Phaedra Parks, the Southern belle attorney and newest member of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," had some hesitation when Bravo asked her to the join the cast.
"At the time, I really didn't know, because it wasn't always well-spoken of in Atlanta to be very honest with you," Phaedra tells Zap2it. "But then a lot of people came to me and said, 'I think that you would bring something different from what we have been seeing.' And that really is what made me want to do it."
Once she did decide to join, Phaedra didn't hesitate to get right into the mix, though. In the Season 3 premiere, she commented on hometown acquaintance and fellow castmate NeNe Leakes' lack of ladylike manners and she has been Dwight's "wing-woman" as he threw financial allegations out at both NeNe and Sheree Whitfield.
While the new housewife says she didn't follow the series before joining, she says she knew a bit of what to expect.
"I've done reality TV a few times, so I'm pretty familiar with it," she says. "At the end of the day I understand that what makes for good TV are sensational events and drama and cattiness and some of this other foolishness sometimes. And that's just part of the madness of TV, and particularly reality TV."
In the last episode, the women were all abuzz over Phaedra's husband, Apollo. Sure, he's a looker, but the women seemed more interested in his criminal record.
"At the end of the day, you have to realize I married him," Phaedra says. "He doesn't have to sleep with anyone except for me. No one has to be bothered with him except for me. So, why is it anyone else's concern?"
Phaedra maintains her husband did his five-year jail time for racketeering - a "white collar crime." Of course, racketeering is a loaded word, which most people associate with the mafia.
"That's what most people think of. You're correct," Phaedra acknowledges after we asked her about allusions to the mafia. When we asked the new housewife if she can help us understand what racketeering meant in Apollo's case, she told us she hadn't read the case file and wasn't comfortable speaking on it.
In a preview clip for Monday's Oct. 18 episode below, NeNe says she heard Apollo was convicted of stealing cars.
"I think at the end of the day," says Phaedra. "That's what he was convicted of - was for racketeering. He was not convicted for stealing cars."
Even though she doesn't approve of all the gossip swirling about her, Phaedra sees the bright side of it, as well.
"They're talking, because hey, I'm on their mind," she says. "So, I guess it's a good thing. When they stop talking, that's when you have to worry."
Watch the preview clip below, in which Phaedra and Apollo talk about the gossip:
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