Mendecees Harris took to Instagram Live on Aug. 11 to address the backlash he and his wife Yandy Smith-Harris received for suggesting that Smith-Harris’ foster daughter Infinity Gilyard get an apartment in hopes to repair her relationship with the mother of two. The discussion initially aired earlier this week during an episode of “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
Smith Harris initially took in Gilyard in 2018 after mentoring her for three years and became her foster mother the following year. The entrepreneur and Gilyard’s relationship ultimately became estranged after the reality star claimed that the 19-year-old wasn’t following her rules when asked to stop seeing an older unidentified individual who caused havoc in their home.
Harris started the Instagram Live by saying the discussion was originally an hour long and edited down to two minutes. He then pointed out that the two minutes viewers ended up watching was the emotional part of the conversation.
“I see a lot of y’all upset [about] Monday’s episode,” he began. “Look, I’m upset too. That conversation took an hour long, and how it was edited to two minutes, the two minutes y’all get to see, it was very saddened, you know. It was very sad. I was sad by what transpired by that conversation. I was really, really trying to figure out a solution, because I didn’t know how to deal with this situation.” Harris also explained that the moving discussion essentially sprang from a conversation he’d had with his wife before he came home from prison following his drug trafficking sentence.
The “LHH: ATL” star said as he informed his followers about how some of Gilyard’s decisions affected Smith-Harris’ well-being. “When I was away I had a lot of conversations with my wife about the DA office, about police being involved, about people following her. People threatening to take the kids away. Not by Infinity but by some of the decisions she made led to these things happening.”
He added, “I forgave her. I came home, I forgave her. I’m here now regardless of what happened while I was away. I’m going to protect my family.” Harris revealed that after the numerous incidents Smith-Harris and Gilyard tried to mend their relationship by attending therapy but things kept happening despite therapy resolving “a lot of issues.”
The music producer then addressed the initial holiday photo that “triggered” Gilyard. Gilyard previously claimed earlier in the season during a conversation with Smith-Harris that he was “strategic” in alienating her when he posted that photo.
“In the mix of that happening, Infinity got triggered by a picture while she was in New York,” Harris said. “Now, you gotta understand me and my position. I was gone for four years, you know, and in them four years my kids was truly missed.”
Harris then transitioned to how his four children, Mendeecees Jr., Omere, 9, Aasim, 9, and 6-year-old Skylar, were truly affected by his absence. He claimed that it was so bad that children didn’t want to celebrate anything, including birthdays and holidays. Harris also shared that during his incarceration his children were separated and living with their mothers. He added that when he initially posted the Christmas photo in question, that he didn’t have a malicious intent behind the upload. Harris simply shared the image because he was overcome with emotion seeing all four his children bond and “loving on each other.”
Harris wrapped up that segment by pointing out the sole reason why he made this video. He said that the initial moving arrangement conversation with Gilyard wasn’t meant to be mean. “Nobody tried to be mean. I’m not cold-hearted.I do have compassion. My wife has reached out and continues to reach out.”
He also discussed how peoples’ comments affect his family: “Y’all comments are very hurtful. Not only is it hurtful to my wife,and I also think that y’all hurting Infinity. Y’all actually hurting her healing process with all the negative things y’all say. Y’all not helping in no kind of way. Instead of trying to talk about solutions in ways that help this, y’all just tearing everybody down.”
He claims his family has been receiving death threats and people wishing harm on their children, something he calls sad. “it’s very very sad. I think that being in this position is hard. It’s hard to understand what to do until you are in this position.”
The father of four closed the live by saying despite everything that has transpired between Smith-Harris and Gilyard, she has forgiven the teen. “She forgave her .Things got better. It seems like y’all the ones bringing it back up. It’s not y’all fault the show is airing now with something that happened a few months ago or a year ago.”
Following his Live, many fans told the star that he didn’t owe anyone an explanation for his actions.
“You don’t owe anyone an explanation… lead your home! Tv is a huge lie anyway.”
“You don’t owe these people no explanation your doing the right thing King ( safety first) family first 💯 stay woke.”
“You don’t owe them s–t!!!”
“Don’t explain yourself bro, I agree with you 100%… protect your family. Honestly Infinity is not too convincing. I think you’re handling it correctly.”