This was posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by Rodney Hofirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Back in 2013, Angela Stanton wrote a book called "Lies of a Real Housewife," in which she claimed to reveal the secrets of "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member Phaedra Parks and her now imprisoned husband Apollo Nida.
In the book, she said Parks oversaw a "criminal enterprise" involving fake bank accounts and bad checks but others took the fall, including Nida and Stanton, who ended up in prison in 2004. Parks got off scot-free, she said.
Soon after, Parks sued Stanton for defamation, questioning the veracity of her story, but slowed the court process down over a span of years. When she was finally deposed, she barely answered anything. Stanton filed counterclaims against Parks. Last year, after a judge finally threw out Stanton's counterclaim suit, Parks agreed to drop her defamation suit as well with prejudice.
Now, following the recent explosive "Real Housewives of Atlanta' reunion shows that revealed Parks told some whopper lies about Kandi Burruss and used Porsha Williams as a pawn, Stanton is feeling vindication. And with the lawsuits behind her, she can talk freely.
"We had several witnesses, several depositions" for her case, Stanton said in an interview. "Phaedra was not going to take the stand in a jury trial and perjure herself."
Now, she added, "I think people can stop blaming me for telling my own story to warn people that Phaedra is a fraud. There's no end to what Phaedra will do to bring people down."
Parks this season helped former employee Johnnie Winston III file a lawsuit against Kandi Burruss . Burruss said on the show that this would be like Burruss bringing Angela Stanton on the show. Parks said that wouldn't be a big deal because she had sued Stanton and won. (That isn't true, as noted above. The case was dropped.)
"What did you win?" Burruss retorted. "The book's still up for sale! You can go to Barnes & Noble!"
The references before millions of viewers helped Stanton's book shoot up Amazon's best-seller list.
Stanton even showed up at Burruss' viewing party at OLG restaurant for the final episode without invitation. "We got down there and it was so crowded inside, we could only hear it from the outside. I heard my name. My friend look at me. 'Oh my God!' I heard my name again! I walked in. Kandi brought me on stage."
From Stanton's perspective, Parks felt deeply betrayed by Burruss over issues regarding her husband's friendship with Nida and other related issues and harbored deep resentments even after a supposed on-air reconciliation. The rumor-mongering, she said, "shows how low she would go."
Stanton is not in touch with Parks and watching the reunion shows brought back bad memories, especially Parks' treatment of Williams. "Porsha was not innocent," she said. "But I will say it's easy to be manipulated by Phaedra. I've been there."
Stanton grew up without much and got into crime out of desperation. She said Parks befriended her and made her feel special. "The book is not about blaming Phaedra. It's about my life and making bad choices. She just made things bigger."
"When I first met Phaedra, I was drawn to her," Stanton continued. "We had two totally different lives. I was from the streets. I was poor. I didn't have anything. She was a successful attorney and seemed interested in me getting my life back on track. She was someone I admired, someone I looked up to. I loved her because I didn't think anybody else thought I was important enough to help me get my life together. Back then, I didn't know she was using me. I didn't know the law. I thought she was the law."
When the feds arrested Nida and Stanton for racketeering in 2004, Parks had covered her own tracks and came out clean. Stanton had Parks represent her, then realized she became the fall guy, landing her in prison for five years.
She believes Parks married Nida in 2009 after he got out of prison to keep him from spilling the beans on her. When Stanton was released from prison around the same time with $25 and a bus ticket, she lived in a shelter and struggled to piece her life back together. While Parks clearly helped out Nida, she didn't lift a finger for Stanton. Instead, Stanton - after seeing Parks join the show - said she became her own private investigator and pieced together material for her book.
Not long after Stanton's book came out, Nida was arrested by the Feds for bank fraud and identity theft and received eight years in prison. Again, Parks claimed she had no idea what Nida was up to and did not get charged.
Last year, Parks filed papers to divorce Nida using fake names. Her publicist told me this was to keep it away from the gossip pages, but Nida protested. A judge earlier this year threw that divorce so they have to start over. "He wants half of everything," Stanton said. "He feels entitled." At the same time, she believes Nida will turn on her eventually.
Stanton thinks Parks was behind all the white-collar scams Nida was accused of masterminding. "Apollo has a sixth-grade education," she said. "He wasn't smart enough to pull off all these schemes himself."
She also isn't surprised by when Andy Cohen said: none of the other women on the show want to work with Parks anymore, virtually insuring she won't be around next season. Stanton also doesn't believe the story that Parks blamed Carlos Scott, a former producer at "RHOA," for the rumor about Burruss and her husband Todd Tucker planning to drug and rape Williams. "She's just trying to point fingers," Stanton said.
Bottom line: "Phaedra is just one of those people who never admits when they're wrong." To her, Phaedra only said she was sorry on the show because she got caught and the other women noticed the lack of sincerity.
Stanton now realizes why many people didn't believe her when her book came out. "Phaedra was an attorney with real clients. She was a reality star," she said. "I get it now."
Stanton is planning another book as a continuation of her last one. "I think it's Karma for Phaedra," she said. "Kandi could sue Phaedra for defamation. But I think throwing out my name was her retaliation."