Marlo Hampton-Learning from The Past

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Photo Credit: Day Hill with Buddhaflyy

As a friend of the Atlanta Housewives, Marlo Hampton made quite the impression on the fourth season of the show. With a fierce sense of style and attitude, Marlo brought the heat when she stood up to fellow housewives Sheree Whitfield and Kandi Burruss . Beyond the hair-pulling and screaming, there is a lot more to Marlo than meets the eye. Having struggled in her youth, she’s taken what she has learned to make a difference in the lives of others. Marlo took some time off from filming I Dream Of Nene to answer our questions.

TBB: Hello Marlo. I think it’s important for our readers to understand your history because it seems to have shaped a lot of who you are today. What was life like growing up in the foster care system?

MH: Life growing up in foster care was tough in the beginning, but it was a place of serenity. I knew, I wasn’t going to be abused, cursed out, or physically harmed. I did miss my mom and just not being with my biological family. But, I am a person who believes that everything happens for a reason and I learned something from being in each foster home, 5 in total. One of the most important things I walked away with is not to have a child until you are absolutely ready. At the end of the day, I thank God for foster care, because I wouldn’t be the determined woman I am today.

TBB: You’ve created charitable causes to help other young women. Tell us about them…

MH: My Glam It Up project was a no brainer with me growing up in the foster care system. It is very near to my heart. I understand how the children feel as it’s something I’ve been through before so I can speak on it. I feel the pain of a foster child; not to have your biological mother to raise you.
I want to make a difference in these girl’s lives. I wanted them to avoid the bumps in the road that I went through. I want them to know that the world is in their hands.

TBB: It has been a while since you hosted a Glam it Up event. Will you soon be resuming your work with them?

MH: I am really always working with them. Sometimes, it’s just one or two girls. But, you are right. I haven’t done one of my larger events with them. We are working on it now. I would love to have a sponsor that would assist us in producing the events. Some of the girls have transferred out of the foster care system with the organization I have been working with so I am in the process trying to find young girls that are not transitioning out of the system yet. I am always open to help foster care. If you know of any organizations who have younger girls that I can mentor you can refer them to me as well.

TBB: You had run ins with the law from 1998-2003. Everybody knows that all skeletons get exposed when you go on reality TV. Were you concerned about how people would react to that?

MH: Absolutely not. I knew that would happen. I feel that it is a part of me so I am not ashamed. I have learned from it and have put that behind me. Everyone has skeletons in the closet, and some choose to hide them or reveal it. I know people will judge, but at the end of the day there’s only one who will judge me. I hope to become an inspiration to those who are in my current situation and are afraid to come out due to their past. I also speak to young people all the time and share with them my past so they will not make the same mistakes I have made. If you can help just one person from your past; then it would not have been in vain.

TBB: Let’s talk about your turn on RHOA Season 4. People are still talking about that South Africa trip, mainly your conflict with Sheree (Whitfield). What happened that we did not see on the show?

MH: Everything you saw is really what it was, now when it comes to editing that’s different.

TBB: What are your thoughts on Sheree now? Did you see her recent turn on Fix My Life with Iyanla?

MH: I didn’t see it, but I hope that Iyanla (Vanzant) was able to fix her life. I would love to sit down and chat with Iyanla.

TBB: You are currently filming with Nene (Leakes). As a bridesmaid in her wedding you are part of her spinoff show. How is filming going? Are you excited to be back on Bravo?

MH: Yes, I am excited to be back on Bravo. Bravo has given me a great opportunity and for that, I’m grateful. Filming with Nene is always a great time. She is a wonderful friend and a true professional. I’m enjoying the venture!

TBB: Why were you only on one season of RHOA? Clearly Bravo couldn’t have been opposed to you being on since you are coming back to their network.

MH: Everything happens for a reason, I was able to focus on a lot of other endeavors this past year. And, now you’ll be seeing me soon on I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.

TBB: Would you become a Real Housewife if asked?

MH: I’m sure I would, but we’ll have to wait to see until that time comes.

TBB: Did you watch the most recent season? What did you think?

MH: I watched it, and I thought it was a good season.

TBB: Thank you for talking with me. Is there anything else you would like people to know?

MH: I would love for people to check out my website www.SimplyMarlo.com, where they can shop “Marlo’s Closet” where I sell gently-used items from my wardrobe and also ask me life and fashion advice in the “Ask Marlo” section.

