Previously published on People.
Both Kandi Burruss and Phaedra Parks came to dinner on Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta with a laundry list of reasons why they were hurt by the other. But while fans hoped the former BFFs would let their problems come out in the wash, Burruss showed she wasn’t willing to wipe it clean — instead airing some dirty laundry that left Parks’ reputation stained.
It was a sad thing to watch for longtime fans of the show who remember the pair as shade-throwing sisters. Though, in their defense, it’s been over two years since the two were on the same page. Disagreements, misunderstandings, and shifting allegiances presented challenges neither women were willing to truly overcome despite multiple attempts to “fix it, Jesus.”
As Burruss bluntly put it to Parks, “We aren’t friends anymore. That’s obvious.”
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But the 40-year-old “Rise Above” singer didn’t, well, rise above. Fueled by frustration of what she perceived to be Parks’ inconsistencies, Burruss put the 43-year-old mother-of-two on blast — accusing her of having an affair while she was still married to ex-husband Apollo Nida.
The accusation came when Parks attempted to explain why she was so hurt by Burruss’ lack of emotional support during her divorce.
“I’m not sure why you are so angry with me — I’m the one that should be angry,” Parks said. “I’m the one that’s a single parent, raising my kids alone, going through a divorce … You have everything going for you.”
Burruss, who raised her 14-year-old daughter Riley as a single mom, understood the challenges of being in the position. But she felt Parks was financially stable enough to handle her split from Nida — and, in fact, was looking forward to it.
“We both know you was counting down the days ’til he went away anyway,” Burruss said. “He relieved you because really, he was giving you drama and you were ready for him to damn go.”
Admitting she was ready for Nida to go, Parks confessed that she wasn’t prepared to handle the emotions that came with his departure. She hoped Burruss would have understood that, rather than making their split “light.”
That implication set Burruss off.
“I’m making it light because you made it light to me,” she clapped back. “You was already talking to other people before your husband even went to jail. When we would talk, you’d be like you was already ready to marry somebody else by the new year. So it really was a stress off your back at the time. That’s the way you was puttin’ it to me.”
Her words were shocking — even though this wasn’t the first time Parks had been accused of having an extra-marital relationship. Before Nida went to jail to begin serving his eight-year sentence for bank fraud and identity theft, he claimed he had found text messages between Parks and a man only know as “Mr. Chocolate.”
Though they’re divorced now, Nida and Parks were still legally married at the time of the “Mr. Chocolate” texts and had not filed any divorce paperwork.
Parks denied the cheating allegations at the time, but kept mum while Burruss — who said she knew “Mr. Chocolate” — brought their rumored romance up.
“I understood you can’t just let everybody know how you really feel because people look down upon woman who don’t stand by their man the whole time, so I just let it go,” Burruss said. “But don’t make me the scapegoat. That’s how I felt all these years — you was doing your pity party, but when you were with me there was no pity party.”
The alleged affair wasn’t the only time Burruss set off her self-described “b——- detector.” The Grammy winner also went off on Parks for quips she made about Burruss behind her back and lies she felt Parks was making about her bomb threat — which turned out to be nothing but a misunderstanding caused when an angry friend of Parks’ showed up at her office with a “bomb CD” on him.
Burruss said Parks was sending mixed messages by claiming it wasn’t a threat but then later showing up in public with a bodyguard.
“She will make up a bogus excuse just so people won’t think that somebody was that angry with her,” Burruss said. “Either that was her boyfriend and she didn’t want them to know she was with a dude, or she really is scared and got a damn bodyguard… Can we have consistent story here please?”
Though Parks claimed her parents had provided the bodyguard, it was clear she had lost Burruss’ trust for good. And when Burruss brought up how Parks cried about their broken friendship to Burruss’ enemy NeNe Leakes, there was nothing Parks could have said to repair the hurt.
“You sit there and cry in front of f——- NeNe? You didn’t even cry to her about your husband and you were crying to her about our friendship?” Burruss said.
“Maybe I loved you more than I loved my husband,” Parks responded. “Did you ever consider that?”
“That was really sweet Phaedra, but that’s when I can’t take what you say seriously,” Burruss laughed, packing up her things and leaving.
On the way out, the two exchanged empty pleasantries. But neither clearly meant it. These are two women who may be cordial, but clearly won’t be friends again.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.