Disappointment is the word best used to describe Candiace Dillard Bassett’s feelings regarding the theme of infidelity (both rumored and true) that ran through Season 7 of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Potomac.”
Now that the smoke has cleared, and Dillard Bassett has gained more fans throughout the season, the singer/actor has other things on her mind, like her forthcoming followup album — and her next acting gig which she teases will be a lead in a film starring opposite “someone that everybody knows.”
But, as she’s currently traveling in Los Angeles in preparation to attend the Grammys, she does have a response for the women who made claims against her husband, Chris. As the ladies vacationed and partied their way through the most recent season, Dillard Bassett somehow still found herself in the hot seat as fellow cast members, including Gizelle Bryant and Ashley Darby, levied accusations of cheating and flirtation rumors against Chris.
Fans may remember Bryant’s claim that Chris had made her feel uncomfortable during a private conversation after the Season 6 reunion, while Darby told cameras (and the other Housewives as well) that her friend Deborah said Chris flirted with her at an event.
Onscreen footage revealed that no flirting took place – or nothing from Bassett’s side anyway. But surprisingly, while Candiace was adamantly defending her partner, another case of infidelity took place beneath the surface unbeknownst to the rest of the cast and audience.
Shortly after her surprise wedding to husband Juan, Robyn Dixon shared this on a Patreon episode of her (and Bryant’s) “Reasonably Shady” podcast that she knew long before the women began filming of her own then-fiancé’s rumored affair – something she claims was nothing more than a few words sent over DMs – which sent shockwaves through the “Real Housewives” fandom.
“The Real Housewives of Potomac” season finale will air Feb. 5 on Bravo, with reunion episodes to follow, as always. Read Dillard Bassett’s interview below, in which she discusses all of the events of this season, including the accusations against Chris, where she and Ashley stand now and why she defends Erika Jayne from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
You just finished your fourth season on the show. How do you think it went?
It’s always an adventure. There’s never a dull moment for sure. But I do appreciate that I’ve gotten a lot of viewer support. There’s a lot of talk about this being my best season, and that’s always nice to hear. It’s always challenging when you’re dealing with conflict, right? But then when you’re dealing with conflict that is not true, and you’re having to navigate a space of falsehoods, that made the discussion challenging for me.
But then the silver lining is it’s nice to see people that are very supportive of my music journey, and my journey as an artist. It was great that the audience got to see me going through the motions of creating a song with Trina and shooting a music video with Trina. And then we’ll get to see the release of “Insecure” featuring Trina very soon.
The “falsehoods” that you’ve had to combat this season coming from Gizelle and Ashley about Chris — I’m assuming that’s where you’re coming from. Were you ever fazed by any of those rumors?
Obviously, we talked about it, because it happened — because the conversations with the girls happened.
I knew that he had messaged Ashley, because at the time of the DM debacle, I was in Vegas for the Grammys. I called him when I got settled because of the time difference and he told me, “I was at work. I saw Ashley and Robyn were at Park. I told them, they should have come to the W and they should come next time.” And I said, “Yeah, you should have them come and give them a table.” That was that conversation with him, and then I talked to Chris at length about his conversation with Gizelle at the reunion. I remember talking about it, because he said to me, “I talked to Gizelle, and I told her that I wanted her and Robyn to come over for dinner so that we could try and fix this.” I remember specifically saying, “No, I don’t want to deal with those girls. They’re not coming to our house.” I remember having that conversation.
There are no secrets with my husband and I. We talk about everything and there were no ulterior motives. The drama was because I knew immediately that it was rooted in falsehood. It was rooted in a need for something to talk about, because you don’t have anything of your own to discuss.
What did you make of Robyn and Juan’s wedding? Did that come as a surprise to you?
I can answer this question two ways. The pre-podcast and Patreon bomb drop, and post-podcast and Patreon bomb drop. Prior to what we learned, I was happy for them. I always saw Robyn as someone who was honest, and who was transparent. What I loved the most about her was that she marched to the beat of her own drum, and that she did things in her own way, and that her and Juan did things in their own way. I respected and appreciated that they didn’t bend to the requests of everyone — family, friends on the show asking her when she’s getting married, and what you’re gonna do. I respected that. So to see her do what she wanted on her own terms, and get married when she was ready to get married, I was happy for her. I was incredibly happy for her and Juan and for their boys, because I can’t imagine how much of a positive impact it’s going to have on these young Black men to see their family go through everything they’ve been through, and then put themselves back together. That has a huge impact. And I was really happy for them.
