Have you been watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta this season? If so, you know that vintage pageant queen Kenya Moore has been setting it off, becoming the new star of the show.
Moore isn’t quite what many viewers expected. Given her Miss USA (not Miss America!) past — she was the second Black woman to snag the title (Carole Gist was the first) — I was hoping she would bring beauty and class, with a touch of sass (maybe shade), to the show. But so far, her role has been nothing but drama. She’s upstaged Cynthia Bailey twice at Bailey’s own events, caused a ruckus at a fundraiser and even gotten frisky with the husbands of her castmates. In addition to that, she has a relationship that’s best described as “weird” with Walter Jackson, the blatantly uninterested guy she’s spent most of the season pestering to marry her and give her babies.
Their relationship has never made much sense. Moore seems to believe there’s a future in store for them, and a blind man could see there clearly isn’t. In every instance when Moore wonders “Where is this going?,” Jackson could not appear more unimpressed or bored, an observation Moore seems entirely clueless about. It’s led most viewers to wonder if she’s just slow or acting out a storyline for the cameras.
On Monday, we may have gotten our answer: During an interview on the Frank Ski and Wanda radio show, Jackson confessed his “relationship” with Moore was all for the cameras.
He said he and Moore briefly dated three years ago and, until earlier this year, they had not been in contact. In April, he said, she asked him to pretend to be her boyfriend for a reality show. He said he agreed so he could promote his business. Jackson seems to be saying all this now, in the middle of the show’s season, because in another interview Moore questioned his sexuality as an explanation for why he has not married her. “I”m well established [in Atlanta]. Gay has never been in the block,” Jackson added. “Why she would say that, I don’t know.”
Moore, unsurprisingly, denies the accusation. “Walter’s recent statements are completely false,” she wrote in a statement. “I am embarrassed that I allowed a deceitful and hateful person in my life… I am moving on from this situation and hope he can as well with respect and dignity going forward. I have heard the fans and my friends loud and clear… I can do better than Walter, and I will.”
Based on Moore and Jackson’s relationship all season, I believe Jackson. And I’m not even mad if their relationship is fake. I only expect so much realness from reality TV. I actually find it oddly redeeming to believe Moore’s been acting desperate instead of, you know, actually being desperate for a clearly uninterested man.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life (Atria), in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk.