Former 'Real Housewives' star Monique Samuels opens up about her reality TV return on 'Love & Marriage: DC'

Monique Samuels is back on reality TV after a few years away. Gibson Johns interviews the Not For Lazy Moms founder about how legendary reality TV producer Carlos King convinced her to return to TV for OWN's "Love & Marriage: DC," how the first season is going for her and how it differs from her time on "The Real Housewives of Potomac." They also chat about what really went down when she decided to leave Bravo, why she turned Andy Cohen's "Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip" offer down, whether she'd ever return for "Watch What Happens Live!" and how her various other businesses are doing these days.

Video Transcript


GIBSON JOHNS: Hi, guys. Welcome back to "We Should Talk, a pop culture interview series from In the Know. I'm your host, Gibson Johns. And this week on the podcast, we have Monique Samuels from "Love & Marriage-- DC" on OWN, formerly of "The Real Housewives of Potomac" on Bravo. It is great to have Monique back on TV.

"Love & Marriage-- DC" is a Carlos King production. He's the man behind, you know, early "Atlanta-- eight seasons of "Atlanta," early "Jersey." So he really knows what he's doing. And he's behind some really iconic moments in reality television.

And he created the show. And he wanted to give Monique Samuels another starring vehicle. So he did "Love & Marriage-- DC." And it's a really solid cast. It's great to have her back. And they're all just such open books on this show.

And it's a lot about marriage and relationship struggles and things like that. So it's a little bit different framing than "Housewives" was. And it seems like it's a better fit for Monique right now, you know. I think that she just didn't feel supported. And I think it got really dark at the end of season five of "Potomac." And that's no secret.

I love "Real Housewives of Potomac." Everyone knows that. But I think for her, it wasn't the right fit anymore. And she didn't feel supported. And she has every right to have moved on if she felt that way.

It seemed like a really tenuous situation. So we got into a lot of that, a lot of sort of where her head was at with "Housewives" of it all and Bravo of it all and why this felt like a better fit for her. And, yeah, we kind of touched on a lot of different things. And her being asked back for "Ultimate Girls Trip" and deciding not to, whether she'd go back and watch what happens live with Andy because there really is no bad blood between her and Andy, as she told me in this episode.

But, yeah, I love Monique. I'm really happy she's back on TV. And if you're not watching "Love & Marriage-- DC," definitely give it a go. I think it's a really solid show. There's a lot of promise in this cast. And again, like, Monique is such a star. And this is really kind of a central vehicle for her. And I think there's a lot of promise there.

So keep listening for my interview with Monique Samuels. Tune in to "Love & Marriage-- DC" on OWN Saturdays at 9:00 PM. And please rate, review, and subscribe to "We Should Talk" on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.


All right, you guys, so we are here with Monique Samuels, star of "Love & Marriage DC" on OWN, founder of "Not for Lazy Moms," Mila Eve essential oils. She wears many hats. She is back in the game. I'm so excited to be talking to her again. Monique, thanks for being here. How are you?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: I'm good. Thanks for having me. It's so good to connect with you again. It's

GIBSON JOHNS: So good to connect with you. And we were just talking. We did an interview every time every season of you that you had on on "Potomac." And I just felt we had a connection back then. And so I'm really happy to be reconnecting. And again, I'm so happy to have you back on our TV screens because I think that you are-- you're made for this. I really think you are.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate it. I'm happy to be back and definitely happy to connect with you.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yes. So how has it been so far? Like, I mean, we're deep into this first season of "Love & Marriage-- DC." And it's-- I mean, you know, it's-- people-- I mean, I've seen a lot of talk about it. Carlos King is a legend. He's the creator of the show. You're in good hands. How has it been so far? Do you feel the love from the fans?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Oh, my goodness. It's been a crazy ride. First of all, it's kind of funny. So when people last saw me, it was in a crazy situation, leaving "Potomac." The binder, like, shut it down. So that was great.

And then now, fast forward, you're coming into a situation where my husband and I are, like, completely bumping heads. And it's just a part of the seasons of marriage that we go through that nobody has ever witnessed. So it was a lot just being able to film through that whole process.