What are your thoughts on Robyn and Juan’s situation now that Robyn has come forward and shared her side of things?
I’m really disappointed and hurt that we’re on a show about sharing our lives. Robyn is someone that I thought was honest and open about her life, as she expected and demanded of each of us to be honest about our lives. It’s hurtful that she chose not to, and watched my husband be dragged for lies when she had a true story to tell. I looked at her like a sister, a friend and I thought I knew who she was. This definitely made me question if I knew who she was.
After everything went down with her releasing all this stuff, it brings into question every interaction that we’ve had, and everything that she said. Has she always been honest? I don’t know. I don’t like being in that place.
I do want to clear up one thing as well about my tweet regarding this situation. My commentary was directed at Robyn and the people that helped Robyn keep her real story under wraps in exchange for lies about my husband. I don’t ever want anyone to think that I am blaming or disparaging our production company, or our network, who have always been very good to me, and have helped me to successfully launch a music career and a film career and always been honest, even when it wasn’t in my favor. I appreciate neutral, honest machines, and our production company and our network.
It seemed like the producers were really on your side this season when it came to showing Chris not talking to Ashley’s friend. They didn’t have proof to back up their claims about him. When did you first see that footage?
Oh, I saw it with everybody else, and I will make it clear as well that I don’t want anybody to think that the producers are on my side. I don’t. I believe in being fair. If there was something to show, I would hope that they would show it as they have done with other members of our cast in the past. I am grateful to our producers for always telling the truth whether it works in our favor or not. They showed what really happened. An example would be when Ashley told Karen that I was talking about her and Ray and I said, “no, I wasn’t,” because I truly did not remember. And they flashed back and showed it. So production’s not on my side. Production’s on the side of the truth, and I just appreciate that. They always tell the truth.
This season, your mother Ms. Dorothy wasn’t really there to give her opinions on some of the things happening. How did she feel about the Chris allegations that were being thrown around?
My mom and Chris have had their ups and downs. You’ve seen that, and have seen my mom and I have our ups and downs. But my mom is a family woman. She’s a mother first, and this was her daughter and her son-in-law, facing incredible lies and bullying and attacks and foolishness at the hands of a miserable, bored person. She was very adamant about expressing that she did not like it.
In terms of your relationship with Ashley, where do you currently stand with her?
I don’t stand. I’m in a different car on a different highway going in a different direction.
I think that we’ve seen a few types of conversations online saying that you and Ashley might be like a frenemy pairing like Gizelle and Karen Huger. Have you felt that same way?
In general, there is more of a respect between Gizelle and Karen than perhaps between Ashley and I. There’s an honor, I think, amongst them that maybe comes with maturity that Ashley doesn’t seem to have or understand. She doesn’t seem to know when enough is enough, or when to when to stop or just let you know sleeping dogs lie. I think that’s the difference. There’s a lack of respect.
Has your relationship with Mia Thornton’s best friend Jacqueline changed?
You saw the evolution of my relationship with Jacqueline. I, admittedly, was not a fan of hers. When she first joined us. I didn’t understand her blind loyalty to the tune of, “I’m gonna attack everyone who comes from my friend.” And we were not introduced to her. I walked over to all the girls talking at the first event of our season, and there’s this woman screaming at all of my friends about Mia, and I’m like, “Oh, my God, what’s happening?”
We just got off to a weird start, because I didn’t know who she was. Then it just seemed like her whole mission was just to attack anyone who said anything about Mia, and that was draining. But then of course, the tide turns. When the tide turns with Mia and Jacqueline, I felt awful for Jacqueline because this is clearly someone who was not let in on the secret that Mia was going to betray her in front of millions of people. I understand what it means to have a friend of 20 years and to want to protect them and defend them. Then to watch that friend that you’re defending and protecting betray you and feed you to the wolves and treat you like you don’t matter — it was hard to watch. It made me want to comfort Jacqueline, and then in comforting her, I got to know her. And she’s a lovely person. She’s a smart woman. She’s an accomplished woman who loved her friends. And that’s something that I can identify with. That just endeared me to her. So we’re still friends to this day.
