Innovative reality TV shows like Little People, Big World, and The Little Couple brought viewers into the homes of little people, who shared the daily challenges and triumphs they experienced in their lives.
When the Lifetime network decided to launch a small-person-focused show, an element of The Real Housewives franchise was grafted to result in Little Women: LA, which chronicles the exploits of several friends who are pursuing their dreams in Los Angeles.
Launched in 2014, the show featured viewers Terra Jolé and a group of other “little women” who made their way into the City of Angels, an evolving group that eventually came to include Elena Gant, Christy McGinity, Jasmine Arteaga Sorge and Tonya Banks. As a Lifetime press release stated, their small statues didn’t stop them from living big, demonstrating to viewers “that height is just a number.”
Since its debut, the show has garnered countless fans and spawned some splits, yet there are many things that even hardcore viewers may not realize about the popular reality hit.
Read on to discover even more about Little Women: LA’s untold truth.
Jasmine Arteaga Sorge once competed on American Idol
Jasmine Arteaga Sorge has become a fan favorite in Little Women: LA, but when she was just 18 she had different aspirations when she stood up in front of Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell to audition for the third season of American idol.
As a video of her audition shows, she seemed a little nervous in front of the judges, but her diminutive size belied a powerful set of tubes that put Christina Aguilera’s “I Turn To You” to good use. However, her performance stops after about 30 seconds, when Cowell raises his hand to signal her to stop singing.
For Monsters and Critics, she recalled that both Cowell and Jackson (Judge Paula Abdul was apparently MIA for the audition) liked what they had heard and sent her on the Hollywood rounds. While making the top 100, she was finally sent home in the group round of eliminations.
Oddly enough, her brief time in American idol has been commemorated on a business card that can be purchased online.
Christy McGinity’s divorce was unpleasant
Little Women: LA spectators followed Christy McGinity’s marital journey from the beginning. For those who had been paying attention, the news that she and her husband Todd Gibel were divorcing was probably not a surprise. What was surprising, however, was how ugly the couple’s divorce process got, and McGinity’s divorce filing contained some really shocking allegations.
According to legal documents obtained by The Explosion in 2019, McGinity met Gibel while filming the first episode of Little Women: LA and she alleged that from the outset, “he intended to mount [her] celebrity status and defraud [her] penniless”.
Furthermore, she claimed that he promised to find a job after moving with her to California, but instead remained unemployed throughout the course of their marriage. She also alleged that he took out several personal loans and credit cards on her behalf, estimating that he consumed between $ 65,000 and $ 100,000 when purchasing “various widgets.”
However, McGinity’s most baffling accusation was that she and Gibel “had never had sex once.” Based on that claim, McGinity initially requested an annulment. According to TMZ, she finally settled for the next best option by accepting the divorce.
Jasmine Arteaga Sorge spoke about hair loss
Jasmine Arteaga Sorge has been candid about her issues with hair loss, and in 2019 she partnered with Hair Club to share her own personal experiences. Hair Club, which specializes in hair restoration and replacement, came out with a press release announcing that it would be speaking to a “hair health social” in California to answer questions from other women experiencing similar problems.
“As a stylist and someone with a deep understanding of the effects of hair loss on women, I have been on a mission to help other women regain their confidence,” she said in the press release. “I am excited to host this event where I can chat with women about hair loss in a safe and discreet environment.”
In a profile on the Hair Club website, Arteaga Sorge revealed that her struggles date back to her childhood. Born with fine hair, she recalled that other children called her “bald” or asked her if she was sick. “It was extremely difficult as a child to understand why my hair was different,” she confessed. “It made me cry many times.”
Arteaga Sorge credited Hair Club for her free trial consultation, admitting that the company had made her “hair dreams” come true, adding that “Once [she] had [her] dream hair [she] changed as a person”.
Terra Jolé experienced the “animosity” of its co-stars
Terra Jolé is not just a Little Women LA star, she is also one of the show’s executive producers. In addition, she is also the executive producer on spin-offs. Little Women: Atlanta, Little Women: NY, Little Women: Dallas, and Little Women: Terra’s Little Family.
