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Sports Illustrated Model Jessica White On her Painful Past And Her Bright Future

Feb. 11 2010, Published 4:45 a.m. ET

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Stunning model Jessica White has seven years worth of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues under her belt, making her the most successful African American model ever to grace the pages of the illustrious magazine.

Along with her incredible success has come the downside of fame too, dealing with rumors and innuendo, as well as speculation about her love life.

In an interview with White spills about those rumors, talks about her painful past as the victim of sexual abuse and her plans for the future.

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White wanted to set the record straight about the rumors that she’s dating R & B singer Ne-Yo, telling Bossip, “We’re friends, nothing more nothing less. We went to the Grammy’s because he was nominated and I came as his date to support as a friend. People tend to think just because you were seen with someone of the opposite sex that you’re dating them.”

White reveals that in addition to modeling and working on a singing career, the project she is most passionate about is her charity, Angel Wings Foundation. “I’ve overcome a lot, I started my foundation, Angel Wings Foundation which will house 40 women admitted on a case by case basis,” Jessica told BOSSIP. “We’re starting in my hometown of Buffalo. It’s filled with women who have been abused, women involved in domestic violence relationships, even women who caused abuse on themselves because not all the abuse is caused by someone else. These are things I can relate to because I’ve gone through so many things in my life, even at 25. I wanted to be hands on and physically help women because we are the future.”

The beauty explains her first hand experience with abuse, something that she suffered from the age of 6 –14. “I was a victim of sexual victimization. I was a young kid and I watched my sisters, both of them were in abusive relationships and when I was a kid watching that really affected me.”

As the daughter of a preacher White says she dealt with her traumatic experience through spiritual means, telling Bossip, ““My greatest therapy was church. I went through a very long period with not talking about it at all and allowing that anger and rage build up. Trying to just be strong. I raised myself. I left home when I was 16 years old to pursue this career. Everything I did, I had to go through it by myself. People came in and out of my life to impart some powerful things but I never did therapy, I went to church and I needed God to help me. And it really it started to heal through talking to him.”

And the future is looking bright for White - next up? Jessica has a leading role in Trey Songz’ upcoming “Neighbors Know My Name” video.“The video is gonna be hot, really beautifully done,” Jessica confirmed to Bossip. “It’s art, it really is, a video based on art between a man and a woman.”

To check out the whole interview, as well as see hot modeling shots of Jessica, go to


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