What happens when the father of your children ends up married to a worldwide pop star?
MSNBC's Rita Cosby found out in a 'Live and Direct' exclusive that aired Friday. She sat down with Shar Jackson, the one-time star of the hit UPN show "Moesha," who was recently was caught in a love triangle with Britney Spears and also Kevin Federline.
Federline, the father of two of her children is now married to the pop star Britney Spears. She joined Cosby to discuss what life is like these days.
To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.
RITA COSBY: How complicated are things with Britney Spears?
SHAR JACKSON, ACTRESS AND SINGER: As complicated as I let them be, and I really don't let them be that complicated. You know, I'm a big girl and I like to handle things responsibly. And we handle it like grownups, you know? It could be a crazy situation, but I'm too easygoing for that.
COSBY: Yes, you definitely seem to have a good attitude there.
JACKSON: You know, my mother raised me right!
COSBY: Yes, it sounds like it. It sounds like it. You know, Shar, you've got two kids with Kevin, right? Tell us about those kids. Tell us about your relationship with Kevin Federline.
JACKSON: We were together for three years. I mean, we weren't legally married, but I mean, we lived together, and he kind of joined my family that I already had, as far as my two older kids. So he became like a stepdad to them ... we were a family and things were good, at least I thought. And the kids -- our kids are amazing. You know, I wish they could spend more time with their dad but you know, He's doing all his stuff now. So that it makes it kind of hard. That's the hardest part.
COSBY: Right. And I'm going to imagine this was equally hard. When you were pregnant, you find out that he's with Britney Spears. That's got to be tough.
COSBY: How'd you find out?
JACKSON: That was very hard. He called me the day before I guess all the pictures were going to be released to the magazines. He called and just kind of told me he hung out with somebody that week...
COSBY: And then you find out that he goes to Europe, right, with her? You must have wanted to kill him.
JACKSON: Yes. At first, yes, because he told me he was going to go shoot a commercial in Japan, and that's not what happened. ...
COSBY: When did you find out? And did you ever confront him?
JACKSON: When I initially found out that he had hung out with her, I told him to come home and let's talk about this face to face because I'm not real big on talking about it over the phone. And then -- so he did that. We discussed it. That's when he told me he was leaving to go to Europe to shoot the commercial -- in Japan. No, that was in Japan. He said he was going to Japan to shoot a commercial. And I found out that he was going over there to visit her because a friend of mine was already there and called and said, yes, you know, Kevin's on his way over here.
And I mean, there's not very much confronting you can do after that.
It's done, so you know kind of just have to roll with the punches.
COSBY: Did you know at that point it's over? Why do you think he went to Britney?
JACKSON: You know, I don't know. I never...
COSBY: Was it money? Was it her stardom?
JACKSON: You know, maybe it was just a bunch of things. Maybe he felt something and he just had to go with it, I guess.
COSBY: Now, did you still want him in your life after that? How did you feel?
JACKSON: Oh, I was crushed. I mean, you know, if you love somebody and they disappear on you, it's a hard thing to deal with. It's hard to cope with that. But you know, I'm pretty strong, so I made it through.
COSBY: Now, how are the other kids doing? How are your two kids and then the other ones you have?
JACKSON: The kids are good. The older two had a little adjustment problem at first because it's just hard when somebody that you're with every single day just disappears from your life and, you know, you barely get to see them. And then not only that, they have to hear it at school and all their friends want to know what's going on and what happened and so they were having a harder time adjusting. But I've been there for them 110 percent, so everybody's good now.
COSBY: Now, how do you feel about him? I mean, do you think it's going to last with him and Britney? He cheated on you.
JACKSON: I have no idea. I have no idea. I stay completely out of that. I don't ask questions about it because, as far as I'm concerned, it's not my business. You know what I mean? I love Kevin. I'm going to love him until the day he dies. You know, he's the father of my children. We're good friends and, you know, I just -- I support him in whatever choices he decides he wants to make with his life.
COSBY: Do you believe that they're together because there's a lot of stuff in the tabloids that maybe they're apart now?
JACKSON: I have no idea. You know, I've heard some things, but I don't know.
COSBY: ...He cheated on you when you were pregnant, you know, and now she's just had a kid. Is it sort of once a cheater, always a cheater?
JACKSON: I don't know. I've never known him to be a cheater before this incident, so I don't know.
COSBY: You don't know? You don't know how he's handling Britney.
What kind of relationship do they have, from what you've seen?
JACKSON: Like, honestly, I pay no attention to their relationship because I feel like it's not my business.
COSBY: What advice would you give to Britney, Shar, based on your own experience?
JACKSON: Try and work through it, you know? And if it's good, try and make it better. If it's bad, try and make it better. If it's time to let go, then let go, you know? Everything happens for a reason. That's what I believe. And that's what made me so strong through the whole ordeal with me is because I believe that everything happens for a reason.
COSBY: Well, you absolutely have a great, great attitude. It really is terrific. What's going in your own personal life? I understand that there's been some reports of and you and Quentin Tarantino.
COSBY: The buzz is out, Shar.
JACKSON: Quentin is my boy. That's a friend of mine. I love him to death. I think he's a sweetheart. Wee go movies together a lot. Like, whenever there's a new scary movie out, he and I will be at the theater together checking that out.
COSBY: No love connection here?
JACKSON: No, that's-he's just a good friend. He's a good friend. That's my boy.
COSBY: ... What is so interesting about (Federline) , Shar? You got to know him very well.
JACKSON: He's hot. He's hot.
COSBY: What about mentally, too? Is he interesting? Is he funny? What is it about him?
JACKSON: No, he is. He's hilarious. He's a very funny guy. He has a great personality, a great attitude. The world actually hasn't gotten a chance to see it because he's kind guarded now, you know what I mean? He's not letting very many people in. But he's hilarious. He's a funny guy.
COSBY: Yes, that's what we hear.
JACKSON: I liked him.
COSBY: Obviously, a lot. You also like music a lot. You got some new stuff that you're working on. Tell us what you're working on yourself.
JACKSON: Yes. Yes, I'm just trying to stay busy, you know? I mean, I was an entertainer before all of this stuff happened, and I have to focus on that because that's my career and that's what's important to me, you know? So that's what I'm doing. I'm working on my album right now. I just started to work on a show for ABC called "The Ex-Wives' Club" that I'm very, very proud of.
COSBY: With Marla Maples, right?
JACKSON: Yes, with Marla Maples and Angie Everhart, you know? All three women who have been public break-ups, you know, hence "The Ex-Wives' Club." And actually, right before I got over here, I just booked Bernie Mac, so I'm doing that next week.
COSBY: What is ahead for you, too?
JACKSON: I'm just trying to stay busy, you know.
COSBY: What's ahead for you? And where do you see sort of-where do you see Kevin fitting in your life?
JACKSON: In the role that he is, you know, the father of the kids. And he has to be there and do all those fatherly things because that's the job he took on, to be the father. ... So I'm not going to let him off the-I'm not going to let him off the hook with that one.
COSBY: Don't you dare, Shar! Don't you dare. And I don't think you will.
Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.