More trouble ahead for the Parks-Nida Family?

RHOAParksNidaYou’ve probably read your fill regarding Apollo’s arrest and alleged activities, at least until more details are posted!  Reality Tea has a fair number of new details posted (Click here).    What viewers haven’t paid attention to is the long awaited defamation suit against Angela Stanton and then Stanton’s countersuit against Phaedra, now scheduled to take place Feb. 4th.  I wouldn’t count on that date, friends and readers.

Given Apollo’s recent arrest, I would imagine that Phaedra’s new legal team will want more time to digest Stanton’s claims.  Yes, NEW legal team, if  the earlier report from “Rhymes with Snitch” is accurate.  I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to know why they dropped her as a client.   As if the lawsuit and countersuit weren’t enough, UrbanBelle Magazine  picked up in 2o13 where Hip Hop Daily left off in its  earlier conversations with Jessica Lacy Voker (the 2012 conversation linked above, the 2013 conversation linked below).  

Who is she Jessica Lacy Voker?  She is the woman who claims that Phaedra is the godmother of her child, and a long time family friend.  Last heard from, she was also planning to write a tell-all book. In prior interviews JLValleges that:

  • Phaedra was connected to a prostitution ring, one that she (JLV) claims to have run with her.
  • That Phaedra has her own criminal past beyond that  – and that she believes Apollo’s hands are cleaner than his wife’s
  • Phaedra’s partying got a little dirty at times
  • Phaedra slept with her husband and helped wreck her marriage.

Hip Hop Daily’s 2013 interview posts  text messages Jessica claims to have exchanged with Phaedra regarding a “party” she was planning for pro athletes and needed to, ahem, procure few women to get the party going.  You can hear Jessica, in her own words, discuss her relationship with Phaedra.  Like Stanton, if she’s making it all up, she’s either pretty damned convincing or I’m pretty easily fooled.  If she’s lying, it’s one of the few times I’ve been fooled by something like this.

P.S. … Phaedra is not the only RHOA targeted in Jessica’s account of the shady side of life in ATL.  I’ll let you discover that one on your own – but it most likely won’t surprise you!  I have no doubt that the feds are giving the accusations from both Stanton and Volker against Phaedra a second look, given Apollo’s current legal issues.  The claims made by alleged co-conspirator St. Julien, aka, the “Right Hand B–“, are so shockingly similar to those of Stanton that they are too troubling to not investigate.  Even though there are NO charges (None, nada, zip, dead air -nothing there) against Phaedra at this time, I have no doubt that even if his wife is innocent, she is now most likely under investigation because of his alleged actions.

Innocent until proven guilty?  Yes.  Feds with wiretaps?  There are no words. Ultimately, between Apollo’s case, the suit against Stanton, Stanton’s counter, and now Jessica Lacy Voker’s claims and possible upcoming book, the Parks-Nida is in a position of potentially losing it all.  Their reputation has been marred and the cost of fighting these claims will become, if it hasn’t already been, a serious financial burden.  This is a real American tragedy.  If it’s true, these are people who were on the verge of having it all, only to throw it away.  If it’s not true, and neither is actually guilty, this is a family that will most likely never be able to remove the stench of this case.

Is this the price of reality TV?  Is  there something about this format that causes people who might not otherwise have been able to withstand public scrutiny in some other setting to sign up for reality TV – which then becomes the televised forum for their ultimate downfall (Parks-Nida, Giudices, Lauritas, etc)?  What kind of people are being attracted to this form of media? Are we all in the dark?  Are there stars in other forms of media (television and film in particular) having the same kinds of problems, but with better PR and management teams to handle their risky business issues and other legal troubles?   Somehow I doubt it.  Reality TV seems to be it’s own worst enemy.

Do you agree with Wendy Williams that it’s time to let Phaedra go?  Bossip on WW and PP, April 2013


RHOA: Apollo Nida

RHOAcastI don’t know how much of a “world tour” has been planned for the househusbands of Atlanta, but it’s likely that the group will either lose one of its members or the tour will be cut short.  In breaking news: SandraRose has posted the scoop that Apollo Nida (husband of attorney Phaedra Parks)  has been charged with Identity Theft and Bank Fraud.

