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EXCLUSIVE: Phaedra Parks on Why Southern Belles Don’t Break ‘Woman Code’

"It is very inappropriate to be sneaking around and texting someone’s husband," says Parks about co-star Kenya Moore.
EXCLUSIVE: Phaedra Parks on Why Southern Belles Don’t Break ‘Woman Code’
Michael Rowe

Phaedra Parks, the Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s doyenne of etiquette, calls co-star Kenya Moore’s “Textgate” with her husband Apollo Nida, an example of someone breaking the woman code. “As a woman you know better than that,” she told ESSENCE.com. She also chatted about the state of her marriage, how a Southern belle behaves around other people’s spouses, and why hers is always a drama-free Thanksgiving.

ESSENCE.com: How are you feeling about the season so far? The tension between you and Apollo on this past week’s episode was so real.
Phaedra Parks: It was very real. We as women know how to conduct ourselves. It is very inappropriate, malicious, backhanded, deceptive and disgusting to be sneaking around and texting someone’s husband and saying, ‘Oh you look cute today’ and all that kind of stuff. We all know that that totally breaks the woman code. And both [Kenya and Apollo] are wrong. Don’t get me wrong, he shouldn’t have responded to her, but you know women are way more slick and vindictive than men any day.

ESSENCE.COM: You talk about this scenario in your book Secrets of the Southern Belle Code.
Phaedra: [Whips out her book] On page 89 the “Southern Belle Code of Honor” talks about how women should interact with other people’s men, spouses, or whatever. [She reads from the book] When dealing with other peoples men and spouses perception is everything so I always err on the side of caution. If someone’s man is the most beautiful masterpiece of a man I have ever seen I don’t compliment his looks. I might make a remark about his clothing but I know that just as I can see, so can his wife. So I think he looks nice and I’m sure that she thinks he looks nice and I don’t need to let her know that I’m confirming her vision.

ESSENCE.com: This week’s episode was filmed a few months ago. How are you and Apollo now?
Phaedra: This actually happened when I was pregnant and my baby is 6 months now. We’re fine, but anytime I hear it again it makes me pissed. That’s just a reaction that I’m always going to have.

ESSENCE.com: Do you and Apollo watch the show together?
Phaedra: [Laughs] Oh, we watched this one together. He knew that I would become upset again so he was like, ‘Oh God now I’m going to have to deal with you for two weeks being mad at me again.’ I’m like ‘Didn’t you think the whole thing was deceptive?’ She’s not a nice girl; she’s a very free spirit—look at page 21 to define that.

ESSENCE.com: So there’s no chance of you and Kenya sitting down and working this out?
Phaedra: Keep watching. We’ll be discussing it.

ESSENCE.com: Thanksgiving is tomorrow. What are a southern belle’s recommendations for how to handle the holiday?
Phaedra: I think that Thanksgiving is the one holiday that probably has no drama, because no one is expecting a gift. Everyone should be thankful and appreciate each other. It’s the one day you can eat, everybody say what they thankful and go on about they business unless your involving alcohol then you know that always changes the nature of the game.

Are you tuning in to RHOA this season?