Robyn Dixon Walked Away From 'RHOP' Reunion 'Feeling Worse' About Wendy Osefo Friendship (Exclusive)
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Real Housewives reunions are typically (well, hopefully) a place to broker peace between co-stars, but Robyn Dixon hints that The Real Housewives of Potomac's season 6 all-cast sit-down only made matters worse, at least for her and Wendy Osefo.
"I don't feel good about where we are, unfortunately," the RHOP OG tells ET, Zooming in from her new home in Maryland. "I wasn't expecting that. I was actually expecting to go into the reunion and come out with some resolution, and to go in with people willing to hear each other out, or to maybe see things differently once you're able to watch the season and talk it through, but I, honestly, don't feel good at all about where we are."
It's been a tense season for Wendy, whose change in attitude and physical appearance has been a hot topic of conversation among her castmates. Wendy says she's simply evolving, growing from the person she was in season 5. Her co-stars seem to believe the professor's tweaks are Wendy's response to how viewers received her during her debut season.
"I think she was trying to appeal to all of the fans on social media, and the blogs on social media, who were mean to her," Robyn surmises of why Wendy seemed to change so much between seasons. "Her first season, they didn't give her a chance. They didn't like 'the professor, four degrees.' ... They didn't like that she was friends with me and Gizelle [Bryant], and that she was at odds with Karen [Huger]. And so ... she wanted to appeal to those people."
"I can say that with almost certainty, because I had conversations with her about social media and how difficult it was for her," Robyn adds. "And she was just like, 'Wow, is this normal?' And, you know, I would tell her, 'Wendy, don't read the comments. Don't search your name. Don't worry about it. That's just part of the beast; it's part of the animal.' And I really felt like the second season Wendy was a result of social media and how she was, for lack of a better word, bullied and not really accepted widely by the fans."
Wendy has been defensive when it comes to criticism about any changes she did or did not make, and Robyn hoped that watching back the season would have changed that.
"If one of my friends comes to me and says, 'Hey, I notice some changes, you're acting differently, your personality's different, you're behaving differently...' I would be more concerned about that than being concerned about what you're saying about the change," she shares, noting that the conversations around Wendy's personality and appearance have been conflated into one conversation, when really, they're separate.
"The conversation about the personality change got lost in the conversation about, 'Wow, you're dressing differently, things are different,'" Robyn explains. "I think the conversation got melded together, because it's you're wondering does one have to do with the other?"
Instead, Wendy has shut down all talk about herself and not made space for that conversation. On a recent episode, she fired back at Robyn's concern by announcing to the group, "You're damn right I'm not the same person I was a year ago, because we grow. We evolve as women. We evolve. And if she's the same person she was a year ago, then she needs to change. She needs to motherf**king evolve."
"I think that speaks a lot to our friendship and how she viewed it," Robyn says in reaction to Wendy's fiery response. "She was so quick to throw an insult out at me. And I wasn't even talking bad about her. So, there was just a lot of little things. It's just unfortunate that we got to this point. I feel like I should always be able to speak my mind with my friends and tell them if I'm noticing something different, that's what friendship is. You tell your friends like, 'Hey, something's a little different, are you OK? Is it all good? I just want to make sure, you aren't trying to change yourself because of social media?'"
As for reunion day, Robyn says Wendy "came in not even attempting to listen," which left little room to make progress.
"I don't feel good at all," Robyn reiterates of where she and Wendy stand after the long day of filming earlier this month. "At this point, I will say the ball is in her court. I didn't go into the reunion with anger and being tense and being rude and stuff like that. So at this point, I'm kind of saying to myself, I know where I stand with her."
"I went in with an open mind, an open heart," she repeats. "I wasn't trying to be confrontational. I wasn't trying to argue. I just wanted to talk stuff out, but I really just don't think we ever-- that never happened. I did not walk away feeling comfortable. And so at this point, the ball's in her court because I walked away feeling worse."
Robyn says it's been disheartening to see her one-time friend double down on negativity toward her and Gizelle in media appearances as the seasons aired. She's frustrated by lack of any accountability on Wendy's part and her "tripling down" on attacking instead of listening.
"I was very curious to see, OK, when I watch the show, am I still going to see what I was seeing in real time and in person? And I saw it, it was just a more performative, but also colder, but also theatrical," Robyn says of reliving the season 6 version of Wendy. "And from what I noticed, a lot of the viewers picked up on those changes, as well."
"I don't see any type of like introspection from her saying, 'You know what? I can see where someone might say that,' or, 'You know what, Robyn? Now I see what you're trying to say,'" she adds. "That was just kind of weird for me, because I feel like on these shows you kind of get to a point where people can reflect and look back and say, 'Well, maybe I was a little too defensive...' or, 'Maybe I attacked a little too quickly...' or maybe, 'I didn't give you a fair chance...' and none of that happened."
