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'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Sheree Whitfield on Ex Husband Bob’s Abuse And How It Affected Their Kids

This season of Bravo's hit series, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, cast member Sheree Whitfield and her ex-husband Bob confronted some of the dark times of their past including emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Whitfield stopped by ESSENCE Live to share how discussing certain parts of their relationship affected their children.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[BLANK_AUDIO] We saw you go through something that, I think as women, we were all like my God. We had no idea. Yeah, you know what? A lot of people didn't know. It was something that I kind of masked for many, many years. And I never would have talked about it or opened up about it if we were not in that car at that moment and You asked me earlier, do you forget about the camera sometimes? I had a conversation with Bob, and he said, you know what? I said, cuz you opened this Pandora's box. He did. I never would have talked about it. I wanna protect my kids and not talk about those kind of personal things. And he said he must have been just in the moment. He forgot the cameras were there. Yeah, because he basically recounted a time, joked about emotional abuse and threatening to harm you physically. And I think we were all watching along as viewers, and we could see your reaction. Mm-hm. And we were like whoa. I mean we know everything. It's real, but it's TV. But in that moment I think we all just sort of like My god. And then you had to really confront him about it, and then get that off your spirit. And you did. First and foremost, we were really proud of you for that. I know that wasn't easy. How did that feel, just to get that out, and be able to address that, but publically, even? At first, I was like, super-duper, just Kinda shamed and embarrassed that I kinda was even entertaining the thought of possibly trying to bring the family back together and get back with him. And then once I start talking to other people and I would see other people and they're like, my gosh I wanna give you a hug, or my gosh I went through the same thing. I realized it was helpful for a lot of people and it was also helpful for me too. For me not even realizing that I was still harbouring and holding on to a lot of painful things because I didn't talk about it, I didn't let it out. So now It's therapeutic, it's definitely therapeutic for me. Yeah, and I think it's always powerful when a woman shares that story and how she's enduring it and getting through it because other women who are going through it can then okay, I'm not alone. And she's surviving. So how did he even bring up getting back together? How did that come back? How did you get to where you were in that point in the show where we were seeing? You guys contemplating. Well through the years, Bob has always tried to give back, or say little things. But it's never been that easy, because I was still at a point where You haven't even apologized, we haven't even talked about or discussed a lot of the negative things that happen in a relationship. We couldn't even be pretty much in the same room, let alone have a decent conversation. My oldest daughter She had a birthday party and it was in a bowling alley. And she went, of course with mom and she invited Ba, because he's been in her life for so long, she was really little. Not too little when we met. And we actually had a good time there. That was the first time in probably 10 plus years that we were able to be in the same environment And laugh and actually have a decent time. So from there, kinda establish- More of a rapport. Yeah. Speaking [INAUDIBLE] kids, I definitely wanna talk to you about how they've taken seeing all of this on camera, from things that happened in past seasons to now. Has that affected their relationship with their dad? Or what has that been like? They still love both of us. And that's why I never talked about it because I didn't want to sway their feelings any type of way toward their dad. But since then, he's said he's had a conversation with them. I was not privy to that conversation. Gotcha. But they're fine. [BLANK_AUDIO]