- 1 Who is Maia Campbell?
- 2 Early Life and Family: Growing Up in Los Angeles
- 3 1990s: An Omnipresent Star
- 4 2000s: Dropping Out of the Spotlight
- 5 Mental Health Problems
- 6 Personal Life: Is Maia Campbell Married? Does She Have Children?
- 7 Net Worth: How Rich is Maia Campbell?
- 8 Social Media Presence
Who is Maia Campbell?
Born on 26 November 1976, in Takoma Park, Maryland, USA, under the fire sign of Sagittarius, Maia Chinassa Campbell is a 42-year-old American television and film actress. She is best known for her role as Nicole in “South Central”, a short-lived but influential show about a single mother who struggles to raise her children in South Central Los Angeles. Next to Tina Lifford and Tasha Scott, Maia emerged as one of the most popular African-American actresses in the 1990s. Fans also know her as Tiffany Warren from “In the House”, where she spent five seasons alongside Kim Wayans and LL Cool J. Her acting debut was as Shante alongside the late Tupac Shakur in “Poetic Justice”, as the cousin of his character. However, Campbell faded into obscurity in the mid-2000s, mostly due to her ongoing drug addiction, which in turn exacerbated her bipolar disorder.
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Early Life and Family: Growing Up in Los Angeles
Maia was born to American parents in rural Michigan, but the family soon relocated to the Ladera Heights neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California. Unlike most children, she had the fortune of being raised by two accomplished intellectuals. Her father, Tiko Campbell, was a renowned architect who designed many buildings in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, he was also a science fiction author, having written “The Light in the Stones: …from the tales of Fibinacci…” Her mother, Elizabeth “Bebe” Moore Campbell was one of the most distinguished African-American authors of the 20th century. She wrote several New York Times bestsellers, such as “What You Owe Me”, “Brothers and Sisters” and “Singing in the Comeback Choir”.
With the influence of her parents, young Maia harbored an interest for the arts from an early age. She loved watching movies with her mom, but wasn’t willing to take up acting until her mid-teens. In 1994, she matriculated from an unspecified school in Los Angele, then enrolled at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, but dropped out after one semester, with hopes of developing her acting career.
1990s: An Omnipresent Star
Campbell has had a pretty strange career. Her first acting credit was in the immensely popular romantic drama “Poetic Justice” – on set, she befriended fellow actor Tupac Shakur, and was devastated when the famous rapper was gunned down in Las Vegas. ‘He was such a good soul and we talked a lot’, recalls Maia. ‘I couldn’t believe that someone would murder such a good man in cold blood.’ Afterwards, she was cast as Allison in “Thea”, followed by her breakthrough role in “South Central”.
The short-lived drama about troubled African-American youth in Los Angeles resonated across the country, making Maia a true star. In 1995, she reached superstardom by playing Tiffany Warren in “In the House”, a sitcom in which a divorced mom with two children moves into the house of a former football star; fans loved her chemistry with LL Cool J. In total, she appeared in 72 episodes and is still a fan favorite to this day. Around this time, she also had roles in “Sister, Sister”, “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Trippin’”, all of which helped her attract national attention. However, after she left “In the House”, things started going downhill.
2000s: Dropping Out of the Spotlight
Once one of the brightest stars of Black Hollywood, Maia was unable to keep up with the demands of the industry.
Without any significant roles, she mostly dabbled in lesser-known titles, such as “The Trial”, “With or Without You”, “Envy”, “The Luau” and others. None of these performances was praised by critics, and she slowly started fading into anonymity. While most people were surprised when they found out about the sudden demise of her career, it recently became known that her fall from grace was due to much “darker” reasons than simple misfortune.
Mental Health Problems
While working on “In the House”, Maia was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome. She believed that the money she received from acting could offset her mental health problems, however, she started behaving erratically at times, but refused to take medication.
The loss of constant work offers also hit her hard, as she was spending more than she was earning at the time. Her marriage to Elias Gutierrez also fell apart due to her refusal to seek treatment, and she subsequently lost custody of her daughter because of her condition. Maia’s mother, Bebe Moore Campbell, passed away after a battle with brain cancer in 2006. She and Maia hadn’t spoken in years, so her death devastated the struggling Campbell. In 2009, she couldn’t take care of herself, so was admitted to a treatment facility; her stepfather, Ellis Gordon Jr. was (and still is) her most staunch supporter. The same year, in a statement for VIBE, he said: ‘The entire family continues to hold fast to our faith and hope that someday Maia will realize that healing will begin when she decides to reach out and accept the help and treatment that have been offered to her.”
Continued Struggles and Brushes with the Law
In 2010, Maia still wasn’t feeling any better. She was so broke that she resorted to theft to make ends meet. After being arrested multiple times, a judge sent her to receive mandatory treatment at a prominent mental health facility in California. For two years she voluntarily stayed at the center in order to stay sober – she’d previously had problems with prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana. In 2012, she wanted to share her story as a part of the reality show “Iyanla: Fix My Life”, which centers around helping struggling celebs regain their former vigour. In a touching instance, she reconnected with her ex-husband, daughter and stepfather, but just three years later, she was back to her old ways, being arrested at a Waffle House restaurant in Riverdale, Georgia, reportedly drunk and resisting arrest. In 2016, she verbally attacked a family after accusing their child of mugging her.
A year later, Atlanta rapper T-Hood shared a video from a gas station, depicting Maia asking a man for drugs and claiming she was raped by Bill Cosby. This prompted her old co-star LL Cool J to ask his Instagram followers to help him find her.
How Maia Sparked a Beef Between T-Hood and LL Cool J
When T-Hood uploaded the video in 2017, LL Cool J was not happy with how the world was treating his former colleague. On 10 July 2017 he Tweeted: ‘Instead of pulling out your phone and filming someone who’s obviously having trouble. Maybe lend a helping hand? A kind word? @MaiaCampbell’. Maia responded back to LL via YouTube, saying: ‘I love you bro. I don’t need help… Don’t DM me… I’m good’. T-Hood didn’t take Cool J’s criticism lightly, promptly clapping back with the following statement: ‘Y’all n***as would not be mad if I posted a white girl.
Just because she was a black actress from back in the day, who we already all know [sic] from Redan. She been on the block for years. We been knew this b***h. She been doin’ dumb s**t. LL proceeded to voice his disappointment on Instagram, refusing to deal with T-Hood anymore.
What Does Maia Have to Say About Her Unfortunate Fate?
While she doesn’t speak to the media very often, Maia has shown the ability to be self-reflective. On one occasion, she said: ‘I’ve made some mistakes. I had to make a turnaround in my life. This is my new expression to the world and this is my comeback and this is my moment.’ In 2018, she stated: ‘This is my chance to say, ‘This is what God made of me and I’m still worthy.’ If I was a one hundred dollar bill, and I was all messed up, someone would clean me up and use me. I’m still worth something!’
Personal Life: Is Maia Campbell Married? Does She Have Children?
Maia Campbell was married to Elias Guiterrez from 1998 to 2002. Everything was going fine until Maia refused to take her medication, resulting in erratic behavior, so Elias and their daughter, Elizabeth Elisha Guiterrez, quickly moved out. In court, he provided evidence relating to Maia’s instability, prompting the judge to award custody of the now-19-year-old girl to Elias. Since then, there is no word about Maia’s romantic endeavors or anything else related to the matter.
Net Worth: How Rich is Maia Campbell?
We know Maia has fallen on hard times recently, but have you ever wondered how much money she has today? According to authoritative sources, Maia Campbell has a net worth of approximately $1,000, as of August 2019.
The most recent pic that I have in my phone… (February) she's STILL beautiful! ♥ pic.twitter.com/wFK16IpJ
— Maia Campbell (@MaiaCampbellLUV) June 16, 2012
Despite being one of the brightest young stars in the 1990s, Maia spent too much money on drugs and luxuries, resulting in her being almost bankrupt. In 2017, she did make a comeback in “Doctor Impostor”, a short film, which signifies that she is still trying to get her life back on track. Remember, if you or anyone close to you is experiencing mental problems, don’t be afraid to seek help.