The full  indictments should be available to read on Monday.  It will make for interesting, and pretty sad, reading.  RHOA viewers know that Apollo and Phaedra recently had their second child, affectionately nicknamed Mr. President.  The inauguration of Mr. President will take place on the show, soon.  As a viewer, the hardest part of the various RHs scandals is having been introduced to the children of these families and realizing the implications  for the children – both short term and long term.

Bravo seems to do well in giving their “talent” the opportunity to express their innocence when these “sticky” situations develop across the various franchises.  It will be interesting to see if Andy Cohen invites Apollo and Phaedra to sit down and talk about their legal troubles, much like the sit down with Teresa and Joe Giudice, Real Housewives of New Jersey. I would be stunned if the issue is NOT raised at the upcoming reunion.  Apollo and Phaedra may want to get out ahead of the upcoming reunion and say everything that needs to be said before its used as fodder by one of the other wives.  Control that message.

If you’ve been following the ups and downs of this couple, you know that this isn’t the only legal issue they’re facing.  Phaedra is suing (former friend?) Angela Stanton for defamation. Stanton is the author of the book, “Lies of a Real Housewife“, and alleges that Phaedra was involved in the illegal business which resulted in her serving time along with Apollo, and his brother.  Stanton’s interview with VIBE magazine (Part I of III seen below) triggered the lawsuit.  Ms. Stanton has since filed her own defamation lawsuit against Attorney Parks.  Barring a settlement, the suit should go to court by the Spring of 2014.

The BnB is getting #HOTT! January 23rd.

The BnB PR team is working the twitterverse hard to sell #HOTT!  And you know what?  I’m right there with them.  Hashtag-HOTT is everything the powers that be have promised, and MORE! What I won’t miss is this:

Hope gave everything to Liam.  She gave her full love, faith, fidelity, and virginity.  What she received in return was being publicly shamed for not understanding the adult world (the adult SEXUAL world).  Liam walked the line between fully unfaithful and being a titillating tease with Steffy.  Bill felt that virginal Hope was too weak, too small-minded, too useless to meet the sexual appetites of his offspring (if Brooke were real and a friend of mine, I would tell her to beware, apparently women are only worth the sexual favors they can perform for Spencer men.  I would also shake her for being attracted to a man who treated her daughter that way).  Steffy chided Hope as being naive about giving a man what he needed to be happy.

The unholy triumvirate of Bill, Liam, and Steffy convinced Hope that she didn’t understand the grown up games of touching, flirting, kissing and teasing.  Her  silly little  girl’s perspective on life made her unstable.  She spoke when she should have simply  smiled the stepford smile and been thankful that Liam was willing to marry her and walk her into her adult life.  She was supposed to know that making a man happy was beyond her control, just yet – but watching Steffy would show her the way. All of this, for  Liam, the man who ran from a broken relationship with Hope to almost immediately bedding Steffy – you know, because her mother, who had no agenda at all, told him it was time he moved on before he lost out on life and finding the love around him:

Poor Hope, she could never understand such things.  Translation?  Love, care, kindness, soul stirring passion were not enough,  and they never would be… until along came Wyatt.

I can honestly say that today’s episode  was the first time I smiled and enjoyed the show from beginning to end – primarily because I hit fast forward on anything that wasn’t Wyatt and Hope (#HOTT).  Hope, for the first time in a long time laughed, she did it without looking over her shoulder, or out of the corner of her eyes for the shadow that was always hovering around her.  She smiled, without a hit of irony or using her smile as a means of putting on a brave face.  She embraced a man without checking for the scent of another woman,  or hairs there weren’t his.  She looked into his eyes and didn’t see the reflection of someone else.

When Wyatt looks at Hope, he sees HOPE, he loves HOPE, his desire is for HOPE.  Not having sex with Hope doesn’t make her a child in his eyes.  Not having sex with her doesn’t make other women more desirable to him.  He has a passion for Hope that I find to be kind, gentle and refreshing.

Liam’s evidence of a gentle soul is the fact that he’s a vegetarian.  Oh Liam, you’re kind to animals.  You’re just a shit heel, like your father, when it comes to women!   Liam began helping Steffy hurt Hope with the sabotaged “Ho-e For the Future” sign and never seemed to be able to kick the habit.

