Ever since former Xscape member and entrepreneur Kandi Burruss joined the cast of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta during season two, her mother Joyce Jones, has been by her side. The 61-year-old affectionately known as ‘Mama Joyce’ has had a lot of input of her love life–good and bad. This season, Mama Joyce has been even more vocal about her strong dislike (that’s putting it nicely) for Kandi’s financee Todd Tucker and their upcoming nuptials. During one episode, Mama Joyce threatened Kandi’s best friend and assistant, Carmen,with a shoe during a dress fitting. After the blowup, social media exploded with Joyce being called everything under the sun. According to various reports, the mother and daughter weren’t on speaking terms and during a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Kandi broke down in tears explaining,
She don’t have to talk to me. She don’t have to say nothing to me. That’s my mama, and y’all can tweet ’til you get blue in the face, I don’t care! She can have whatever she wants ’cause that’s my mama!”
The unofficial cast member sat down with Ebony and discussed her infamous bridal shop blow up, protecting Kandi, feeling exploited on TV and more. Peep the excerpts below.
The blowup during the dress fitting:
I will never ever let no one take me there again, even if I have to bite my own fingers off. [The behavior] was out of character for me. But sometimes when something just gets you so… It takes you from one to 10. That girl took me from one to 10.
Reports she is a worried about losing Kandi’s money:
My only thing is that I love my daughter. I love my granddaughter, and only thing I’ve ever done was try to protect my daughter, I’ve never been about her money because I have my own. I never tried to spend her money. I’ve always tried to save her money, help her save her money. And I just don’t want her to let someone else waste what I’ve worked so hard to help her build.
Losing her son in a car accident:
His cousin was a bilingual student and talked him into going to Mexico to meet his adopted family. They had a head-on collision. I didn’t sue anybody. “I said ,‘No amount of money can replace my child.’ I think if it hadn’t been for Kandi, I probably would’ve given up. But I knew I had to be here for her.
Thoughts on cast member Cynthia Bailey’s comments that she is financially dependent on Kandi:
Cynthia knows that Kandi don’t take care of me, I’ve been on disability, Social Security, and plus I have rental property. And anybody that knows me knows that I’ve always had my own money.
If she feels exploited on television and being a celebrity:
I do. Look, I haven’t gotten a penny from Bravo. They got me [as] the main person and I done trended on [Twitter] two weeks in a row and every damn thing. People keep saying ‘You’re a celebrity,’ and I ask, ‘How the hell am I a celebrity?’ I’m the most unpaid celebrity there is. I’m looking in the Us Weekly and I have a picture and I say, ‘How am I getting all of this attention? I’m not a celebrity!’
On wanting the best for Kandi:
If he makes her happy, I’m happy. I just want the best for her. And if he’s the best for her, well then I’m happy. All I want her to do is be happy. God knows that’s all I want.”