How did you feel about the reunion after filming?
I honestly felt the most relaxed I’ve ever felt after a reunion. I walked back to my dressing room. I’m always the last one to leave the set because I’m always taking pictures and talking to people and dancing around and doing whatever. So I finally walked back to my dressing room and I felt calm and relaxed. Like, I really left everything on the couch, and I felt that for my husband as well. I think that was a part of what calms me was knowing that he got to say what he needed to say. It was calm, it was measured, it was heard. So for him, I felt incredible peace.
When it came to your new deluxe edition of your album “Deep Space,” and your new intro for it, you included the clip of Nicki Minaj pressing you to sing acapella at last season’s reunion. Was that shade?
I don’t think it was shade so much as just showing that I’m not immune to criticism. That was such a moment in my life, and in the life of our show, and just having Nicki there at all was such a moment. For that to be my direct interaction with her, I really felt the positive energy after I finished singing “Drive Back.” The whole room erupted in applause, and they’re supposed to be quiet — the people behind the camera, our producers. They’re sitting there watching. They’re not supposed to be there. But for them to feel pride and happiness for me was a great moment, and I was happy that I was able to deliver and make myself proud and make everyone in the room proud.
What was the response from Nicki fans, the Barbz?
Some of those Barbz are barbarians. And I know they’re gonna come at me for saying that. I’m not afraid of no fan, because I have fans as well. But yes, some of the Barbz need to relax a little bit. But I get it.
What does your next album look like?
I’m actually starting to think about all of that right now. So “Deep Space” and “Deep Space Deluxe” are really accurate representations of where I am in my life, and the kind of music that I want to make. I think there is a bit of pressure now, too, as I’m thinking about a third project — what it will look like, and how I want to represent myself to my listeners. I see myself being even more vulnerable in my next project. I think now I feel more comfortable, and I want to talk about parts of my life and parts of my story that I’ve never talked about before and things that nobody knows. Thoughts that I have that no one knows about, except me, my journal and my best friend and my husband. So, I see a more vulnerable project and a more honest project. We haven’t started recording anything yet. But those conversations are happening as we speak.
Of all of the “Real Housewives” franchises, whose original music would you honestly listen to?
You know what? I love Erika Jayne’s music. I think it’s sexy. It’s catchy. It’s honest. It’s true to who she is as an artist. I actually I do listen to her music. And she’s also been really supportive of me, which I have always really appreciated. I would collaborate with Erika Jayne, actually. Because she’s cool about it. She doesn’t take it too seriously, but she takes it seriously. And her music, I think, it’s true to who she is. It’s like her Sasha Fierce persona.
Do you feel like she maybe shot herself in the foot with the music and lyrics that that she was releasing, like with “Xxpen$ive,” only for the whole situation with Tom to play out how it did?
I think my opinion may be a little unpopular, and I got reamed for it when all the news first came out about her and Tom. I said, you know, we don’t know what she knew. And I think we should wait to find out what she knew before we crucify her. And I think we still don’t really know what she knew. What I have seen is that she didn’t know, and I don’t believe that she knew what he was doing. Just based on the nature of their relationship, Tom was much older than her. She was this young, hungry waitress with a young son working in L.A., and this man came and pulled her out of that and put her up on a pedestal and loved her. I’m not mad at her for that. She lived her life outside of his career.
I just don’t believe that she knew that he was deceiving people. I think that it’s not fair that she be punished for what he did. I think that the way that she has chosen to respond to everyone who’s criticized her is the way that she has responded. I think I see a lot of myself in her. When people come at me crazy, whether I’m right or wrong, I’m attacking back, because don’t try to break me down. And they have tried to break that woman.
I think one could maybe say that she was a little harsh in her responses to people to basically gave everybody the middle finger. But I don’t blame her for that. Because you’re not in my shoes. You haven’t walked in my life. You don’t know what I’ve been through. You’re crucifying me before you even know. It’s not fair. I think she’s a strong woman. She’s a very strong woman to go through that, and still be standing and look fabulous.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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