INTERVIEW: RHOA's Kenya Moore promises a 'season of redemption'
Get ready for some drama, y'all! Season seven of The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres this Sunday, and outspoken star Kenya Moore gave us the scoop on the explosive new season and more.
Let's be real — since joining the cast, Moore seems to have secured the title of the show's villain.
Fans of the show may well recall Moore's altercation with Porsha Williams during the Season 6 RHOA reunion, which ultimately led to Williams getting booted from the show.
Or perhaps, in the words of Flipping Out star Jeff Lewis, the "knockdown, slap-down shit show" of a fight Moore got into with Brandi Glanville at a Bravo party last year.
Turning over a new leaf?
Which is precisely why, Moore shared, she feels this season is especially significant — it will be, she predicts, her season of redemption.
"I think I was sort of alienated and bastardized the last two seasons... primarily due to, I think, a lot of lies being told, a lot of situations being taken out of context and people just basically trying to destroy my reputation," Moore said. "And I think that this season will show who I am, who the real liars are and who the real evil people show themselves to be."
Moore promises the road to redemption is a rocky one, though, filled with "so many twists and turns," including, but not limited to apparently, one very noticeable change in Moore's life: She's gained allies!
"This is the first season that I have felt like I have real, true friends on the show, and I have people that have my back and who really understand me and really care about me on the show," Moore explained. "So for me, it's really invigorating, because I finally feel that I'm in a good place with most of the people that are my friends on the show."
Friends like Cynthia Bailey, for starters.
Although the ladies admittedly started off on shaky ground because of Bailey's friendship with NeNe Leakes, the two discovered how much they have in common after Bailey's friendship with Leakes imploded. "We are actually just a perfect match for each other, honestly... we are just so much alike, I feel like she's the big sister I never had," Moore said.
She also found an ally in new girl Claudia Jordan — who she's actually enjoyed a close friendship with for more than 10 years.
Ditching the drama for Trump... er, sort of
Don't worry, die-hard drama lovers.
The show doesn't rake in nearly 4 million viewers per episode for being a love fest. There will be fights, for sure. And those skirmishes likely won't end for Moore when the season does. Come early next year, she'll be sharing screen time with longtime nemesis Glanville on the newest cycle of Celebrity Apprentice.
For her part, Glanville sure seems to be playing up the rivalry in the headlines. She recently went on record to claim that of all the contestants, Moore was the biggest narcissist.
You know what, though? Moore isn't sweating it. It's simply a desperate ploy for publicity, she told us.
"She was hired as a replacement for someone at the last minute, and I think her whole purpose on the show was to try to hitch her caboose to my train," Moore said, laughing. "She's just looking for shock value and sound bites from trying to say things that are negative toward me. She's trying, but miserably failing."
Moore does agree with at least one thing Glanville told the press — that, in a fight, Moore would "kick her ass for sure."
"Brandi tries to be a tough girl, but she's not — she just has a big mouth. And so you can't fight with your mouth physically, of course. She weighs like 10 pounds. She hasn't eaten since the '90s," Moore said.
Of course, she won't just be trading barbs with Eddie Cibrian's ex. Her season of Celebrity Apprentice will also feature Vivica A. Fox, Kate Gosselin, Geraldo Rivera, Kevin Jonas and Ian Ziering.
For Moore, who was famously crowned Miss USA in 1993, competing on Donald Trump's show was a welcome departure from RHOA's catfights and name-calling.
"I was excited about the fact that this is a show that really uses your brain power," she said. "You have to be smart, you have to have a plan, you have to have a strategy and you really have to hone in on your business acumen. You cannot survive on this show just by being dramatic or being loud or being obnoxious — you actually have to be smart."
Hmm, could that remark have been directed at Glanville?
On being labeled a bitch
Regardless, Moore said she understands how people interpret her strength as hardness. Her childhood, which included being raised by her grandmother and aunt after being abandoned by her mother at birth, may have contributed to her sharp edges.
"I had to learn to be by myself early on, and I felt like I had to fight for everything that I have — even the relationships I have with my family," she said, "so it's just second nature to me to defend myself. I don't look for a fight, but I don't back down from it."
As for a being labeled... meh, she doesn't give it much thought. "I don't mind being called a bitch. I think it's just a layperson's way of describing a strong woman."
Besides, her haters might soon have to amend that moniker to HBIC — or head bitch in charge — because Moore has an impressive number of projects in the works.
In addition to producing a pilot for a scripted TV show called Life Goes On (viewers will catch some of the behind-the-scenes shooting on RHOA), the beauty queen is also launching her own hair care line aptly called Moore Hair.
"It's an amazing time in my life. I'm just enjoying the ride, and I want to thank the viewers for taking the ride with me. It's nice to see that I have real fans and real support," she shared, before tossing out one last pre-season barb at one of her RHOA nemesis.
In reference to a challenge thrown down by Leakes to make a sizable donation to the Detroit Public Schools, which NeNe claimed she would match, Moore had this to say.
"I just want viewers to know I did donate $20,000 to the Detroit Public School Foundation, and I'm just still waiting on Miss NeNe to donate her portion. Hopefully, that will happen soon."