But what I could appreciate is that nothing about the filming process was contrived. The production crew was amazing. They just kind of sat back and just let us be us, you know, in every single scene. So that was very refreshing.

Fast forward now watching the show, I really wish there was more context behind Chris and I's arguments because it would make more sense for the people that are watching the show versus seeing the end of our argument, where I'm the most heated. And my husband's basically like, all right, then I'm sorry. Shut up. Sorry. You know? Let's just move on with it.

But other than that, I'm happy overall because at the end of the day, we're bringing you genuine TV, genuine, real-life drama. We're opening up. We're sharing things about ourselves that most people probably wouldn't know.

And I like the fact that people know that we're getting to know each other. As we navigate this, and as the audience gets to know us, we're getting to know each other. So it's very real. And I'm excited about the future.

GIBSON JOHNS: Good. Good. This season is at sort of a 10-year mark of your marriage. And I mean, that's a big hump. But I think that-- and you guys are being really open and honest about some of the struggles that you're facing. But I also think that what-- talking about what you just said about, like, sort of just seeing the most heated parts or the end of the arguments, I'm sure that's frustrating.

But I also feel like you have an understanding. And, like, you know what makes good-- you know what a good-- you're making a TV show at the end of the day, right? So I feel like you also know that, like-- I don't know. I feel like you have a good understanding of that because it can't all be in there. But I also-- as the star of the show, it's tough to not be able to show everything.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah, yeah, it can be frustrating at times, even with knowing how reality TV works because in my mind, I know everything that went down. So in everybody else's mind, if I'm watching the show as a viewer, I would say the same things that everybody's saying as well.

GIBSON JOHNS: Uh-huh. Right

MONIQUE SAMUELS: But that's why we have reunion, you know. It's like that's when you get to really put a button on everything and sum everything up. And then everybody will be like, oh, OK, now I get it. So you do have that time and that opportunity.

I had to be the person, being the most experienced, to just kind of make sure the show is driving along and pushing along. And to me, what makes great reality TV is when you are yourself unapologetically. And you're giving your all in every scene. This way, people can-- whether they edit it, how they edit it, at least I know I gave everything that is truly me. And I'm not trying to act. I very easily could have just pretended like everything was great--

GIBSON JOHNS: Of course, yeah.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: --with me and my husband. I could have backed out of arguments that we were having. But of course, everybody likes the 0-to-100 Monique. So you're going to see those parts where I'm getting the most, like, you know, amped up. But there's also a learning process in it as well, since my husband and I, you know, we're married. So it's not like he's a friend I can just kick off to the side and not deal with him anymore. We have to figure it out.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, you're in it for the long haul. And we're watching you navigate these tricky moments. And I think that really is to me what sort of is the biggest difference as a viewer, like, in terms of the show versus the show you were on before, which is there's obviously some intergroup drama. And, like, it's an ensemble show. But ultimately, there's so many two more scenes with you and Chris.

And the relationships are-- the conversation topics are a lot about relationships and marriages and overcoming some of these obstacles. Was that a big factor in you ultimately deciding to do this? I know that you first told Carlos no. You were like, I'm not doing another ensemble show. He eventually got you to agree to it. But was that part of it, like, that it wasn't-- the focus wasn't going to solely be on, like, drama between a group of women?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes, definitely that, and also just being able to be in a situation where people aren't toxic on purpose. You know, you have situations that cause drama. But when it really comes down to it, all of us that are on the show are really trying to create a sisterhood and a brotherhood. We're trying to create a safe space with each other because a lot of us were hesitant in this moment to be around and open up and share with other couples because we've been done wrong, you know.

So it's nice to be able to be around people that understand where you're going through. They have a successful marriage. So we're speaking the same language, you know. So that definitely made the difference as well.

Also, just knowing that we're not faking or fronting We made it very clear that none of us are friend friends. We're very social friends. And we're getting to know each other. And y'all watching us get to know each other.

So all around the board, it just seemed like a much better situation. And the whole purpose of us going to reality TV, from the start, was so that we could show this beautiful love between us and our children and watch us grow. So we felt like maybe "Potomac" was just the precursor. It was just getting us ready for "Love & Marriage-- DC."

