The lesbian storyline that was teased early on in this season of Real Housewives of Atlanta reached its messy peak in Sunday night’s episode and, of course, a lot of it barely makes sense. With so many rumors flying, it’s easy to get lost in who did what and why, so here I am to sort through this nonsensical web of gossip for you.
Mainly: Porsha Williams and Kandi Burruss
Also: Phaedra Parks, Porsha’s friend Shamea and Kandi’s husband Todd
Shit-stirrers: Sheree Whitfield and Marlo Hampton
Porsha attempted to slyly out Kandi as a lesbian. Kandi, in turn, says her affairs with women are no secret and she’s not ashamed.
Kandi has also accused Porsha of trying to hide her own alleged attraction to women. How does she know? Because Kandi says Porsha once kissed her in the club and then told Kandi she wanted to “eat her pussy until she came.” Hm.
It’s hard to tell when the seeds of this friction were planted in real life. But in terms of this season’s storyline, we can point to Episode 8, which aired on New Year’s. It’s here that Phaedra shows the clandestine messy side we all know she has. While eating with Sheree and Porsha and reminiscing about her relationship with Kandi, Phaedra forgets she’s holy for a minute and implies, via hand gestures, that Kandi and Todd get down with Porsha’s best friend Shamea... SEXUALLY.
“They fuckin’” Phaedra whispers, as if it’s an obvious fact. (Porsha makes no attempt to jump in here.) Viewers can tell there’s a cameraman* shooting from behind the bushes, but the cast members either appear oblivious or don’t care.**
It’s important to pause and note that Phaedra and Kandi have been on the outs for over a season. To briefly explain: Kandi became increasingly frustrated with Phaedra’s general shadiness. Phaedra accused Kandi of betraying her by siding with her imprisoned ex-husband Apollo. There was also a money issue between Phaedra, Kandi and her husband Todd. It’s all a result of assumptions and terrible communication.
To illustrate the tension, please watch a clip from this season titled “Watch Kandi and Phaedra Sit in Silence for a Full 30 Seconds.”
In a fake lunch date arranged by production, also in Episode 8, Kandi and Porsha (who’s become good friends with Kandi’s ex-friend Phaedra) try to sort through their issues. After Kandi exits, Sheree jokes that Kandi must have been hiding in a closet if she knew so much about Phaedra’s love life.
Porsha replies with a comment about Kandi being in the closet: “She must’ve been in somebody closet. Or still in one. Okay, that’s none of my business.” Good one. But the big question is: so what? The silly subtext of all this, evident in the way Porsha and Phaedra gossiped about the lesbian rumor, is that there’s some sort of problem with it.
In the following confessional scene, Sheree, ever the unreliable tea-spilling narrator says, “That sounds like she kinda just outed her for being a lesbian?” She adds, “These bitches are just mes-sy.” Thanks, Sheree.
Much of this drama also materialized because of the brilliant, villainous meddling of Sheree, the type of person who loves texting that emoji with the monkey covering its eyes or mouth. Producers should consider giving her an assistant producer credit and extra money so she can finish building Château Sheree in peace.
Another crucial element here, Marlo is friends with no one and literally only implanted to cause trouble. She’s the one who brings up the lesbian rumor during yet another production-scheduled girls trip, over group dinner.
Marlo ruthlessly starts starts off the convo by calling everyone fake and then says, “I have a question I’m gonna ask you Kandi. I’ve just been hearing things, I wanna know. Kandi, are you a lesbian?” If that wasn’t enough, she turns it into a game of Clue by adding, “Someone at this table has been talking behind her back, saying she’s a lesbian in the closet.”
This is the part where Porsha feigns surprise.
Weird, isn’t it? In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kandi suggested that Porsha, Sheree and Phaedra were unaware that the cameras captured that part of their lunch convo and that’s why Phaedra was abnormally gossipy.
Kandi told ET that scene was likely shot during a food break. “When they... all of sudden started whispering, they didn’t know,” said Kandi. “That’s what I try to tell people. There’s things that [Phaedra] does and says off-camera that she never does on-camera, so that’s why you guys don’t get to see the real deal. But that episode, they caught her red-handed.” This is important because it explains why Porsha and Phaedra think they can get away with lying.
Right. They’re not the brightest.
After Marlo kicks off the game of Clue, the girls trip dinner continues with everyone trying to figure out who among them made the lesbian comment. Sheree steps up to the plate, as she does, and points out that it was Porsha, who then tries to act clueless.
Eventually, Kandi learns that, yes, it was Porsha. During this whole time, it’s notable that Phaedra has a chance to confess about her own comment but simply sits there sipping her drink while (her friend?) Porsha is in the hot seat. Kandi’s explanation about the scene shot from the bushes should make more sense at this point—if both Phaedra and Porsha didn’t know they were being filmed, then both feel comfortable saying nothing when Marlo says that “someone” called Kandi a lesbian.
Also in Sunday’s episode, Kandi reveals that Porsha tried to kiss her in the club. The conflict between them later comes to a head when they try to hash out their differences over lunch. They instead end up throwing around accusations and gossip. And this is where the situation gets even more ridiculous and confusing...
Thankfully, Bravo has a handy breakdown of all the accusations that were brought up during Kandi and Porsha’s conversation, which include:
- Kandi has a sex dungeon.
- Porsha kissed Kandi at the club and said she wanted to “eat her pussy until she came.”
- Kandi had a relationship with a woman for seven years.
- Kandi slept with R&B groups.
- Porsha is a “freak ho.”
- Kandi’s house is “The International House of Hos.”
- Porsha is an “international ho.”
- Porsha was a “pass-around” for R&B groups.
- Todd cheats on Kandi under the alias of Marvin.
Because she will never ever not be shady. In an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Phaedra blamed editing for how shadily she came across during the girls trip dinner when she exercised her right to remain silent.
“At the end of the day, I came on the trip to be positive. And we all know that Porsha can handle herself,” said Phaedra. “Porsha’s a strong woman, Porsha’s a great friend, and she is not a liar. I will say that. but then on the second note, it was already becoming very heated, and I think it was going in a bad direction so I didn’t need to add any more fuel to that fire.” Sure. Sure.
No one. We’re all wrong and terrible.
As an innocent bystander myself, I believe that Kandi has the truth edge in all this. All of her facts appear to line up, and Porsha and Phaedra are known liars. It’s possible that because of her religious background, Porsha doesn’t want to be known as a woman who experiments with other women. Kandi meanwhile is often cringingly open when it comes to sex. As Kandi notes, she has an entire sex toy line and nothing to hide.
On Sunday’s Watch What Happens Live, a caller asks Kandi to clear up if she really slept with Shamea. Kandi says no. “I just thought that was really foul for them to try to put her name into this whole drama that they’re trying to throw at me,” says Kandi.
There’s also a video of TMZ confronting Kandi and mentioning video of Porsha preaching about the sins of gay people. “I think the problem is some people are not comfortable with themselves and so they have a lot of negative things and hate to spread about others and that’s when it’s not cool,” says Kandi. “If she would’ve just owned it when we were on the show, I would’ve let it go.”