If you’re unfamiliar with gossip of the rap underworld and don’t read tabloid coverage of Bill Maher, you probably don’t even know who Karrine Steffans is, even though she’s sold three popular books and appeared on Oprah, Bill O’Reilly, and Geraldo. Her first two best-selling publications were juicy hip-hop tell-alls, but with her latest book, The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce & Keep the Man You Want, she has gone from memoirist to relationship guru. The Vixen Manual, which came out in July, has already hit the New York Times best-seller list, and publishing insiders expect it to sell 500,000 copies.
The move to love-advice oracle was a gamble for Steffans. She became popular for dishing the details of her own fleeting romances with celebrities such as hip-hop stars Usher and Ja Rule, rap pioneer Kool G Rap, and boxer Mike Tyson, in addition to Maher. Of Tyson, she writes, “[he] loves the same way he fights: hard and rough. … [A]nd as he proved against Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson is a biter.” That relationship ended with her “covered in bruises and bite marks and vow[ing] to never have sex with him again." Steffans’ longer-term relationships have been major public train wrecks. After she broke up with Maher in 2007, Steffans tried to kill herself. And while she’s currently married to actor Darius McCrary (best known as Eddie Winslow from Family Matters), the couple had a huge, allegedly violent fight last year, the details of which Steffans leaked directly to blogger Perez Hilton.
Her love life is pretty much a disaster. So why are scads of readers paying to get advice on romance from this woman?