Moving forward! After an explosive finale of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Phaedra Parks isn’t dwelling on the past, but instead is looking to what’s next.
In the conclusion of RHOA’s four-part season finale May 7th, Parks, 43, acknowledged she spread a rumor that Kandi Burruss and husband Todd Tucker wanted to drug and take advantage of costar Porsha Williams.
Despite Parks apologizing, Burruss, Williams, Tucker and the rest of the Housewives cast were quick to rebuke her. They have maintained their distance since the show’s conclusion.
But Parks has a number of other big things on her plate besides holding the coveted Housewives’ peach.
One of those is ultimately seeing through her divorce from estranged husband, Apollo Nida, who is currently serving an 8-year sentence at New Jersey’s FCI Fort Dix correctional facility for bank fraud and identity theft. The couple’s divorce was completed in 2016, but overturned in March of this year when a judge reversed the judgment.
“[The divorce] was finalized last year in July so of course that obviously made me assume that I had regained my independence and a new start,” Parks exclusively tells Us. “So to be placed back into a position where I have to do it all over again … it’s disheartening but it’s a process and I can’t obviously change it.”
At the time of the judgment’s reversal, TMZ cited a judge’s concerns that Parks had misspelled Nida’s last name, that Nida had been unable to attend divorce hearings he was led to believe he could attend, that he had not been informed of the final hearing and also had not been served with finalized divorce papers.
But in response to speculation that she made deliberate errors or attempts to keep Nida out of the loop, Parks insisted that it’s simply not true. “There was never any intention of keeping him out of the loop,” the Housewives star says. “He was very active throughout the process.”
Now, the lawyer, mortician and mother of two — she shares sons Ayden, 7, and Dylan, 4, with Nida — must start the process over again. And the divorce is back in the discovery phase of legal proceedings. “Of course we’ve made some motions that will hopefully speed it up, but it’s basically at the beginning part of the divorce,” she explains.
Though he may still be legally bound to Parks, Nida moved on from their marriage when he began dating friend Sherien Almufti from behind bars, eventually proposing to the real estate agent during a November 2016 prison visit.
“Of course it’s very frustrating, it’s very expensive, it’s very emotionally draining and quite time consuming,” she says. “It’s a very difficult process and it’s unfortunate that it was overturned but it is what it is and so I’ll go through the process again and we’ll see what happens this time. Hopefully it won’t take as long as it did the first time.”
Parks also has to focus on raising Dylan and Ayden, who both celebrated birthdays in May.
“When Apollo left,” Parks explains, “Dylan was barely a year old so he doesn’t really have the recollection of Apollo like Ayden has. Ayden of course has very fond memories of his father so he realizes that he’s in New Jersey, but as far as specifically, Apollo told them, but I don’t think they appreciate really what being incarcerated means, and of course because they are at such a tender age, that’s not something I’m really honing in on.”
Nida typically can make outgoing calls to his sons from prison, and “when he calls, obviously we answer,” Parks says. But Parks explains that Nida has been unable to call or receive visitors as of late because he is in solitary confinement. When he is out of solitary confinement, Parks acknowledges that it’s a “possibility” she could take her sons to see their dad, though whether that actually happens — Nida has previously complained that Parks doesn’t regularly bring their sons to visit him — is to be determined.
In the meantime, Parks will keep her attention on her Phaedra Foundation, which returns to Flint, Michigan, this summer for another camp session for local youth. “I’m actually going to take the boys with me to camp in Michigan because I want them to just see how other people live, and I want them to be able to appreciate overnight camp as well,” she tells Us. “We’ll camp out for a week with the Flint campers.”
On top of that, Parks divulges she’ll take the boys to Italy “for about a week […] we’ll go to Utah this summer to visit some national parks there, and we’re going to go see the Grand Canyon and we’ll go to Florida as well.”
A break from the drama of the ATL might be just the thing Parks needs. Earlier this month, sources told Us that Parks is “not coming back [to Housewives] as of now.” But alliances and cast lists change nearly every season for each series of the franchise. And since several Housewives have left at the end of one season and later returned in cameo appearances or even made full returns to the cast, anything is possible.
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