GIBSON JOHNS: You were getting your feet wet for several years, right, exactly. And it is a really solid cast. And I mean, it's kind of fun to-- again, it's fun as we get to know you guys. We already know you. But we get to know the rest of the people.

You guys are getting to know each other. For me, the person that really is popping, other than you and Chris, is Winter. Winter is, like, to me-- she's a great-- she's a great-- she's a star.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes, she is. Winter is hilarious because she really just, like, took this reality TV stuff to the next level. And she said, look, "Ima" just come up in here and just cause all kinds of craziness and all kind of drama. And I'm going to just tell you what I'm going throughout of my own mouth so y'all don't got to talk about me behind my back.

GIBSON JOHNS: Nip it in the bud right there, exactly. Exactly.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes. Yes, that is reality TV gold. She definitely came in with-- in my mind set-- because people ask, you know, what made you bring Winter? Like, what made you introduce her? I know Winter from our platforms, from her being a person who is a life coach and a relationship coach.

So every time we've talked has been about platform stuff, empowering women and things like that. In my mind, I said, this woman has a story to tell. She's had a crazy marriage. And now she's about to get out of another crazy marriage. So she needs to tell that story because look at how many women can relate to that and can learn and grow the same way she did and to be able to move on and have a smile on your face.

So that was the only thing that was on my mind when I brought Winter around. I had no idea that so much confusion, so much drama, the nicknames, the shade, all of that stuff I was not prepared for and had no idea that she was even like that. Like, I did not know.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. Right.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: So, but it all makes for great TV. That's for sure.

GIBSON JOHNS: Exactly. Exactly. And did you-- because, again, it really is and Chris in this together as a married couple. Did it-- did he-- I mean, because you were both so great on "Potomac" together. But he obviously was-- if you were going to do the show, he was going to have to play a bigger role in the show than he did on the other show. So did he need extra convincing to do this with you? Or was it-- or was it sort of like, if, Monique wants to do this, Chris is down?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. No, Chris is the reason I'm even on reality TV. It's his fault. So, no, he didn't have to be convinced at all. It was more so the production and the network of it all. And he felt more comfortable-- after talking and having several conversations with Carlos, he felt a lot more comfortable, like, OK, I don't-- he never minded doing reality TV. He just felt like it shouldn't be nasty, and it shouldn't be dirty. And we shouldn't be trying to tear down each other or tear down each other's families or marriages.

So he was always open to it. It was just the people, you know, just being around people that weren't so toxic and have the same to lose, you know. So it's much better of a situation because, like I said, we're around real couples, like, real people who are actually married in a successful marriage that have something to share. And we're all holding our own weight.

GIBSON JOHNS: Mm-mm. And you say-- and you said in the premiere of this "Love & Marriage-- DC--" I want to get the quotes right. You just said that you always you were always present on reality TV. But you weren't always able to be seen and that you also felt that you were put in a box.


GIBSON JOHNS: I was wondering if you-- again, because, it's a show, so we only have so much context We can get there. So I'm wondering if you could just elaborate a little bit on why you felt that during your times on "Real Housewives" and sort of what more you get to show here that changes that.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. So I felt like when I was a part of "Real "Housewives," it was like they only put you into a box of who they wanted your, quote unquote, "character" to be. So even though I'm a great businesswoman, and I'm very hands on, you know, I'm a person who I don't just sit around and get pampered. And I don't get taken care of. Like, I'm not a kept wife. But they wanted me to be.

So they would only show the viewers the things that would make it look like the narrative that they wanted to push. You know, like, oh, she's married to an NFL player. And, you know, they live like this. So this is how much money she spent. This is-- you know, like, that's what their focus was.

They didn't show me, you know, being hands on as a mom, hands on in my business. Even in my relationship with my husband, there was a lot that was missing. So with this show, I felt like I was free to really be me.

And editing always is what it is. We only have so many episodes, so we can't fit in everything. But seeing me as me just genuinely be Moni in the middle, you know, trying to find peace, but also trying to get down to the bottom of some things. And maybe it comes off as a little messy. Maybe it is messy.

