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Dr. Jackie Walters Addresses the "Infertile" Comment About Buffie Purselle
"I would not have shared something like that had I thought it was not OK with her," the Married to Medicine OBGYN said.
In the above preview of the November 17 episode of Married to Medicine, Dr. Jackie reveals some personal information about Buffie Purselle while opening up about her own struggles with starting a family. "Fourteen years ago, I got breast cancer. Six months of chemo and eight weeks of radiation to find out the thing we grow up most of us wanting to do, you can't do," Dr. Jackie said to a room full of people attending the cover reveal of her upcoming book, The Queen V. "Buffie, you can relate. You're infertile."
Buffie was visibly taken aback by the comment in the clip. "I've had really surface-level discussions with Jackie about my challenges with fertility," she said. "Nothing real deep. So I just don't understand why she thinks it's OK for her to tell my business to a group of strangers."
Dr. Jackie showed remorse for her comment during a phone interview with The Daily Dish ahead of the next episode of Married to Medicine. "I hate that it happened. You know, if I could definitely take it back and do it all over again, because I really was not aware what Buffie wanted to share. And I can certainly say it isn’t my place to share. But after we had talked about it throughout the group I really thought it was OK," Dr. Jackie explained.
"And so, certainly being a physician, and, you know, a board-certified physician who takes care of tons of celebrities and people from all over the country, I would not have shared something like that had I thought it was not OK with her. You know, I am sorry. I should have asked her, and I hate that [it hurt her]. That is what definitely bothers me the most," she said.
Dr. Jackie added that she and Buffie had a text conversation about motherhood prior to the book cover reveal party. "We actually talked on Mother’s Day about motherhood being nature versus nurture and that we nurture a lot of young people and we were really mothers," she said. "And so, just that little text conversation, a short text, and her being open about all of her life, I thought OK. And I really didn’t even plan the speech. I just got there in the moment, and I started talking."
After the preview of the Married to Medicine moment went live on BravoTV.com, Buffie shared her take on the clip in a lengthy post on Instagram on November 5. "This was one of the most humiliating and painful moments in my life," she wrote. "I am proud that I was able to rise above my pain and embarrassment and conduct myself as the lady that my mother and grandmother raised me to be."
Buffie went on to clarify how much she said she discussed her fertility struggles with Dr. Jackie prior to the book cover reveal party. "When you first meet someone and they see that you are happily married they ask the inevitable question 'do you have kids?' I always answer no. No - period. Then SOME people ask 'why NOT' as if my husband and I have done something wrong. I am then forced to explain my many failed attempts at motherhood. This is the level of discussion that Dr. Walters and I had regarding my CHALLENGES with fertility," she said. "To call another woman infertile is cruel. That word doesn’t begin to describe the type of person that I am. The clinical definition is that you are unable to GET pregnant. Well, I can and have gotten pregnant many times. I was just unable to carry my babies to full term. Additionally, it means that you bear no fruit. Well, I like to think that I have been a productive member of society and that my mark will be left through philanthropy."
She also explained why she took offense to the moment. "I believe that Dr. Walters said this with malicious intent because she could have said many other things about me if she truly wanted to relate to me. We are both successful businesswomen, we are both extremely organized, we both do a lot of charity work, the list goes on and on but she settled on this," Buffie said. "And to date, she has NEVER offered me a sincere apology. I don’t want an apology from her anyway because she doesn’t think that she did anything wrong."
The OBGYN said that she understands how her comment could have looked "like [she] was being malicious" from what was shown in the clip. "I really did intend to connect with Buffie and all of the women in the room who could relate to infertility. I actually went throughout the room, and I talked about infidelity, I referenced my husband [Curtis Berry] by looking at him. I talked about infertility and really was saying to her that that was something we shared and we knew how it felt. And the group definitely empowered women around that," she said. "But when you look at it, it’s like, 'And Buffie, you’re infertile.' Um, we know that’s not my nature, and I would have never done that in a malicious sense. And I hate that it looks like that. But most importantly is to just let every woman know, one, I’m human. I made a mistake by sharing it without asking her. But definitely with no malicious intent."
Dr. Jackie noted that some of this drama may be the result of her and Buffie having different approaches to a situation like this. The OBGYN said she has used her life "as a teaching tool" over the past seven seasons of Married to Medicine so far, living as an open book when it came to her struggles with infidelity, infertility, and breast cancer.
As a physician, Dr. Jackie, who admitted that she's "just not an emotional being" in general, also has to take a more clinical approach to sensitive health issues because it is part of her job. "I’m desensitized to a lot of it," she said. "You know, we have to tell people they have cancer. And you don’t typically cry with them. Well, I think that, that we do cry with them. But yeah, I don’t know how to explain it, 'cause I can’t not be a doctor."
Dr. Jackie said that she wasn't aware how upset Buffie was at her book reveal party. "I didn’t see any of the tears, any of the upset faces or any of it until several weeks later," she shared.
She also didn't see the above Instagram post at first because she said Buffie had blocked her. So Dr. Heavenly Kimes forwarded Buffie's post to Dr. Jackie for her to view. "My heart hurts when somebody is humiliated. Like, it’s just not my nature to humiliate like that. And so, if she’s humiliated or because she thinks she’s humiliated, I hate that," Dr. Jackie said in response to Buffie's Instagram post. "I hate that I’m a person who caused her that kind of pain."
Mariah Huq expressed in the clip that she can relate to Buffie's plight after Dr. Jackie brought up rumors about her on her Open & Honest show. "Not only has she perpetuated lies about me, now she's spreading Buffie's truth, and that's Buffie's story to tell, not Jackie's," Mariah said in the preview.
"I think she uses that as an opportunity to take us back to the whole drug allegation," Dr. Jackie said in reaction to Mariah's comments during her interview with The Daily Dish. "I mean, you saw how many times I apologized to her. It’s just another opportunity to be Mariah."
The fan reaction to the above preview clip of the upcoming Married to Medicine moment has been "hurtful" for Dr. Jackie to deal with. "Some of them say really mean stuff, but I just see this as one of the things I have to walk through and do," Dr. Jackie said. "One thing I can say is the people who really know me, they question it. The people who don’t know me, they react."
Contrary to what Buffie wrote on Instagram, Dr. Jackie told The Daily Dish that she has apologized for the comment several times. When asked what she believes Buffie is waiting to hear from her, Dr. Jackie said, "I wish I knew. I wish she could articulate what would that look like or sound like... I have no problem saying I’m sorry for 1,002 times. But I don’t know what I need to say."
Though Dr. Jackie said that she and Buffie are not currently on speaking terms, she's confident that they will talk about this moment again in the future. However, she also knows that it's going to take time for her and Buffie to move on from this. "I can’t force the healing. You know, she has to take her time and heal. So, I’m not saying she’s not hurt. It’s in her own time," she shared. "So you have to offer to do a sincere apology and then just allow that person to heal."
Ultimately, Dr. Jackie hopes that this incident will help foster a wider discussion about infertility among women. "The women that come through the office, I’m always reminding them that, you know, it’s life and we’re all balancing something and we’ve been given this hand to deal with and you make the best part [of it] — you know your options," she said. "But don’t be ashamed of it."
See more from the upcoming episode of Married to Medicine Sunday at 9/8c, below.