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D'Andra Simmons Clarifies Why She Changed Her Last Name After the Biggest Drama with Mama Dee Yet
The Real Housewives of Dallas cast member reveals where she stands with her mom after that heated moment.
Having watched D'Andra Simmons for four seasons on The Real Housewives of Dallas, we know that her relationship with her mother, Dee Simmons, can sometimes get a little tense. But we never saw anything like their drama in the March 16 episode of RHOD.
At Tiffany Moon's birthday party in the episode, Mama Dee recounted the tale of how she met her late husband, Glenn Simmons. Later in the night, RHOD friend Jennifer Davis asked D'Andra why her last name is Simmons if Glenn was her stepfather. When D'Andra handed over the floor for her mother to explain, Mama Dee said, "Because you said that Simmons can take me lots further than Callaway can."
D'Andra said that was not true, and she became very angry with her mother, who continued to stand by her statement. The RHOD mother-daughter duo got into an argument over the matter, which ended with D'Andra in tears and Mama Dee leaving the party early.
Kameron Westcott provided some insight into why Mama Dee's comment was so upsetting to D'Andra during an interview in the episode. "In Dallas, the last name Simmons is very recognizable. You see it on buildings, you see it on hospitals, you see it on colleges. There's always been rumors in town that D'Andra changed her last name to Simmons to benefit herself, to have more doors open for her, to have more job opportunities," Kameron explained. "Having known D'Andra for 15 years, I know she's extremely insecure about those rumors, and she's constantly paranoid that people think that about her."
D'Andra opened up more about the explosive RHOD moment during an interview on Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino following the latest episode, and she agreed with Kameron's assessment of the situation. "It is something that has been rumored by different people in Dallas for years and years," D'Andra said. "And when I changed my name, I believe I was 18 years old, and I didn't really know the power of that name in Dallas, because at 18, I was chasing boys, I was kind of a rebel, I was thinking about going to college and leaving home."
D'Andra said that she and her biological father had become "estranged" by the time she was a teenager, moving in and out of his house before ultimately leaving at age 15 to live with Mama Dee and Glenn. "I didn't talk to him until I went to college and had to fill out applications about your parents' history and all that, and that was a very strange conversation," D'Andra recalled. "But then I realized Glenn had been the one parent in my life that had been a constant. He had taken care of me."
She went on to say that Glenn was always there for her while she was in and out of the hospital dealing with asthma and breathing issues from the time she was born until she was 12. "He was always the person that was the one caretaker and nurturer in my life," D'Andra shared. "And so, if I looked at that at the time I changed my name, it was because Glenn was the one parent, the one that was constant in caring for me."
As for why Mama Dee made that comment on RHOD, D'Andra said she still isn't sure. "That is a mystery to me. I've had conversations with her. I don't understand it. It's very hurtful. It was embarrassing, and I said that it was very embarrassing to me, because she knows the one thing that I have had to overcome is that hurt in Dallas, people talking about that," she said. "It wasn't for anything except for the fact that Glenn was who he was."
D'Andra then joked, "If I had been an opportunistic person, I would have kept it at Callaway, because Callaway Golf, hello," before noting that she has no relation to the company. "But it's spelled the same way. I could have ridden that tide, you know [laughs]?"
D'Andra teased that she and Mama Dee will "have a serious sit-down" about this in the next episode of RHOD. "She, my mother, as you know, she sticks to her guns and her stories, her truth," D'Andra said. "I think she has a tendency of revisionist history with a lot of things."
However, D'Andra said that she is hoping this doesn't permanently damage her relationship with her mom. "My mother's 80 years old, and I've had to look, OK, do I want to break this relationship and have a broken relationship with her and fight for things just because I'm right about them, or do I want to just continue on, let her win this one and move on and not let it mean that much to me?" she said. "This year, the biggest thing that has happened to me growth-wise is that I'm not letting things bother me as much. Now, this did. The way I handle it the next few weeks is gonna be a real test."
She also shared where she and Mama Dee stand today. "We're good. I am disappointed, I will be honest about that. I'm very disappointed she doubled down on that story instead of listening to me and having my recollection and saying, 'Hey, maybe I didn't understand that correctly.' No, she doesn't do that. She doubles down," D'Andra said. "We're OK. I don't know what's gonna happen after the episode. I think there's a lot of other things to unpack."
D'Andra reflected more on the episode while tweeting as it aired on March 16, sharing that she was happy Mama Dee could attend her "second daughter" Tiffany's birthday.
She also addressed her reaction to Mama Dee's statement about her last name. "Yes, I got more than a little upset about the conversation around my last name! I work very hard in my life and expect nothing gratuitously," D'Andra tweeted. "I changed my name to honor my stepfather…that is the ONLY reason. Also, for the record Glenn Simmons did in fact raise me."
D'Andra ultimately apologized for her behavior toward her mother. "Note to self, don’t yell at [Mama Dee] like that ever again," she tweeted. "I’m sorry!"
She also noted that maybe she had a little too much fun during the party. "Tequila shots and this group don’t mix well," D'Andra tweeted, "especially with me."
As D'Andra noted on Everything Iconic, she and Mama Dee do appear to have gotten their relationship back on track after Tiffany's birthday party, even recovering from their recent ankle surgeries together.
Mama Dee also sent her daughter the warmest birthday wishes on Twitter on March 15. "Wishing A Very Happy Birthday to my daughter, who is beautiful and unique. I love you and am so proud of you," she tweeted. "D'Andra, I'm amazed by the person you've become. Watching you grow is a gift from God. I love you so much."
Want more RHOD? New episodes air every Tuesday at 9/8c or catch up on the Bravo app.