Monique Samuels and her well-organized binder full of receipts against her co-stars have been trending since the debut of part 1 of The Real Housewives of Potomac season 5 reunion aired. On social media, Samuels is being applauded for calling out Gizelle Bryant in a read that will for sure go down in Housewives history.
Samuels accused Bryant of faking a storyline of reuniting with her ex-husband of over a decade and presented alleged text messages between Jamal and his girlfriend, in which Jamal admits to participating on the show to help Gizelle secure her spot on the show.
Shadow and Act was initially scheduled to speak with Samuels about all things RHOP this Wednesday, but due to scheduling conflicts, the interview was pushed back a day to Thursday. Ironically enough Wednesday night, Jamal responded to Samuels and her binder in a 22-minute Facebook live. During his rebuttal, the megachurch pastor, who Samuels referred to as a “holy whore,” denied Samuels’ claims and insinuated that Samuels is potentially an abuse victim at the hands of her former NFL playing husband, Chris. Jamal also alleged that Chris has CTE and anger issues.
During Samuels’ chat with Shadow and Act, she laughed off Jamal’s now-deleted video response and said his “receipts” prove nothing.
“His whole response just proves that there are demons in the church and in the pulpit because what pastor goes on a live and does that?” Samuels asks. “He wasn't even original. Dude, I already did the binder, get your own thing. It was just hilarious to me. He needs to do better with his actions and doing that live is the exact opposite of what a well-grounded pastor would have done. So it's just that the comedy writes itself at this point. He needs to go back to prayer and ask God to help clean some of that flesh he has, because it is quite dirty.”
Samuels promises that things get even more clear during parts 2 and 3 of the reunion. Jamal accused Chris of verbally attacking Gizelle and Robyn Dixon for their constant attacks on his wife and family, to the point that security had to intervene. Samuels said the episodes will prove otherwise.
“My husband is not a person who will argue with women. That's not his job, that's my job,” Samuels said. “And no woman is going to argue with my husband, because that's my job. So whatever Jamal alluded to is not true. He wasn't there. Maybe he should have been there and then he could have made all of the points that he wanted to make and he could have witnessed firsthand what would actually happen. It’s going to be very eye-opening when people see all that goes down.”
Samuels admits things become intense during the reunion between her and several of her co-stars and the back and forth between her and Bryant continues. But for Samuels, she’s well within reason to calmly put Gizelle in her place.
Since joining the franchise in season 2, viewers have seen that Bryant never took a liking to Samuels. However, she was welcoming to season 5 newcomer, Wendy Osefo. Andy Cohen even addressed such during part 1 of the reunion, noting that Gizelle typically "hazes" new co-stars. As for why Gizelle was friendly to Osefo and not to Samuels, she said, “Wendy kisses Gizelle’s ass and Gizelle likes people who she can feel as though she can control and manipulate. Wendy has those four degrees and she's a very bright and intelligent young woman but when it comes to street smarts, she clearly doesn't have any. But she’ll learn once she’s on the receiving end of Gizelle’s nonsense. Gizelle is not a builder of people. She is a person who tears people down. And if she does not feel as though you're competition for her. She'll take you in so long as you're giving the compliments.”
Of course, Samuels’ altercation with Candiace Dillard Bassett will be addressed during the reunion. While Samuels said there are many things to be revealed during part 2 about what led to the breakdown of her friendship with Dillard Bassett, she admits that her experiences with cast members such as Dixon and Bryant, coupled with the childhood trauma of being an outsider, led to her blow up.
“It was definitely a combination of a lot of different things...from childhood trauma to issues that I didn't realize I had when it comes to triggers and recognizing what those triggers are so that I could gather myself and walk away. It was basically one of those points where the tea kettle is, is about to explode. It's now fuming and somebody did not turn the fire off underneath it,” she explained.
Still, she said her actions are inexcusable. But through therapy, she’s been able to gain clarity on the whole ordeal and is now at peace.
“When you know, better, you do better. I made sure I went on a mission to make sure that I would never place myself in a position again, where a person can take me over the edge to that extent,” she added.
Samuels admits the journey was hard and she even considered quitting the show in order to salvage her mental health. But through it all, the lessons she gained along the way have been worth the road she took and she’s proud that she did not let the situation break her.
“I feel like I know myself even more and I've always been a very confident person. But one thing that they tried to do was they tried to shift and shake my self-esteem and my confidence and it didn't work,” she said. “So while I have been at one of my lowest points dealing with that whole situation, you still weren't going to kick me down six more feet. I still had confidence. I still had had good self-esteem about myself. I just had to figure out a way to move forward. And that's why I went to therapy.”
Luckily, she had the support of one solid co-star throughout it all, Karen Huger. Samuels is beyond grateful to Huger for her friendship. Though Huger held Samuels accountable for getting physical, her loyalty and love for Samuels never wavered, no matter how upset their other co-stars became.
“Karen has been a true friend. She's shown it with her actions to me,” Samuels said.
Samuels is not focusing her energy on more productive things outside of the show. She started her ‘Not For Lazy Moms’ podcast and lifestyle brand and unlike many reality stars who go into the business of beauty and fashion, Samuels is putting mommy business first...literally. Her newest venture is a line of essential and chemical-free oils that she’s launching on January 1, 2021. Viewers remember the cast trip to France in which Samuels visited an essential oils lab. The line is true to her natural lifestyle and something she encourages other health freaks and moms to use for their families.
“I've always been very close with my grandmothers and my aunts and my great-grandmother, and they were always passing down their little remedies from back in the day and they really work,” Samuels said of her love for essential oils and natural remedies. “So I just chose to follow in the same line as them. I started Mila Eve Essentials because I want people to understand the proper ways to use essential oils. I want them to understand what they're purchasing. I don't want to just sell them a bottle and say, ‘Thanks for your money.’ And that's it. I want them to have an emotional connection with my brand and understand that they're getting useful information. They're going on a journey with me in order to really learn all about essential oils and, um, all of the benefits and the warnings and all of those things.”
Aside from her mommy brand, the reality star is also a talented rapper and gearing up for the release of her first music video for her single “Drag Queens." The visual will drop officially following part three of the reunion on Dec. 27.
“We did a whole two-day shoot and it was one of the best experiences in my life. It was like a dream fulfilled,” Samuels said of the process. “Rapping was something that I was very passionate about when I was in high school. Coming out of high school, going to college and actively pursuing a career in the industry - to now to be able to shoot a video of that magnitude and that quality is amazing.”
Samuels is taking everything in stride. Whether or not she returns for season 6 has yet to be determined. But she insists that if she does, the dynamics have to change among her cast.
“The whole gang up and the whole bullying mentality and all of those things, it's not going to work anymore. People need to bring their own weight so that they can have something good to talk about rather than making the same paycheck as I'm making,” Samuels said. “And I'm out here showing real life. And you're out here jumping onto my storyline because you have nothing to talk about or you're coming with fraudulent stories, fake relationships to create some TV. This is reality TV. It's not scripted. We're not supposed to be actresses. We're supposed to be showing and exposing our real lives, talking about those things so that the viewers can have something to watch where they feel as though they could see themselves in the show. So things have to change, you know, so I look forward to it.”
Part 2 of the RHOP reunion airs Sunday, Dec. 20 on Bravo at 9 p.m. EST.