Thank you and I’ll see you on Bravo in the Fall, until then…

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Porsha Stewart – A Housewife for a New Generation

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Photo Credit: Calvin Evans

As the youngest Housewife across all of the franchises, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Porsha Stewart had lots to prove. Holding her own with the strong 30 and 40 somethings of the cast was tough enough, but proving herself to the viewers was a whole different ballgame. In her first season on the show she has weathered some cat fights with Kenya Moore, a personal look at her struggle to carry a child, and some crafty edits (265 days of yams anyone?) but she’s taken it all in stride. Below she opens up about being the newbie, her ability to laugh at herself, and some very mature decisions she has made.

TBB: Hello Porsha. It’s been a very successful season of RHOA. Ratings are through the roof. What role do you think recent cast changes have played in the success?

PS: I feel like we just bring a different vibe, a fresh perspective, a brand new energy and a brand new storyline. We really know how to shake up things!

TBB: This season you are the new kid on the block, significantly younger than your cast mates and all of the ladies across the Housewife franchises. How did the opportunity to be on the show arise?

PS: Atlanta’s social scene is very small. I had a charity event and I invited one of the ladies. The producers met me and they asked me to join the cast. My family was familiar with the women and knew they were a great group. I ended up meeting all of them and the rest was history.

TBB: Being younger than the other women, have any of them assumed a mentor or motherly like role for you like Lea (Black) did for Lisa (Hochstein) on RHOM?

PS: Nene (Leakes) and I have really hit it off on a personal level. We often talk and she tells me how much my story is similar to hers. Like me, she was a housewife and her husband was the bread-winner until she stepped out to start a career of her own. She’s been really supportive of me.

TBB: Did your age give pause to either you or the producers when casting?

PS: I think that the producers, in the beginning, questioned whether I would be strong enough and be able to dominate around such strong and opinionated women. But I proved that I can hold my own. I have a child, I’m a married adult. I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to voice it.

TBB: The child is your stepson, Syre. Why don’t we see that side of you and (your husband) Kordell on the show?

PS: We decided not to feature Syre on the show. As adults we made the decision to join (RHOA) but he’s a child and can’t say for himself what is best for him. We just want to let him enjoy his childhood.

TBB: You and Kordell want more children. Your major storyline has been a struggle to conceive and carry a pregnancy due to fibroids. As a woman who went through infertility, I know this is a very sensitive subject. How has the fan reaction been regarding your struggle?

PS: It’s been so heartwarming to hear the responses of women. I’ve had women email me, one even called me through my hairstylist. She had a miscarriage that day the episode aired. She wanted to thank me for being brave enough to share my story because it helped her in her struggle. It’s heartwarming to know that I’m able to encourage other women to keep moving forward.

TBB: Recently you posted a couple of pictures on Instagram that got tongues wagging you may be currently pregnant. It’s not really something I am comfortable asking, but is there anything you were trying to tell the public or did everybody read too much into it?

PS: (laughs) A picture does speak a thousand words…and for me, what I can tell my supporters is just keep watching!

TBB: You have been very clear in your On The Fly interviews that you are not very fond of Kenya Moore. What’s your overall opinion on each of the Atlanta ladies?

PS: Overall I would say I’ve enjoyed most of the ladies and some of the relationships I’ve been able to build are genuine.

TBB: Would you like to come back for a second season with RHOA?

PS: I definitely would like to come back for a second season. There’s another side to me I’d love to be able to show. There’s a lot I have to offer and a lot of encouraging things I will be able to share that would be an example to other people. Kordell and I are a great example of a young couple that’s actually in love.

TBB: You’ve had some memorable faux pas like the 265 days a year comment and all the talk of yams and twins. Do you feel editing has been on your side this season?

PS: When they edit they edit so that it can be entertaining. So if you say something and slip up they’re going to keep it because it’s entertaining. It’s alright, I have the ability to laugh at myself.

TBB: You are the only Atlanta Housewife without a paying job. What are your plans for the future? Will you use the platform of the show to launch a business?

PS: I don’t have a paying job but I have a life of giving back. I’m involved with charities that are a great value to the people I help. There are a few things that I’ll be rolling out next year based on what people have asked me advice on. I’m working on a home decor line.

TBB: Thank you for talking with me. Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

PS: I think that’s about it. That was pretty good!

Follow Porsha on Twitter @PorshaDStewart
What do you think of the RHOA cast changes?
Watch Porsha on The Real Housewives of Atlanta Sundays on Bravo (Check local listings)