ESSENCE spoke exclusively with the newest cast member about the show, being a NFL wife and mom, her new business venture and more.
Since The Real Housewives of Atlanta premiered in 2008, we hadn’t seen another predominantly Black reality show on Bravo until last year when The Real Housewives of Potomac debuted. After getting to know Karen Huger, Gizelle Bryant, Charrisse Jackson Jordan, Ashley Darby and Robin Dixon last season, we were introduced to Monique Samuels for season two after Katie Rost left the show.
Samuels is the wife of former NFL player Chris Samuels, and the mother of a four-year-old son Christopher and daughter Milani who’s almost two.
Over the past month, we’ve gotten an opportunity to get to know Samuels every Sunday night, but we exclusively talked to her to learn more about the tell-it-like-it-is “housewife,” her family and her life. As she told us, “the Samuels are very genuine and what you see is what you get with us.”
Keep reading for eight things we learned about Monique Samuels.
1. Monique and her husband were friends first
Monique shared that she and her husband Chris were actually friends before they started dating. She told us, “My husband and I have a very interesting relationship. We started off as friends so we love to have fun together.”
2. Charrisse introduced Monique to RHOP—and they’re really good friends
Before our interview, Monique had actually just hung up the phone from speaking with Charrisse. Samuels told us, “I have a close relationship with Charrisse definitely. We talk whether we're filming or not.” She also shared that Charrisse is the one who introduced her to the show. “Oddly enough my husband and I were looking at homes in the Potomac area to move to so that kind of sparked it all along. At first I was a little hesitant. My husband was like, 'You know what? Let's have fun with it.' We only live once.”
3. Monique wanted to “show people something different” on reality TV
Reality TV can sometimes get a bad rep, and Monique wanted to change that. “I'm not the typical NFL wife like how most people think that the lifestyle is so glamorous. I bust my butt, work hard and it's been that way since my husband and I started dating."
4. Monique and her family are loving the Potomac area and moving into their new home next month
We saw Monique and her husband find and purchase their new Potomac home on the show, but she told us they’re in the process of having it remodeled and will move in the top of June. “We have friends that live in the Potomac area so we're not totally new to the scenery there. We'd been there quite a few times, and we wanted to go somewhere that had a great school system. It's like a little country, a little city so we love that aspect of it. It’s very quiet. The people are nice. So it's been a pretty easy adjustment so far.”
5. Monique is not worried about reality TV affecting her marriage—or her life
“I really feel like the show or any reality TV puts the spotlight on whatever issues you already have,” explained Monique. “But for me and Chris, we keep it real with each other. We're very open in our communication. We both have that desire to want to be happy and have a great marriage and raise our kids. And I think that since we're both on the same page, I really believe we'll be fine."
6. Monique has always been “an entrepreneur at heart” and she runs her husband’s businesses and just launched her own
Monique used to have her own real estate appraisal company before she started dating her husband. Now she runs her husband’s company CRS Real Estate as well as Chris Samuels Enterprises and the Chris Samuels Foundation. “I created the Chris Samuels Foundation in order to allow Chris the opportunity to give kids who were in underdeveloped areas equipment for sports,” explained Samuels. “We just wanted to stabilize the community through sports and activities that would keep the kids outdoors and doing something fun."
7. Monique juggles being a wife, mom and businesswoman by being very organized
Monique told us that she operates on very little sleep and often gets her work done before her kids wake up or after they go to sleep. “I'm the first person up in the morning and I'm the last one in bed,” she said. “But it's fine for me because if I'm choosing to do anything outside of my family, then it means I have to make time for it. I think a lot of people sometimes misconstrue that whole concept. They have their desire for things, but they don't realize that you have to set aside time for that and still make time for your family."
8. Monique loves to empower other women, and is a bona fide businesswoman
Monique’s latest venture is her I’m BOSS Foundation to help women find their passion and turn into a business. BOSS is an acronym for Beating Odds, Setting Standards. “It's really focusing in on changing your mindset,” she said. “If you can change your mindset, you can change a generation. So I think a lot of women these days get so focused on the glitz and glam and the fame that they don't realize that at the end of the day, it's still a business. You still have to know how to conduct your business. So I'm a housewife, but I'm a businesswoman.”