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…