When Monique Samuels exited “The Real Housewives of Potomac” in 2020, she didn’t see a return to reality TV in her future.
“My reality TV experience has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride to the point where, at the end of it all, I got PTSD from reality TV,” says Samuels, 38, at the top of “Love & Marriage : DC”, his new unscripted project for OWN Network. “And it was almost done.”
But then Carlos King called. The super-producer behind “LAMDC,” a spin-off of OWN’s first hit “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” was able to calm his nerves about a comeback just two years later.
“I did not want to do it [at first]. I told him: ‘Carlos, I don’t want to do another outfit. I really don’t,’” recalls Samuels in an exclusive interview with Page Six. “After talking to him some more, he said, ‘Look, this is going to be different, I guarantee you.'”
King’s promise was fulfilled. Unlike their experience on Bravo, the founder of Mila Eve Essentials and her husband, former NFL player Chris Samuels, were able to choose the other couples from the DC, Maryland and Virginia area with whom they wanted to film.
The Samuels finally landed on Erana and Jamie Tyler of TikTok and DJ fame Quicksilva and his podcaster wife, Ashley Silva. Although Monique and her vibrant personality are the backbone of the series, she assures us that her married friends are just as entertaining.
“Even though the show was built around me and my husband, when they meet the Silvas and the Tylers, let me tell you, they stand up for themselves,” she notes. “They’re holding their own and they’re amazing.”
“LAMDC” is a more comfortable environment for Monique, she says, as it brings out her authentic character, not the “angry” woman she feels was portrayed on “RHOP.”
“I had to leave the ‘Housewives’ franchise. It wasn’t really for me, you know? When she was on ‘RHOP,’ she was always like, ‘Oh, let’s show her when she’s mad.’ She shows him when she’s zero to 100′,” says the former “stay-at-home mom,” whose explosive interactions with Candiace Dillard polarized her final days on the show.
“I was interacting with a group of women who were, for the most part, toxic.”
Monique admits that she can still lose her cool at times, but clarifies that there are “other sides” to herself that will no longer be left on the cutting room floor.
“This time, you can see me as the whole person that I am,” he explains. “In this situation, they are not putting me in a box. I’m not being edited to look one way. It shows me as a wife, mother, businesswoman and friend. I am very passionate and a lot of times I felt like that was cut off when I was on that other program.”
Monique, who remains close friends with Karen Huger and “Potomac’s” Ashley Darby, whom she supports amid their divorce, says fans will see a “real difference” in the way she and Chris navigate their marriage. in “LAMDC”.
“We’re very open and very real,” she says. “This time, it just won’t be edited.”
The host of the “Not for Lazy Moms” podcast, which shares children Christopher, 9, Milani, 6, and Chase, 3, with Chris, 44, believes the first season of her OWN show served as a “growth spurt for the marriage” for the Samuels after 10 years as a married couple.
“We have the will to keep pushing. [Divorce] it’s not an option,” the mother of three tells Page Six. “I’m like, ‘You’re not going to give up on me! I’m not giving you up, so let’s figure this out.’”
Having to dissect their marital problems on camera—“Communication is the most important thing,” Monique admits—and turning to the Tylers and Silvas for support proved to be beneficial to the Samuels’ relationship.
“There are times when you say, ‘I, maybe [divorce] it is the correct move. But then when you’re weighing the good against the bad, it’s always more good than bad for us. There are other couples who maybe had problems that they couldn’t get over,” she says.
“But I really believe in our marriage and I feel like this is a time of growth for us. You are not comfortable when you are going through a growth spurt. So this is the growth spurt of our marriage, and fortunately, but unfortunately, it plays out on this show.”
“Love & Marriage: DC” premieres Saturday, May 14 at 9 pm ET on the OWN Network.