As written, Liam seems to think that a man who loves only one woman is stalkerish, crazy, maladjusted, agenda driven, psychotic, etc, etc, etc.  Note that he didn’t think that Steffy’s relentless pursuit was stalkerish.  It was endearing and undeniable evidence of  her great love and devotion to him.  His father was willing to destroy a family with young children  to set loose a dangerous body mutilating thug like Deacon- paying him to manipulate Hope’s love for him and keep her from her wedding to Liam.  Bill’s pseudo-incestuous lust for Steffy, his desire to make Liam his proxy bed partner for Steffy – left Hope lost in the process.  Quinn, on the other hand, just wants Wyatt happy and wants Liam to back off.  That makes her dangerous.  See how that works?  Unless the writers have some crazy plan to give us this beautiful couple, hashtag the hell out of them when they’re onscreen, and then destroy them to make Liam a hero, I feel pretty confident in saying, SUCK IT, LIAM!  Writers, you have triangles, quadrangles, and any number of relationship permutations.


Hashtag – Thank You

Hashtag – Writers

Hashtag – Leave #HOTT Alone

Hashtag – Don’t Blow IT!

#lovingHOTT,  I choose THIS:

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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – Brandi’s trip home

RHOBH LogoThere are times when I could easily see this being named Real Housewives of Just Because…. and last night’s episode was one of them!  The BH housewives are the most random group of women in the history of the franchise, and that’s saying something.  Have you SEEN the HWs of Miami?   I KNOW, I KNOW, Brandi Glanville has completely screwed up and I’m as disgusted with her as most fans seem to be, from the the racist treatment of Joyce Giraud (I can’t see it as anything else), the interchangeable best friends, the lack of responsibility taking, the constantly offensive language, you name it.  I have to to admit that last night’s episode gave me a lot of insight into her issues, and I had my own love and loathing moment going on. Well, love may be a bit of an exaggeration, but  I am pleasantly surprised that the producers allowed the audience to see a different side of Brandi.  I’m sure her overworked PR team is equally happy.

We learned that Brandi’s father is upset with her for calling him a drug dealer in her book.  I understand why her father is upset. He’s at an age where his regrets are the things he wants to put behind him and enjoy what he loves most about his life,  in the time he has left.  He knows the truth of how he lived and why he did whatever he did.  The self-professed “truth cannon” shouldn’t be feel so free to tell someone else’s truth, including her father’s.  She has enough salacious stories from her own history.  It’s not clear to me why her father and the sister have been thrown into the limelight  (her sister’s assault by a school principal was used by Brandi in expressing her dismay that she hadn’t been targeted for molestation – being “hot” as a child and all that).  If Karma is a bitch, Brandi should be living in fear of her own children keeping  notes for the tell-all they’ll write later.

What seems more like fair game?  Brandi’s compelling recount of the neighborhood she grew up in.   Within minutes of driving down the boulevard of broken dreams in her stretch limo, Brandi reminded the audience that poverty is not about race or region, it can happen to almost anyone, anywhere.  It was sad to hear that as a young girl, that she didn’t just view herself as poor, but as living on the “wrong side of the tracks”.  Contrast that to Joyce’s comments about having grown up poor.  Joyce takes pride in where she comes from and her family’s struggle because of the person it has helped her become.

For Brandi, the experience of poverty was a completely different one.  She speaks of friends she spent time with in school, but who were gone by the end of the day – fearful of crossing the tracks and visiting her in the rough neighborhood she called home.  It was sad to hear that she stood outside her parents’ bedroom door with her siblings and repeatedly listened to arguments about money.  It’s scary to me that alcohol appeared to be a form of escapism very early on for her – bars at 15/16? Stealing alcohol from elderly patients?   What’s also sad is what appears to be a lasting impact on Brandi, today.

