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Divalicious Dish

RHOA’s Mama Joyce Sets the Record Straight

If you are still having “OMG” flashbacks from Mama Joyce’s recent actions on Real Housewives of Atlanta, we’re not surprised. As the outspoken mother of music producer Kandi Burruss, we still can’t get that image of Mama holding up her shoe at Carmen at the bridal shop!

Of course, there are always two sides to every story, and we got a chance to speak with Mama to get hers. The ever candid matriarch gets real on the family finances, why she feared Kandi’s fiancé Todd Tucker may have been unfaithful and her reaction to that photo wall devoted to Kandi’s intended.

“I don’t know who suggested putting it up like that, because Kandi didn’t lay it out that way,” Mama Joyce exclaims. School ’em, Mama Joyce!

On Money Matters:

“I’ve been depicted as this crazy, outraged mother that’s worried about Kandi’s money, which I’m not. Kandi does not take care of me; I take care of myself. Kandi is very good to me, she always has been. But Xscape started in my basement. I helped the girls start, I put them together, and I put up a lot of the finance to help send them on the different trips, me along with another lady. Not that I was looking for anything, but that’s what Kandi wanted to be in, so I supported her. When Kandi’s money started coming in, I started saving her money. I did not spend Kandi’s money. When she was 18 and made her first $100,000 and was living with her mother, I was the one who made sure she saved it. I always said that I wasn’t sure about how things would go with the group, so just in case it didn’t work out, I wanted her to have the money to go back to school.

“When Kandi wrote “Scrubs” [for TLC], I had already found a way to invest my money, so I started showing her a way to invest hers. That’s what we did. She wanted to buy a house and a car. I always told her a fool and money will soon part, so she’s always been frugal with her money because that’s the way I was with my money. That’s what I’ve always taught her. Just because you have money, just don’t be crazy. You just don’t go out there and spend, spend, spend.”

On the Family Finances:

“Kandi has never been my supporter. I had surgery where I had to be put on disability when I was 39. They retired me from my job. Kandi did not have to support me, and I had rental property. I had more than enough income, plus I always had money. My mother always believed in good insurance. So I had money and I had a good income, and lived in the same house from one month before Kandi was born. At that time, it was considered a very large house. You’ve seen it on TV. Kandi has offered to buy me a house, but I said, ‘For what? I’m right here, and I’m one minute from the expressway.'”

On Rumors of Todd Being Unfaithful:

“At the time ,and from what people had told me, I felt and I feel that he had. I truly did and I do feel that he had. Now things may be different, but that was just from people had told me. But maybe now he’s gotten things together. Hopefully he has. Do you remember on the TV, when Todd told Kandi that you need to get your mother straightened out because she’s upsetting me, and she’s upsetting Carmine? What kind of man includes the help in a family discussion? That was crazy. I didn’t like that. But like I said, that part is over. From this point on, I’ve let it go.”

On Kandi’s Wall of Pictures:

“TV has a way of changing things around. They kept saying I was upset about the pictures. Kandi has a wall when you first walk in from garage, you can see this wall, and the whole wall was filled with pictures of Todd when he was a little boy. And I said, ‘This is damn shame! What the hell is his picture doing there? That shouldn’t be his wall, that should be Riley’s [Kandi’s daughters] wall.’ They should be pictures of Riley when she was a baby. I wasn’t talking about myself. I said that the only picture you have of me and Riley is at the very baseboard. They just took that one thing I said. Kandi said that she wasn’t finished, but I don’t care about her having pictures of me. You should have pictures of people who are important to you. Riley shouldn’t have to walk in and see all those pictures of Todd. Those should be pictures of Riley. That’s just the way I feel.”

On Kandi and Todd’s Relationship:

“Right now, I’ve just decided to back out of it. I decided that if that’s whom Kandi chooses to be with, I’m just going to be happy with her choice. As long as she’s happy, I’m going to be happy. I have just worn myself out, literally. I pray and hope that Todd will be the man that makes her happy, and if he is, I will be the first one to apologize.

“A very wise person told me, sometimes when you get too involved, and the guy and girl are focused on you, the daughter doesn’t have chance to focus on him. He gets her so wrapped up ‘your mom is doing all this and that,’ she doesn’t really get to step back and see what she has. But if you step back, then your daughter has a chance to see everything about the guy. I didn’t think about that when I was being so involved. So now I’m stepping back. Now Kandi can devote all her time to her relationship. And, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be there 100 percent. And if it does work out, I’m the first one to say that I’m happy for you.”

On the Wedding and More Grandchildren:

“Right now, Kandi and I are very good place. I love my daughter more than I love myself. Everything I have is for my daughter and my granddaughter. If she decides she wants to marry Todd, and she wants me there, I’ll be there to support her… And, if Kandi wants to have children with Todd, I will welcome them. I don’t have but one child and I love her all my heart.”

On Kandi’s Play, A Mother’s Love:

“Yes, it was beautiful. The show was beautiful, but it was not a depiction of a mother’s love, not of our relationship. I think it was a beautiful play. At the end, the father saved the day. It couldn’t have been about her father, because her father still owes me child support. It was a great play. My daughter is so talented!”