'RHOP's Mia Thorton on Her Social Media, the Salad Toss and Candiace Dillard Bassett (Exclusive)
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Andy Cohen once famously called The Real Housewives of Potomac star Candiace Dillard Basset a "disaster on Twitter," but the DMV's latest 'Wife might just be giving her a run for that moniker. Mia Thornton has been quick to a keyboard all season long, clapping back in as real of time as possible on social media to her co-star's on-camera comments.
"I am humble enough to be remorseful," Mia admits to ET over Zoom. "My heart is never to hurt anybody, or to make anybody feel anything other than who they are, right? So I'm going to do better. I am not going to be a Twitter, Twitter tweety, OK? I'm not going to do that. I just feel like, the world-- there's so many other things that we need to be talking and I don't want to be the mean girl. That's not my heart."
After speaking with ET, Mia posted to her Instagram account that she let go of her social media manager and would be more mindful of language used in her postings going forward. That move came after she (or someone running her accounts) made not-so-nice digs at fellow season 6 newbie, "friend of" the cast Askale Davis, on Twitter. Mia says she'll save any future remarks she'd blast out on her socials for reunion day.
"I already started," she quips. "The Rolodex is flowing, so get ready."
Before her vow to do better online, Mia made some waves in the Housewives fan community with a response to comments Candiace made on the show, calling Mia's feet big. In a since-deleted Instagram, Mia shared a series of pictures of Candiace, including close-ups of her co-star's feet, with the caption, "The nerve of some people. I'll take my #bigfeet over #crustyfeet anyday..." The post racked up lots of comments, including one from former RHOP star Monique Samuels, who exited the show after her own issues with Candiace. "@mrs.miathornton savage for this and I'm not mad," she wrote in part, with a series of laughing emojis.
"She started it," Mia notes when asked why feet had to come into the conversation when it came to Candiace. As for the Monique comment, that was a surprise for Bravo's latest star. She does not know the "Drag Queens" rapper.
"We have mutual friends [but] no, I physically do not know her and we haven't hung out or anything, but I like her," Mia says. "I think she's fun and she's beautiful, and our mutual friends absolutely have nothing but great things to say about her. So I'm pretty, and I've learned that we're now neighbors, so I'm sure I'll be meeting her pretty soon, listen, we're having fun. It's all innocent, we're not really hurting anybody."
Mia and Candiace's feud kind of came out of nowhere, and Mia says it only got worse once the episodes started airing. Hence, the crusty foot comment.
"I thought we were good. I had no idea, but hey, what's done in the dark, comes into the light for sure," she says. "I was surprised by Candiace. I felt like from the first episode, she was very shady towards me -- and I know we fall out mid-season and until the end -- but I was like, OK... you did these confessionals a long time ago. So this is how you've been feeling? So that shocked me and I was like, OK, noted."
The first crack Candiace made about Mia was in regards to how she met her husband, Gordon (AKA "G"). During a newlyweds-style game with the cast, Mia and G confessed to meeting at a strip club, where they say Mia worked as a bartender. "Girl, if you were a bartender, I’m a white man," Candiace snarked in a confessional interview. Mia did later reveal her true role at the club, but that left the ladies a little confused, seeing as she described her experience as such: "I wasn't a stripper. I was an entertainer in a five-star restaurant where we served steak and lobster." When she later told the women she didn't know how to dance on a pole, they were even more baffled.
"No poles," she notes of the place she worked in Charlotte, North Carolina. "But it's like a runway. So every time, it was like a runway show, you just kind of twirl and just kind of do all this kind of fun stuff and just say hi."
"You eventually do take your gowns off, but I'm never completely nude, because it's illegal in North Carolina," she adds. "So we will keep like our boys shorts, bottoms on. Yeah. I'm not doing all that."
Mia says Gordon was at the club for a fundraiser for an organization on which he sat on the board, going on to clarify why she wouldn't and won't call herself a stripper.
"The correct terminology is entertainer," she adds. "When you refer to strippers, it's just, we've gone so far into this industry that it's a legal occupation, right? ... And yes, we did serve steak and lobster. It is a five-star restaurant and there's valet and all kinds of fun things."
Now, Mia runs a number of chiropractic franchises up and down the east coast with G, something else that has inspired digs from Candiace (she's said Mia is getting a paycheck for being a "trophy wife," among other things). Candiace has also pulled out a number of "yo momma" responses to Mia in their recent disagreements (with more to come), which cut extra deep. Mia has been very open about her mother and their strained relationship on the show, sharing her experiences growing up in the foster care system. Her mother, Veronica, has also opened up about her past and what led to Mia's time in the system, including Veronica's abuse of drugs and time incarcerated.
