From Gregory Isaacs’ cocaine fixation to Tiger Woods’ sex addiction, it’s often been said that every celebrity has a crippling vice. In the case of Lady Saw – now reborn Minister Marion Hall – it was cigarette smoking.
The former ‘Queen of Dancehall’ opened up about the habit during her Sunday sermon, which focused on God’s ability to deliver anyone from their struggle.
“Who could smoke like me?” she reflected. “I smoke packs after packs after packs of Craven A. Wherever Craven A was, I would have sent to get it. Even when I come to America, my friend would drive out the whole of Bronx just to get it to bring to Queens to me.”
She further revealed that late Third World crooner Bunny Rugs was her smoking mate.
“When I travel to Japan or Europe, I have boxes. I used to share them with my smoking partner Bunny Rugs – God bless his soul… I used to have my own Craven As because I don’t smoke from people. I don’t drink. I drink a little. I may just put a table and it look like I’m drinking, but I’m not drinking.”
Her road to recovery came through baptism. Hall, who gave her life to God in December 2015, said, “When Bishop Everton Thomas put me in that water…all addiction was gone.”
It’s quite the testimony from someone who, in 2013, scoffed at regulations by the Ministry of Health to forbid smoking in public spaces.
At the time, Hall told The Gleaner, “That’s a joke. In Jamaica? Ms Portia, we are all stressed out, so, we need cigarettes.”
She added, “They got to lock me up like 50 times.”
But the I’m Doing Better artist has had other struggles too. Her tumultuous and long-term relationship with producer Lloyd ‘John John’ James Jr was made public spectacle for many years, and she’s admitted to having a weakness for men.
“I love men, yes,” she said.
“The devil, when I got saved, he knows how to find you, trust me. God knows your location, he knows it too, and he would locate me and send a ‘package’, but God would move me and say, ‘Uh-oh, you’re not strong enough. I’m go’ hide you away and strengthen you’. When I was strengthened, that’s when I made a vow: God, if I ever sleep with a man and mi nuh married to him, kill me.”
She’s currently battling the spirit of clapping back at naysayers, which she’s been attracting lately for her fashion sense and engagement of the Dancehall space.
“Some of you pastors who sleeping with everybody, do not let me call you out. Stop it… Do not come up here and talk against me because I am living a clean life… It’s a struggle for me to keep my mouth shut, but I’m going to keep it today.”