This was originally posted on Sunday, April 23, 2017 by Rodney Hoemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Sheree Whitfield has spent years on "Real Housewives of Atlanta" protecting her image of being a strong woman to the point that vulnerability was never an option. She would obfuscate, lie or divert attention away from anything that might make her look bad.
So as Kandi Burruss said, seeing Sheree break down over alleged physical and emotional abuse by her ex husband Bob Whitfield was heartbreaking and real to the core.
Sheree was heartbroken during a trip when Bob made some incredibly insensitive jokes about abusing her. Sheree said she never admitted the abuse to her kids or to any of the housewives and only to a couple of friends at the time. She stuffed it deep inside of her. She also noted that Bob disappeared for six months when her kids were young and she had to cover up for him. She said he had never sincerely apologized for that abandonment before their official divorce and that has stuck with her ever since.
The comments he made on the RHOA trip ended any shot that the two of them would ever reconcile romantically. (There were rumors on various gossip blogs that any efforts by the two of them to "reconcile" were for TV cameras only but still...)
The other women rallied around Sheree as she dabbed tears in her eyes recounting the abuse. Even Kenya Moore, who had argued with her earlier in the episode, provided sincere, kind words and hugged her.
The whole episode makes you understand Sheree's persona better, her need to be a superwoman, her difficulty taking criticism or admitting any faults or problems. There's no doubt: she loves her kids and will protect them fiercely.
Phaedra vs. a lot of people
Andy Cohen, the other housewives and fans also called out Phaedra Parks for not being upfront or entirely honest on a host of issues.
The show revealed how cagey she was about her pregnancy date years ago. She also appeared scared about the drama surrounding her friend Drama showing up at the wrong office, causing people to call the cops. (It was all a misunderstanding, she later said.) She claimed to need a bodyguard, which Kandi thought was over the top. Then Phaedra said she always has security around her, expecting that was the case with the other women. It's not.
But most importantly, she claimed her divorce was finalized. Indeed, she showed paperwork to Andy Cohen proving a judge had cleared her divorce last July. She said she gave Apollo Nida $100,000. Apollo, who is now engaged to another woman, has since appealed, filing his own divorce decree. Then after this reunion was taped, a judge threw out her divorce decree because of the secrecy and name changes. Phaedra through a spokesman said that she changed the names on the divorce filing to keep it away from prying media eyes, that Apollo knew about the filing the entire time. She thinks he just wants more money. So their divorce is back to square one. (Kenya thinks this is all shady to the nth degree, a term also used by Apollo's lawyers.)
Kandi called Phaedra "vindictive" by facilitating the Johnnie Winston III lawsuit against her over wage issues. Phaedra also found it appalling that Kandi's mom met with a divorce attorney to figure out why it was taking so long for Phaedra to get divorced. Kandi didn't approve of her mom's actions at all but Phaedra felt Kandi could have done more to stop it. Phaedra also tried to mock Kandi for her long-delayed restaurant opening but Kandi shut her down by saying it was about to open when the reunion was taped in March. (It's now open.)
Kandi and Kenya vs. Porsha
Last week's battle between Kandi and Porsha kept on going at the start of the episode. (It will be revived later, as promos indicate.)
Kandi's donation of $5,000 to Porsha's "Celebrity Apprentice" effort indicated that the two were friends not too long ago.
Porsha feels like the ladies mock her efforts to improve herself. Kandi, for instance, is skeptical about her anger management classes. This angers Porsha, who feels like she's bullied by the other ladies like she was when she was a kid.
Kenya also feels Porsha has never truly apologized to Kenya about attacking her at the reunion show three years earlier. Porsha frequently places caveats on her amends, which negates them to a degree and makes them feel less than sincere. Even during the reunion, referencing her fights with Cynthia and Kenya, she said, "Moving forward, I don't think they got what they deserved but I don't think I got what I deserved either."
Is Kenya provocative?
Sheree earlier this season got in an argument with Kenya over staying with Matt as long as she did despite his violent temper.
Kenya said he was emotionally and verbally abusive but never physically so. She also said she loved him, that she didn't "pay" him to be her boyfriend, as a fan queried. (A previous "boyfriend" said he pretended to date her as a favor to help her have a story line.)
She also admitted she stuck with him longer than she should have.
Sheree had issue with Kenya, in that earlier argument, saying that Sheree should know about abuse and they argued whether Sheree had ever told her that sensitive info. (Sheree didn't think so.)
Porsha also wondered why Kenya was so scared of her when she wasn't so scared of Matt. Indeed, Kenya said she cared about Matt, but didn't care about Porsha and that they had never ever been friends.
Both Phaedra and Porsha think Kenya (perhaps for the show) "provokes" people - and she does. But that doesn't excuse violence.
Kenya has a new boyfriend but refused to say anything about him. Phaedra said she is single and was close lipped about her dating. (Actor Shemar Moore gave Phaedra a rather provocative kiss on WWHL, fueling rumors they might be together.