After several postponements due to dental surgery, a courthouse fire and court-date rescheduling, Lil Wayne finally turned himself in on Monday to begin his one-year jail sentence at Rikers Island. However, he wasn't the only one feeling the strain. The rapper's ex-wife Antonia "Toya" Johnson and daughter Reginae shuttled back and forth to the New York City courthouse from Atlanta in anticipation of his incarceration.
"It was up and down, you know. One minute we thought he was going and she'd be sad, and then he don't go," Johnson told Vibe magazine recently. "We [were] in New York like two times and we ended up turning right back around because he didn't go."
Despite all of the back-and-forth, Reginae missed seeing her father on Monday when he began his sentence stemming from a July 2007 gun-possession charge.
"The last day he finally went in, we didn't go, so my daughter was like, 'I wish I would've went.' It was just too much. I just didn't want to let her see that again 'cause both times she took it real hard," said Johnson. "So I was like, I'm not gon' let her go this last time. I'm just gon' make sure he talk to her 'cause I didn't know if he was really gonna go. They kept pushing back."
Wayne might be the biggest rapper on the planet, but he's just "Dad" to Reginae, so Johnson said the time apart will be hard on the 11 year-old.
"He just told me to be strong and don't really trip. Don't let her see me down," said Johnson. "At first my daughter would see me a little sad and you know kids they react off of your feelings sometimes, so he was just like, 'Be strong, make sure you take care of her. Make sure she straight and keep her phone on all the time so I can call her. The time is gonna fly by.'
"The whole point of him being in jail is just not good for her — to say her dad's in jail," Johnson continued. "But at this point it is what it is, and we just gotta make the best of it. I'ma take her to visit him and talk to him and she'll get through this eight months. It'll fly by. I tell her all the time, 'Just call daddy and tell him you love him,' and he'll be home soon."
Lil Wayne and Johnson married in 2004 and divorced in 2006. In 2009, Johnson and her friend, T.I.'s fiancée Tiny, debuted their BET reality series "Tiny & Toya." The second season premieres on April 13.