Covid-19-induced isolation has left everyone restless, especially celebrities who liken a forced stay inside their mansions to jail. So they’re turning to social media to maintain some semblance of normalcy, hosting impromptu cooking shows, getting political, and apparently ending old rivalries. That’s at least what actress Raven-Symoné had in mind when she hit up her former Cheetah Girls co-star Kiely Williams via Instagram Live on Thursday.
“Listen, you don’t have to hold onto the pain to hold onto the memories,” Raven-Symoné said during the Live. “Janet [Jackson] said that, and I’m living by it.”
Williams, best known for her role in the Cheetah Girls franchise and for getting a little tired of “broken promithes promithes” in the early 2000s girl group 3LW—and also being a reputed messy bitch who lives for drama through both—obliged Raven-Symoné’s request. This slapdash reunion comes after Williams made headlines in March denying newly circulated rumors that she threatened to out Raven-Symoné as a lesbian during the Cheetah Girls era.
“I feel like everything leading up to this moment has been more climactic than what’s about to happen,” Williams said during their chat.
Williams continued: “The expectations are high and—I just never felt that way about you, I just never felt that you were that kind of person. You’re not messy, and I know... like, I guess you say I’m messy. I don’t try to be. I think it comes out.”
“Girl... you messy,” Raven-Symoné said.
“I don’t try to be, I promise!” Williams said.
Raven-Symoné squashed the outing rumor during their Live session, but not before serenely calling out Williams as a messy bitch who lives for drama.
“I’ve put myself in places with people that are all kinds of different ways, and you just have to appreciate it for what it is,” Raven-Symoné said. “Because of you, I get to talk to you and heal a wound from that time period when we were younger that I probably wouldn’t get to do if I didn’t understand that, you know what, you like to shake shit up.”
“Yeah,” Williams said. “I’m a firestarter, for sure.”
“And I didn’t understand that when I was younger,” Raven-Symoné said.
“And I didn’t either!” Williams said.
In the past few weeks, Williams not only denied outing Raven-Symoné but also denied—for what must be the billionth time—a decades-long accusation that she threw a KFC fried chicken meal at her former 3LW bandmate, Naturi Naughton in 2002, leading to Naughton’s departure; Naughton insisted that colorism was a catalyst. Williams, now a 33-year-old mother of two, has been out of the spotlight for years while most of her former bandmates went on to have successful post-Cheetah Girls careers: Raven-Symoné was a co-host on The View and stars in the That’s So Raven spinoff, Raven’s Home; Adrienne Bailon of 3LW and Cheetah Girls has co-hosted The Real since 2013; and Naughton starred in the Starz drama Power, which aired from 2014 to 2020.
Meanwhile, Williams is largely known for her work in two defunct 2000s girl groups, a cringe-worthy attempt to launch a solo singing career in 2010, and a reputation as a chaos agent responsible for the disbanding of every group she’s been in. “I just watched some old interviews, because people are drudging me up like they remembered that I’m alive this week, and I hate it,” Williams said. “And I watched an old interview, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, why won’t she shut the fuck up? Sweet baby Jesus girl, stop! You talk so much.’”
She sure did!
There is an entire subgenre of internet gossip that can be attributed to a sustained fascination with Kiely Williams and the drama she attracts. But while Williams admits she was a rabble-rouser, the accusation that she threatened to out Symoné was a step too far.
“When I saw [the outing rumor] I was upset just because, alright, now fuck, I’m a colorist, I’m a racist, I’m a bully, and now I’m a homophobe?” Williams said.
“Girl, you got ’em all,” Raven-Symoné said.
The two went on to discuss why Raven-Symoné left the Cheetah Girls (shit got too cliquey!), going to underage clubs (fun!), and the toxicity of holding grudges, the latter of which presented itself quite clearly when Williams initially rejected Raven-Symoné’s advice to make amends with Bailon. Raven-Symoné—ever the mediator—told Williams to count to five, take some deep breaths, and reconsider because, “Y’all prideful asses need to calm down take a pill for a second and say, ‘I’m pissed at you, but let’s talk about it.’”
Perhaps they should hit up Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Red Table Talk to settle this score for once and for all. I will absolutely get some popcorn ready for that.
Other notable moments during this Instagram Live:
- When Williams clarified, “I would never try to hurt you, like, on purpose,” and Raven-Symoné replied, “Well, I appreciate that, sweetheart. And I release any pain I had toward you and I cancel, clear, and delete it.”
- Raven-Symoné spending most of the conversation shading Williams with the sage air of an auntie and the wardrobe to match
- Williams expressing disappointment in her daughter’s limp hair texture
- Raven-Symoné indulging in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, including a moment in which she tongue-flicks it
- Williams mentioning that Raven-Symoné introduced her to Bjork
- Raven-Symoné calling herself a “Bjork-ster”
- Williams’s baby damn near demanding to be breastfed on Live
- Raven-Symoné being very jealous that the Cheetah Girls got to go to India to film Cheetah Girls: One World after Raven-Symoné left the group. Can’t blame her. Imagine missing out on this!
- Williams noting that Bailon didn’t contact her when Williams’s father died
- Raven-Symoné countering that her best friend didn’t invite her to her wedding, even though she introduced this friend to her future husband
- Williams revealing her husband’s nickname: “They call this nigga Snow King.” Yes, he’s white!
- Raven-Symoné cackling maniacally at the end of the Instagram Live.