Kerie-Ann ‘Kiki’ Lewis-Thombs is a girl with a past. At an impressionable age 18, she made a mistake when she entered the dangerous and illicit world of international drug trafficking. Like many before her, things didn’t turn out too well, and she spent 16 months in a foreign jail as consequence of her actions.
Today, with children of her own and a new lease on life, she wants to use her story to dissuade others from making poor choices similar to the one that nearly cut short her journey. A documentary, Our Very Own: Locked Up Abroad with Julius J Levy, broadcast on TV J in February, told Kiki’s story – and opened a floodgate of speculation and criticism.
Here, the embattled media sweetheart explains why she finally came clean about her experience, the truth about the Rising Stars deal and how she’s finally moving on with her life.
TALLAWAH: Not the least bit surprising, people everywhere have a lot to say about your controversial documentary, Our Very Own: Locked up Abroad with Julius J. Levy. From what you’ve gleaned, has the feedback been more negative than positive?
KIKI: It has been more positive than negative. The negative remarks came from people who just wanted to know why I wanted to even talk about that part of my life. Some were concerned, and thought of it as career suicide.
TALLAWAH: So what led to your decision to share your story with the world? And why now?
KIKI: It’s always been important for me to put my story out there, and being a media personality gave me the platform I needed. It was time, especially with me crossing paths with Advanced Media Production, a company devoted to telling the stories of our “everyday heroes”. Intellectual democracy is what they call it.
TALLAWAH: Any regrets when you look back?
KIKI: I wouldn’t say I have any regrets, but it’s surprising that corporate
TALLAWAH: You were host of The Chill Room on Digicel Rising Stars, and at one point, we heard that you were a shoo-in for Yendi Phillipps’ replacement as host of the popular show. But now you are no longer a part of the Rising Stars family? What really went down?
KIKI: I was asked to do the Rising Stars hosting job, but I also had another offer on the table and after negotiations with them, I decided to go with the other offer for stability. We mutually agreed to part ways. I am getting ready to start my new job.
TALLAWAH: So what’s your relationship with TV J like now?
KIKI: It’s not any different. I have nothing against them. I wish them all the best, sincerely. Life is about learning, and I am never ungrateful for my lessons.
READ MORE: The conversation continues at TALLAWAH JAMAICA. Kiki addresses motherhood, her newfound passion, and her next life chapter. Get the rest here.