Joseline Hernandez Is Using Her Past To Help Girls Better Their Lives Without Following Her Path
Joseline Hernandez from Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta may be known as “The Puerto Rican Princess,” but her Cinderella story doesn’t rely on any Prince Charming. The 32-year-old rapper and television personality has been hustling since she was a young teenager and truly started from the bottom.
Here’s how she got to the top.
Joseline Hernandez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico.@joseline / Instagram
She didn’t move to the United States until she was 10 years old. She moved with her mother and five siblings to Florida. From there, she and her siblings were raised by her single mother.
Her youngest brother has autism.@abbyiscoool / Instagram
He’s nonverbal and requires special care. She has an older sister Yanira, and four brothers, named Jorge, Hisael, Kermit and Luis Jr. That’s a big familia, but, then again, Latinos are known for their big familias.
She grew up in Puerto Rico’s public housing system.@joseline / Instagram
Caption: “#puertorico I’m almost with you!! I will reconstruct I will get my hands dirty I will do what I say I’m going to do. My Roots is time for a chance. Can’t wait. Just a girl with a dream”
Her father died of a heroin overdose.@joseline / Instagram
On a talk show panel with The Real, she talked about how drugs were rampant in the ’80s, and how familiar she was with heroin needles from a young age. She knew those needles killed her father.
She was even stuck by a heroin needle when she was a child.@joseline / Instagram
She told The Real that, “I went outside, and you know, we loved to go outside without any shoes, you know, Puerto Ricans, and we live by the beach, so everything is just like whatever, you know? So, I was running, but we lived in the projects… So, I remember one day I was running to go meet my home girl… and I got a needle stuck on my foot.”
Her mom just brought her upstairs, took it out of her foot, gave her un beso, and off she went with her day.
She started stripping when she was 16 years old to support her family.@joseline / Instagram
She told Global Grind, “Ever since I was 15, 16, I’ve been taking care of my brothers, my sisters, my nieces and nephews, my mom, and dad — ever since I was 16 I’ve been giving my mom money. I’m talking about $600 a month, a thousand dollars a month; if you need food, if you need to pay for the mortgage.”
She turned to stripping to earn money for medicine for her brother.@joseline / Instagram
She’s said that she always felt bad for her family, and what they had to go through. Each person had one pair of shoes to last them the whole year.
“I got a brother, he has autism,” she told Global Grind. “He can’t even get no medicine. Who’s going to get the money? I have to do that. So that’s what really turned me into dancing. I knew that I didn’t want to do that. I want to be an artist. I want to be a singer. I want to be a rapper. I want to be a model. I want to be on TV, but, at that time, my family was struggling and I had to help.”
She was arrested twice under her stripper name Shenellica Bettencourt.@joseline / Instagram
She was arrested for “lewd and lascivious behavior,” though nobody knows exactly what went down that would warrant an arrest twice (in 2003 and 2007).
“Do not go in that strip club at all. It is a death trap.”@joseline / Instagram
When Global Grind asked if she remembers the first time she got on stage, she just said, “Oh my gosh. I don’t even know what to tell you, because it was scary. You’re young, you’re trying to move so fast so you can help your family out. It’s just something that I feel young girls should not do. Do not go in that strip club at all. It is a death trap.”
She wants to start a foundation for young girls tempted by sex work.@joseline / Instagram
“I’m going to have a foundation for young girls,” she tells Global Grind. “We need that for young girls. We need to make this world a better place with these young girls. Go to school. Be a doctor. Be a lawyer. It’s not all about the fast money. We have to help the youth, so we can have a better tomorrow.”
When she arrived on Love & Hip Hop, people started dishing transphobic hate.@CapriHakeem / Twitter
Ya girl is ripped and has breast implants, and people started speculating that she might have been born a man, which prompted her to tweet a naked picture to prove her genitalia is feminine.
“When they were saying ‘is she a women, or is she a man?’ I never in my life heard anything like that,” she told Global Grind. “It frustrated me. It depressed me. It drove me crazy to the point that I did that — send a picture of myself, humiliating myself even more, because I allowed people to get up under my skin.”
She was discovered by producer Stevie J at a club in Atlanta.@EBONYMag / Twitter
He cast her in the first season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (LHH). It was during the show that it was revealed that the two had been having an affair, and girlfriend Mimi Faust was pissed. Their love triangle became the leading storyline and made it the highest rating installment of the franchise.
She and Stevie J faked a marriage for publicity.@joseline / Instagram
They claimed to have gotten married in 2013, but three years later, Stevie J admitted it was all a publicity stunt. The two split up on Season 5 of LHH.
Plot twist: Joseline gave birth to Stevie’s sixth child about a year after their ‘break up.’@joseline / Instagram
They even had a spin-off series together Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood during the last year of their partnership.
During the show, she dropped some reggaeton singles and music videos.@whyhatealliyah / Twitter
On LHH’s fourth season reunion, she performed the dancehall track live and it’s been well received by Boricua fans. They’re mostly sung in Spanish, ayy.
She quit LHH in the most dramatic way possible.@joseline / Instagram
At the season reunion, she told off the cameraman and said that she’s bigger than Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta will ever be. What an exit.
Her Instagram is chock full of these deadpan mother-daughter shots.@joseline / Instagram
Honestly, someone needs to install an art exhibit. It’s a beautiful series of mother-daughter love int he modern/social media-obsessed age.
Her butt is real, in case you were wondering.@joseline / Instagram
Someone had to ask and we’re glad Global Grind did. “Yes, my butt is real. I work out a lot. I’m always doing lunges. You’ll see it, because I know you’re going to go to MsJoseline.com and get this DVD.” It’s the Puerto Rican booty.
She’s a Scorpio and it shows.@joseline / Instagram
Scorpios are known to be hot-tempered, highly sexual and able to access deeper emotions than most people. Joseline Hernandez is definitely a scorpion you don’t want to annoy.
Hernandez is openly bisexual.@joseline / Instagram
A fan asked her how she feels about gay people and she was like, “”@zachary_brogdon: I wonder if @MsJoseline supports gay people..” Soy Bisexual!!!!” YAAAS, Princesa!!
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