There Was a Legitimate Threat of Domestic Violence on Last Night’s Real Housewives of Atlanta

Apollo leans over to Phaedra and whispers, "Do not call the police."

Apollo Nida stopped by his wife Phaedra’s house on his way to jail last night to threaten her, and it was one of the most terrifying moments I’ve ever seen on a reality show. 

Nida was sentenced to eight years in prison last July for bank fraud and identity theft. Both the sentencing and the fallout have been captured on-camera since it overlapped with the show’s filming schedule. He’s been staying away from their house for most of the season, upset that Phaedra didn’t attend his sentencing and has generally been cold to him since he was arrested. So it was rather surprising when he showed up on last night’s episode, right after she thought he had turned himself in. Phaedra was in the middle of changing all of the locks on the house when he rolled up, skipping his prison deadline to yell at her about changing the locks and implying that she already had another boyfriend. He stalked around the house revving a drill and at one point leaned in very close to her and said, “Do not call the police.”

It’s crazy that the whole thing was caught on film and that Phaedra kept talking to the assistant there with her instead of calling the cops. She was likely trying to deescalate the situation, but I felt her life was really in danger in that moment. What’s the responsibility of the show when reality TV becomes this real? The Housewives are not immune to controversies in their real lives bleeding into the show — the Beverly Hills cast had to deal with the fallout of Russell Armstrong’s suicide and Kim Richards’s ongoing battle with alcohol and drug addiction, and Teresa and Joe Giudice will both serve jail time for fraud. Apollo has been erratic since the day he was sentenced, but I really thought he was going to harm Phaedra last night, and it was wildly uncomfortable to watch. It made me consider how far I can go with a show that doesn’t protect its cast.