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Mo’Nique Profoundly Touched by Prison Visit

March 31, 2007 by  
Filed under Entertainment

( Former “The Parkers” star Mo’Nique went to prison to do a comedy show — and says she found the experience more profoundly affecting than she could have imagined.

“Don’t misunderstand me. Most people who are in prison, should be. But, some who are there are not bad people. They just got caught in a bad situation,” notes the performer, who visited The Ohio Reformatory for Women to do her show — and to film “I Coulda Been Your Cellmate,” which is being released on DVD Tuesday (4/3). She says she was touched to see inmates who had babies in prison, and others who went through a Mother’s Day during production “with no visitors — none.”

“When you hear their stories, it allows you to quit being judgmental,” adds Mo’Nique, who has a beloved aunt who did time. “You can see that through it all, they could smile. It was incredible.

“One young lady was in for 145 years. We were able to laugh at that. I said, ‘When they told you 145 years, did you say, ‘Huh?!’ Did you say, ‘Wait a minute’? If the judge said that to me, it would be my last day,” declares Mo’Nique. The woman, who had been convicted on multiple counts of murder, “told me, ‘Please don’t have any pity for me. I am supposed to be here, but if talking to you, I can help change it for one other person, I’ll do it.'”

“As much as I thought I was going in there to do something for those women, they did so much for me,” says the comedian.

Mo’Nique has a full agenda. Her VH1 “Charm School” reality show is due to premiere April 15. (It revolves around etiquette training for 13 former “Flavor of Love” contestants.) And, she has another “Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance” zaftig ladies’ pageant coming up later this spring. But, she makes clear her trip to do a comedy show in prison won’t be her last. “I will definitely do more.”

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