Monique Samuels is putting down her Champagne glass and not returning to season six of The Real Housewives of Potomac. The star, who joined in season two, announced the news on a December 27 Instagram Live, shortly after the third part of the season five reunion aired. “It’s not easy doing reality TV, and to be quite honest, I’m over it,” she told fans. “I appreciate everything that people have done for me, everybody that’s been Team Monique — I love y’all, I thank y’all — but when you cross certain lines, there’s no going back.” Samuels seemed to be indirectly referencing her fight with fellow star Candiace Dillard that reverberated throughout the season. After an argument on a trip to a winery, Samuels got physical with Dillard, with producers eventually pulling the two apart. It became a major story line, with the women taking sides, Dillard pressing charges against Samuels (which were later dropped), and the two avoiding each other after the fight. It prompted a discussion of stereotypes and anti-Blackness among fans of the show, which Samuels also seemed to address in her Live. “I wanted to represent real Black love and show people something outside of what the stereotype has been on TV,” she said. “Unfortunately, this season, I played right into that stereotype.”
On last night’s final episode of the reunion, Samuels apologized directly to Dillard. “That fight wasn’t about you,” she said. “Nothing that you said in that moment warranted the response you received, and I offer you my apology. I’m sorry for the pain that you’re still going through, and I hope you’re able to heal and move forward.” Samuels also seemed to address rumors that she cheated on husband Chris Samuels both at the reunion and on her Live. “The opinion of my family and my kids and what they think about anything that I do is more valuable than anybody’s opinion, so I’m over it,” she said on Instagram.
Samuels joins a slew of housewives who’ve left the franchise this year, along with Real Housewives of Orange County’s Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge, Real Housewives of New York City’s Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Denise Richards and Teddi Mellencamp, Real Housewives of Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes and Eva Marcille, and Real Housewives of Dallas’s LeAnne Locken. And Samuels’s exit also marks the departure of Potomac’s true breakout star: her instantly iconic parrot T’Challa.