This whole ordeal first came to a head on the cast trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, when Ashley Darby pulled Wendy aside to ask her about rumors circulating on "the blogs" about Wendy's husband being unfaithful. Wendy and her husband, Eddie, have denied the allegations, and the entire cast has said they don't believe them. Still, the one-on-one chat with Ashley set Wendy off, as she returned to the group and unleashed on Gizelle and Robyn over the conversation coming to TV, attacking Gizelle's lack of a relationship and telling Robyn "you don't even have a relationship to even care about, talking crazy," despite the fact that Robyn is engaged to remarry her ex-husband, Juan Dixon.
"It was jarring and it was very telling," Robyn admits of the dig. "It's like, in that moment, OK you're upset. You're heated, whatever. But once you see things weren't really the way that you thought they were, why are you doubling and tripling down in your media interviews and continuing to put down my relationship? That's the part where I'm stuck."
"I've never said one bad thing about her husband, her relationship," she continues. "I never talked about that rumor."
As the episodes aired, Wendy went on to claim that Robyn was actually the first person to give her a heads up about the rumors off-camera, making it seem as if she got argumentative with Robyn asking why Wendy was upset in the moment because Robyn already knew everything. Robyn says that couldn't be further from the truth.
"It was a whole three months later, almost, since that rumor came out," Robyn points out. "I'm sorry, but that's not on the top of my mind, and it's especially not something that I'm thinking is enough for her to be so upset about."
Robyn also says she doesn't know if she was the first person to alert Wendy to the tabloid reports, but she does confirm they discussed it ahead of going into production on season 6.
"Her saying that is not, like, a smoking gun," Robyn declares. "Because what I expressed at that time was, 'I can't believe they're doing this. Why are they putting out stupid stuff like this?' Not thinking that there was any truth to it."
"This same blog was just saying all types of, like, crazy," she recalls. "They were literally harassing us and putting out lies about all of us for months. And I reached out to her and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe this. This is crazy.' Just like, 'Don't pay attention to it.'
Robyn says she had no idea her friendship with Wendy would take such a left turn when cameras went up on season 6. She says they were more than cool while on hiatus, talking regularly and forming a bond beyond the show.
"I would hope she would be one to tell you that I was probably someone that would check on her the most when it came to just dealing with social media and trying to stay strong and not letting it affect you, stuff like that," Robyn professes. "And so for her to just take everything that I said and make it seem like I was coming from a bad place, that for me was more hurtful than her talking about my [relationship]."
To Robyn, Wendy is playing the show like a "game."
"She's over-strategizing, she's overthinking, she's playing this TV game," she says. "I don't play these games. ... And even with whatever Gizelle and Ashley were talking about, they weren't attacking her family, but she keeps going on this 'attacking my family, attacking my husband' thing."
Robyn points to Wendy repeatedly saying the words "wanting a moment" as a bit of proof her co-star views this as a fight for screen time. Wendy invoked the phrase while fighting with Robyn in Williamsburg, and again when Robyn and Gizelle opted to find their own accommodations on the cast trip to the Chesapeake Bay, hosted by Wendy.
"We didn't bother anyone, we didn't inconvenience their trip at all," Robyn notes. "We didn't complain, we didn't whine. We found a solution for ourselves at 12:30 at night to be comfortable. So when you watch that it's like, what are your intentions here? Her intention is not to repair friendships. I promise you if that was Karen that didn't have a bathroom, she would've showed some compassion. She would've understood if Karen left the house to go stay in a hotel 30, 35 miles away to be comfortable instead of saying that Karen was looking for a moment. So it's just like, let's be fair here."
Robyn says the attacks on her relationship, as well as Gizelle's lack of one, aren't fair either, and likely insulting to viewers. Cracks about marriages are the go-to insult on RHOP more than any other Housewives series.
"I feel like by them attacking me and Juan, because we're not married or whatever, it's like you're literally attacking every single woman in America," she declares. "You're literally saying that single women aren't worthy, they're worthless or they're, 'Oh, poor single women!' I don't even understand the why. I don't understand the obsession with the status of my relationship and what goes on in my household. But it's very deliberate. It's very, they just pick on Robyn, they pick on Gizelle. You don't hear them talking about everyone else. It's like, it's intentional, but I wish they would find someone else to talk about."
As for the state of the Dixon household, Robyn says she and Juan are doing well and settling into their new home with sons Corey, 13, and Carter, 12. Adding "Juanita" to that mix -- Juan's dream for a daughter -- is still a conversation.
