Rosie Perez’s memoir, “Handbook for an Unpredictable Life,” hits bookshelves this week and it touches on a lot, including her growing up with a mentally ill mother who later contracted AIDS, being raised in a group home, and then becoming one of the most recognizable Latinas in hip-hop and film. But, of course, that didn’t get too much attention in the run-up to the book’s release. Instead, everyone wanted to know why Perez would “bash” fellow former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez.
Perez maintains that the whole thing has been exaggerated. Here’s what she said in an interview with CNN:
“I don’t hate Jennifer Lopez. I have great respect for her. When I first saw her, I knew she was going to be a star. Yes, we had a tiff and it was 20 years ago,” reveals the woman who starred alongside street ball hustlers Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson in the iconic film “White Men Can’t Jump.” “It’s unfortunate that the tabloids try to portray it as something that is current.”
Five years older than Lopez, Perez suggests that were the two women Caucasian, the press would have quickly passed over the overblown feud, rather than plastering it across front and back pages.
“I’ve moved on, and I’m sure she has also. We’re grown women. And it’s really disgusting to me that the media tried to pit two Latinas against each other. It’s just so difficult, and so hard, to make it in this industry, especially if you’re a person of color. And for them to do that was really shameful.”