Phaedra Parks is the newest castmember on Bravo's Real Housewives Of Atlanta, which returns for its third season on October 4. Parks is an attorney who's represented Bobby Brown and Jermaine Dupri, among others. Her husband's criminal past is a recurring storyline on the show.
My husband was convicted of a white-collar crime. It was racketeering. He comes up for an appeal and we just hope that works out positively. But he wasn’t guilty of harming any person or anybody and unfortunately that’s what happened. I married my husband because I loved him and he loved me and I think that’s the foundation of any good relationship. I didn’t marry him because of his past or because of his future. I married him because I respected him and I realized⎯everyone should realize that people make mistakes.
I tell people that if everyone held our past against us, unfortunately, most of our lives would be dramatically different. So whether someone has committed a crime or allegedly committed a crime there is redemption. That’s what the United States was founded on⎯people having a second chance. And so as a Black woman, unfortunately, in our community more than anything a lot of times Black men have had legal problems. And every Black woman who says that Black men with legal problems cannot be considered as a mate, then we help with the genocide of our own community.
So we have to be cognizant that this is a whole system that’s been developed over year. When Black women outshine Black men and emasculate them, that causes the break down of the Black family⎯and I want to have a Black family so I have to be very open-minded about Black men because if I crucify the thing that can obviously help me build what I desire the most, then I’m no better than the people that are tearing down the Black man.
I know who I am and I have a very good sense of my husband and what our relationship is built on. So at the end of the day I have to go home to him and so whomever you marry has to be your personal choice. And that has to be a choice that you’re willing to live with. I married him because I love him, not because somebody else loves him and has to live with him and deal with him every day⎯it’s because I do so if you can live with your decision then that’s all that matters.
People are always gonna talk. If I married a White man it would be the same thing like, “Oh, she married a White man.” But no matter who you marry, someone is gonna be able to throw rocks but every body throwing rocks⎯they probably live in a glass house themselves so I don’t let that bother me. ⎯As Told To Starrene Rhett