'RHOP's Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon and Candiace Dillard on Why They Don’t Trust Karen Huger (Exclusive)
By Brice Sander
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The stars of The Real Housewives of Potomac don't agree on everything, but there is one thing half the cast seems to be on the same page about: how trustworthy they find co-star Karen Huger. ET sat down with Gizelle Bryant, Robyn Dixon and Candiace Dillard Bassett at Bravo's "Tea Time on the Potomac" event over the weekend in Washington, D.C., where the trio confessed to finding the self-professed "Grande Dame" of their group the least trustworthy of the bunch.
"I would say Karen because I have a hard time believing some of the things that come out of her mouth," Robyn says, with Gizelle and Candiace quickly jumping in, in agreement. "There is a theme here," Gizelle notes, as Candiace adds, "It’s unfortunate, but yes, there is a theme."
The assessment shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to viewers, seeing as season 5 saw many of the ladies questioning where Karen's allegiances lied, as she towed the line between Candiace and then-castmate Monique Samuels. The pair's mid-season physical altercation at a local winery changed the trajectory of the show, with Candiace and Monique not coming face to face again until months later at the heated reunion taping. That's where Candiace alleged Karen attempted to get her fired from the show in the aftermath of the incident, a claim Karen denied.
"You saw in the super tease, I said, 'I don't trust you.' Do I trust her now? I trust her as far as I can throw her," Candiace shares of how season 6 shakes out. "Beyond that, you know, it just, it is what it is. And she understands that. But will it ever be the same? No, it won't. And that's just the way the cookie has crumbled."
"People are not always capable of what I need them to be for me as friends and that's OK," she adds. "And I have had to learn to accept that and I have. So Karen and I are, we get good, we get good toward the end, but it's not the same, which is sad but, you know, oh well. I'm my own best friend. Me and Jesus."
"I tried to tell her, but she didn’t want to listen to me," Gizelle quips. Candiace missed out on the first group event of season 6, which Robyn believes was due to Candiace's lack of interest in being around Karen after the events of season 5; Candiace says she was sick. Either way, she missed a front-row seat to round 1 of what is sure to be many between Karen and Gizelle in season 6, with Gizelle telling Karen, "I have decided that I’ll just tell your truth, your whole truth, and nothing but it. Your drunk truth, your cheating truth, your broke truth. … I’ll spread it out over time, don’t worry."
"I know a lot," Gizelle reiterates to ET. "[But] Karen and I are in a season in which we got to a better place. So, I probably didn't do as much revealing as I said I was going to."
As for that "drunk truth" Gizelle mentioned in the season premiere, it seems Karen has a habit of drunk dialing her co-stars. Gizelle and Candiace say they’ve (sadly) fallen off her speed dial list.
"Oh, how I miss those," Candiace laments, a sentiment to which Gizelle agrees. "They were hilarious," she notes. "They were always at 3 o'clock in the morning."
"I also wonder, like, does she -- I thought she didn't know that she was drunk calling but when she, when we weren't talking, she didn't call me and she replaced me with Wendy [Osefo]," Candiance shares. "She [still] butt dials me sometimes. She'll text me, like, [jibberish]."
While Karen might struggle to find her words in text, the ladies did land on a few to describe season 6: "vulnerable" (Candiace), "refreshing" (Robyn) and "fun" (Gizelle). They all say this new batch of episodes resets the stage from the "toxicity" of season 5. (And all three joke that they don’t even know who Monique is, skirting past any questions about their one-time co-star/friend.)
"We kind of just go into season 6 with almost a fresh slate… almost," Robyn notes.
"The beauty of Potomac is we have fun," Gizelle says. "We know how to laugh, we know how to just joke and, like, not keep it so serious and make it light and we get back to that, which we love."
Gizelle attributes RHOP's success year over year on the “secret sauce” that is the OGs of the franchise: herself, bestie Robyn, plus Karen and Ashley Darby. They’ve all been with the series since season 1. "We have four original cast members still on the show and I think that's a part of our secret because we know each other. We know what makes each other tick. We know when we're gonna have a good time and when we're not. And I think that that's kind of, like, the magic. And then we have newbies that come along that we love. But the core four is really dynamic."
This year's newbie is Mia Thornton, whom Candiace says bucked the trend of freshmen Housewives.
"Normally when a new person comes along we have a resident hazer that likes to ask all the questions," she notes, her eyes darting toward Gizelle. "'Who are you? Where you from? Where your mama from? What color do you like to wear, because you can't wear my colors?' She does all that. I feel like Mia hazed us."
"We love her and she gets it together toward the end," Candiace continues, "but in the beginning I was just kind of sitting back with my popcorn like, oh, this is crazy. She is giving everybody the business."
"What I love about her is that she shared so much of her life, her personal, her current life, her past life with us so quickly," Robyn says, with Gizelle calling it all "too much, way too much."
"[She's] very unapologetic," Robyn says of Mia, "and she wasted no time expressing her opinions and speaking up for herself and being shady. She fit right in."
Fans are anxiously anticipating a much-hyped moment between Mia and Candiace from the season 6 trailer, in which Mia flings a handful of salad at Candiace's head, with Candiace quickly returning serve.
"My poor husband was having to clean up salad, I just... you know, that is a journey," Candiace teases. "There are a lot of ups and downs I had to go through to get to that moment. I think we both said some things that we probably didn't mean to say, but in the end what I loved about how we made up was that we both realized that we are human, and we have moments, and we kind of both have ah-ha moments that you just never know what somebody is dealing with or going through. And we were both able to kind of come back and say, wow, you're human. I'm human. Let's kiss and make up."
"In the interim there was undressed salad to throw," she quips. "I think it's important to say it was undressed."
The salad toss is just one of the many, many, many dramatic moments to come in season 6. The teasers set up what appears to be a battle royale between Gizelle and Wendy, after Gizelle seemingly brings up rumors about Wendy's husband.
"I brought that up? Did I bring that up? Yes, what about it?" Gizelle asks. "Actually I didn't really bring it up. It was something that was out there and I just happened to mention it, and when I mentioned it, I did say I don't believe it. If I say I don't believe it before and after then I can mention it, right? Yes, the answer is yes."
While speaking with ET ahead of the season premiere, Wendy said knowing everything she knows after filming, she believes Gizelle referencing the rumors was a "premeditated" attack on her family. "That would require me to think about Wendy and I don’t," Gizelle offers in response.
"Anyone on reality shows such as ours should expect that if anyone is talking about you in the media then you should expect to be talked about," Robyn jumps in to explain. "None of us are above anything, and so for Wendy to think that she was above that?”
"She wasn't prepared for the news to come crashing down as it did," Candiace says, with Gizelle quickly firing back with, "Did it come crashing?"
"Wait for that episode, because I was, like, I had, I just grew my edges back," Candiace cracks.