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Author Deborah Smith Simpkins talks to Prestige

Sylvia: Hello, Minister Deborah Smith Simpkins. It’s a pleasure to have you as our guest for Prestige Magazine and to have you tell us of your somewhat controversial story. So, first, before we get into this tell-all eye-opening and magnificent story that you have, can you give us a little background on yourself growing up as…



Sylvia: Hello, Minister Deborah Smith Simpkins. It’s a pleasure to have you as our guest for Prestige Magazine and to have you tell us of your somewhat controversial story. So, first, before we get into this tell-all eye-opening and magnificent story that you have, can you give us a little background on yourself growing up as a child, your family life, and what a typical day, week, or month was like for you?

Deborah: Thank you, Sylvia. I’m so happy to be here and honored that you would even have me as a guest or interview me, so I’m so grateful for that. Growing up as a child, for me, I am a preacher’s kid. My father was a pastor and then a bishop, so everyday life for me was just church, church, church, church. I went to church probably six to seven days a week every week. We were very fortunate, we had housekeepers, and nannies. So, my father had a very poverty stricken start in ministry, but God did increase and bless him until his ministry grew to over 14 churches and 19 bible colleges. So, I am the youngest of eight, so I kind of had a bird’s eye view of the struggle my family was going through when they were not so well off, but by the time I was like seven or eight my family’s financial dynamics had completely turned around. So, I grew up very fortunate and I thank God for that.

Sylvia: Now, I know that during the time of the book and when all of this was found out as a tell all that you probably had to deal with feelings of being ostracized, you were probably talked about judiciously, not only from your church family but some of your friends and family members as well. So, how were you able to deal with those types of feelings?

Deborah: I don’t even know how you were able to perceive that because that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t have to deal with the feelings of it, I had to deal with the reality of it. I felt like I wanted to go hide underneath a rock. I was not a promiscuous girl growing up. My father was very strict and I can count on my hand how many men that I have been with, but this relationship, once it got out into the Christian world I was labelled as like a church-hopping-hoe, and I had never been that type of person, and I caused a lot of shame to come upon my father which really hurt me, and my children which also broke my heart. And I got into this relationship not even knowing that this man was married. Now, I have to be honest, once I found out that he was married I did not end the relationship right away because I had been caught up, my feelings were caught up. And if you would’ve asked me before entering this relationship I was the person that said, “I have such resentment for women who mess around with married men. I would never mess around with a married man, which is just horrible.”

But when I found myself in that situation my heart was locked into a married man and I just could not disconnect that easily. So, it made me more sensitive to some women that are going through that type of situation. I will not condone it, but at least now I can understand, so I’m not the type of person that would say, “Oh, I’m not dealing with her.” Or, “She could never be—.” I have broken up friendships with women that I found out were dating married men prior to me getting into that situation. So, yes, I sat down in my church, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t do announcements, I couldn’t usher. My father sat me down and I was sat down for three years, and I started going to another church, a friend of mine’s church, and his wife happened to be friends with this pastor’s wife, and while I was sitting there worshipping one of the ushers came to me and told me that I was not allowed to worship here that day. And I could tell you many stories, but let me tell you one thing, when I went through all of that I got into a place where I was tired of being tired. I was emotionally spent. I had to question where I was with God and he brought me out, and I don’t have to care about what people say or how they feel. I just have to be concerned about where my relationship is with God and I can’t let anybody hold me back on what I used to do because I’m not there anymore.

Sylvia: You’re right. Now Deborah we know that this book, you said, it was an embellishment upon the truth, but then you also did The Truth Exposed which went much deeper than you did with the first novel, so this one I’m quite sure really, really blew the lid off of everything that was going on to give people an even deeper insight into what was happening in your life during this time and the people who were effected as well. So, we also know that you’ve constructed many platforms to present this story to women and men, like you said, not only in the pulpit but wherever you go because there are so many women and men that are experiencing these types of issues or issues that are similar to those. So, my question for you is what kind of things do you tell these people when you’re going out to do your motivational speaking? How do you tell them to deal with the healing process of these issues and how to kind of make it through based on your experiences, or on some of the other experiences that you’ve seen or witnessed in your life?

Deborah: We did continue the story because people fell in love with Leon, the main character, and Kiyah the main character. So, we continued the story and we went to Robbed without a Gun, we went to Broken Pieces, and then came The Truth Exposed. And what we wanted people to see that the journey didn’t end with Kiyah crying and being distraught. We wanted them to see when she met the man of her dreams, when she met Sean and how God brought her full circle, and that we may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning. So, she’s just not going to always be the damsel in distress and sometimes what people may think is a setback can really be a set up for something greater.

