Monique Samuels usually never says never except when it comes to returning to Bravo in any capacity.
The former Bravoleb tells Entertainment Tonight that she will never go back to Bravo after leaving the Real Housewives of Potomac ahead of season 6.
According to Monique, production did not properly explain what ultimately led to her physical altercation with costar Candiace Dillard. Monique hoped that the truth would come out at the season 5 reunion but says all the footage was left on the editing room floor.
“They tried to paint a picture of my husband and I as if we were just this aggressive couple, and they showed him on Instagram going off on the women for telling these lies and plotting and stuff, and that [Instagram] Live was actually a response to a Live that Candace did,” she explains. “So when they were showing one side of the argument, they even said to me behind the scenes, ‘It wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t show why y’all responded on Instagram, so we’re going to show both…'”
“They had everything, and they chose to show what they show, and they chose to eliminate what they eliminated,” she adds. “And that is when I knew. I said, ‘I ain’t got a shot in hell.’ They’re never going to be fair in my direction. It’s always going to be about protecting the people on the show that they want to protect. And to me, that was lower than low. So I was like, yeah, this is getting too nasty. And you’re coming for my child; you’re coming for my husband; you’re coming for our family. I was just like, it’s going to a place where I never could have imagined it would go. That wasn’t the reason why I came to Housewives.”
The Not For Lazy Moms podcast host says she initially signed on to return for season 6 but changed her mind after watching the season 5 reunion.
“I said ‘yes’ with the expectation that everything that they said was going to happen on that three-part reunion was going to happen,” she notes. “I was promised that it was going to be shown, and it wasn’t. So normally, they always do that round of calls after the reunion airs; they actually did the round of calls right before the part three or part two — it was either part two or part three — either way, reunion was still airing and they made the calls. So they were trying to get people on board for season six; the reunion hadn’t even finished airing.”
Monique says she felt Bravo played a game of bait and switch, which ultimately led to her quitting RHOP.
“[Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen] called me, and he shared with me that he wanted me to be a part of it,” Monique explains. “I think I was the second call after Dorinda. And he said, ‘I would love for you to be a part…’ and I was just like, ‘Eh, I don’t know. I don’t know.’ He was like, ‘Don’t say no. Don’t say anything. Think about it. And let’s regroup in a couple [of] days.’ And then he called me back, and I was like, ‘Andy, I can’t do it.'”
“It wasn’t a Potomac cast situation,” she says of leaving the world of Real Housewives behind. “It was all of it. Production, cast, network — it was so many things behind the scenes that I felt were unfair to me, and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. I was just like mentally; I’m not even there. Just knowing that I’m going to be in a situation where I’m almost expected to have these confrontations and arguments with a bunch of women, I’m just not at that place in my life anymore. I don’t want that to be the ultimate goal, which is confrontation and all of that. I’d rather deal with real-life stuff, stuff that really is true to who I am. Love & Marriage was perfect for me because I’m in love. I’m in a marriage. So it was like, this I can do.”
Monique has no regrets about turning down a role in season 2 of the RHUGT. She adds that she means it when she says she will never return to Bravo or Real Housewives.
“It’s a trust issue for me at this point,” she admits. “I don’t trust that they’re going to show everything that needs to be shown. Because there was so much that was said and done even in my last season that they just completely removed in order to maintain the narrative they wanted. So once that trust is broken, it’s just like, I can fight the cast. I can do that all day. But I can’t fight production and the network, and that’s when I knew it was my time to go. And I was like, I will gracefully bow out, and I’m good to go.”
“It’s done,” she continues. “Let me make this clear, though, because a lot of people, they don’t sometimes understand me. I am grateful for the platform. I’m very grateful for what I was able to do with my first go-’round in reality TV. I felt like everything that I anticipated to do, which was to elevate my platform for Not For Lazy Moms, I was able to do so much during my time. I was adamant about using my time wisely, and I’m grateful because they gave me a great head start. So I would never put them down for that. It’s just going forward, that chapter’s done, and it’s just no turning back. I’m a Libra to the core. I’m a triple Libra. So once the door is closed, it’s closed.”
The mom of three adds that she is still in contact with several members of her Bravo family, including Andy Cohen. And while many marriages fall apart due to the drama of Real Housewives, Monique insists the show made her marriage to husband Chris Samuels stronger.
“I try to be diplomatic in my approach to giving my story,” Monique shares. “I’m not trying to dog anybody out. I’m just telling my story. And if me telling my story is a negative reflection on them, that’s not my fault. But no, I still maintain communication with Karen [Huger] and Ashley [Darby]. I still talk to Andy. So there’s not been any conversation about that at all.”
“People always say that reality TV tears your marriage down. What people don’t realize is that Real Housewives of Potomac actually in some ways saved my marriage,” she notes. “Chris and I, before we started filming that show, we were in a really rough place.”
“We had lost all of the dating in our marriage,” she continues. “Once we started filming reality TV, it actually helped us because it forced us to date. So we were able to get out, just reignite that intimacy and be excited about each other. So I will not lie, season two [of] RHOP saved my marriage. And at the end of the day, sometimes you still have to come back to those moments. Because some of the things that I expressed on Love & Marriage: DC, people who watched Potomac saw I had those same concerns back then. So it’s not like this is something new.”
Season 7 of RHOP is likely to premiere in late 2022 or early 2023.