I may be rough around the edges, but baby so are diamonds!”

The “Real Housewives of Potomac” kicked off with a bang and it only gets better because this Sunday we meet the new housewife who’s shaking things up—Monique Samuels! Definitely not afraid to speak her mind, Ms. Samuels will have you intrigued with her infectious personality, straight-forward attitude and BOSS mentality.

The wife of former Washington Redskins player Chris Samuels and mother of two is definitely a go-getter.  Though she’s fortunate to have four homes (maybe 5, keep watching this season), Monique knows it takes hard work to keep her lavish lifestyle, so don’t expect her to be sitting around doing nothing all day. This working woman manages her husband’s businesses and non-profit foundation, which provides athletic equipment to underprivileged schools and support students in need. She also has a blog called Not For Lazy Moms  that’s all about natural remedies.

EGL recently chatted with Monique about what made her join the “Real Housewives of Potomac,” which cast member she’s not meshing well with and what she has to say to people who think she’s only successful because of her husband. Enjoy!

Pictured: (l-r) Monique Samuels, Robyn Dixon, Ashley Boalch Darby, Gizelle Bryant, Karen Huger, Charrisse Jackson Jordan — (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Virginia Sherwood/Bravo)

ES: Tell us what made you want to join the “Real Housewives of Potomac.”

MS: You know what it’s funny because I actually didn’t want to [laughs]. I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I could ever do reality TV’ and my husband was like, ‘Look, we live one time, just do it, have fun with it.’ So I thought about it and was like you know what, I think I can do it.  I’m glad I did. I had a really good time with the ladies, getting to know them. Even the drama, you know it’s always a little fun in it [laughs] so it was a fun season…

ES: As the “new girl,” did you receive a warm welcome from everyone?

MS: Definitely wasn’t warm from everyone [laughs]. Charrisse, that’s my girl so of course she welcomed me in with open arms. She’s the one who actually introduced me to all the ladies, but obviously from the super tease and the trailer that you probably saw, I definitely bumped heads with Giselle. That was pretty much a season long we’re working on it type of situation. I just think that for us, we just kind of bumped heads. I’m a person who typically gets along with all women, so I’m not sure what the issue was there. I’m a person who’s always about being myself, so sometimes that can maybe rub people the wrong way. I’m very opinionated like the rest of them and I’m a person who doesn’t let things linger. So if you say something that sounds a little off task, I’m going to check it right then and there. I’m not going to let it marinate then come back later and rehearse my lines. I don’t do that. I keep it all the way real. I’m a Jersey Girl, so I go 0 to 100 real quick [laughs].

ES: What do you have to say to people who think you wouldn’t be successful without your husband?

MS: At the end of the day, my husband and I are a team and we’ve been that way even before we got married, so you always need all of the pieces to make a puzzle. You can’t just have the money and not have the know-how. Anybody can give you a mass amount of wealth, but you have to know how to keep it. That’s why me and my husband complement each other so well. We’re both very strategic in our investments. My husband was blessed to have a great career. He was able to not only make money but keep money, and I’ve been helping him with his businesses and managing his investments and overall life as I like to say. I manage his life. I’ve been doing those things for him since we’ve been dating. It’s been over 10 years and we’ve done this together. He was fortunate enough to get two contracts with the Redskins so of course that would jumpstarts some things, but at the end of the day, I’m not with him because of what he made and what he was on the football field. It just so happened that we became best friends and we fell in love with each other and his success and his finances and his wealth just so happened to come along with the package.

I could be one of those women who kind of sits at home and does nothing, but I’m not. I handle all of our homes, all of our kids. I call myself a boss because it’s a mindset. It does take a lot to be able to handle the type of lifestyle we have because we don’t just sit around and have fun and vacation…We work hard. I’m up every morning at 6:30, 7’oclock getting my day started. I’m literally the first one up and the last one to go to sleep. I work hard, I bust my butt. How I’ve obtained success is really no one’s business. However God chooses to bless you, that’s how he’s going to bless you…

ES: We’ve seen so many people have wealth and lose it all, so I respect your hustle.

MS: Yes, definitely. At the end of the day, you have a lot of people who come to you with business ideas. You have people who come to you and just make requests like, ‘Can you give me this amount or Can you give me that amount?’ We’re human, you always want to help people out but sometimes you have to sit back and say, ‘Alright, if I give you this money, am I really helping you or am I handicapping you?’ So it’s not easy when you have to tell a family member who you love and care about, ‘No, I can’t help you. I can’t keep doing this anymore.’ So it’s definitely stress. I mean Biggie wasn’t lying when he said, ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’….

retrieved via instagram @mrsmoniquesamuels

ES: As a mom and wife, sometimes you lose focus of your dreams. How are you using this platform to push your personal goals?

MS: I’m a person who has always wanted to give back to the community. I have a real passion from children, teens, kids. I’m teaming up with a non-profit organization called Adoptions Together and we’re going to be doing some pretty big things. They actually bridge the gap for kids who are stuck in the foster system, who literally grew up in it, and they offer a lot of resources for them. Kids who may be disabled and looking for a family, they find families and homes for these children, so I love what they’re doing. My husband started a foundation called Chris Samuels Foundation years ago, back in 2007, and through that foundation we help schools and athletic programs that can’t afford to buy equipment…and we’ll even sponsor kids who are on scholarship for whatever talents and gifts they may have. We had this one girl who was pursuing a career in ballet and dance and we sponsored her to be able to attend a program in the summer. It’s definitely hard to maintain balance, but I’m going to use this platform to just empower people, whether it’s women, whether it’s men, whether it’s children…

retrieved via instagram @mrsmoniquesamuels

ES: Back to the “Real Housewives of Potomac.” Who’s your favorite housewife from last season and why.

MS: Okay from last season, my favorite housewife was Karen. I just thought Karen was funny. She cracked me up because it was like she had all of this etiquette, but then you would see another scene and she’s like going off on somebody and I like how she can flip it back and forth. It’s funny because based off what I saw on season one; I was like I’m kind of that way too. I don’t promote etiquette as much as what they did, but I’m definitely a person who knows how to act when it’s time to be classy, but don’t cross me [laughs]. It was fun watching her. To be honest, it was fun watching Giselle as well. Certain things I didn’t like with her nitpicking when it came to Charisse’s marriage and things like… I feel like when it comes to your kids and you’re husband, certain lines shouldn’t be crossed.  What I did like about [Giselle] is that she kind of put her whole life out there. She was totally open about what she had been through in her past marriage and then I thought she was fun until I met her [laughs].

ES: You two seem like you would have so much fun together, so it’s sad to see that you’re not meshing well.

MS: I’m a person who loves surrounding myself with women who have a certain level of class and you definitely have to have a boss mentality to be around a person like me. Sometimes maybe it’s intimidating because I’m very confident in myself and I’m not braggadocios but sometimes if you ask me a question, my reality for a person—to them—they perceive that as bragging, but I’m literally just answering the question. Like in the super tease [Giselle asked], ‘So you don’t have a home?’ [I answered], ‘No, I have four homes.’ I’m not bragging that I have four homes, that’s what my reality is. If I’m renting a house, you would’ve been fine with that. You know, some people like to take what you say and they’ll totally flip it. I’m very humble and I’m very grateful for anything that I have. I’m never a person who will try to show off to make myself appear bigger or better than you because at the end of the day, just me with 5 cents in my pocket, if I believe I’m bigger and better than you it’s because of my mindset not because of my material things…

Don’t you just love Monique already? Be sure to tune into the “Real Housewives of Potomac” this Sunday at 9/8c!

Interview By: Ericka Smith, Entertainment Editor

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