During an appearance on the Share Your Shine podcast, Jolé admitted that her double role as a star and producer has generated some tension between her and her co-stars.
When asked about the “hard balance” in juggling her roles on-camera and behind the scenes, Jolé admitted that “there has been some animosity in the past” from her co-stars. Part of that, she said, is a consequence of her long relationships with women, who knew them long before including them on the show.
Not all of them, she explained, were here friends. “I think that was the easiest part for me: making friends and enemies,” she said with a laugh. “I never thought I would give so many of my enemies a job.” One result of their long history together is unleashing drama on camera, as “we definitely know all the ins and outs of what hitting them is where it hurts.”
Eddie Murphy is a fan of Little Women: LA
Since Little Women: LA has remained a fixture on the Lifetime network since its debut in 2014, it’s no secret that there are plenty of viewers tuning in to watch the exploits of Terra Jolé and her cohorts. One of those fans is none other than Eddie Murphy.
During an appearance in 2019 She Lives with Kelly and Ryan, the Beverly Hills Cop Star was describing what he does when he does “nothing,” admitting: “I watch the Little Woman from LA,” A confession that resulted in shrill laughter from the audience alongside presenters Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest.
That was not the first time that Murphy had declared his love for the series. A few years earlier, during a 2016 Q&A presentation to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Murphy was asked about which television shows he had become obsessed with. In response, he revealed that he and his fiancee Paige Butcher enjoyed watching Little Women: LA, in addition to Little Women: Dallas and Little Women: Atlanta. “Those shows are great television,” said Murphy.
Considering that Hollywood has no longer chosen Murphy as regularly, we assume he has had plenty of time to keep up with his obsession with television.
Overcoming health problems made Jasmine Arteaga Sorge “stronger”
A 2018 episode of Little Women: LA named “Sins and the City” followed the women as they embarked on a trip to Las Vegas. A notable member of the missing cast was Jasmine Arteaga Sorge. In an interview with Vida de Hollywood, Arteaga Sorge discussed the “health issues” that kept her from joining her co-stars, revealing that she had “subsequently overcome many of those health issues and strengthened herself.”
While she did not elaborate on that interview, she made a previous appearance on the Doctors Daytime talk show in 2017 to talk about the health issues she was experiencing. “With my type of dwarfism, it also affects my immunity,” she said, explaining that “she has an increased risk of leukemia” or lymphoma because [her] white blood cell count is lower. ”
Arteaga Sorge admitted that this high level of risk left her in a constant state of anxiety. “It’s scary because the word ‘cancer’ is a huge word,” she said, noting that her sister had been diagnosed with leukemia. “Do I have a double chance of obtaining it?”, she reflected.
Has the community of small people accepted Little Women: LA?
Since Jasmine Arteaga Sorge auditioned for an American Idol when she was 18 years old and later joined the cast of a reality TV show, it’s safe to say that becoming a celebrity is something she’d been chasing for a while.
One aspect of the fame she got from Little Women: LA has been how she and the rest of the cast have been accepted by the community of little people. According to Arteaga Sorge, it is something like a mixed bag. “They love us or they hate us,” Channel 24 told South Africa. “I know some are happy with us doing the show, others not so much.”
However, weighing the pros and cons, she felt that Little Women: LA provides a unique platform to show viewers that just because women are small, “doesn’t mean that [they] don’t have the same issues as everyone else.”
Arteaga Sorge explained her thoughts further, adding: “Sometimes we don’t feel accepted. We just want to feel accepted and let other people [sic] know that we are not just a joke… we want people to know that we are like everyone else.”
Breana Renee’s ex was charged with a heinous crime
When former Little Women: LA cast member Breana Renee (who left the show after the sixth season) was finally granted a divorce from Matt Grundhoffer, it came after a long legal battle.
According to Radar Online, in court documents, the celebrity alleged that she had seen text messages between her husband and another woman that “involved bestiality and proposals for sexual acts with young children, including the proposal to involve sexual acts with Matthew’s youngest son, 12, from a previous relationship.”
