- Former “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Monique Samuels declined to return to Bravo when invited.
- She was invited to appear on “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” by Andy Cohen.
- Samuels told Insider she wanted to avoid “toxicity” and “had no desire to be back on that network.”
Former “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Monique Samuels is not planning on returning to Bravo anytime soon. In a new interview, she told Insider why she turned down a chance to join the cast of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” without even watching the show.
“It just wasn’t what I wanted to do,” she explained. “I didn’t feel like I could be the same Monique that people were accustomed to seeing anymore when it came to that particular franchise and that particular network, because there was so much toxicity there.”
Samuels appeared on “The Real Housewives of Potomac” from 2017 to 2021. Her feud with costar Candiace Dillard Bassett resulted in an explosive brawl and a dramatic reunion. “I did not want to be in a position where I was expected to bicker and argue with a bunch of women,” Samuels told Insider of her reluctance to join another Bravo show.
“I’ve never watched any of the ‘Girls Trip’ shows that they do. All I knew was at that time when Andy [Cohen] asked me, I just had no desire to be back on that network,” Samuels added.
“The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip,” which is currently filming its third season, is something of an all-stars spin-off, bringing back fan favorites from a number of franchises. Ads for the show feature cast members joking that the series is the “ex-wives’ club.”
Cynthia Bailey, Eva Marcille Sterling, Porsha Williams, and Phaedra Parks have each joined the cast after departing “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” New York’s Dorinda Medley, Beverly Hills’ Brandi Glanville, and Orange County’s Vicki Gunvalson have each appeared on the show after leaving their respective franchises as well.
But the bold-faced names were not enough of a draw to bring Samuels back.
“It doesn’t even matter about the cast or who is the production company for the show,” said Samuels. “I just had no desire to go back to that network. I just didn’t want to do it.”
Samuels previously told Insider in 2021 that she was held “to a different standard” on set and during the season five reunion, leading to her departure from “The Real Housewives of Potomac.” She and her husband, entrepreneur and retired NFL star Chris Samuels, are currently the center of a new OWN series “Love & Marriage: D.C.”
Their fellow cast members include radio personality DJ QuickSilva and his wife Ashley Silva and TikTok stars and entrepreneurs Erana and Jamie Tyler. Samuels told Insider she considered a show about love and marriage that “focused on family” a much better fit for her lifestyle.
“Love & Marriage: D.C.” is a spin-off of “Love & Marriage: Huntsville.” Both series are produced by Carlos King, who was once a producer in the “Real Housewives” universe at Bravo. King previously told Insider he was adamant about creating an environment on “Love & Marriage: D.C.” where Monique and her family did not feel “set-up.”
Samuels confirmed that King accomplished his mission. “One thing about Carlos is that he stays true to reality. He is the king of reality,” she said. “I knew that his process would be different from the process that I experienced when I was on ‘Potomac.'”
Samuels specifically appreciated that King placed the cast in natural situations.
“He’s not going to have you do something that you wouldn’t necessarily do in real life. Every situation that you saw — from the salt caves to just hanging out, going to events and being at home with the kids — all of those things are things that I actually do in my daily life,” she told Insider of “Love & Marriage: D.C.” season one.
In contrast to Bravo’s franchise, the OWN series has less events and premieres and more hang-out sessions and heart to hearts.
“I didn’t have to try to incorporate something new and fancy. It was just like, sometimes we host dinner parties and we get dressed up,” Samuels said. “Sometimes we have dinner parties outside in the back, with red cups and paper plates. We do all of it.”
“I’m grateful that he allowed us to just stay true to who we were,” she added.