Keisha Knight Pulliam: “Never Let Anyone Steal Your Joy”
Actress Keisha Knight-Pulliam, best known for her childhood role as Rudy Huxtable, on the hit NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92) and as Miranda Lucas-Payne on the TBS comedy-drama Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (2007–12n 1986, has literally grown up right in front of our eyes. Knight-Pulliam became the youngest actress to be nominated for an Emmy Award, receiving a nomination at age six for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series. She made her professional debut at nine months old, in a national print advertisement for Johnson & Johnson baby products and made her feature-film debut in The Last Dragon (1985). She is ranked at No. 19 in VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars.”
But as of late, the beautiful and talented actress hasn’t been without her share of ups and downs, including her pregnancy, divorce and now custody battle.
Pulliam, as with most of the world, was shocked to learn that her then-husband, Ed Hartwell, of only 7 months had decided to serve her with divorce papers only a week after she announced that she was pregnant with the couple’s first child, a baby girl.
On Entertainment Tonight, she explained that she had actually drawn up the papers first, but she got pregnant she wanted to give the marriage another try.
“Early on in my marriage when I was faced with this [infidelity by him], I was ready to leave. It’s not OK,” Pulliam says. “In the process, I found out I was pregnant. And I had to take another hard look and decide if I wanted to try to work through this and forgive him for the sake of the child. Like, I had divorce papers ready. I presented it to him. … Once I was pregnant I did decide to give him that one last chance. The part that hurt me the most when he filed for divorce was that he had asked me to give him another chance, and I was willing to do that and forgive him, for our family,” she claims.
Now that her baby girl, Ella Grace, is born, and Ed admitted that it was indeed his child after a paternity test, he wants to delay child support payments and is still fighting for custody.
“There’s nothing to say at this point,” she explains. “They can discuss that through attorneys. I have to move forward. I have to do what I need to release the hurt, to release this, and to be happy for me and my baby girl, because the stress isn’t good. The stress isn’t healthy. And my only priority is her.”
“Honestly, at the end of the day, it starts from the inside so you need consistency,” admits Pulliam. “You cannot expect miracles overnight; it’s important to commit and give things time. As black women, we are not homogeneous, so you must create a routine based on your individual needs. There are so many vitamins and health products out there. Go to a really good nutritionist or find natural remedies to help maintain your health.”
And she’s right. The stress is NOT healthy for the baby, during and after pregnancy. In fact, when you’re stressed, your body goes into…