Q&A: Phaedra Parks of 'The Real Housewives Of Atlanta'

Q&A: Phaedra Parks of 'The Real Housewives Of Atlanta'


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Entertainment lawyer Phaedra Parks is one of the newest cast members of Bravo’s hit reality show ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ season three. You don’t know about her yet? She’s the outspoken, tough celebrity attorney power-house that’s slated to give Nene Leakes a run for her money. And since the rumor mill is already spiraling out of control with various reports by Pagesix, and RadarOnline.com.

Phaedra decided to speak with LaShonda Matlock of Chicagonow.com and state that she’s more than just a pretty face and reality star.



LaShonda: First, I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. I know you have clients in and out of court so I’ll try to be short.
Phaedra: My pleasure, thank you for the opportunity.

LaShonda: Many people don’t know that you are a very prominent entertainment lawyer who has represented several A-list celebrities and are currently the managing partner of The Parks Group. How do people not know this?
Phaedra: Well, when I’m working in the service of my clients it’s not my role to eclipse their presence but rather to advocate on their behalf and support them. People not knowing me is not an issue, the great things that my clients do and their achievements is the best reflection of me and my practice. 

LaShonda: Your resume is very long (classic overachiever). From Georgia’s Rising Stars Super Lawyers, NBC, Fox News, Court TV, Rolling Out Magazine, Jet Magazine and so on…. What else is there for you to achieve in your career?
Phaedra: My focus has not been about collecting accolades but about giving back and making a difference. I always pursue things that interest me and thank God, I’ve been presented with some great opportunities that have been very exciting and rewarding. You know what we look like on paper is not always who we really are. I’m sort of laughing out loud about your question because I never see myself as this “overachiever”.  I just see myself as a hard worker.

LaShonda: You have represented some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry including Jermaine Dupri and Bobby Brown. You know firsthand how turbulent, volatile and crazy the entertainment industry can be as a whole. So, why do you continue to be an entertainment lawyer? Why does this career drive you so much?
Phaedra: The reason I entered this field is because it gave me the opportunity to marry two things that I love: the arts and the law, and representing the clients that I represent affords me the opportunity to change lives and help people achieve their dreams. I’m fascinated by the law and how some laws work for some people and not for others. When I’m representing a lot of my clients they are in a position where the law hasn’t been so kind to them. Over the years, my job has been about making my clients the best that they can be, helping them maintain their careers, evolve into bigger stars and secure a sustainable financial future. So when I see their growth and their development…it inspires me.  And as far as being the best, that’s relative because I’m always in competition with myself and I always give my all. 

LaShonda: This is not your first venture into reality television. Actually, you were an executive producer for BET’s Tiny & Toya show. How do like going from behind the camera to being full-time in front of the camera?
Phaedra: To be exact, I was the consulting producer.

LaShonda: Sorry
Phaedra: But no, they are two totally different artistic ventures and creative expressions, however, they are both collaborative works.  Being in front of the camera is new and different but I enjoy both roles equally. 

LaShonda: Congratulations I hear you’re a new mommy!
Phaedra: Thank you…

LaShonda: Has having a child changed your life in any way. Or are you still pushing 70hour long work weeks?
Phaedra: No, I’m currently on maternity leave and enjoying motherhood.  The changes are unbelievable; I don’t know where to start. Any time I think you become a mother, you see things differently. The whole world becomes anew to you. Now, I don’t only see it through my eyes, I see it through the eyes of my son. It’s a sudden epiphany that things are not all about you. You’re just so entranced, so in love and so engaged with this child…it’s amazing. I always heard that a mother’s love was the greatest love, but now I’m experiencing it for myself, and I know it to be true. I just get overjoyed thinking about him. I love him so much. It’s like the first time you ever had candy. Yummy!

LaShonda: How old is your son now?
Phaedra: He is a little over two-months old

LaShonda: Are there more plans for children any time soon?
Phaedra: Well…being the southern bell that I am, I have to be coy. I grew up in a family of four. I’m the eldest daughter, I have two brothers and a sister.  I love my siblings, we are best friends.   But being a career woman, I don’t know if I could have four children. I mean… I think it’s great in theory.  I would love to give my son a playmate but I’m not very sure when.  I couldn’t imagine life without a brother or a sister and I would like to give him the same experience.

LaShonda: How is your husband handling of all the attention of you being in the spotlight?
Phaedra:  I married a great guy and he’s very supportive of me. The one thing I can say is that he is always happy for my success. He’s always one hundred percent behind me. I’m sure he could do without some of the press. But at the end of the day, if it makes me happy, it makes him happy. You know the old saying….”If Mommy ain’t happy nobody’s happy.”