But I'm a person. I'm a human. And as you watch each episode and how it transpires, you'll see that my heart of hearts really is for us to be happy and to have a good time. and for us to promote and uplift each other and be happy for each other and for us to be a shoulder to cry on whenever we're going through things, whether it's individually as us personally or in our marriages or in our family. And that is what my biggest goal has always been. So you get to see more of that.

You don't see just one side to me and Chris's marriage, which looks all glittery and perfect. You get to see the other side of how we get to that sort of perfection that will never be perfection. But you--

GIBSON JOHNS: And it doesn't come easy, though. It doesn't come easy.


GIBSON JOHNS: Right, exactly. Yeah.


GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah. And when you felt that, you know, in the past several years, that you were being shown in a certain way, would you push back on it? Would you be like, can we-- like, is that-- were there behind-the-scenes moments where you're like, come on, like, show more of this or show more of that?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes. I would do so much filming. I mean, I filmed the most out of all of those ladies, those years I was there. I was constantly with cameras in my house. I remember the year where my husband was coaching football. And that time of year, I told them straight up, I said, this is going to be tough for me to start filming right now because Chris is basically gone for two weeks. And I have the kids.

My kids were young at that time. This is before even Chase came along. And I'm like, I have my kids. And then I have filming. And then I have "Not for Lazy Moms." So I don't know how I'm going to get all of this done. And I don't have any help.

And they didn't care. It was just like, all right, well, we'll just follow you around, which made me even more tired. But there was so much that I showed and so much that I did. I had my very first live podcast, which was a full-out production.

And I was literally nine months pregnant. I was full-blown pregnant, still did the show. And then they didn't even show it. So it's, like, they would never-- and that show was so impressive. Even production, all of the network execs that came down that day for it-- it was supposed to be in the finale. They were all blown away. Like, we had no idea this is what you've been talking about. And this is what you do.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: And they never showed it. And when I tell you I pushed and pushed and pushed, I showed you every bit of me, even when I was full-blown pregnant. And they would only show about 10% of who I was.

GIBSON JOHNS: Hmm. Yeah. And it's tough because I feel, like, again it's like part of it's probably being on an ensemble show. But it's also the nature of that show is just probably different. And I know that you had a great-- for people listening, if you want to listen to Monique, you did an amazing interview with Carlos King, again, the producer of the show, where you talk a lot about things.

But one thing I was wondering about was you said that-- and I think you said this before, was that-- the final part of that reunion that year with the binder and how you were really portrayed on that and edited in that final part was sort of the final straw for you in terms of leaving "Real Housewives." And I'm wondering if-- and I think I know the answer to this, but I'm just wondering if you could explain it.

Do you ever consider staying to, like, sort of to reframe your narrative in that realm or to get a different kind of closure than you maybe would have gotten? Did you ever think about that? Or was it like a we're leaving. I'm done.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. No, I was done. I was done because to me, I've had tough edits the whole I've been on "Housewives," you know. And I was accustomed to tough edits. But if you don't hold people accountable when they're doing some really nasty stuff behind the scenes and behind the backs, and you know it, and you have the power to show the full story and hold everybody accountable, and you choose not to, that's when I knew enough was enough. You know, there was never going to be fairness for me.

It was always me who had to apologize and be accountable. But when it was supposed to be in my direction, that never happened, you know. So at what point do you say, enough is enough? So there is nothing that they could have done outside of show the full truth. If they would have came with that final part of that reunion, and they would have really put the full story out there, that would have been something that I could build upon, you know, get some real apologies from these women who were so nasty to even have my baby's name in their mouth.

You know what I'm saying? Get some real talk around that whole situation. And then maybe we could have had, you know, a future. But at the point where I showed you you really don't care, and you would literally just stomp on me and keep stomping on me, why would I give you the benefit of coming back and doing anything that involves that network or that production company?

GIBSON JOHNS: Mm-hmm. And you said that you had sent-- you had sent them all of the-- like, a digital file, the whole binder. Is that right?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes. Yes, because when we finished filming the reunion, one of the major pieces that was missing was Chris and I went live.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. I remember that.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: And Chris made the comment about if he was a woman, he would have smacked the women [INAUDIBLE] for what they said about our child. They never showed why we went live. We went live in response to Candace's live, where she admitted that they were plotting against me and my child, trying to make up these nasty rumors about me and my husband and my baby.

