The Real Housewives of Potomac ladies have heard a little bit about Gizelle Bryant's relationship with her ex-husband, Jamal Bryant, this season, but they have yet to actually see the couple together in person. So, Karen Huger decided to use their girls' trip to Portugal, which kicked off in the November 8 episode of RHOP, as an opportunity to confront Gizelle about why she never brings Jamal, who lives in Atlanta, around their friend group.
Karen explained during The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 5 After Show (clip above) that she was genuinely concerned for Gizelle, even if they are not always on the best terms.
"Let's be clear: Gizelle and I, we are hot and cold all the time, that's how our relationship has been. But at the end of the day, I want to see Gizelle win. And so, when a man does not show up in your community on your arm, I mean, what does that say? Why is he not here for you? Why do we not see him?" Karen shared. "It may have been difficult for her to receive, but I was coming from a good place. She deserves, honestly, every woman deserves the absolute best man. If he doesn't treat her well or is ashamed to be in public with her, is he proud of you? Why isn't he adorning your arm around your friends and family in Potomac? That was a simple question, and it struck a chord with her."
RHOP executive producer Kemar Bassaragh said in the After Show that Gizelle's decision to not have Jamal around the other women was actually "kind of smart."
"Well, this is something I've said to Gizelle to her face, so I don't mind saying it here: If you were Gizelle, who has things to say about everyone's relationship, would you now bring your partner around everyone for everyone to have the same comments about him?" he said. "But I get where the other women are coming from is like, 'Oh, now you are in a relationship, now you're with someone, now you don't want us to have an opinion about them? How is that fair?'"
"I was really taken aback by knowing that nobody else had really seen Jamal. I'm not that close to Gizelle, but Robyn, who is her best friend, why would she not spend time around Gizelle's now-boyfriend?" Ashley said. "That just seems like Gizelle is hiding her relationship a little bit and doing so because she knows she has thrown a lot of daggers at other people. And so, she's being a little bit more guarded about what she says and who she introduces because, you know, it's like a boomerang; that thing always comes right back."
Robyn surprised the rest of the group when she echoed Karen's sentiment about Jamal during that first dinner in Portugal. "I totally understood where Karen was coming from because it is something you observe as a group. We all see each other's spouses or partners at some point. And I also know when you don't see our spouses, everyone wants to know, 'Where are they? Where are they?' Expecting them to come," Robyn said in the After Show. "So, it's a valid question for sure, but sometimes I feel like coming from Karen it did not feel sincere. I doubled down on it or I backed it up, but it was more coming from a sincere place than Karen, where I felt she was being a little messy."
Karen seemed pretty thrilled about Robyn backing up her in that moment during her appearance on the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen After Show on November 8. "Robyn is supposed to be Gizelle's ride or die, but I had to lean back and let her have that moment because that was priceless when Robyn held Gizelle accountable," Karen said. "The world needed to witness that, Andy [Cohen]."
When Karen brought the topic of Jamal up again toward the end of the November 8 episode of RHOP, Gizelle memorably got him on FaceTime to say hello to all of the ladies while they were out to lunch in Portugal. However, that didn't prove anything to Karen. "Gizelle was deflecting when she picked up the phone and tried to prove that Jamal is in her life by FaceTiming him, which didn't work for me because the man lives in the phone," Karen said on WWHL (clip below). "He's been living in the phone for a year."
Karen also confirmed on WWHL that she has "spent absolutely no time" with Jamal and shared her hopes for Gizelle to be more forthcoming with her relationship in the future. "Gizelle certainly became extremely defensive at all of us, all of us girlfriends, we were like, 'Why is she so defensive about Jamal when we ask her about Jamal?'" Karen said. "So all we would like her to do is put down her defense and open up a little bit about her private life. Jamal seemingly is her man. We share our man, share your man."
But it sounds like Gizelle has no plans to introduce Jamal to Karen anytime soon. "I don't want to bring him around people that don't support me, don't love me, and that are truly not wanting the best for me. I know Robyn loves me and wants the best for me. So people like that, I don't have any problems with Jamal being around them," Gizelle said. "But Karen? Karen can kick rocks. She probably will never see Jamal."
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