Those were not the only disturbing allegations made against Grundhoffer. Online Radar said she also detailed the allegations of a woman who claimed that he had sexually abused her in 2009, as a minor, at the center where he worked as a counselor. When the case went to trial, the jury sided with Grundhoffer, but the plaintiff’s request for a new trial was subsequently granted.
According to Radar Online, Grundhoffer denied having sex with the woman while she was a minor. However, he admitted to having had a sexual talk with her when she was legally an adult.
Sour grapes in the wine business
Everyone is familiar with the situation between Terra Jolé and co-star Tonya Banks. In a season 7 episode, friction between the two erupted into a full-blown fight after Banks turned down Jolé’s request that she becomes the face of the wine.
Speaking to The Explosion, Jolé revealed that she had sold his shares in the Black Girl Moscato company “at a loss.” While she hoped that was enough to heal the crack, that was apparently not the case. “I thought that would end the bitterness, but no,” she admitted.
Meanwhile, in an interview with TooFab, Banks said she felt there was a chance that their relationship could be saved, but at the same time, the entire debacle left a sour taste in her mouth. I didn’t care about that name. For me, it wasn’t a good look, it was just offensive to me. Despite the fact that Jolé finally ended up on a different winemaking adventure with a less offensive name, Mini Mama, Banks admitted that the entire experience “wedged their relationship, in their friendship.”
Terra Jolé sometimes finds her fame ‘terrifying’
Being a reality star and a little person is a unique combination, something Terra Jolé exposed in a 2019 interview with Page Six. While she admitted she was thrilled to be a part of the growing public acceptance of small people through Little Women: LA, she also revealed that there is also a downside to her fame.
According to Jolé, “the terrifying parts are when people know your family so well that they feel like they can get close to you and hug you and you don’t know these people.” Excessive fan familiarity with her, she explained, can sometimes lead to encounters that, for average-sized fans, may not seem awkward, but to her and her family they can be scary.
“It’s very scary to be a little person and have an average-sized person come to you freely and want to hug your daughter or hug your son and you think, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!”. As Jolé wisely pointed out, “in what normal reality would that happen? But in my reality, that happens.”
Tragedy hit Christy McGinity
In September 2019, Christy McGinity and her boyfriend Gonzalo Justo Carazo made a happy announcement: they were expecting a baby. “What a great blessing. Good things come to those who wait,” McGinty wrote on Instagram, revealing that her “bundle of joy” was due to arrive in April 2020.
In March 2020, they welcomed a daughter, Violet Eva. She was born seven weeks ahead of schedule at just 33 weeks, People reported. The baby was 15 inches tall and weighed three pounds 15 ounces.
Two weeks later, the couple’s joy turned to heartbreak when their newborn daughter passed away. “It is with our deepest pain that we sent our little girl Violet Eva Carazo to play with the angels,” McGinity and Carazo said in a statement to People. “We were able to spend two weeks with our sweet baby and for that, we are eternally grateful.”
In a later Instagram post, McGinity admitted, “It has been very difficult to cry for her,” expressing her gratitude for “so many heartfelt prayers, thoughts, flowers … We are so grateful for that.”
Terra Jolé spoke about her daughter’s health problems
In addition to being the star and executive producer of Little Women: LA Terra Jolé is also the mother of three children, one of whom has some serious health problems. In a 2019 interview with Vida de Hollywood, Jolé spoke about her daughter, Penny, and her problems with hydrocephalus, “a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain.”
Hydrocephalus can cause a variety of symptoms, notes the Mayo Clinic, which includes nausea, seizures, and headaches.
According to Jolé, her daughter has experienced “many struggles but she is doing amazingly.” At that moment, Jolé insisted: “Penelope is happy and I don’t think we are out of the forest, but at least we are in recovery.” Teasing fans what they might expect to see in Little Women: LA season 8, he pointed to “a surgery that happens,” adding that “it’s been a roller coaster ride.”
While Jolé said that she will continue to open up her life to Little Women: LA, she confessed that “experiencing Penny’s health problems with the cameras rolling is terrifying because you are being vulnerable and trying to be as normal as possible… it is definitely the hardest part of reality television.”