Screaming at the Sidechick, Cindy Breakspeare’s Online Backlash Following UWI Talk

Online comment sections, including the one related to Cindy Breakspeare’s piece on her intimate relationship with reggae icon Bob Marley have set hearts – and tongues – afire. Perhaps we should bring back the scarlet letter?

I don’t know about you, but normally when I see long narratives online, I immediately skip to the comment section to read how people have reacted to what’s been said. If readers are already engaged, chances are I will be too. If the comments pique my interest, I go on to read the article. In this case, the comments were a damn mess.


“Just like all the other baby mommas”

No sexing all over the place2“She sounds pompous, self-absorb, & totally narcissistic, showing little regard for herself, her child, Bob’s other children and the true Mrs. Marley”

“No shame”

She too NUFF 2

One woman wanted “not having sex with people husband” taught in schools at the university level.

However, there were a few who held court on Cindy B’s side:

“They bash Cindy for being with a married man and glorify Bob for all his baby mommas” (oddly enough, this comment received a negative vote)

“The comments neglect to crucify Bob Marley as a womanizing, hedonistic, infidelity riddled man but no “hateful or aggressive” comments towards the legend.”

Lawd a massy! What did this poor woman say to light up the net like this?

Still sifting through the endless comments I noticed at least 2 things:

1)      All culpability was laid in the arms of Cindy B. while Bob maintained his “messianic and musical” status

2)      Apparently because Bob was so damn unique, he could not be constrained by society’s rules, including spousal fidelity (which he entered into freely, on his own accord, and under no duress)

So naturally, I had been set up to read an article I otherwise would not have read. So just exactly what was she talking about during the annual Bob Marley lecture at UWI, Mona? I had no idea, so I went in with an open mind, but by the second sentence, I knew I was going to have a struggle with how open my mind would actually be.

“But to be intimate, involved personally with this man, be the woman who would stand by his side and reflect all that he was about was entirely something else.”


I found myself unwittingly falling in line with many of the naysayers, but not so vociferously and albeit not for the same reasons exactly. I believe in fidelity.  I’ve been cheated on. I’m also the child of such a scandalous relationship. So for the “side-chick”, as Cindy B. has so been labeled, to be in a university venue “talking her truth” with unfettered freedom was chafing. The ‘fire attraction’ and the ‘bridge building’ did not sit well with me because the entire time I’m thinking there exists a wife and family in the background with wounded expectations of not only fidelity but loyalty.

I don’t really relate to the times and background that served as the backdrop for this romance *cue Jr. Gong’s ‘Affairs of the Heart* as her children and I are closer on age, but one thing remains the same – its not necessarily what you do, but how you do it; its not what you say, but how you say it. There is a right and wrong way to do all things under the sun, and I’m not confident that this was the right way to a) have a relationship with him, and b) tell the tale of the relationship with him.

While I understand people’s feelings about the matter, it definitely “takes TWO to tango” and if you’re going to throw shade at the side-chick, reserve the bulk of that shade for the man who brought her into his marital relationship. Yep, your soon-to-be national hero, Bob Marley.


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