll lead them to who can. That’s how I find balance. I’m a hard-worker, I can multi-task, and I’ve done it my whole life. So I find my balance in being active and doing things.
GB: Let’s talk about your children. So all three of them are writers?
Jackie Christie: Yes, all three of them. My older daughter is just coming out with her first book which will be out later this year. My daughter Chantell wrote, “I Want To Live”, a teenager’s guide to finding self love and it talks about everything from abstaining from sex till you’re old enough, to health, fitness and nutrition and then my son’s books are about going to school, about kids dealing with things they may go through and it talks through the kids’ point of view.
GB: How would you encourage other parents who are trying to help their kids achieve their writing dreams?
Jackie Christie: I would tell other parents to sit down with their kids, find out what they like. Ask them if they want to be writers, do they know how to be writers? Take a blank piece of paper, start putting their ideas down, maybe start with a title, what kind of title they want for the book, and then start filling in the blank spaces. But I would definitely say, parents get involved with your kids, find out things they like and encourage them to do those things.
GB: Now this is a funny question. How do you handle groupies? Do they run away when they see you coming? Do they go “Oh my God” and hide?
Jackie Christie: (laughs) It’s funny you say that because the word groupie has always been hard for me to say because I always felt it was so degrading to women in general but I would say females that are overly attracted to my husband, yeah, they see me and run the other way because of the perception they have but I encourage everybody. My husband and I eat at restaurants sometimes and women come up and want to talk to him and I don’t have any problem with that until they disrespect me or cross me. Then, we have a conversation.
GB: Besides your foundation, do you have a charity you support?
Jackie Christie: Yes, I support the Genesis Center. That’s Halle Berry’s charity. She does a lot of great things with that place. She remodeled some old apartments and made them beautiful places for battered women to transition. There’s a Kids’ Center in there, it’s a fantastic foundation. My husband plays golf for the foundation too. There are a few other charities we support. My daughter Chani has the Chani Girls’ Foundation. She helps teens and youth across the country. We buy them clothes, books, food, and sometimes we give monetary donations and we send it out to help kids throughout the country. There’s also the Millionaire Club in Seattle. When we were younger, we didn’t have a lot. My mom raised 9 kids so they assisted our family and now that I’m in a better position, I assist them.
GB: Your mom has a lot of kids. Is she still in Seattle?
Jackie Christie: Yes, my mom has 9 kids but she’s retired now and lives with me.
GB: So how do you maintain your figure?
Jackie Christie: You know, actually, I need to get in shape. I eat way too much candy and I need to stop. I’m going to be definitely doing some interesting things as far as showing women that no matter who you are, you have the same weight issues, the same skin care issues and that’s one of the things that will be on the web series and people are going to watch me go from being where I am now and being an ex-model and not happy with where I am now to where I want to go.
GB: So, what made you leap into fashion?
Jackie Christie: What made me leap into fashion is my love for clothes. I’ve loved fashion since I was just three years old. I was making little outfits out of towels and pillow cases for my sisters and I’ll ask them to match the floors, do runway shows etc. Fashion is inside of me. It’s my passion!
GB: What do you do besides writing? Such as your hobbies?
Jackie Christie: I love producing, telling people stories, I love documentaries and filming those, I love learning about history, learning about life, helping people and stuff like that.
GB: Tell us about your book, “Sexual Relations”
Jackie Christie: My new book is gonna be the go-to guide. I call it the Sex Bible. I had people asking me too many questions and I was like, you know what, I’m gonna go ahead and put all these things I’ve learned over the years and what keeps me and my husband’s relationship spicy and I’m going to put it in the book and make it the sex bible and we have other people sharing their stories, because intimacy is the greatest thing in a relationship. If you don’t have that, you really don’t have anything. One or the other will stray because they’ll be looking for that intimacy. So that’s what the book is all about.
GB: So you and your husband write books both separately and together?
Jackie Christie: Yes a lot of people don’t know that. They think that me and Doug are joined at the hips, but we are in some ways though.
GB: What kind of friends do your kids have? Is it hard to make friends with regular kids? Being kids of celebrities, and young celebrities themselves?
Jackie Christie: It is and the sad thing is that sometimes, they make friends and their friends find out who they are and that changes. There’s envy, jealousy, that kind of thing but we encourage them to talk about it, come over to the house, and see that we’re regular people. We try to encourage it but sometimes you just gotta have to let kids be kids.
GB: What kind of circle of friends do you have? Are they all celebrities, basketball wives?
Jackie Christie: I have a mixture of friends. I have some basketball wife friends, celebrity friends, normal friends. It’s just a whole mix of people but I’m very cautious of who I befriend because I’m always a friend to people that I want to be friends to me.
GB: Do you tweet?
Jackie Christie: Yes, I actually started to. I have 500 friends and I thought that was the biggest thing and my daughter was like “no mom, you need 500,000 friends. And then we can celebrate.” And I’m like “okay, I have a long way to go.” (laughs). I’m starting to enjoy it. I didn’t at first but I do now.
GB: How about facebook? Are you a facebooker?
Jackie Christie: Yes, I facebook a little. I have a lot of friends there and I have fun with that but mainly, people either go on my myspace (I love myspace) or go to: www.jackiechristie.com
Well, you got the real JUICE here at GumBumper.com…… Next week we’ll have an exclusive with R&B singer/songwriter Torica.
Stay tuned!!!! Hope you guys enjoyed this in-depth interview with the lovely Mrs. Jackie Christie