She’s bouncing back! The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Shereé Whitfield spoke exclusively with Us Weekly, and opened up about the strength she found within herself after talking about her allegedly abusive marriage to ex-husband Bob Whitfield on the hit Bravo show.
As fans saw earlier this season on RHOA, Shereé, 47, was stunned when Bob, 45, made an insensitive joke during a cast vacation to Hawaii about not choking the reality starlet hard enough during their seven-year marriage. On part two of the season 9 reunion, Shereé — who split from Bob in 2006 amid cheating allegations and a painful custody battle, as documented by Bravo cameras — broke down while discussing the emotional aftermath of the retired NFL player’s cruel remark.
“With Bob, it was a lot of verbal, emotional abuse, and we have had some altercations,” she told host Andy Cohen during the Sunday, April 23, telecast. “I have not talked about it for 10 years. I wanted to protect my kids and I just never wanted to talk about it.”
During her chat with Us, Shereé, who finalized her divorce from Bob in 2007, revealed why she is happy to finally share her story. “As you guys know, I’ve never brought up any of those things and that’s not something I wanted to talk about. But when it came up, it’s like, OK, he’s opened Pandora’s box. Let’s talk about it. But talking about it, actually, in a strange way, I think it definitely made me stronger,” the Bravolebrity tells Us. “And it made me open up, and feel a lot of hurt and pain that I didn’t even know still existed. I suppressed it for a long time, so being able to get that out, I felt better.”
Not only does Shereé — who shares son Kairo, 20, and daughter Kaleigh, 17, with Bob, and an older daughter named Tierra from a previous relationship — feel relieved after discussing the drama, she finds comfort in knowing that she has the potential to help other women.
“It feels great because I know that I’m not the only one, and just to be able to help other women, and have them reach out to me to tell me that they’re going through the same thing, is incredible,” the “Who Gon’ Check Me Boo” singer tells Us. “Since then, I’ve gone to the grocery store, I’ve gone to the post office and women, they come up to me and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, I just wanna hug you.’ And then I’m crying in the post office. I’m crying in the grocery store, but definitely, to be able to share my story and have it be able to help someone out, that just feels great for me.”
As viewers may recall, Shereé started out this season hoping to reconcile with Bob. However, the former athlete’s questionable comment in Hawaii proved to the mom of three that it was time to call it quits with him for good. “I was hoping that he’d change,” she tells Us. “And I was hoping that we could evolve into something else, but we just weren’t meant to get back together.”
Now that the chapter has closed on her romance with Bob, with whom she now shares a “cordial, co-parenting” relationship, the Wives, Fiancées and Side-Chicks of Hotlanta author is looking forward to the future — and to finding her Prince Charming to shack up with at Chateau Shereé.
“I’ve been dating. It’s going pretty good. I’m looking for a positive, loving relationship,” Shereé says, adding that looking for love has never felt more liberating. “I definitely feel more free. I guess I didn’t really know my worth and so I feel like I definitely won’t accept things and put up with things that I used to put up with in the past.”
Part three of the four-part season 9 reunion for The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Bravo Sunday, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET.