If Niecy Nash‘s journey has taught her one thing, it’s that she’s not beholden to anyone.
“At this age you live long enough to know that you don’t owe nobody nothing,” says the Claws star, opening up in this week’s issue about her sexy 50th birthday celebration and recent split from husband Jay Tucker.
Even still, Nash says when she and her husband of eight years shared the news on social media last October, people had a lot to say.
At the time, “It was less about the divorce being painful, because I feel like when you get to a point where you both understand we were better friends than partners, we’re on the same page,” Nash says. “But when people don’t agree with that and they try to make you do what they want you to do, that’s the part where you kind of get out of order.”
For Nash, who’s documented her and Tucker’s love on social media and even released a relationship advice book titled It’s Hard to Fight Naked in 2013, much of the backlash came from disappointed followers.
“I wrote a book about love, and people were then on social media going, ‘Oh, so I guess all that stuff you put in that book didn’t work?'” she says. “I still believe every single thing I said in that book, but I also believe that sometimes for some people, forever ain’t forever, it’s for now.”
And Nash is not interested in keeping up appearances. “Some people are still together for their Instagram,” she says. “You better live for you!”
For the many who deemed her and Tucker #CoupleGoals and #BlackLoveGoals on social media, Nash says just because they’ve split, they’re still worth looking up to.
For more on Niecy Nash’s empowering new phase of life, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
“First of all, I’m a whole goal all by myself,” says Nash. “But I still think we could be couple goals on how we untether. There’s some people that if you say the name of their ex they would throw up in their mouths a little bit.” On the contrary, “We still love each other.”
She continues, “Who I was when I met my husband 10 years ago is not who I am today. You evolve. That doesn’t make your partner a bad husband, it just means this relationship is not serving who I am right now.”
While she admits even facing pushback from some in her family over the decision to divorce, Nash says it was a whole different story when she told her kids, Dia, 20, Donielle, 25, and Dominic, 28, from her previous marriage to Pastor Don Nash.
“We were all in the pool, and they were like, ‘Okay, can we move back in?’” she recalls with a laugh. “This is the first time I’ve ever lived alone in my life, and I’m obsessed! I love it.”
And her current living situation may not change any time soon. While she’s open to finding new love, “I don’t know that I necessarily need to be married,” says Nash.
Still, there are two things she’s not holding back on: “Sex and good champagne!” she says. “Not necessarily in that order.”
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