A Real Housewives of Dallas star is accusing the Bravo network of censoring her experience with domestic violence.
D’Andra Simmons recently opened up during an episode of Tiffany Goldstein’s podcast, Talking At Tiffany’s, about her experience as a domestic violence survivor on RHOD. She also accused the franchise of hindering her from sharing her story on the show — including her charity efforts surrounding the topic.
“I’ve never been able to tell my story,” Simmons told Goldstein, a Chicago-based reporter and podcaster who aims to interview the “hottest celebrities and industry professionals.” “I mean, every year we’ve done Housewives, my charity work hasn’t been a focus because there were other people, that was their focus.”
The reality star disclosed in 2018 to Fox 4 News that she was in an abusive relationship over 10 years ago. Simmons told the outlet that she suffered from physical and mental abuse, including suffering from a fractured skull at one point.
Simmons said on Talking at Tiffany’s that she hopes to use her platform on Bravo to shed light on her story.
Here’s what you need to know:
Simmons Claimed She Never Had an Opportunity to Share Her Domestic Violence Story on RHOD
Simmons expressed to Goldstein that she never felt like she had the opportunity to share her domestic violence story on The Real Housewives of Dallas. The 51-year-old added that she believed “other people” were the network’s focus.
“So, I felt like diluting it [her story] down to that level was not appropriate, so let’s not talk about that,” Simmons shared with the podcast host.
I’ve always wanted to tell my domestic violence story, especially in the “Housewives” framework, because then I could help so many people. I’ve told it here in Dallas at the Salvation Army luncheon, I have told it to the Junior League, I have done a few different speaking things. But, I think hopefully in 2021, I can start rolling out, talking about that more, because every time I told that story, there’s a woman that you would never expect that comes, you know, just a little tear in her eye or just all she says is, “Thank you.”
Simmons Said She Was in an Abusive Relationship Over a Decade Ago
In October 2018, the Bravo star told Fox 4 News that she was in a mentally and physically abusive relationship over a decade ago.
Simmons explained that at one point, her ex-boyfriend fractured her skull.
“He broke my fingers, he fractured my skull, I had internal bleeding. At the end of the time, I remember saying to him, I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I tried to call out, and all the phones, he destroyed all the phones,” she said.
“They were either broken or he threw them away. I couldn’t use the phone; I couldn’t get out the door. I said, ‘There’s a rifle in the back room.’ I said, ‘Just go, it’s loaded. Just put it to my head and shoot me because I can’t do this anymore.’”
Simmons said she finally sought refuge at a women’s shelter, where she received counseling and support to help her leave her relationship.
Simmons Is Involved in Charity Work Surrounding Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking
Simmons shared with Goldstein that she is an ambassador for the nonprofit organization Mercury One, which was founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Glenn Beck.
According to Mercury One’s website, the charity “was created to inspire the world in the same way the United States’ space program shaped America’s national destiny by setting a goal and committing to reach it against all odds.”
Simmons said RHOD has refused to showcase her charity work on the show each season.
She told the podcaster that she had recently been working with human trafficking survivors who escaped from the Islamic State group.
“They sent me with my husband to Iraq to meet with women that had been rescued from ISIS captivity to talk to them and hear their stories,” Simmons said during Talking at Tiffany’s.
“I’m a former survivor of domestic violence, so I would tell my story to the women and then they would feel more comfortable,” Simmons said. She added that she helped the women complete their paperwork to move to Australia or Canada.
“My mission is working with them and spreading their mission around the world,” she concluded.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for confidential and anonymous support 24/7.