This was posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Say what you will about Mimi Faust but she knows how the "Love and Hip Hop Atlanta" game works and isn't afraid to call it as she sees it entering her sixth season of reality show silliness. (VH1's top-rated show returns Monday, March 6.)
Mimi is well aware that much of what goes on is trumped up for the VH1 cameras, that there is a certain amount of staginess to the entire affair. The show also seems to reward cheaters and liars with more camera time.
She has had her own share of headline-making antics on the show, grappling with her ex Stevie J and his wackadoodle on-and-off girlfriend Joseline Hernandez, creating a sex tape with Nikko Smith and lying about it, then engaging in a surprise same-sex relationship season five.
Mimi told me in an interview that she is dating someone, but she is refusing to let said person be on camera. She said placing her romances on camera has not been conducive to healthy interactions, that she is willing to risk the wrath of the show producers.
"I don't think I want to put my business on the television," she said. Of course, creator Mona Scott Young and her fellow producers "want to be all up in it. I don't think it's good for my relationship. It hasn't worked thus far. I'm not going to keep doing that. I'll try something different!"
When asked how much she enjoys taping the show, Mimi sighed. "It's a job," she said. "The enjoyment part? I've gotten to know and care and love the people I work with. The producers and the crew that run everything. It's like a family - a really dysfunctional one nevertheless."
And given her current contract, she is stuck with the show as long as they want to keep her. "The contracts are tricky," Mimi said. "That's all I'm going to say." She said she didn't really understand fully what she signed in 2012.
"My first season, I was a complete idiot," she said. "Six years down the line, I'm learning more and more about the process. I was green. I was naive and stupid."
Mimi, who runs her own maid business, remains a watchable player on the show because she can get full-on angry when properly prodded. And she is forever linked to charmer Stevie J, a key star on the show and the only male who has full cast status in the opening credits. Mimi takes care of their seven-year-old daughter Eva full time, but she tries to accommodate him when he asks to see her.
"He worships the ground she walks on," Mimi said. "She thinks he's the cat's meow." (Mimi officially gets bonus points for reprising a slang phrase from the 1920s!)
"When he asks to see her," she added, "I deliver. That's about it!"
Mimi remains flabbergasted that Stevie J keeps going back to Joseline. On top of that, Joseline and Stevie J just had a baby together. "I guess honestly you really can't help who you fall in love with. Unfortunately for him, he fell in love with someone who is just.... he's going to have to deal with that s*** for the rest of his life now that he has this situation with the child. I feel sorry for him but that's his bed. He has to lie in it."
She herself plans to avoid Joseline as much as possible season six after Joseline last season fake cried her way through a scam story in front of Mimi. "Why the hell would I see Joseline?" she said with characteristic disgust. "What world would that make sense?"
Mimi was tempted to go full Mimi on Joseline to me but proclaimed, "I'm not going to do that in this interview. For what? The thing is there's no limit to the things she will do and have done to me and my daughter and to Stevie. If he wants to forgive her and shack up with her, that's fine and great. On the other hand, I have no part of me in this world or the next that will forgive or think that things she does is okay, that we're cool, that it's alright. I'm not playing that game! She's a hateful human being. She does some hateful things to my family... I don't deal with her."
Okay, she went partway there.
As for Stevie J's constant battles over child support with other women, she said he's stubborn that way. "He likes to be in total control. He could have easily done the right thing and be done with it. He does it the Steve J way."
Her relationship with Nikko Smith is long in the rear view mirror. One day last fall, she accidentally ran across an episode of WE-TV's "Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars" last fall featuring Nikko and his ex wife Margeaux with her girlfriend who looked like a boy named Merika. Mimi chortled.
"That was just, just stupid," Mimi said. "It was just the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. That was clearly for a check!"
How over is it with Nikko? "I have a greater chance of becoming the Pope than me ever having a relationship with Nikko!"
The show says she brought on one of the new cast members named Melissa Scott, seen briefly in the super trailer. Mimi said Melissa is mutual friends with multiple cast members. She had no idea the show had attached Melissa to her. And just to add to confusion, another new cast member is called Lovely Mimi, some Instagram sensation with 1.2 million followers.
"There will be no mistaking her with me. She's Asian," Mimi Faust noted. "I haven't shot with her."
Tommie Lee, Scrappy's girl, has been upped to full-time cast member this season. Mimi didn't really know why except perhaps "she has something people wanted to see."
She is also somewhat familiar with Kirk and Rasheeda's marital travails. The trailer shows Kirk possibly having a child with a third woman. Her connection to Mimi? "That third woman's boyfriend is my ex," she said. "I dated him in 2008, 2009, long before this show started. He weaseled his way on the show. Yah! I'm doing cartwheels!"
Mimi recounted the story about how she even got cast five years ago. A friend asked her to go to casting. She told Stevie J. about it. He didn't seem to like the idea but showed up anyway. They argued in the entrance area and came into the casting interview in a dark cloud. She recalled Stevie J trying to talk all high and mighty and mystical. "He was calling me names in the hallway, then acting like a saint," Mimi said. So she told the casting director: "You know his problem? He doesn't know how to come home at night!"
She said that's when their ears perked up. And the rest is history. "Once Stevie figured out they wanted the bull****, he went balls to the walls with the bull***!"
And she knows why the show still likes her. She can get amped up and the producers know how to get that out of her. "My pain," she admitted, "is for your entertainment." And while she gets a nice paycheck, she sometimes wonders if the trade off is worth it.
One thing's for sure. We'll see that patented Mimi eye roll again at some point this season because more of that bull is coming our way.
"Love and Hip Hop Atlanta," season 6 debuts at 8 p.m., Monday, March 6, 2017 on VH1