And she actually admitted it in her live. Andy could not believe it. He's like, send me that clip. He asked me probably three or four times that day to make sure I sent him everything.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: That turned into him demanding, like, no, that needs to be in the reunion. So I'm thinking it's definitely going to be in there. They reached out to me. Production reached out. And they said, is there any way you can send us what you have in the binder?

I sent them a digital copy of everything I had in that binder, every receipt, every single tab.

GIBSON JOHNS: That exists.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. And they didn't use it. [LAUGHS]

GIBSON JOHNS: Oh, I want to see that.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: So, yeah, wasting my time. Yeah, it's a waste of my time and everything else. But I did do Binder Time Stories, which is on my YouTube channel--


MONIQUE SAMUELS: --a three-part series that-- it was really fun just doing that and kind of giving a little closure, dropping the little bomb.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: Spill at little tra. Yeah, so I got good in my own way.

GIBSON JOHNS: So do you feel like-- do you feel like you have closure? Is that-- do you feel that in your heart of hearts?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Oh, yes, definitely. And it was really all on me because whatever you hold-- whenever you hold a grudge or whenever you hold any type of negative energy, you give that person or that corporation the power over you. And you become a slave to them. And I am no one's slave.

So I had to find peace within myself and come to my own resolve and allow myself to heal, which took time. But I was determined to heal. And I was determined to let it go. And now I can talk about it and be fine and not feel any type of way. It's just me repeating what happened in history.

GIBSON JOHNS: Good. And I said earlier that I've seen a lot of people who I know were our avid "Potomac" watchers who have followed you to this new show and tweet about it and support you. I see it all the time. Do you feel that? Do you feel, like, as if there are people that you connected to over the past four or five years, who have really stuck by you and are-- they're just fans of you, regardless of what show you're on or what network you're on?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes, I absolutely have. And I'm so grateful. And one thing that I love about any and everyone that's been supporting me, they keep me accountable. If they see something that they don't like, they will let me know. They'll say, I love you, girl, But I didn't like this. I love you, girl. But I didn't like that.

And I appreciate the feedback because at the end of the day, they can only go off on what they see. So I'm never mad. I'm grateful for the support. Even people who don't like me watch the show. And they'll jump on my live. And they will go in on me. But I just-- I'm grateful that you're watching.

GIBSON JOHNS: Exactly. A viewer's a viewer, Monique.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Right. Right. I'm like, if you're watching and you hate me, but you're still watching, that actually is a huge compliment to me.

GIBSON JOHNS: There we go, exactly. I guess my other question is on the flip side, do you feel as though probably mostly from that season-five situation, do you feel as though there are some people that are sort of never going to kind of come around to you again or never going to because they were kind of stuck in their opinion on that one situation, and then they're never going to kind of come back to you?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. What's interesting is when season six was airing, I started getting just, like, a crazy amount of people tweeting me and tagging me and saying, you've been vindicated. You've been vindicated. It's not true. I was so mad at you when that happened. But now I get it. I don't know what was seen or shown or said. But apparently whatever happened, people were like, OK, Monique, I'm riding with you again. I

GIBSON JOHNS: Did see some of that. I did see some of that as well. Yeah, I did.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: It was a lot! I was like, what in the world is going on? You know, at that moment I, was just, like, living my own life.

GIBSON JOHNS: You're just so checked out of that, right.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah, I was like completely done.

GIBSON JOHNS: And I know that you're still-- it warms my heart that when you and Ashley and Karen are still so close. And you've really made real, lasting friendships with those women. And I love that. Do you ever-- and tell me the truth. Do you ever text them, be like, you know, like, what's the tea? Like, or what's going on? Do you ever ask them about it? Or are you like-- do you keep it out of that realm?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: I don't ask at all. I really don't.

GIBSON JOHNS: Good for you.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: I'll just say, how are you? And that's what I love about the sisterhood that we were able to create. But, yeah, I couldn't talk-- I can talk to them. And it's not about the show, you know. So a lot of times, when you were on the same show, most of your conversation usually is about what's going on in filming and this, that, and the other.

