Francia Raísa knows she created a “cultural phenomenon” with her now-iconic “No Beef, Just Salsa” saying — the Secret Life of the American Teenager alum is also “glad” that it has allowed her to speak publicly about her longtime friendship with Selena Gomez.
“I’ll be honest, Sel and I hadn’t spoken in a year,” Francia told J-14 exclusively when promoting her “No Beef, Just Salsa” collaboration with LA VICTORIA Salsa. Then, Selena posted a birthday message to Francia, which was a huge “surprise” for the actress.
“She posted me and she had messaged me. She’s like, ‘I’d really love to sit down and have dinner with you and talk.’ And I’m like, fine, let’s finally talk after six years,” Francia recalled. “I said, ‘Oh, honey, let me tell you about the last six years of my life.’ She’s been very open that she doesn’t go on internet, and it’s true, she doesn’t. So I started breaking everything down.”
Francia said that Selena apologized if the birthday post “caused a thing,” but there was no apology necessary because “No Beef, Just Salsa” was born.
“I told her about No Beef, Just Salsa. I said, I’m going to make merch. I’d appreciate if we took a picture with it because we might as well just start telling people there is no beef between us,” Francia explained. “Friendships go through their ups and downs — our ups and downs just happened to be public.”
When it comes to the “No Beef, Just Salsa” brand, it was meaningful to Francia because salsa was the first recipe she ever learned how to make.
“I realized I couldn’t find it anywhere that tasted like home,” she recalled, explaining how her collaboration came to be. “So I asked my mom to teach me how to make it, and I went home and I tried and it sucked, but I kept trying and I kept trying. Now almost 20 years later, I cannot believe that I’m jarring it and I’m selling it.”
When Francia started telling people about her idea, Selena immediately loved it and was “happy” to “support anything” that Francia did.
“She loves my food. I’ve been cooking for her since we became friends,” Francia continued. “She really wanted to be more acclimated into her Mexican side. And so I was like, ‘come hither child. I’ll show you how.'”
The duo first became friends in 2007. In 2017, Francia donated her kidney to Selena, and they both have tattoos commemorating the surgery date. Over the years, fans have continued to speculate about the status of their friendship, but Francia is happy to be sharing the actual story.
“I’m glad I’m finally speaking. I feel better,” she told J-14. “I was going through hell the last six years. Of course, it messed with me mentally.”
Reporting by Hanna Wickes
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