Putting on an armchair therapist hat, I see her trip home explaining several things (to me, not that they are accurate in how she sees herself):

  • Brandi, more than any housewife I can remember, speaks openly about how much she cares about money and becoming rich.  The woman just wants to be RICH.  If Brandi has used the words “happy and successful in life” in conjunction with wanting to become wealthy, I’ve missed hearing her utter them.   Unlike ATL’s Phaedra (who sees “coin, coin coin” associated with burying the dead), I never hear Brandi talk about plans for the future or a wealth that will be secured for future generations.  (Am I the only one who remembers Lisa telling Mohammed that Pandora had better be included in his will?  Lisa and Ken are worth tens of millions, at least, and Lisa still has her future wealth hustle on).   As far as I can tell, Brandi has a book, a second one planned, and RHOBH. I can’t see that as a winning combination now that Bravo is geared toward recasting HWs to keep the series fresh.
  • Even if she stayed, Brandi is not just out of her league, she even seems ill at ease in her group.  Unlike the OC housewives, nearly all of whom are self-made, Brandi’s group is a toss up of the self-made and the long term wealthy (Kyle and Kim Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Yolanda Foster)  with a sprinkling of those born into extreme wealth (ex cast mate, Adrienne Maloof).
  • Her testy relationship with her own parents also makes me wonder if it drives what appears to be anger at the HWs who appear to get too close and too motherly with her.  I was stunned by her reaction to Lisa telling her to have her (possibly broken) wrist checked out.  You would have thought Lisa was grilling her on whether she’d taken out the trash, turned off the lights, made sure to put the recyclables in the appropriate containers.  Her reactions to being cared for/about feel excessive and causes me, as a viewer, to see her as too coarse and far too ungrateful to people who care about her.

Now it all makes sense to me.

To be clear, I’m over Brandi as a housewife.  I’ve never been a fan, but I could at least tolerate her in the past.  I’m over her obsession with telling others to “F—k off”.  I’m over her “truth cannon” being used to fire off sexist, racist (yes, my beliefs),  nasty barbs at others while she calls her behavior truth-telling, guided by humor, or anything close to civil.   Last night’s episode did not undo all of the harm she’s done – in my book, but it made her less of a monster, for me. The episode reminded us that she is human, that whatever she is today – she became that for a reason.

I hope she does fully repair her relationship with her family.  I hope Brandi finds happiness and finds out what she’s supposed to do with her life – other than just “make money”.   I hope Brandi watched last night’s episode (post editing, I know she was there) and realizes that the love her family has for her and the support they give her seems to be solid no matter what happens.

Most importantly, I hope all of that happens off screen.  It’s time for her to go, in my opinion, and if she’s smart she’ll want to go out with the images of her as a loved member of a loving family.  I would.

Pork chop side burns and the Bold and the Beautiful

Damn!  I was FREE!  I was completely FREE of daytime… and then came Hope and Wyatt.  Now I’m back and bummed.  I started watching the BnB again (as well as other daytime) and I haven’t  been able to free myself.  To be clear, I give the BnB this much credit: at least enough of the show is silly enough that there are days when I can fast forward a good deal of it and watch the entire show in under 1o minutes!  I also thank DAYS for being largely unwatchable!

The Good

Wyatt and Hope (shhhhh… no responses, please.  I love them and refuse to hear a negative word about them).   When Wyatt isn’t begging, but simply connecting with Hope?  Good stuff!  Is there no place in Paris for Liam?  Really?

Quinn.  If the writers turn her into the new Sheila/Stephanie, they’ve missed the point and have thrown away one of the best characters to come around in a long time.   Quinn is a self-made woman.  She is fearless, and she doesn’t cower when the men speak – I give Rena Sofer credit for making Quinn a stronger woman than the writers intended to write.  Excuse me, but what the HELL, writers?  We need strong women in daytime.  Stop equating strong (if you’re female) with bat crap out of your mind.  I would rather find out that Quinn’s secret is that she has a document pennyBill wrote, on a napkin, when they were young, promising her half his wealth when he finally made it on his own.  To be sure, it was something he wrote as a joke, or to seduce her into believing he saw her as a life partner.  Maybe he thought he’d collected it when he knocked her up and then told her to abort his kid.  Sorry if that seems indelicate on my part, it’s indelicate on the part of the character and the writers treat it as a mere past act rather than an act connected to his current character flaws.

It would be too late for her to grab Spencer Publications, but she would surely have claim to much of his current bank account.  If she  had his half of his current holdings/income (including shares in FC) and her current success, she would be a force to be reckoned with – but no… she’s crazy, and overly involved in the love life of her adult son.

Too bad.

