R&R is never achieved on a Real Housewives of Atlanta getaway. But during the cast trip to Maui in early October for season 9, Cynthia Bailey’s potential for drama was doubled due to a surprise guest: her estranged husband, Peter Thomas.
“Hawaii was the first time Peter and I have hung out since we separated,” the model, 49, tells Us Weekly, noting that costar Kandi Burruss’ husband, Todd Tucker, invited the bar owner along. “I think Kandi was hoping for a love reconnection.”
Or at least a few sparks. “It was Peter’s birthday and there was talk of, ‘Technically, you guys are still married. He needs a little birthday booty!’” Bailey reveals, adding cagily, “I may or may not have entertained that notion.”
Outside of paradise, the couple have been learning to be just friends. Since Thomas, 56, relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, in January, Bailey has been coming to terms with her decision to end their six-year marriage. (They were together for nine years.)
“I will always love Peter and have his back,” concedes the mom of Noelle, 17 (with actor Leon Robinson). With 50 looming, though, Bailey took stock and realized, “There was a lot of internal unhappiness. I wasn’t at peace.”
Viewers have become well versed in the pair’s troubles since Bailey joined the Bravo hit (returning November 6, 8 p.m.) in 2010 for season 3. Last season’s firestorm: a June 2015 video showing Thomas kissing and touching a female clubgoer at his Charlotte business, Bar One. “He was just being social,” explains Bailey.
And even though this wasn’t the first time infidelity rumors surfaced, she states, “I believe with every ounce of oxygen and bone in my body that Peter never had sex with another woman.”
From the very beginning, the marriage was under siege. In season 3, the reality star’s mom, Barbara, and sister, Malorie, claimed Thomas was unreliable and riding her coattails, and they vehemently protested the union right up until the couple’s finale I do’s.
“I had to follow my heart,” Bailey affirms, “even if the people around me didn’t understand.”
In fact, the modeling-agency owner takes responsibility for the marriage’s collapse. Putting her daughter’s needs before her husband’s was one factor. “Peter never felt like he was my No. 1 priority,” Bailey says. “He was right. She was.”
But in a larger sense, she admits, she wasn’t meant to be a Mrs. “I couldn’t give up Cynthia Bailey to be Cynthia Bailey Thomas,” she says. “I was in love with Peter, but I’m just not wife material. I will never be in a relationship again where it will take a lawyer for me to walk away. I will never marry again.”
For now, the exes communicate primarily by text (he and Noelle talk and text too), and their focus is on finalizing a settlement before filing for divorce, hoping to have it completed by January.
“We had no children together, so what’s his is his and what’s mine is mine,” she says, citing a prenup.
As for dating again, stay tuned. “There’s something very scary about turning 50 and being by yourself,” she confesses. “I just have to believe everything will be OK.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!