But for me, when it comes to Ashley and when it comes to Karen, it's like we're checking in. How's everything going? How's the babies? How's the kids? How's Ray? What you got going on now? What's next for La Dame? You know, we're talking about essential oils.

I actually got together with Ashley when she was in Florida last year. She was there with Michael and the boys. And Chris and I met up with them. I bought her some essential oils. And she posted about it, which was really sweet.

But, yeah, it's, like, we can actually talk. And it's not about any of that. And that's your life. You still live in that life. And that's fine. And I'm living mine over here. So--

GIBSON JOHNS: Absolutely. Absolutely. So another thing we see on the show are your various career endeavors. You have multiple. And one of the ones that I'm loving-- we're really watching the beginning of the journey-- is are on WPGC 95.5 as a morning host, which I grew up in DC. And so 95.5 was in my rotation of radio stations.

So I love-- I love the fact that you're on there. What has that been like? Has that provided some sort of, like, new outlet for you that you didn't have before in terms of, like-- I don't know-- airing your opinions out on certain things or talking about-- I don't know. Just tell me how that's been for you.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Oh, my goodness. When I tell you a dream job, like, a dream come true-- I remember being little. Me and my sister and our cousins used to have our little boombox. And we would record ourselves. Like, we had our own radio show.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: And I was the host. And to have that full circle moment, oh, my god, it's incredible. It has been so fulfilling. I love my tribe. I call them my tribe, the cohosts and other hosts on the show. Everybody is so amazing. We're all on the same page.

It's such a beautiful team effort. And we all bring what we do best to the show. And it's no more, no less. Everybody knows what they're good at. That's what we do. I absolutely love it.

Like, it is, like-- it's my favorite thing to do. I love waking up now, getting up super early. It eases the, you know-- like, when people say, how do you get up at 4:00 AM? Because I know I'm heading to work.

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. You're happy with what you're doing. Exactly. Yeah.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: I absolutely enjoy it, like every part of it. I really do. And I'm so blessed to work with such amazing people every single day. So it's truly been a blessing.

GIBSON JOHNS: And do you feel like the "Not for Lazy Moms" podcast sort of was a good primer for this new gig of yours? It was that a good on ramp to being a radio host?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes, that was actually what helped open that door for me is because they had a particular type of host they were looking for. And they really, really wanted it to be a mom. They wanted to have at least one of the members of the team to be a mom because it's been so many years since they had one to give that perspective.

And the director listened to my podcast. And that's how she-- you know, I already knew her. And another one of the personalities, Poet Taylor, she's on 95.5. She does the afternoon show. And she also came with the recommendation of me.

So now it's, like, you have people that you treat well that are in your corner, and then you have a radio director who is familiar with you, who then starts listening to some of your resume, which "Not For Lazy Moms" podcast turned out to be. And she said, I would love for you to come in. And she told me I was coming in to be a guest on the show. So I'm thinking I'm just going in as a guest.

GIBSON JOHNS: Make a little appearance, right.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. That morning, I told my husband, I said, I'm going to do so well they're going to give me a job. I literally spoke it.

GIBSON JOHNS: Manifest it, baby.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes. And I went in there, did a good job, so much that they asked me to stay another hour. Then they asked me to stay another hour. I'm like, OK, this is cool.

Well, as I'm pulling off from the station, the director sends me an email and says, you are amazing. Have you ever thought about a career in radio? And I said, absolutely. She said, that's exactly what I wanted to hear. We'll talk soon.

And it was funny because at the same time I'm handling this deal, I was also handling the deal with OWN, "Love & Marriage-- DC." So--

GIBSON JOHNS: Converging into-- right. Yeah. It was your moment. It was your moment. And you took it. I love that. I love it. And so we are also seeing the continuation of "Not for Lazy Moms," which we saw a lot of on "Housewives," your essential oils business. Talk to about the status of both of those and sort of what direction you're taking them in. Because I know that "Not for Lazy Moms" is sort of, like, a an umbrella brand for different things that you do.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes. Yes. So it's my parenting platform. And it's been helping people, to the point where everybody's like, all right, where's the season four five cast? I haven't had the time to do that yet. But I do enjoy the fact that I'm able to share my experience being a mom. I have my potty training book because my husband and I-- I started potty training my children when they were six months old. They were able to sit up.