LaShonda: Your husband must be very proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished. What is the greatest thing about being married for you?
Phaedra: I would say having a life partner, having someone that is by your side and that’s in it with you. It is like having a live-in best friend. I know I can tell him anything, he can tell me anything and that’s what I think being married is all about. No matter what, love conquers all and we have an abundance of love.  

LaShonda: I have to say I was very excited to hear that you joined the cast of RHOA. What made you decide to do the show?
Phaedra: It’s a wonderful ensemble of very different women.  I think I add a totally new dimension to the show and bring something that is extremely unique. Saying that in itself made me very interested to be a part of it.  I have a very different background from the other women.  I am not only a wife and mother but I am also the principle of my own law practice.  I feel like this is a great opportunity for me to show people what it is like for a woman in 2010 to juggle a very demanding career while raising a child and trying to be a good wife and partner to my husband.

LaShonda: What did your friends, family and clients think when you agreed to do the show?
Phaedra: I have a great support base. My friends, family and clients always support me. So they were really thrilled for me.

LaShonda: BRAVO recently ran the first official promo for the upcoming season of RHOA. And from what was shown in the two-minute promo it doesn’t appear that the other ladies were very receptive to your arrival. Please explain.
Phaedra: I think the thing that you’ve got to realize is that it’s a two-minute commercial. Controversy always sells and always draws attention. Like most teasers you see they show you the most volatile and  the juiciest moments of the show to draw you in. That’s all I’m going to tell you, but it will be a phenomenal season with lots of fireworks.

LaShonda: Speaking of fire, why do you think that RHOA producers and bloggers are labeling you as the quote ‘fire-starter’ of the show?
Phaedra: (Laughs) Well, I don’t want to second guess what people are saying. But when people are talking about you that means you are on their minds, and when people stop talking, that’s means you are no longer relevant.  So to be a “fire starter” means a lot of different things to different people.  I can’t worry about labels, because people will always label you at some point.

LaShonda: I’m already hearing that you, Nene Leakes, and Kim Zolciak get into a confrontation about being in the music industry. Can you give us any details?
Phaedra:  Ms. LaShonda, once again, you are going to have to tune in October 4th at 9pm to Bravo. You will be pleased with what you see.

LaShonda: Ok, well then how about this one. Page Six reported that there was a quote “tiff” at cast member Cynthia Bailey’s wedding? Can you tell us what exactly happened?
Phaedra: Hmmmm, are you trying to get me in trouble Ms. Matlock?

LaShonda: So there was an incident?
Phaedra: (laughs)

LaShonda: Can you at least confirm you attended cast member Cynthia Bailey’s wedding in New York.
Phaedra: (laughs)

LaShonda: You’re killing me….
Phaedra: No, you’re trying to get me in trouble with Bravo!!

LaShonda: What else can we expect from this season of RHOA? SPILL IT!
Phaedra: This is going to be a very different season.   It won’t be disappointing; it’s going to be EXPLOSIVE! So you’ve got to watch and see it for yourself. 

LaShonda: You are an amazing lawyer, philanthropist, role model and wife. Do you worry about that the drama from the reality show eventually pouring over into your personal & professional life?
Phaedra: It’s going to absolutely spill over because it is a reality show. Its real, and it is a window into another part of my life.  At the end of the day my clients know who I am.  My business is referral based, I’ve never advertised. So I don’t think that people are going to change their opinion about me if they truly know me and truly accept me for who I am. At the end of the day I’m always true to myself. And if you’re true to yourself let the chips fall where they may…

LaShonda: So how is your relationship with Kim Zolicak? And how do you like her singing?
Phaedra: You know what; I’m very impressed with Kim. I really like Kim! She’s very charismatic and has a great heart.

LaShonda: You didn’t answer the question.
Phaedra: You know…I’ve never actually heard Kim sing by herself. I’ve heard the song “Tardy for The Party” and I like it. But to be a hit in this industry, it is all about a presence and having great lyrics, you can make anyone sound good.  And anyone that knows Kim knows that she has a great presence and is one to be reckoned with much like myself. (laughs) remember I am Mrs. ‘fire-starter’.

LaShonda: How is your relationship with Nene Leakes?
Phaedra: I’ve known Nene since childhood, we are both from the classic city, Athens, Georgia.  She’s a little older than me, but I don’t have any issues with her.

LaShonda: You’re putting your entire world on view for everyone to see, do you have any regrets or fears now that the show is about to air?
Phaedra: Well honey, I am too far in the water to look back, so I just have to enjoy the swim!

-LaShonda Matlock



email: lashonda.matlock@gmail.com


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