Andrea Herrera says she is ready to leave the wild life of Kat Stacks behind.
In her first interview since being released from federal detention last week, Herrera said she is focused now on herself as a human being – and not her Stacks persona.
Herrera said she created her Stacks alter ego – seen all over the Internet in scantily clad photos and sex videos with rap superstars, and images of the big-money life – because she was trapped in a life of sex abuse once she ran away from her South Florida home at 14.
Herrera was arrested on weapons and disorderly conduct charges, and once behind bars was ordered deported to her native Venezuela. But last week she won her appeal, and an immigration board ordered that she be granted a change of status and a green card. She was subsequently released from a Louisiana immigration facility.
“I had gotten the adjustment of status, and the first time I was crying, I was ecstatic, I was, well, crying of joy,” the 23-year-old told NBC 6 South Florida.
She gathered almost 250,000 Twitter followers as Kat Stacks. But since her release her account has gotten a makeover. Her profile background still mentions Stacks, but now she’s tweeting using her real name.
“Anything I do from now on is on a positive light. Not no more of the Kat Stacks ways,” she said.
When an immigration court judge initially ordered Herrera deported, he ruled that she wasn't going to add anything to American society. In her interview with NBC 6, Herrera was asked what she would tell people who claim that she should have been deported.
“I was trafficked, and I was tortured. I was abused. And that's been my whole life, so why would you deport the victim and not prosecute the predator?” she said.
Jorge Veitia, who counsels young women who have been abused, said people take polar opposite views of Herrera/Stacks.
“Some perceive her was a willing celebrity wanna-be; others see her as a product of a life of abuse and exploitation,” said Veitia, who works with the SOL.Media Network.
Herrera acknowledged that she lost her way.
“I kind of lost track of who I was and I became what they wanted me to be,” she said.
Herrera said that as she works to leave the Stacks persona behind, she wants to get her GED, and then continue on to higher education. She said down the road she’d like to help and counsel young women who are walking in her shoes.