"You should leave people's moms out of it, that 'yo momma' joke took me all the way back to kindergarten," Mia says. "That's the first joke you learn. 'Yo momma!'"
Mia does concede that Candiace was unaware of her upbringing at the time of the comments, but asks, "Does that matter?" Candiace should now be aware of everything, seeing as its aired on the show. Mia says she heard from many of her co-stars after those deep talks with her mom aired, Candiace not included.
"It's very disappointing because I think we as women, being though we do disagree, we're going to argue, we're not going to always be on the same page, but when there's something that that's low? Like once you [see] how transparent Mom was, and what my mom had gone through? I got a message from all of the ladies, except for a few, not to name any names, I'll let you know at the reunion."
Before reunion day comes, there's still quite a bit of season left to play out -- including the much-teased salad-toss fight between Mia and Candiace on the cast trip to the Chesapeake, Virginia, shore. In a first look at this Sunday's episode, it appears as if Candiace throws the first leaf. All sneak peeks up until now have only shown Mia tossing a hefty handful of lettuce at the "Drive Back" singer.
"I don't remember even tossing the lettuce," Mia reveals. "So I had a moment where I'm like, wait, did I do that? And we were, God, where do I start?"
Mia's memory of the moment seems to be hazy, but she recalls being caught off guard by comments Candiace made. In the mid-season trailer, she's seen asking Mia, "Where is your pimp?"
"We're having fun, which is what you would think the we're supposed to be doing on a couples trip, right?" she recalls. "And I go upstairs and naturally the girls are having a few conversations and, yeah, it's just escalated because of Candiace's mouth and her rudeness. And I'm not going to stand for her. I'm not going to, I'm not going to tolerate that."
Mia says she's doesn't know if there's a path forward for her and Candiace, who feels similarly about Mia: That they were fine until they weren't, and Candiace feels that some of Mia's commentary has been unwarranted. Their issues really took off when Mia asked Candiace's mom, Dorothy, if Candiace's husband, Chris, was on the payroll now that Candiace was calling him her manager. She made the inquiry while on set of Candiace's music video, in which she cameo'd with the cast. While some of the women questioned why Mia would ask the question (which many of them wondered, too) in that moment, she stands by the choice.
"I wanted to know," she says. "And these ladies should know that they're going to get the full transparency version of Mia at all times. And if I want to know something, I'm going to ask questions. And if they're offended by it, I'm sorry. But I was just asking a question and I got an answer."
That "full transparency" thing seems to be at play in the salad toss, as well. In first looks at the lead-up to the altercation, Mia is seen speaking loudly on the phone to an undisclosed friend. Within earshot of her co-stars she says, "My beautiful, smart, rich friends can understand me. Not these broke b***hes."
"When you're in the heat of the moment, you just say things that come outside of your mouth and that's what I was feeling in the moment," she says of the phone call. "I was feeling like, OK. Where am I? And, who are these girls? And, where are my friends? Because I know people who don't act like this and I want to hang out with them right now. That's exactly how I was feeling. Where are they?"
Going into filming RHOP, Mia was only familiar with Karen Huger, the "Grande Dame" of the group and a friendly acquaintance in Mia's off-camera life. She was, however, familiar with the other ladies as a viewer of the show. She tuned in for season 1, as a Maryland native curious to see how her home state would be represented.
"I'm like, 'Who are these girls and why don't I know them, right?'" she shares. "I wouldn't consider [myself] a fan because I did miss a few seasons here and there -- I missed Candiace's [first] season. Sorry, I wasn't that interested -- But I will say I did watch last season because of the fight [between Candiace and Monique], right? Everybody was talking about these girls up in Maryland fighting and I'm like, what? We don't do things like that. I'm like, what were these girls representing in the DMV? I need to talk to them. And so, I did watch it play out and I was like, holy crap."
"So when Karen asked me to do the show, I was like, 'Heck no!'' she jokes. "I was like, OK, well let's just show them how to have some fun. And I do ... think that they're phenomenal women, I'm happy to be here."
