The Real Housewives of Potomac didn't waste any time in initiating newbie Monique Samuels into the crew during that recent high tea full of high drama. But this rookie held her own, even throwing in her two cents on the little tiff that transpired between Karen Huger, Robyn Dixon, and Gizelle Bryant.
So watch out, RHOP vets, because Monique has never been one to hold back, and she's not about to start now. "I'm pretty straightforward. I'm from Jersey, just like my girl Charrisse [Jackson Jordan]. We come with mouths and sass. And I'm pretty direct, and I'm not afraid to be confrontational, so I think that might have threw them for a loop a little bit. I know in the past, anytime there's a newbie, usually the newbie is a little bit quiet, but I just don't know how to be quiet," Monique told The Daily Dish prior to the episode airing. "I was born and raised in an environment where you speak your mind. Even with adults, you speak your mind, but you do it respectfully. As a child, that's what we were always told. And my dad always made sure that we were able to express ourselves. So that's just how I am since I was little. I don't know any other way to be."
Monique said she feels right at home in front of the cameras, too. "It just was a natural flow, even with the cameras and everything else, everyting was just so natural. I think I was born to do this," Monique said of her first season of RHOP. "There was a lot of ups and downs, like being on a roller coaster, being among such dynamic women. Any time you put six strong-minded women in the same room, you're bound to have something happen or some words being mistaken or taken the wrong way."
And it seems as though Monique has already made an enemy out of Gizelle, since the vet didn't seem quite ready to welcome the newbie into the group at the tea. "We immediately bumped heads. And it's funny because I actually thought I would have had more of a connection with her because I'm so close with the first lady of my church, and I know Gizelle's a former first lady. But there are just two different types of first ladies, I guess," Monique said with a laugh. "So I just felt like maybe she's a little threatened or a little intimidated or just flat-out jealous of me and my situation. And she's judging a book by its cover. She's assuming that she knows everything about me, and she knows nothing. She just probably made the same assumption that a lot of people make when they meet a person married to a successful athlete and not too bad-looking. So I'm used to it, though. So as soon as I felt that, I knew what I was feeling."
Monique said she felt like Gizelle "had a very ugly personality" from the moment she met her. "It was definitely shade from the beginning. I get really good vibes off of people, and my vibe with her was just total negative," Monique said. "I tried to be nice, but you get to a point where you're not gonna disrespect me. That's one thing you won't do."
Monique thought the rest of the RHOP ladies were welcoming, though. She said she felt "an instant sisterhood" with Charrisse, who was the first member of the RHOP squad she met in the charity circuit and who introduced her to the rest of the ladies. Monique also bonded with Ashley Darby since they both appeared on Say Yes to the Dress prior to tying the knot. "So we started just figuring out little different things that we had in common and had an instant connection," she said.
Karen was also "very welcoming" and "laid-back and very cool" toward Monique. The RHOP newbie said the grand dame didn't come to her with any etiquette lessons, either. "Yeah, she didn't have to school me at all. I guess she already figured out when she met me, 'Oh, she already came ready.' I could turn it on and turn it off. I know when to act classy, and I know when to come at your head," Monique explained. "So I'm pretty discerning when it comes to whatever situation I'm in. So maybe she picked that up about me."
Monique said that Robyn was also "very welcoming," but she found it difficult to make a deep connection with her at first. "We just kind of scratched the surface," Monique said of her first interactions with Robyn. "It was like, 'Oh, we're cool,' but there wasn't [any] in-depth conversation or really trying to engage and get to know each other until later on."
But getting to know all of the ladies of RHOP and their personalities was exactly what Monique wanted when she decided to move to Potomac with her husband, Chris Samuels, who was actually the one to encourage her to join the show in the first place. "Initially, I was basically like, 'Oh, I don't know if I want to do this.' And my husband, he really encouraged me to do it. He said, 'You know what? You only live once.' He said, 'Let's just give it a shot. Have fun with it. This is something that will be for you," Monique said. "So I thought about it and said, 'You know what? I do need to get a grip of who Monique is once again.'"
The RHOP newbie said we'll see her juggle her life as a wife, a mother of 4-year-old son Christopher and 1-year-old daughter Milani, and a boss when it comes to her husband's businesses, all the while trying to get in touch with Monique again. "My whole life is about making sure his life is on point. And then you add the kids into that. So that whole dynamic is just always me trying to squeeze in my little time in for me," Monique said. "So during this season, you'll pretty much see me trying to find that balance."
Monique won't just be facing drama from her friends, but she'll also butt heads with some family. Get a sneak peek of Monique's showdown with her mother-in-law in Sunday night's new episode at 9/8c, below.