Still 'Too Hot for TV'?
MTV’s Making The Band was one of the biggest reality shows on the network. Overseen by Diddy, thousands on thousands of musically talented artists crossed our screens in hopes of being the next big thing to hit Bad Boy Records. In 2002, a new talent search began on Making The Band 2. This time, Diddy was looking for the best rappers and singers to form a rap group.
For several weeks, contestants had to do difficult tasks, like walking from Midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn to get Diddy cheesecake. In the end, six finalists won and named themselves Da Band. They released their debut album Too Hot for TV which featured two hit singles, “Tonight” and “Bad Boy This, Bad Boy That.” The album went gold but their career was short-lived after Diddy dropped three members of the group in season 3.
It’s been years since we’ve seen Sara Stokes, Dylan Dilinjah, Freddy P, Chopper, Ness, and Babs. Here’s what they’ve been up to…
Sara was the only singer in the group. If there’s anything memorable about Sara, aside from her soulful voice, it’s the volatile relationship she was in with her husband/manager, Tony Stokes.
Unfortunately, Sara was one of the three members in the group who was dropped by Diddy. But that didn’t stop her from making music. In 2015, she released her highly anticipated single, “Sneak Peek” featuring old bandmate Babs. In 2016, she released “Fragile Heart.” Be sure to watch Sara’s new documentary at the end of the article.
Domestic and Sexual Abuse
As for her very, very volatile relationship with her husband, their incidents, way beyond the show, have been publicized greatly. Both Sara and her husband have been in the media several times for domestic violence. In 2009, TMZ reported that Sara was accused of taking a knife and stabbing her husband in the arm. What makes the story even crazier is that Sara allegedly stabbed Tony in front of their three kids. We all know there are three sides to every story, what he said, what she said, and the actual truth; but in this case, there are only two sides: Sara’s and the police. Here’s what went down:
Sara’s side: She claims she was by the pool when she tripped and hit her face. Tony ran to the kitchen to get something to help clean her off when he accidentally cut his arms on knives in the kitchen sink.
The law’s side: Sara stormed out of the couple’s home after she and Tony got into a screaming match. As she was running out, she tripped and fell over. She blamed Tony for tripping her, grabbed a knife, and stabbed him in his arm in front of their three children.
That’s a major difference in stories. But get this: Sara backtracked her version, saying that she only accused her husband, Tony, of tripping her because “she suffered a concussion when she fell and was confused.” In the end, Sara was arrested with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. In her headshot, Sara’s face is visibly bloodied and scratched up. Though we may be confused by what actually happened, two months later, Sara plead not guilty to assault with deadly weapon and got 3 years probation in a plea deal. Sara and Tony’s incident didn’t affect their relationship because they picked up right where they left off. But things didn’t end there.
In 2011, TMZ reported that Sara was “allegedly choked and beaten” by Tony. According to sources, the couple was at a friend’s house when Tony accused Sara of being with another man. That’s when he allegedly choked and hit her. According to police, Tony was arrested for simple battery, but was released the next say on $2,000 bail. Although the accusations were serious, Tony felt was pretty light about the situation. “Everybody speculates and blows things out of proportion. It’s a crazy kind of life. We’re dysfunctional. We need our own TV show. I love my wife,” he told TMZ.
Fast forward a few years, Sara was once again busted in 2014 for a big brawl with Tony. Once again, TMZ reported that police were called to the Stokes’ household at 3:45 a.m. where they found Sara and Tony fighting on the ground. They say Sara was drunk. She was arrested and charged with domestic violence. What’s worse is that her arrest was a probation violation for a prior domestic violence incident involving Tony. She had to spend 93 days in jail. To make matters worse, two days after Sara was thrown in jail, Tony slapped her with divorce papers. He filed papers to end their 18-year marriage due to “”the objects of matrimony have been destroyed,” according to TMZ. Don’t know what made Tony have a change of heart, but the two renewed their vows in 2016 and are still together.
In the midst of Sara and Tony’s drama, it was revealed that Sara’s dad pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a minor under age 13, and a single count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, second offense. He was convicted, and in May 2017, was sentenced. He will serve 10-30 years on the first two counts, and 10-15 years on the second-degree count. Sara’s dad’s sentencing was a victory for her since, prior to his case, she been revealed that he also sexually abused her as a kid.
From The Bottom Up
Sara returned to TV for the first season of Centric‘s From The Bottom Up. The show, produced by Queen Latifah, followed the lives of six women who were once in the spotlight but were having a hard time getting back on top. Sara joined the cast in hopes of telling her story. In a 2016 interview, she told The Source,
“I needed MY VOICE to be heard and the truth to be told. Aside from that, I thought that if what I’ve been through can touch or help someone else, then it was all worth it. I wanted to be real with viewers, I wanted them to hear my testimony.”
While Sara’s appearance on the show was supposed to tell the story of her “comeback of redemption and triumph,” it did the complete opposite. TMZ reported that Sara claimed the show trashed her image, referring to her as a “man beater.” She threatened to sue the network for defamation of character but had a change of heart and dropped the suit. Years later, a lot has changed, and this is what Sara is up to now…