Mia has also butted heads with Gizelle Bryant, specifically over a game of telephone in regards to comments Gizelle made about Wendy Osefo. This all went down on the first cast trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, where Ashley Darby pulled Wendy aside to ask about rumors circulating about Wendy's husband, Eddie, being unfaithful -- rumors which Wendy and Eddie have denied. When Wendy learned that Ashley brought them up because Ashley and Gizelle had been speaking about them (out of concern for Wendy, Gizelle claimed), Wendy unleashed on Gizelle. After they shared words, Gizelle made comments about Wendy's reaction being unwarranted ("You're gonna crumble every time? You shouldn't be here.") and Mia reported those comments back to Wendy, but said that Gizelle called Wendy a "weak b***h." That led to a new crop of issues for Wendy and Gizelle, a feud that lives on into real time.
"Whether she said weak b***h or weak-- she did say weak," Mia says. "She said, 'If you're going to crumble at every moment...' and in my mind, I'm thinking, OK, that's a 'weak b***h.' All right. So, I'll do better with my words, but that's exactly what I heard and be that as it may, she still referred to her as weak and crumbling."
"But they never talked about that because they were so stuck on my word," she points out. Mia says she isn't taking sides in the Wendy vs. Gizelle of it all, partially because she sees from where each woman is coming.
"I actually got to a point where I was feeling sorry for Wendy," Mia admits. "I felt like everybody was coming at her and we were judging her and it's like, dang, they saw she was down and she was hurt, so we just kept beating on top of her. ... We talked about her husband, we're criticizing her about her body, and it's like, enough is enough. And so I did get to the point where I just wanted to just start to learn who Wendy was and try to learn and appreciate exactly where she's coming from."
"When I see that there's something that's being done wrong, I do always try to come up under the person who's hurting the most," Mia continues. "And in this current moment I felt Wendy's hurting the most. So I wanted to be a supportive friend and not continue to just go in on her."
Wendy hasn't been the most welcoming to Mia, who took over the "new girl" mantle from the Johns Hopkins University professor. First, she wasn't excited about Karen bringing Mia as a plus one to the first all-cast event, which Wendy hosted. Then, she got upset with Mia for offering kindness to Gizelle (and this was before the cheating rumor drama). Most recently, the two got into it over Wendy immediately tattling to Candiace that Mia asked the manager/money question at the video shoot.
"It wasn't good enough apparently for her, so I'm not team anybody," Mia says. "I'm team Mia."
"Now, I do agree with Gizelle, and based on what I'm seeing, I do see a different personality and I'm trying to figure out why I can't put my finger on it," she remarks, in regards to Wendy. Gizelle, Ashley and Robyn Dixon have all questioned what feels like a change in Wendy's persona between season 5, her first on the show, and season 6. The exploration of this has been muddled by bringing up the tabloid drama and linking Wendy's choice to get plastic surgery to those allegations.
At this point, it seems that Mia and Wendy are not on speaking terms, which tracks because Wendy found herself in Mia's social media crosshairs at the start of the season. In those early episodes where they got off on the wrong foot, Wendy also spoke about her desire to launch a candle business. As part of her clap-back to Wendy, Mia released her own line of candles, one with the label "Don't f**k with me."
"Did I hear from her? No," Mia shares. "I'm shocked I didn't hear from her, but yeah, no, I didn't ... and that's another thing: We as women, we always get into a position where we feel like someone has done us wrong. We get angry and we, like, exile them. And instead, she should be calling me to ask me, how did I do it? How did I launch a candle in three days? I'll let her know. Because she seems to have a problem with how to get it off the ground."
Expect more Mia and Wendy moments before season's end, likely on the Chesapeake trip. G is along for the ride, and judging by the mid-season trailer, at the center of stirring up some must-see-TV moments.
"There's only one G and you guys have just met him and you're just getting started,OK?" Mia teases. "There's so many more layers to Gordon, as well. Gordon, gosh, we have such a great relationship because we are so very secure in who we are. And so when you take two secure people and you put them together, we don't really have a whole lot of problems, right?"
"He's 67 years-- well, sorry, 68. Wait, babe? How old are you? He's 69!" she continues, still confused about her husband's age -- a topic that came up on the season premiere.
"It's not my fault," she pleads. "He just turned 69 last week -- and it's a great year, by the way, 69 is a good year -- but we like to have fun. If you're not living, then what are we doing? And he has made it so far. He's accomplished, he's such a great dad, he's a great friend. He's just a great everything. He's a phenomenal businessman. And when he is with a group of friends on a vacation, he's going to let it all out. Y'all lucky that he kept his clothes on is all I have to say. If he wanted to walk to the bathroom with no clothes on, he would've did it, but I think he just being nice for the first time. But next trip? Look for it."
The Real Housewives of Potomac airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
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