Bravotv.com: Ben, in your speech you emphasized forgiveness. Were you trying to send a message to Jewel and her sisters?
Ben Tankard: When I teach at Destiny Center, I never intentionally target family members or any particular person. I just teach what I feel led by God to speak on, and let the chips fall where they may. My grandmother use to say that "a hit dog will holler" -- in other words, sometimes the preached Word will "step on toes"... Hopefully, the three amigos (Jewel, Junetta, and Junice) will hear and APPLY the message of forgiveness sooner rather than later.
Bravotv.com: Ben, Benji and Shanira don’t seem to be holding back on wedding expenses. How did you feel when you first heard the budget?
Ben: Like, are y'all back to smoking weed again? LOL! Normally the father of the bride pays for the wedding. Shanira's biological father passed away when she was a kid, therefore as my daughter-in-law, I am the closest thing to a real dad that she has. I love her and Benji dearly, and support them on this reaffirmation ceremony, but it has to make sense financially. I have to bring in the secret weapon on this, the resident financial planner extraordinaire... Super Jewel!Bravotv.com: Ben, when your children talk about Brooklyn going out in front of Diamond, do you think that affects her?
Ben: Yes, and that is why I ask her to leave the room when we are discussing Brooklyn. She is just a kid and does not need to process adult matters at this point in her life, especially regarding her mom.
Bravotv.com: Ben, when Brooklyn says you weren’t there for her while she was growing up, how does that make you feel? Brooklyn is pulling the “abandoned” card again. You said she is getting older and that card isn’t working anymore. Do you think she’s using it as an excuse?
Ben: I have become suspicious that she is playing that old guilt card to get her way, because she only conveniently mentions it when she is challenged on her disappearing acts. There is Diamond to consider now, and I don't want her repeat the same cycle I was guilty of when she was young: becoming a missing parent in lieu of career pursuits.
Ben: I'm going to keep it simple and just lay down the amount I'm comfortable with forking out. Anything above that amount that Jewel wants will have to come out of HER end...after all she IS the president of the Millionairess Book Club, right?
Ben: That Brooklyn may be overly stressed with the planning of the big hair show, and using the unhealthy habit of drinking to cope. I believe she should relieve the stress by doing something wholesome like going to the gym everyday like I do. I have invited her to go with me every morning at 5:30 am to work out...so far she has stood me up.