Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Potomac” has just wrapped its first half of Season 5, ending off with Monique Samuels attempting to explain her fight with co-star Candiace Dillard to the rest of the ladies.
In a new interview, the football wife addresses the altercation with the public, admitting that Dillard didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of her wrath.
“She took a beating for 36 years of built-up frustration,” Samuels, 37, told People. “It wasn’t just about [Candiace] that night. Once it became physical, my response was that of defending myself, but also that pounding was for every person that has ever done anything to me.”
Footage showed Samuels appearing to repeatedly hit 33-year-old Dillard in the head.
“For that, I just felt like, ‘Wow, [Candiace] didn’t deserve all of that,’” she admitted. “I do not excuse my actions. I take full ownership of my part in the altercation.”
While taking responsibility for her part of the fight, Samuels did admit to feeling provoked or “egged on” by Dillard.
“I was not trying to engage her,” Samuels went on. “I was already at the point where I realized she’s not the person who I thought she was.
“She starts coming closer and then that hand comes right next to my chin and instantly, now that I look back, that was definitely a trigger. I don’t like hands in my face. I said, ‘Get your hand out of my face’ and ‘You need to back up,’ but she did not.”
“That’s when she starts saying, ‘You gone drag me?’ Where I grew up, if you don’t want to engage in a fight and a person says back up, then you back up,” she continued. “That’s where the tone changed. She egged me on with that question, and I returned it by touching her hair, which I shouldn’t have done. That definitely escalated things.”
Dillard responded to Samuels’ claim that she provoked the fight with the following statement:
“If me ‘egging’ Monique on in a verbal altercation is Monique‘s justification for physically attacking me, does that mean that I was within my rights to physically attack her at Ashley‘s dinner when I was trying to speak and she chose to talk over and taunt me like a five year old? By my standards, no. This is a 37-year-old woman attempting to use a mutual verbal spat to justify barbaric behavior. I will never understand. Furthermore, after I was grabbed by my hair and yanked down onto a table, anything that I did to defend myself against a grossly emotionally deficient woman is my business and her consequence.”
Samuels claims she blacked-out during the fight, but was fully aware when she decided to go after Dillard again moments after they had been separated.
“People ask why you went back after her and I’m like she’s literally yelling, ‘She’s fired, right?’ That made me feel she did this on purpose. You didn’t expect the fight would happen but you created this and took it to a whole other level and the first thing you say is, ‘She’s fired?’ I’m like okay, she wants me to be fired. Then let me go and finish this,” said the mother of three.
Samuels also said that Dillard’s history of threatening co-stars may have played a factor. Still, in hindsight, she knows she didn’t handle the situation maturely.
“I spoke with my pastor. I ended up hiring a therapist. I just want people to know that this wasn’t something I took lightly,” she said. “I was very serious about getting the proper help so that nothing like this happens again. Everything was about self-reflection.”