And people kept asking, like, how did you do it? How did you do it? So I wrote a book about exactly how I did it with each individual child. and the differences between them as I navigated that process. So "Not for Lazy Moms," we're doing pop-up events. And we do a lot of networking events, just bringing people together that have businesses that are sharing with other people.

And that's what we have become is a platform for sharing, whether it's sharing your experience, whether it's confessing about your motherhood or fatherhood journey. You know, it's so much sharing that happens. And it's a beautiful thing. Then from that, we now have the Mila Eve Essentials, which is my essential oils line, inspired and pushed by my followers, who were like, we want your oils.

GIBSON JOHNS: Love it. Amazing.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: I'm like, yes. I was like, OK. So the natural remedies lane has already been my thing.

GIBSON JOHNS: Yeah, for sure.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: So going into essential oils was just the next thing to do. And now I'm going to be launching my skincare line under Mila Eve Essentials-- it's called The Flawless Collection-- later this summer. So everything's been good. Business has been booming. We have 100% pure essential oils that help people with getting better sleep, breathing, relaxing, if you have anxiety, stress, ADD, ADHD. We have essential oils that will calm you, help you to focus.

There's an oil for literally everything. And on my website, I don't just sell you the oil. I actually show you and teach you how to use it.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: We have starter kits that help people get into essential oils and give you that introduction. And we have all kind of how-to videos and recipes and everything else for every condition you can think of.

GIBSON JOHNS: I'm guessing the skincare line that you have coming out, that has all the essential oils in those products. That's great.



MONIQUE SAMUELS: My best seller right now is my Flawless Glow Toner, which I actually make that. And it has 10 different essential oils in it that are amazing for skin. And it has been my best seller because it's literally changing people's lives.

People who have skin tags, they're like, I've been using, you know, the essential oil mix, your Flawless Glow Toner, and the skin tags on my face are gone. Stuff that I didn't even anticipate would happen is happening.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: And that led to me to say, you know what? We're going to get a whole line. This way you don't just have the toner. Now you're going to get a charcoal face wash. You're going to get some masks. You're going to get some serums and some moisturizing creams.

GIBSON JOHNS: I love it. I don't know how you have the time of the day to do all this stuff. It's incredible.


GIBSON JOHNS: Not a lazy mom. Not a lazy mom.



GIBSON JOHNS: Oh, my gosh. Monique, would you-- I mean, again, as you're-- you said you have kind of closure from this. That chapter of your life introduced you to so many people. And it seems like you are in just such a great place, I think, in just so many different aspects of your life. Would you ever, like, go back and watch "What Happens Live" or do something that, like, plugs into the Bravo world of it all, but temporarily or just for a second?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: You know, it's funny. At first-- so I still keep in touch with Andy. So initially, I was going to-- he actually reached out to me. He wanted me to do the "Girls Trip."

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. I heard that.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: And I told him, no. I was like, no, I'm not going to do that. So then he did let me know-- he said, if you ever want to come and watch "What Happens Live" to promote your products or anything, you know, that you're working on, you're more than welcome. So I said, OK, cool.

And I didn't take him up on the offer. But recently, I actually thought about it. And I said, you know what? This actually would be a good opportunity for me to promote my new show and also for Andy and I to put to bed some rumors that were spread about my departure, about, you know, people still thinking that I'm supposed to hate Andy because they don't know a lot of the behind-the-scenes- things.

So I actually-- we actually texted back and forth. And we're like-- you know, I told him I was open to it. So something's going on between OWN and Bravo. So we'll see what happens.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: But as of right now, it's on pause. But he did reach out. And I did let him know that I would be open to it.

GIBSON JOHNS: What-- I guess I don't-- do people think that you and Andy have beef because of you leaving?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. Yeah, some people--

GIBSON JOHNS: Is that what people thing?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah. There was, like, a thing going around where people thought that I was supposed to hate him for how he treated me at the reunion.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: Questions he asked.

