The many offspring of the Real Housewives franchise fight constantly and about everything: cheating allegations, canceled dinner reservations, children’s birthday party snubs, hotel room accommodations. But it isn’t often that their battle of wills evolves into physical blows, like whatever happened between Real Housewives of Potomac co-stars Monique Samuels and Candiace Dillard while filming on October 16.
People reports that Samuels received a summons from the District Court of Montgomery County in Maryland, where she’s been “charged” with second-degree assault. Dillard reportedly filed a complaint to the commissioner on November 7. The commissioner then issued a summons for Samuels to appear in court on December 23. Sources claim that a fight broke out at a dinner party when “Samuels grabbed Dillard by the hair and pulled her down,” and that Bravo cameras filmed the encounter.
In a followup, posted after People’s exclusive, the account claimed no legal charges were filed, and that Housewives are forbidden from suing each other per contract stipulations. (This is unconfirmed, though it would explain why Vicki Gunvalson withdrew her lawsuit against Kelly Dodd last week, or why Kenya Moore never sued Porsha Williams for dragging her across the floor at the RHOA Season 6 reunion.)
Anyways, why are these two even beefing? The answer, somehow, involves butter knives, water bottles, and a hoedown throwdown.
The Inciting Incident
Tensions first bubbled up for Monique and Candiace (I’ll refer to them by their first names from here on) last season on RHOP, when a New Orleans getaway soured in the after hours. After the group endured many cocktails, Candiace asked her castmate Ashley Darby why she would dare spend her free time drinking alcohol if she wanted a child. (Candiace suspected it was because Ashley didn’t really want to get pregnant, a wild claim.)
Monique, having opened up about her recent miscarriage and difficult pregnancy, told Candiace she was out of line. Candiace, perhaps irked by her supposed friend not rallying to her defense, later shared with the other women an offhand comment Monique made about castmate Katie Rost. This set off a chain of events that eventually culminated in, among other things, Ashley throwing a butter knife at Candiace—in her own home.
While Ashley was busy defending herself for an unrelated incident (charges of sexual assault brought against her husband), she let slip that Candiace had gone around to Monique’s enemies, telling them about the name Monique called Katie. This ignited the situation, which led to Candiace throwing a butter knife in Ashley’s direction and Ashley being kicked out of Candiace’s house (until she barged back in multiple times.)
A few days later, Candiace sat down with Monique to discuss the dinner, their friendship, and Candiace’s tumultuous relationship with her mother.
Where does her mother fit in? Well, Monique suggested that Candiace’s anger toward her castmates and general messiness was probably misplaced aggression for her mother. This irked Candiace, who felt Monique was unsupportive, so Candiace later brought this up at a country-style “hoedown” hosted by Katie, the catalyst of their original conflict. With tensions already high, the party was... less than productive.
After a blow-up about Candiace’s messy behavior at the hoedown dinner table, the women dispersed, and Monique approached Candiace with some advice: “I don’t think you’re hearing what we’re trying to say to you.” To which Candiace responded: “I cannot receive being chastised.” After more fighting, Monique informed Candiace that she would “drag her, pregnant and all,” if Candiace couldn’t find it in herself to receive Monique’s advice. They fought some more after that, Monique threatened to throw a water bottle at her “friend,” and the women finally separated for the evening.
The rest of the season saw both women engage in occasional skirmishes, but none matching the level of the hoedown. Instead, they logged onto Twitter.
Resurfacing the fight that happened at Candiace’s house, the two went back and forth on Twitter over who was the real victim.
The tension between Monique and Candiace continued until the reunion when host Andy Cohen asked the women to describe their “roses and thorns” for the season. (This is a classic Housewives game meant to get each cast member’s high and low points while wrapping up extraneous plotlines.) Candiace’s “thorn” was her season-long beef with Monique. The two burst into tears, hugged it out, and seemingly moved on. On September 29, 2019, the night the reunion finale aired, Monique tweeted:
The filming schedule for each Housewives franchises always starts almost immediately after reunions are taped, which means Monique could have been referring to an incident caught on camera. In turn, this could have been the catalyst for the alleged assault.
Speaking to Page Six, Monique’s attorney A. Scott Bolden said:
“Ms. Dillard has a public reputation for aggressive, belligerent and threatening behavior that has played out repeatedly on the Housewives of Potomac for millions of viewers to see for themselves. To be sure, my client did nothing but defend herself in the face of more very aggressive behavior by Ms. Dillard. If this event occurred during taping of the show, I am confident that the video will bear all of this out.”
Dillard’s attorney James L. Walker, Jr., meanwhile, told People:
“At this time, we do not want to say too much and just allow the criminal process to play out. We only ask everyone to pray for our client Candiace and her family.”
Pray, we shall! Reps for Samuels or Bravo have not responded to my request for comment on the assault or whether contracts forbid the women from suing each other. This post will be updated if they get back to me.