Harlem State Senate Candidate Reality Star Shows It’s About The Benjamins

April 18, 2017

State Senate Harlem candidate Brian Benjamin is a real-estate developer, community-board chairman — and a former reality-TV star accused of stealing everything from a computer to hair extensions from his cancer-stricken girlfriend.

Benjamin, 40, first landed on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Love in The City’’ show in 2014 as the devoted boyfriend of breast-cancer victim and entrepreneur Tiffany Jones, 42.

Jones was one of four women whose lives were featured on the show, which is still airing reruns. In the early episodes, she and Benjamin are depicted happily living together in a Harlem apartment.

He supports her during an intensely trying time in her life: After fighting off a recurrence of breast cancer, she is undergoing reconstructive surgery following a double mastectomy.

Benjamin accompanies Jones, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Pink­Chose­Me Foundation, on trips to the doctor and to the hospital for her surgery. He helps with a fund-raiser for her foundation.

Then things get ugly.

Benjamin is on a dinner date with Tiffany at Sylvia’s restaurant and openly flirts with their waitress, asking for her name.

Jones also catches Benjamin flirting online with a former flame, leading her to seethe to him, “I don’t want to be married to a man, and have children with a man, that’s Gchatting inappropriately with another woman you claim you don’t care about.”

As their argument continues, he finally says, “I’m out. See ya later. Bye.”

The pair’s split was so bad that Jones later told her girlfriends on the show, “He took my computer. He took my Chanel bag. He took my hairpiece.”

She stood by her claim and said her friends referred to her ex as “the Harlem thief.”

“I am confirming that what was said on the show is true,” Jones told The Post.

“I asked him to give it back. Why he did he take it? That’s the question,” Jones said.

Benjamin last month won his local Democratic Party’s nomination for the vacant state Senate seat covering all of Harlem and parts of the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights, all but assuring him the position in the heavily Democratic district.

As for his past relationship with Jones, he told The Post, “Being on a reality-TV show means having parts of your life exaggerated and played up for dramatic effect.”

“There are always going to be things that are not entirely accurate. Still, I remember that time in my life fondly,’’ Benjamin said.

“Being on the show was a largely positive experience for me. I was proud to support Tiffany’s non-profit, both on and off the camera, and I’m glad to call her a friend and a supporter in my campaign for state Senate.”
Here’s the video:

Via Youtube

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One Comment

  1. If you have to sacrifice your integrity to win an election then you will never amount to much as a politician- unfortunately it appears that is the path Mr. Benjamin has taken. In the Sept. 19 2014 Black Enterprise article, “Brian Benjamin: Doing Business in Black Communities for the Benefit of Black People,” he stated “I am in leadership on my local Community Board in Central Harlem. I see a future for myself in elected public office as well.” When he ran for Community Board 10 chair in June 2016 he was asked directly by the Community Board 10 Nominating Committee Chair, Stanley Gleaton, if he would serve his full two year term, to which he replied that he would. Yet eight months later, according to the February 13, 2017 New York Post article “Low voter turnout expected for special election to fill Harlem city council seat” it stated that “Construction and development executive Brian Benjamin, chairman of Community Board 10 and finance chair of the Manhattan Democratic Party, has expressed interest in running” for State Senate. At the Democratic County Committee State Senate nomination convention on March 10, 2017, his opponents accused him and his supporter Keith Wright of using “voter suppression” tactics to ensure his victory as the nominated candidate (re: New York Observer, March 10, 2017, “Harlem Candidates Accuse Democratic Machine of Rigging Contest for State Senate Seat”), which would in theory ensure his victory in the May 23rd 2017 NYS Senate election in Central Harlem’s heavily Democratic voting district. Yet Harlem voters know little about Brian Benjamin other than recent news articles (re: The Real Deal, March 13, 2017, “Abyssinian’s Fire Sale Sets Off Legal Spat”); (re: New York Post, March 27, 2017, “State Senator Candidate is Exec at Company that Owns Problem Properties”); (re: DNAInfo, April 21, 2016, “Years After Fleeing Violence, Man Returns to Harlem to Make A Difference”). Without a public opportunity to face his would-be opponents, Joyce Johnson, Al Taylor, and John Ruiz, how can Harlem voters know where Mr. Benjamin stands on a variety of community concerns? How can voters know who they are voting for? With no record of public service to scrutinize, Harlem voters are left with little information about Mr. Benjamin with which to make an informed decision in the voting booth, as well as few candidates to choose from. By the way, Community Board chairs should not utilize their position “to be seen,” or to get onto other boards, or to give favors to politicians, or to address issues only he/she is interested in, or to promote his/her business, or to build up his/her political base, or finally– to be used as a vehicle to run for political office. Like New York State Senate. Regardless of how wealthy one appears to be, how youthful one appears to be, how many ivy league degrees one has received, or how many pictures he/she has taken with the former president or former first lady.

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