GIBSON JOHNS: But it wasn't about him.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Right. But I told him-- I was like-- first of all, Andy was doing his job. That's what he's supposed to do is ask the tough questions. But they didn't realize some of the things that he was doing for me while we were filming the reunion.

First of all, they had my chair position so far away and in the dark, I could barely hear anybody else the whole reunion. Like, it was awful. And it was funny because a lot of people were talking about, like, Monique was paying all of them dust the whole time.

Sometimes I was purposely paying them dust. But sometimes I really couldn't hear what they were saying. So I would just look at Andy whenever I wanted to say something. And he would look at me. We would get eye contact. And I'd put my finger up. And he'd be like, oh, you want to say something?

And I'd be like, yeah. And he would wait till everybody got quiet. He'd be like, Monique, did you have anything to say because he knew I needed [INAUDIBLE] speak.


MONIQUE SAMUELS: So he actually allowed me to be able to express myself without having to get loud, without having to yell. And we talked often throughout that whole process. And he wanted to make sure that my voice was heard.

GIBSON JOHNS: That's good.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: So it was-- things that Andy did-- even after the fight happened, Andy reached out to me. And we talked. And he helped me to navigate how I should be as I continue to film because I actually wanted to quit right after the fight.

So a lot of people didn't realize that. I was like, no, I'm done. And I was like, why would you even want me to still be around if you're so upset about this fight, you know?

GIBSON JOHNS: Right. Right.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: But they wanted me to continue filming. And he allowed me to be able to film at my own comfort level because I was like, I don't want to do anything all cast. I'm not going on the all-cast trip. So if y'all want me to stay, I need to know that that is going to be acceptable. So [INAUDIBLE].

GIBSON JOHNS: Totally. Mm-hmm


GIBSON JOHNS: And then you said that you turned down "Girls Trip." Was that just because it would have been too much, like, a back in that same kind of scenario of, like, kind of the dramatic group of women, kind of?


GIBSON JOHNS: It would have been too much?

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah, that would have been too much. Also, I don't-- I'm not interested in working for Bravo ever again. You know, like, there was other things that went on, you know, with whoever they had in charge of situations, you know, like, their PR people and everything else. There were things that I didn't like, even from the network side.

So I was just like, you know, it's not just a production thing. It's not a "Potomac" women thing. It's also a network thing. And I kept it real with them and just told them, you know, I'm not interested.

GIBSON JOHNS: Hmm. Well, Monique, you are-- again, you're in such a great space. And again, I'm so happy that we're able to reconnect today. And--


GIBSON JOHNS: If people are watching or listening to this, and they're not watching "Love & Marriage-- DC," it's a really fabulous first season of a reality show. And I just think-- I'm so excited for you to have another starring vehicle because I think, again, like I said at the top of the show, this medium is really great for you. And I think you really are great. You're a great television personality and a great person. So I'm just happy that you have this place to shine again.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Thank you. I really appreciate that. I'm happy to be back on TV. It's been a fun ride, you know, a bumpy one. But it is what it is.

GIBSON JOHNS: And you took a much-needed break. You know, you took-- you took a little bit of time away. And that probably rejuvenates it. And that's awesome.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yeah, absolutely.

GIBSON JOHNS: Well, Monique, is there any other plugs you want to do before we sign off, do them now. But otherwise, everyone, watch "Love & Marriage-- DC" on Saturdays at 9:00 PM on OWN.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: Yes, absolutely. And for all things Monique Samuels, go to You'll find all of my businesses there and my social media if you would like to follow.

GIBSON JOHNS: Awesome. Thank you so much, Monique. It was great to talk to you again.

MONIQUE SAMUELS: It was great talking to you. Good seeing you. Thank you so much.

GIBSON JOHNS: Thanks for tuning in to "We Should Talk." I hope you enjoyed the interview. You can find out more about In the Know at You can follow me, Gibson John, @gibsonoma on Twitter and Instagram. And you can listen to all of our interviews, past and future, by searching "We Should Talk" wherever you get your podcasts. Hope to see you next time.