From Phaedra’s lie to Porsha’s attack on Kenya: Carlos King spills ‘RHOA’ tea04/06/2022
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Carlos King — the founder of Kingdom Reign Entertainment, whom fans fave affectionately dubbed “The King of Reality TV” — has spent more than a decade executive producing unscripted hits for Bravo, OWN and BET, among other networks.
However, the pièce de résistance of King’s resume is arguably his work on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” which he helmed for nine seasons from 2008 until 2017.
Now, the esteemed producer is spilling all kinds of behind-the-scenes tea about his time behind the camera on his new podcast, “Reality with the King” — and in an exclusive interview with Page Six.
“On this podcast, we are talking about the most shocking moments in reality TV history, me interviewing some of my reality TV friends in the business and recapping some of our favorite reality shows from ‘The Real Housewives’ to ‘The Bachelor,’” King, 42, teases.
“And yes, we will be getting into the thick of everything I saw firsthand throughout my time working on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ I saw quite a lot.”
From Phaedra Parks’ lie that killed her friendship with Kandi Burruss on Season 9 to Porsha Williams’ attack on Kenya Moore during the Season 6 reunion that led to the former star’s arrest, King shares his singular perspective on some of “RHOA’s” most memorable moments below.
Phaedra Parks’ ‘very weird’ lie
After Season 9, Parks was booted from “RHOA” because she perpetuated a lie that then-bestie Burruss and husband Todd Tucker planned to drug and subsequently rape Williams in the couple’s alleged “sex dungeon.”
“Kandi came on Season 2, then Phaedra came on Season 3. One thing about the ‘Housewives’ franchise is we want to make sure that we have organic friendships. Kandi and Phaedra had that, which was the icing on the cake.
“So to see their relationship dissolve was uncomfortable for everybody. It was shocking. Not just for the audience, but for the producers as well. To see this rumor circulate during Season 9 without any sort of hard facts was very weird as well because we kept asking ourselves as producers, ‘Where is this going?’ … We had no idea where it came from. But because it was reality, we followed it. And to see how it all culminated at the reunion was just very uncomfortable to say the least.”
NeNe Leakes’ shaky relationship with ‘RHOA’ — and a potential return?
Leakes has not appeared on “RHOA” since Season 12. Shortly after her departure, Leakes tweeted several mysterious messages alluding to mistreatment by Bravo. She has since expressed a desire to come back to the show.
“She’s getting back to finding her happiness. And when it comes to her relationship with Bravo and Andy [Cohen], the good news is when [her husband] Gregg Leakes passed, she and Andy started talking via text again … It’s not my place to say how she felt or what she felt was her experience because I’m not in her body and obviously as a producer, I’m behind the scenes. But what I did say to her was, ‘Have a one-on-one sit-down.’ Because I think once you’re able to do that, you’re able to clear the air and maybe there are some things that you could get off your chest and maybe you’ll have a better understanding of why some things happened or why you thought somethings may have happened. But I’m a firm believer in a one-on-one conversation. I’m hopeful that we will see NeNe back on Bravo because she is one of the greatest ‘Housewives’ of all time.”
NeNe Leakes’ epic bus fight with Kim Zolciak
In Season 3, Leakes and frenemy Kim Zolciak got into a blowout fight while en route to Miami on Burruss’ tour bus.
“I wasn’t on the bus but I was there when they got off the bus and then you saw the extension of their blowout. The reason why I felt that was the worst one is because it got too close for comfort. So there’s only so many ways you can separate people and then the aftermath of being in Miami for three more days, right, it was just constant drama!”
Porsha Williams’ attack on Kenya Moore at the Season 6 reunion
Williams branded Moore a “slut from the ‘90s,” prompting Moore to call Williams a “dumb ho” through a megaphone. Next, Williams attacked Moore, grabbing her hair and then pulling her to the ground. Williams was later booked and arrested for assault charges.
“I was the one who pulled Porsha back. That was me. I saw the wheels turning in Porsha’s head because I know the cast so well. I was two seconds short from really holding her back before she had the opportunity to hold onto Kenya’s hair. But when you look back on that moment, all of us are falling backwards because I pulled Porsha back to me, but she already had her hand on Kenya’s hair and we all had this domino effect.
“It was my first time on that show experiencing something that volatile. It was just a bad decision made. But the beauty of documenting this reality is you saw the consequences that Porsha had to face. And look at her now. She is living her best life, she’s happy, she had a spin-off. I do think there’s room for redemption when things like that happen especially when you are vulnerable and you own up to your mistakes.”
Marlo Hampton’s journey from longtime ‘friend of’ to full-time peach holder
Marlo Hampton has appeared on “RHOA” as a beloved “friend of” since Season 4. This year, she was announced as a full-time cast member for Season 14 alongside Burruss, Moore, Shereé Whitfield, Drew Sidora and newbie Sanya Richards-Ross.
“In the words of Wendy Williams, she’s the moment, she’s a legend, you know what I mean? Marlo Hampton is long overdue [as a full-time ‘Housewife’]. It’s well-deserved. She totally put in the work. Marlo has been on the show since Season 4. So, think about it, it’s her 10-year anniversary and what a perfect gift for Bravo to give her a peach.”
Thoughts on ‘RHOA’ Season 14
King left “RHOA” after Season 9 and has since produced more reality TV hits like OWN’s “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” its forthcoming “DC” iteration and “BET Presents: The Encore,” reuniting girl group members of the ‘90s and 2000s.
“Since I left the show, after Season 9, there’s been some ups and downs and some ebbs and flows. The trailer for Season 14 was just released and it looks like it’s going to be a good season, so I will say I’m looking forward to how this season is going to be because a lot of the fans, including myself, felt the last season wasn’t the greatest. But hey, listen, being on the air for 14 years is an accomplishment within itself and not every season will always live up to its previous. But this current season that’s launching in a couple of weeks, I feel good about.”
“Reality with the King” is available to stream via SiriusXM’s Stitcher. New episodes drop Wednesdays and Fridays.
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