Less than a week after being assaulted with a champagne bottle in San Francisco, Lil' Mo says her mental scars are far worse than the injury to her permanently scarred head.
"I'm doing better physical-wise, 'cause I could be a lot worse off," Mo said. "But the aftereffects hurt much more. The reason I'm mostly upset is because my album [Based on a True Story] came out yesterday [June 26]. You know how much promo they had me doing and I was ready to do? I had to cancel so many shows."
Mo was attacked June 22 after performing at a concert for San Francisco radio station KMEL with Case, Tamia and Erick Sermon (see "Lil' Mo Recovering After Bottle Attack"). Exiting the Warfield theater, Mo was making her way to her limousine with her two dancers and a couple of label representatives in tow. No bodyguards.
"That was one of my best shows because they showed me so much love in San Francisco," recalled Mo, who stopped to have a picture taken before getting into her ride. "When I turned to get in my car, a guy walked up, and everybody thinks he threw the bottle at me he broke it over my head like he meant to do it. Boom! He threw it down and took off running. I had to get 22 stitches on my forehead and the top of my head."
Mo, cut where the hair for her signature braids was parted, said she's contemplating changing her hairstyle to conceal the scar rather than undergo plastic surgery.
"I don't like looking like this," she said. "Right now I look crazy. I don't even feel like myself."
With her face swollen, and suffering from headaches she describes as resembling someone "hammering" her skull, the 4'11" singer has been on the mend at home.
She doesn't know why she was attacked.
"I'm petrified and traumatized," said Mo, who has enjoyed interacting with fans while visiting shopping malls alone. "I'm like, 'Why did this happen to me?' I do no wrong to people. Some people tell me I'm too nice."
She has, however, received tips over the past couple of days suggesting motives for the attack.
"I been getting phone calls all week that lead me to believe it might be something other than somebody just coming up and hitting me," said the 22-year-old. While Mo originally believed a crackhead had assaulted her, she now thinks otherwise. "I honestly in my heart believe I was set up," she said.
Mo suspects a former associate could be behind the clubbing. She has issued a $1,000 reward (which she may soon raise to as much as $5,000) for information leading to an arrest. The singer also said she has been tipped off that the unidentified man has been boasting about his actions in the Hunters Point housing project in San Francisco.
She hopes he'll brag to the law soon.
"You were man enough to hit a girl," she said, "I'm four-foot-eleven. If you could tell everybody else in the 'hood, then tell the cops and do your time."
Mo won't know when she can start promoting her album until she visits the doctor Thursday to have her stitches removed. And she's leery of that, too.
"I haven't been outside since the incident, 'cause I'm so scared," she said. "I don't know who's out there to get me."
She will have the Nation of Islam security force with her when she returns to public life.
"Nothing ever happens to me," she reflected. "But after stuff like this happens, you're so on point. I don't know when I'm going to be back in commission. I'ma definitely be out this summer, but my security is going to be tight. I have to get on that Janet Jackson stuff where they look at the area first and if it don't look safe, I'm not allowed to do it. At least for a while. People are crazy out there."
Whether Mo will make the scheduled double-video shoot for "Supastar" and "Keep It Gangsta" during the second week of July remains up in the air.
Until then, at least, she'll be at home, surrounded by family and answering fan mail.
"Thanks for the love and all the flowers," she says to her supporters. "My house looks like the rain forest I have so many flowers."