Essence.com: Has he (Omikaye) been caught up in the glitz and glam of Hollywood since mommy and daddy are actors?
Malinda Williams: (Laughs). No, absolutely not. I don�t think I'm caught up. I don't label myself as a celebrity, but society puts these expectations on me because of my profession. As parents Mekhi [Phifer] and I are very normal people, so my son is grounded. I do my best to keep my life as normal as possible because the further you rise above what the general public thinks of you, the [farther ] and harder you have to fall. One day I was out at Target and this woman asked, 'Are you Malinda Williams?' And I said, "Yes." And then she said, 'What are you doing here?' And I said, 'I'm buying paper towels and cereal just like you!'
Essence.com: How did your divorce affect him?
M.W.: Omi has always been a very clear child. It's funny because he's so beyond his years. As a single mom who has been through a divorce, my baby would always check in on me and ask me if I was okay and say, "Thank you for being my mom," as if he knew I needed to hear that. It let me know that he had a greater understanding than I could have imagined. So, I believe it's my duty to be happy so I can show him what happiness looks like.
M.W.: The biggest misconception folks have is that I have beef with my ex-husband. Who has time? I'm a very spiritual person and one of the things I base my life on is the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I always try to keep it positive, and that's with anything--friendships or relationships. What happened between us happened so many years ago it's irrelevant now. Honestly, there is nothing to talk about. Besides, I don't like conflict, never have. I'm a Libra and I love balance.
Essence.com: But wasn't there was a time that you were angry and spoke publicly about what transpired between you two?
M.W.: When my marriage broke down I was so angry because I didn't want to stop loving Mekhi. Yes, I wanted to stop living with him and I wanted to stop doing some of the things we did together, but I didn't want to stop loving him so it made me angry because I was struggling. I don't know what I was struggling with probably struggling with myself, but I was like, "I don�t want to stop loving you, so how do I do that?" But the world kept saying we had to fight, we had to go court, we had to be enemies, you know we had to be divorced and all along I kept thinking, I don't want to hate my son's father, I don't want to have disdain for him. I don't want any of those things. So that was the most difficult thing for me to accept. But it came to me one day as I was driving down the street. It was a point when I completely accepted everything for what it was and said, you know what? Nobody can take love from you, only you can take love from you. And when you commit to love someone, you really do commit to love them no matter what and that's what I did. So part of me getting out of that marriage was because I never want to get to the point where I hate somebody.
Essence.com: Did you feel any self-doubt when your marriage failed?
M.W.: I always felt I was as strong as my mother and my grandmother or at least I was on that road. So when my marriage broke down, I felt like it was a weakness. But then I realized that Mekhi and I came together for a reason, and even if our son was the only reason that we came together, we served our purpose together. To this day, I don't look at that as a failure; I look at that as a major achievement and a huge blessing and I thank God for that union. I don't know where I would be today.
Essence.com: I hear you're getting married soon. Who's the lucky guy?
M.W.: (Laughs) Well, I'm the lucky woman. I'll be marrying Derrick "D-Nice" Jones.
Essence.com: As in "my name is D-Nice/I'm taking out you suckas and you don't know how I did it" D-Nice? How long have you known each other?
M.W.: (Laughs) Since we were 18. Derrick Jones, D-Nice.
Essence.com: So did you ever think you�d be marrying your best friend?
M.W.: Never in a million years. I knew he would always be my friend, but some time goes by and you lose touch. Then when you come back together, you realize that you really are different people. We were kids, but then we came together and he was a man and I was a woman, and ultimately that brought us closer together. We've been together three years.
Essence.com: So when's the big day?
M.W.: In August.
Essence.com: So is this it for you? Is he The One?
M.W.: I never say that like you said it. Tomorrow is not promised, so if you stay sort of in the moment it helps to keep you in perspective of where you are, not where you've been and where you're trying to get. And that's what I'm doing now. And I"m in love and happy.
You can check out Malinda in the new comedy First Sunday, in theaters now. And to read Malinda's entire Essence interview, click HERE