By Tommie’s own admission, every high-profile mistake she’s made since becoming a member of the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta cast came when she was drunk. (The list of mistakes now includes getting trashed and trashing longtime ally Karen King–who then turned around and exposed all of Tommie’s long-held secrets in a one-hour drag video, which you can see in full here.) In Season 6, she’s been juggling the dueling storylines of starting up LeDon, her LHATL Tommie wine line, while dealing with the growing perception that she may be an alcoholic.
And, in a new interview with VH1, Tommie addressed both points, talking up her forthcoming Chardonnay while dismissing concerns that she drinks too much. Though, to be clear, Tommie is up front about the fact that she drinks a lot–she just doesn’t believe that “a lot” is necessarily “too much.”
Her first answer in the LHHATL Tommie wine interview might actually be the most telling. All the interview can get out is the phrase “Your drinking is addressed on the show”–the phrase “drinking problem” is never uttered, let alone the word “alcoholic”–before Tommie starts defending herself. “I don’t struggle with drinking,” she says. “People struggle with me drinking and me speaking my mind. Other people struggle with me having a drink and speaking my mind. I ain’t ever struggle with no drink.”
Then, when asked what she thinks of people who criticize her for starting a wine business when she may well have a drinking problem, Tommie dismissed the notion. In a comparison that downplays just how serious the problem can be, Tommie says that an alcoholic drinking wine is like someone with lactose intolerance eating ice cream:
I think everybody that’s trying to do something is gonna have that from people. They just don’t understand it until it’s accepted by the right group of people and then they’ll fall in line. I don’t worry about it, you know what I mean? I know what I’m doing and I know I’m focused on what I’m doing so you know it’s always those outside noises and distractions and people don’t understand. And people are gonna criticize regardless. I’m making ice cream and they gonna say, “You got a problem with milk. You lactose intolerant.” You know what I’m saying? That’s the devil. You gotta stay focused on what it is that you doing and you can’t even worry about that.
Elsewhere in the interview, Tommie said that she switched to Chardonnay from Riesling because its lower level of sugar has one major benefit. “I used to drink Riesling,” she explained, “but I’m a real big fan of Chardonnay cause I never have a hangover. You know what I mean? As much as I drink, every morning I wake up and go about my day like nothing ever happened because like it never leaves me with a hangover.”
Tommie also bragged about the alcohol level of her wine: “The proof on mine is 13 percent alcohol. And the proof usually on regular wine is like 12. I drink the 12s, but this one is 13.”
LeDon, the LHHATL Tommie wine, will sell for $22.99. The Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star expects it to arrive in stores this August, just as the fallout from Season 6 has begun to subside.
(Photo credits: LHHATL Tommie wine via Instagram)