Tichina Arnold 'Saved Herself' After Discovering Her Now Estranged Husband Made a Sex Tape with Another Woman
"I just merely saved myself and represented a lot of women that don't know how to save themselves," Arnold tells PEOPLE exclusively about her divorce from Rico Hines
Many people know Tichina Arnold as the hilarious actress who’s starred in sitcoms like Martin and Everybody Hates Chris. But in January, it was Arnold’s personal life that took center stage when a sex tape of her husband, Rico Hines, and another woman was leaked publicly after Arnold texted it to “very close people” to announce her split.
“I did not expect it to go public the way it did,” Arnold told PEOPLE exclusively after shooting a segment for the new daytime television show, The Preachers, hosted by Dr. Jamal Bryant, John Gray, Dr. E. Dewey Smith and Orrick Quick. While she sent the tape to a close circle – including her bridesmaids – the star insists “no one from my side leaked it.”
As far as the actual content of the video goes, Arnold admits that when she saw it, she felt “betrayed.”
“I had that feeling of, you know, beyond him being my husband, this is supposed to be my friend, my confidant. Somebody who I can trust. And when you can’t trust the person that you sleep with every night, there’s a problem,” she says. “I could no longer trust him. I could no longer lay with him. And it doesn’t make him a horrible person. We all make mistakes, but not with me and not on my time and not in my life,” she says.
Arnold, 47, claims it also wasn’t the first time Hines strayed in their marriage.
“It’s beyond the fact that the infidelity, it happens. We make mistakes. And we fixed a few mistakes of his prior infidelities,” she says. “But when it becomes a pattern, then it’s no longer my problem. There’s a point where you eventually have to jump ship and save yourself, so I just merely saved myself and represented a lot of women that don’t know how to save themselves.”
After getting her heart broken so publicly, Arnold is still open to dating and finding love, but doesn’t foresee another walk down the aisle in her future.
“Oh no! Getting married is not gonna happen again. I know that for sure,” says Arnold, whose brief first marriage to boxer Lamon Brewster ended in 1995. “Like, this was my second marriage. I always say three strikes, you’re out. I don’t even want to make it to three strikes.”
She also has no regrets for how she handled the contentious split from Hines. “I’m sure there are a lot of people that are upset with me, but it’s not their problem,” she says. “This was my issue that I needed to deal with, and I’m old enough to deal with my issues.”
Adds the star: “I saved myself first, before I was on a sinking ship. I just have too much to lose for someone else’s indiscretions.”
For more on Arnold’s difficult divorce and how she’s moving on, tune in to her episode of The Preachers, airing today at 11 a.m. EST on select FOX stations.