So, we kept on going with the story and The Truth Exposed was basically like people saying, “This book seems so real, the characters jump out of the pages. We can tell that Kiyah is you, Deborah. We know she’s you.” So, I went on with the story and truth be told I didn’t hide people behind the names. And people are just begging for this book. I actually had to pull the book back because of so much response that we had and we had to get the lawyers involved and everything, but we’ve gotten all that ironed out. So, The Truth Exposed will be released in the spring.


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News & Entertainment

Veterans Affairs Gives 1,300 Vets Unproven COVID-19 Drug Touted By Trump



The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has been giving 1,300 veterans hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus since late March — even though the drug has not been proven to be effective against the illness and may even trigger fatal heart problems.

In a study of 100,000 patients with COVID-19 published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet, patients who received hydroxychloroquine had a “significantly higher risk of death” compared to those who were not given the drug. “We were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine” on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19, the researchers concluded.

An April study of veterans who were given the drug — relentlessly hawked by President Donald Trump — produced similar findings.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a letter Friday to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that despite mounting concerns about the drug, the VA will continue to use hydroxychloroquine for veterans.

Revelations of the use of the controversial antimalarial drug have sparked concerns about the effects it may have on veterans, many of whom are older and have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to a fatal side effect of the drug: heart arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats.

“Veterans’ groups remain deeply concerned that the VA has made large purchases of this drug and appears to have administered it to veterans despite the well-known, and in some cases, fatal risks,” Schumer wrote Wilkie earlier this month.

After Wilkie’s letter on Friday, Schumer responded in a statement later that day, saying, “This drug may be useless or even harmful for COVID-19 patients, but the VA continues to administer it to hundreds of vets. Why are we just learning this?”

“We need to know what the basis was for using this drug against the consensus of science, which called into question its effectiveness in treating COVID-19,” he continued. “We also need to know who is authorizing these new trials, what facilities are participating and what families are being told.”

Trump has been aggressively pitching hydroxychloroquine since March, even though the drug had not yet undergone clinical trials examining its effectiveness against COVID-19.

“What do we have to lose?” he asked during a briefing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization have both warned against using the drug to treat COVID-19.

Last Monday, the president attacked a study of veterans treated with the drug that showed no benefits against the coronavirus. He called the findings a “Trump enemy statement,” insisting they were politically motivated. He then claimed that he had been taking the drug for weeks, though he stopped on Friday.

The Trump administration ordered 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine before it underwent trials for COVID-19 treatment. The VA also bulk-ordered some 6.3 million doses, according to Wilkie’s letter.

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Prince Harry and Prince William Are Back on Speaking Terms, A Royal Friend Revealed



It’s been a tough few years for Prince Harry and Prince William‘s relationship, with rumors of a royal feud cropping up long before Harry, in ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, acknowledged all wasn’t well between the brothers.

“Part of this role and part of this job and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, stuff happens but we’re brothers,” Harry said in the doc. “We’ll always be brothers, and we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I’ll always be there for him, and he’ll always be there for me. We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly, and the majority of the stuff is created out of nothing, but you know, as brothers you have good days, you have bad days.”

Well, it sounds like things are finally on the up between the princes. Speaking to royal correspondent Katie Nicholl of the Sunday Times, an unnamed friend said the brothers started talking more after father Prince Charles was diagnosed with coronavirus, from which he has since recovered. “I don’t think it’s returned to everything being rosy, but it is better,” the friend explained. “Hearing their father wasn’t well helped bring them back together and there is now more regular communication.” Happy to hear it!

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Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Changes Name on Grubhub to Pasqually’s Pizza



Children’s restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese is making its Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings premium offering available through Grubhub, which confused some customers.

Pasqually’s is a product of Chuck E. Cheese parent CEC Entertainment and represents an upgrade from the children’s pizza the chain is known for.

“CEC Entertainment, Inc. recently launched Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings nationwide. The inspiration was rooted in the desire to create a premium pizza while staying true to the CEC brand,” a Chuck E. Cheese spokesperson told Food & Wine.

Pasqually’s shares kitchen space with Chuck E. Cheese, which the company says will help ensure “high quality, fresh ingredients.”

CEC Entertainment responded after potential customers noticed that Pasqually’s and Chuck E. Cheese shared the same landing page on the online food delivery app GrubHub.

“While Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings recipes are currently only available for delivery, select items might be added to the Chuck E. Cheese menu in the future,” the company said.

In April, Chuck E. Cheese said that venue sales for the first quarter were down nearly 22% year over year. The company reiterated that it expected all 550 of its company-operated venues to sustain a loss for as long as the coronavirus is an issue.

The company has operated 520 of its 550 restaurants in a third-party and delivery capacity while furloughing most of its hourly employees and 65% of its support center personnel.

Chuck E. Cheese said in an April 7 regulatory filing that it was not currently paying rent, which approximates to about $7 million a month.

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