For Monique Samuels, the violent altercation that happened on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of Potomac between she and Candiace Dillard Bassett was about much more than the breakdown of their friendship.
In a new interview, the RHOP star shared how some of the deeper details of the brawl were bound up in complex emotions she had been carrying around for some time.
“[Candiace] took a beating for 36 years of built-up frustration,” Monique told PEOPLE on October 9 regarding the fight, noting that she felt “absolutely remorseful” and “completely foolish” after watching the episode back.
“It wasn’t just about [Candiace] that night,” Monique explained. “Once it became physical, my response was that of defending myself, but also that pounding was for every person that has ever done anything to me. For that, I just felt like, ‘Wow, [Candiace] didn’t deserve all of that.’ I do not excuse my actions. I take full ownership of my part in the altercation.”
Although Monique admits being at fault for the confrontation, she said she did feel “egged on” by Candiace, recalling her “coming closer” and not listening when she told her to “back up,” which ultimately prompted Monique to take swings.
“[W]hen she starts saying, ‘You gone drag me?’ Where I grew up, if you don’t want to engage in a fight and a person says back up, then you back up,” the mother-of-three shared. “That’s where the tone changed. She egged me on with that question, and I returned it by touching her hair, which I shouldn’t have done. That definitely escalated things.”
The Not For Lazy Moms blogger also noted that she felt her co-star was ready to start some drama that night and hinted at her being triggering “on purpose.”
“People ask why you went back after her and I’m like she’s literally yelling, ‘She’s fired, right?’ That made me feel she did this on purpose. You didn’t expect the fight would happen but you created this and took it to a whole other level and the first thing you say is, ‘She’s fired?’ I’m like okay, she wants me to be fired. Then let me go and finish this,” said Monique. “I’ve seen her with a knife in her hand. I’ve seen her almost fight her husband to get someone. I saw parts of the reunion that didn’t air when her and Ashley were arguing and she jumped off the couch and told her, ‘You better shut your mouth before I come over and shut it for you.’ I’ve seen her in action, so if we’re having this verbal altercation and I say back up, I don’t know what’s next.”
On last week’s episode of the series, Monique tearfully spoke to her castmates about the altercation, apologizing to them for the incident and hinting at stepping away from the franchise.
“I requested that [Bravo] release me from my contract right after the fight, and we talked about it and they reassured me that whatever I needed to do that would make me feel comfortable they would oblige — and they did,” the 37-year-old revealed. “I took the fight so seriously that I was like maybe I don’t need to do this show. I have too much to lose. No one should be able to push me to a point of being physical.”
Overall, Monique felt the conversation she had with her castmates “wasn’t about the fight,” rather it allowed for them to “kick [her] down” and “get her out of this circle,” admitting that RHOP newbie Wendy Osefo‘s response ended up shocking her the most, considering how she originally reached out post-fight.
“Wendy was the most shocking because she was the one — outside of Karen [Huger] and Ashley [Darby] — that reached out to me and I thought it was sweet. We talked for two hours and she was understanding. She was like, ‘I understand, you got egged on.'” Monique shared. “She said all of these things that made me feel she doesn’t agree but understands. Then to see her flip the script, it was clear there was a conversation that changed her mind.”
If Monique’s RHOP co-stars don’t have her back, she can at least look to her pals from other franchises, as Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams stood up for Monique in a recent episode of Bravo’s Chat Room, a new late-night talk series from the network. The show is hosted by Porsha, Below Deck alum Kate Chastain, Summer House star Hannah Berner, and RHOP‘s Gizelle Bryant.
“I went to anger management because I needed to go at the time. Here’s the thing about anger management: the first thing that they tell you when you sit down is that this is not about your anger. You being angry, you being upset, you being all of that is an emotion. It’s you just being able to control and be aware of what you’re feeling,” Porsha shared on the show, posted by The Jasmine BRAND.
Porsha added how both Monique and Candiace played a part in the conflict, and shared how she admired Monique for being able to sit down with everyone to discuss the brawl, considering the “tough crowd” of ladies she was up against.
RHOP Live Viewing – This is also the live viewing thread for tonight’s all-new RHOP episode, so feel free to comment and chat below as the new episode airs at 9/8c on Bravo TV!