The Real Housewives of Potomac may have been sipping some tea during Sunday night's episode as they all gathered to get to know newbie Monique Samuels. However, the RHOP vets came prepared to spill the tea about Monique when The Daily Dish caught up with them prior to the start of this season.
Charrisse Jackson Jordan couldn't wait to show the other RHOP ladies how amazing her good friend Monique is. "I love Monique. Monique is from New Jersey. She's genuine. She's not pretentious. She's not trying to be something that she's not. She doesn't care," Charrisse told The Daily Dish. "The thing that I like most about her — as opposed to some of my other castmates — other people want to pretend that their life is a certain way when it's really not, whereas with Monique, she doesn't care. It's just like, what you see is what you get. She's open to talk about things that most of the people in our cast will never talk about. She's just an open book, but I like it. She's just a good person."
But she knew that Monique and Gizelle Bryant would probably not get along. "I did tell her I knew Gizelle wasn't gonna care for her too much. I did pre-warn her about that," she said with a laugh. "Monique is a very confident young woman, and that within itself is a lot when you have to deal with a Gizelle. And then she comes with a lot. The lifestyle, she has a husband, the sky is the limit for her right now. And unfortunately, some people can't embrace stuff like that. They rather be a little on the envious side. But I'm happy for her and all that great stuff that's going on in her life for her family."
Monique's mention that she has four homes seemed to stop Gizelle in her tracks a little bit after she inquired about her housing situation in Potomac, but Gizelle told The Daily Dish that she was "not impressed" by that fact. "It's not what you have, because that comes and goes. It's who are you, and that's what I really wanted to know from her from the beginning, but I didn't get that from the beginning," Gizelle explained. "I just got, 'I have houses. I have cars. I have Champagne. I have wine.' So it's just a lot of that."
Gizelle admitted that she may not have been as warm toward Monique because of her ongoing drama with Charrisse. "I wasn't ready to give her a real, solid chance," she shared. "And then it wouldn't help that she was introduced to the group by Charrisse, so I was giving Monique a little shade by association."
And she recognized that Monique is one strong woman. "No, she's not a timid girl, and I think she's good for the group because she does hold her own. She sticks up for herself. She's not a pushover," Gizelle said. "So yeah, I think she's a good mix for the rest of us."
Ashley Darby told The Daily Dish that she's still not sure why Gizelle and Monique didn't hit it off right away. "I was like, what's Gizelle's problem?" she said of when she first walked into the high tea. "I think she's great. She's fun. She likes wine. She likes bourbon. She likes Fireball with me. She's just winning in my opinion."
Robyn Dixon said she liked Monique when she first met her, but there was one thing that bugged her about her. "I thought Monique had a lot of energy. She's very nice, very happy and fun," she told The Daily Dish. "However, she talks way too much about herself. So that was one of my frustrations with Monique."
Karen Huger, who organized the high tea, thought Monique really brought a lot of energy to the group right from the start. "You know what? The lady can spit a rap. We were at high tea, and she spit a rap. I was like, 'Okey dokey.' But you know what I like about her? I like the fire in her belly. She has a quick response, she's fun, she's young, and I think there's a — I don't want to overstate it — but I think there's very much a fairness to her that a lot of people don't have, and that's a good quality," she told The Daily Dish. "So I'm looking forward to getting to know her better. But she is funny. At this point in my life, I need a laugh. I want to laugh a lot. I don't take life for granted, and Monique brings the laughs. She makes me die laughing."
Not only do several of the ladies love how fun Monique is, but they also admire her happy home life. "I like the dynamic of her and her husband and the whole family unit thing," Charrisse said. "Chris [Samuels] is a really good guy. Funny. I like them as a couple. They're really cute. It's like a breath of fresh air, actually."
But Ashley admitted that the fact that Monique seems to have it all could rub some of the RHOP ladies the wrong way. "Coming into a situation where you're with women who have been with high-profile men in the past and you've had relationships that haven't ended well and have maybe had to face some ridicule of some capacity, it does affect you. It hits you in the core a little bit," she said. "So the fact that some of the other ladies are, insecure is a strong word, but that's really what it is. They're insecure about Monique being in this happy point in her life and being happily married to this great husband, having all these homes and driving this nice Bentley, of course, some of the ladies have the rug ripped underneath them, whereas Monique is still riding the magic carpet. So they have some feelings about it. There were some sour grapes."
As the grand dame of RHOP, you might think that Karen would have felt the need to take Monique under her wing and school her on Potomac society, but she said that wasn't the case. "These are grown women. They don't need my assistance on anything. These women will do them and do themselves well," Karen explained. "No, I felt no responsibility at all. I think she came in well-equipped. I wish her well. If she asked me for any help, of course I would always give her advice if needed. But she seems OK."
But Ashley has some words of wisdom for Monique for fitting in with this dynamic group of women. "My biggest piece of advice to her was to just be open because, yes, it was very rough for me, and we had our share of ups and downs, and we still [do]. I encouraged her to actually talk to them and figure out what's the problem, because I think what happens sometimes when we're all upset because we're also a little hot-headed, all of us, we all think we're the stuff. We have our businesses and our families, this and that. Sometimes that clouds the fact that, at the end of the day, we're all women who should really be supporting each other," she said. "So let's listen to each other and figure out what the problem is. If we find out that we can't find common ground, that's one thing. Let's not all jump to conclusions and judge somebody from an initial interaction. Just give it a little bit more time."
Will Monique and the rest of the RHOP ladies follow Ashley's advice? Check out what's in store for the rest of this season, below.