"We'll see what happens," she teases. "I'm aging by the day, so I'm not confident that it will happen regardless, but I haven't closed the door on it."
What Robyn likely has closed the door on is a big to-do for her and Juan's re-marriage. While she was originally toying with a major destination wedding, she's leaning toward pulling back for her second walk down the aisle.
"When I feel like when people are always critiquing and attacking my relationship, it makes me want to keep it to myself," she shares. "So, I'm probably thinking to do something a little more private."
For now, Robyn is focusing on her business endeavors -- her podcast with Gizelle, Reasonably Shady, as well as her hat line, Embellished -- and mental health. After sharing her battle with feeling unmotivated during the pandemic on TV, Robyn took viewer advice and sought out help. She's since been diagnosed with moderate, adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"Overall I am feeling a lot better. I'm feeling more motivated and Juan is much more supportive," she says, cracking up when asked if he's "attracted" to her again, after the former NBA pro told his wife he didn't find her lying in bed all day to be attractive.
"Yes, he finds me very hot," she cracks. Robyn says getting her mental health in check has also helped her refocus on building Embellished. Her castmates were shocked to learn that their co-star was ignoring offers from mega-retailers to sell her wares, simply because she was unmotivated.
"I communicated with the retailers," she promises. "The problem ... with retail is, they take a big chunk of your money, your share of your profit. ... So I'm still just e-commerce only. I am considering retail, but I just don't know if it's going to make sense for me because my hats aren't that expensive."
One thing Robyn won't be doing with Embellished is adding a candle to her range of products. Co-stars Karen and Wendy both launched home fragrances this season, with Karen making it clear hers was for a larger space as it's a three-wick model, while Wendy's is for a "powder room," seeing as it's just one wick.
"No, I will absolutely not add a candle," she declares. "I think the market is pretty saturated. And ... I feel like on a show, when you have a platform that's very visual, such as a TV show, then your product should be visual. So if it was me, I would've done something different, but to each their own."
The candle debate is sure to have its own moment at the reunion, which begins airing on Sunday, Nov. 7, and will feature a hosting takeover by Nicki Minaj. The RHOP superfan crashing into Andy Cohen's chair to enter chat was a total shock to Robyn and her co-stars.
"It was a huge surprise!" Robyn exclaims. "Bravo production did a great job of surprising us, 'cause I think going in, we all, in our minds, [were] like, 'They gotta make it happen!' Like, Nicki's going to be there. We were just waiting, but they really kind of took us off the scent and the surprise. It was amazing. It was amazing. It was-- I literally was just sitting on the couch like, how did I get here? It was one thing to already be, like, on a Real Housewives show, but I was literally like, OK, now this is the biggest pinch me [moment]. I think I actually turned to, like, Ashley or Candiace and I was like -- I think it was Ashley -- I was like, 'Are we here?' Like, I'm like pinching her."
When ET spoke with Candiace last week, she teased that Nicki "went in" on one cast member in particular, but wouldn't reveal who; Robyn won't either, but says Candiace could've been talking about any number of their cast.
"She asked questions that, I think some of the viewers are going to be like, 'Thank you!' They were funny," Robyn says. "I knew that Nicki watched the show in season 1, because she was following me on Instagram in season 1 and I was floored by that. So I was aware that she's not new to Potomac, but the way in which she was so familiar it, she felt -- it really, literally, felt like she's worked on the show and I appreciated that, although she's so familiar -- she's watched it for years -- it didn't feel like she had a favorite. It didn't feel like she was biased."
Robyn admits that some of the women have "more uncomfortable conversations than others," though.
"She says stuff where I'm like, 'Well, thank you!' Like, coming from me, I'm a bad guy. But coming from Nick Minaj? It's OK!" Robyn says. "[And] she was out there for a very long time -- like hours -- but she ... wasn't, like, quick hitting with the questions. She was really slow with it. Very intentional, very deliberate, and sometimes would get into [unexpected] conversations."
As for the controversy surrounding the rapper -- she voiced what some perceived as anti-COVID vaccine views online, and is facing allegations of threatening a woman who accused Nicki's now-husband of sexual assault -- Robyn hopes viewers put that aside and just enjoy the entertainment delivered by Nicki and the women. "She's still a megastar," Robyn notes.
As for where this group goes from here, Robyn expects everyone to return for season 7.
"The season is really successful," she points out, referencing the high ratings RHOP brought in this year. "I don't see where changes are necessary. ... I'm sure the goal would be to try to get everyone back to a good place."
"I'm not a woe-is-me type person," she continues. "So, I'm just going to deal with people where they are, not try to force anything, not try to make someone out to be a bad guy. If somehow, people let their guard down, then, great."
The Real Housewives of Potomac airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
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