Katie and Ridge.  Thorsten Kaye is one of the greatest miscasts in daytime history (gorgeous accent, it’s just out of place for a man born and raised in So. Cal.). While I am repulsed at the idea of sister swapping with recent lovers, there is an undeniable chemistry between HThom’s Katie and TK’s NuRidge.  It’s a more powerful chemistry than should be.  It appears, to me at least, that the writers are investing in making the celebrated Heather Thom the show’s new leading lady.  Katie’s dialogue is so crisp and heroic that I feel that I’ve been temporarily transported to a different show.  She’s strong, she’s smart, and she sees through both Bill and her sister.  Katie’s words speak to women who are tired of seeing men treat women like garbage and then swagger their way through life.   Her words are the words of women who feel empowered and whose emotional lives aren’t centered around being a fantasy for a man with small dreams.

Right now, despite often enjoying Wyatt and Hope, only Katie gives me hope that the show’s writers may one day learn to write for different kinds of women and characters.   My only fear is that once they’ve allowed her to be strong, they’ll take her the Quinn route.

If Katie and Ridge are to be together, it can’t be about Bill, Brooke, or past betrayals that will drive Katie insane.  It has to be about two those two people.

The Bad

Brooke.  Yes, it breaks my heart, but my once beloved Brooke leads “the bad”.    I must have been watching one day while cleaning and as I was cleaning, I must have hit my head and lost consciousness.  Did Brooke chide Katie for having pride and not taking Bill off her hands (he’s in the way of her achieving her dreams of a happy ending with NuRidge, dontcha’ know)?  Did she tell Katie to accept Bill back in her life and let him make her happy?  You mean, as happy as she was when he impregnated her sister behind her back? (see: repeated character flaws of Bill Spencer Jr!)  As happy as he made her the last time she put her pride aside and let him into her life?  When she did that he bedded her and the next morning ran back to Brooke with paperwork stealing everything Katie cared for.  That’s what Brooke wants for her sister, to have to wake up every morning wondering if that was the morning Bill was back in her sister’s bed?

It’s time for the writers to stop ignoring the deep, unfilled, void left  with Susan Flannery’s retirement.  To do so is a sign that their vision for the future is short-sighted.  Brooke doesn’t have to be angry, crazy, criminally violent and just plain evil, but she can be a healing force in her family rather than the person who continues to tear it apart.  While I would love for KKL’s Brooke to fill void, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.  If HTom’s Katie is set free of Brooke and Bill, it would seem to me that she’s it, she’s the  new martriarch/leading lady.  She will be the new heart of the Logan family – she will be the person who brings them all together.

Storm gave his heart to save Katie.  Brooke couldn’t give up a night in the arms of a walking outdated stereotype.  The writers don’t seem to be interested in Brooke beyond the ability to use her to write destructive sexual entanglements.  Three decades and this is all they have to offer the show’s fans?  Shame, shame BnB writers!

The Ugly

I don’t find men who think a woman should be used in bed to be particularly hero worthy. If Bill truly loved Brooke, you would think he that he was grateful that Ridge wasn’t rushing into bed with Brooke.  WHY would he taunt Ridge about NOT having sex with Brooke? Does he want to go to Brooke’s house one day and see a rumpled bed? Brooke is just for sexing under any circumstances? Brooke has been telling anyone who will listen that Ridge is her happy ending in life, what does that make Bill?

Bill seems to be incapable of real emotion. The writers are too stuck on some 70s version of a tough guy – it’s just old, silly, contrived and the opposite of tough – as far as I’m concerned.  I’ll admit it, I get the giggles when Bill is on screen.  Is he supposed to be funny? His scenes seem to be consistently about making empty threats to anyone who is too dumb to listen.   Bill is a pair of pork chop sideburns away from completing the cosmic joke the writers have turned him into.  PLEASE, PLEASE let Bill start twirling his mustache every time he makes a threat. That would make his scenes even funnier.

The last Ridge-Bill interaction taught me one thing. Ridge’s connection is about emotions and sex with Brooke is based on their emotional connection. Bill’s is about his floppy Bill and any open and available opportunity.  When I’m not laughing at Bill, I’m actually feeling a little queasy.

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the writers have made Bill an even bigger idiot when he’s in lust?  How the hell can I buy him as a successful mogul when his former thrill thing, Steffy, was able to cheat him into selling FC back to her family and then Brooke was able to swap papers giving him control of everything he ever wanted?  Bill clearly thinks with his zipper.