In the summer of 2005, Karrine Steffans, a hip-hop video dancer and groupie nicknamed “Superhead,” scandalized the rap world with Confessions of a Video Vixen, a memoir brimming with explicit revelations of her sexual encounters with hip-hop royalty. (In the book, she alleges, for instance, servicing Jay Z in the back of a limo and deems Puff Daddy an “average” lover.) The release was a buzzy hit, spending its first two-and-half months in the top 10 of the New York Times’ Best Sellers list. And in June, Steffans, now 36, published a new, toned-down hardcover account called Vindicated: Confessions of a Video Vixen, Ten Years Later.
In Confessions of a Video Vixen, you detailed your liaisons with with everyone from Puff Daddy to Shaquille O’Neal. What was the initial response like?
Utter shock and awe. I really didn’t understand at the time why it was such a big deal. I had read other memoirs like Pamela Des Barres’ I’m With the Band that included those kinds of things, but hip-hop had never seen something like this before.
How did the people you wrote about react?
Most people took it in stride, actually. One of the first people who reached out, four months before the book came out, was a representative for Sean “Puffy” Combs. His attorney demanded that this book be stopped. So my attorney said, “Why don’t you let the book come out and if there’s anything you feel is legally an issue then give us a call?” We never heard back.
Do you regret anything you wrote?
The truth is never regrettable. People ask me that more than they ask men that question.
What do you think the book’s legacy is?
When people talk to me about Confessions now, especially women — they find it so empowering. I realized recently that I’m surrounded by young women who have never had a sexual revolution. So I became almost this figure, this Joan of Arc, for a lot of young women who are just now reading Confessions.
Joan of Arc?
I get letters and emails and notes on Instagram. I think the legacy of that book becomes not just sexual liberation, but a woman saying, “This is what happened to me.”
You left a lot of the lurid details of sexual encounters out of the new book. Should some things stay private?
Confessions was the way it was at the urging of my publisher. I wasn’t as in control then as I am now.
You could’ve not written the book.
And I could’ve also not been a millionaire. When HarperCollins came to me and asked me to write this book, I had an eviction notice on my door and $50 in my pocket. So you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
You write in Vindicated that gossip blogs made up stories about you. Which stories did you hear that weren’t true?
There was a story that I had been sleeping with Sean Kingston, who I’d never met. A year before that it was something about Jay Z cheating on Beyonce with me, which was such an egregious story, I had to have my attorney cease-and-desist that one. I hadn’t seen him in probably 10 years. There was a story that I bleached my skin, that I had butt injections.
How do you feel about the nickname “Superhead”?
I’ve never used it. It was a joke I made up and it was a bad joke. I’ve never been called that to my face, so I don’t feel any kind of way about it. It’s just not my name.