Phaedra Parks talks to Andy Cohen at MJCCA Book Festival about marriage, a threesome & angst

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Andy Cohen entertains a packed house of 1,200 fans at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta 25th annual Book Festival November 20, 2016. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

This was posted Monday, November 21, 2016 by Rodney Ho on the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Andy Cohen, who created the “Real Housewives” franchise and hosts “Watch What Happens Live,” came to Atlanta yesterday to promote his book “Superficial.”

This time around, he asked Phaedra Parks of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” fame to question him at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s 25th annual Book Festival. Like the last time, he attracted 1,200 people. And this time, he sold even more books: 750 vs. 600 in 2014.

Parks came prepared. She said she read the book multiple times and even listened to the audio book. Cohen was impressed that Parks asked him questions off the top of her head. “I can’t do that,” he said.

Phaedra Parks was the inquisitor of her Bravo boss Andy Cohen. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

Phaedra Parks was the inquisitor of her Bravo boss Andy Cohen. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/

Over an hour and 15 minutes, she and Cohen covered a lot of ground. Here are some highlights:

Trump=Housewives: “The president elect reminded me of a first season of ‘Orange County.’ He hasn’t quite gotten the make up right. And he’ll say anything to stay on the show. When I saw him at the reunions, I mean debates, I would watch him. He kept saying shocking things. He did a few things out of the Housewives playbook. He said, ‘I have something I want to say about Hillary but I’m not going to say it.’ Then after he left the stage, he said it. That was what Bethenny [Frankel] did at the last reunion! I think Hillary is like Carole Raziwill of New York Housewives.”

Meta moment: In the new book, “there’s an entry of me coming here and signing books and being with you guys at MJCCA. It’s wild. It was exactly this time two years ago. Tomorrow, I’m going to Chicago, then St. Louis. It’s the same thing I did two years ago.”

Ferguson verdict: Two years ago, he was in his hometown when the verdict came down.  “it was very hard. I felt very uneasy. I’m an upper middle class St. Louis kid from the suburbs. St. Louis is a very integrated town. Unfortunately, the suburbs were in lock down. I’m from the town where the verdict was held. There was such suburban panic. Nelly has a school downtown. I had a previous commitment to speak there. Schools were closed. But they came out and wanted to learn. It was very moving and very jarring to see the two different worlds and how they were responding.”


His dog Wacha: “My first diary book is a true love story between me and Wacha. This is a continuation of the love story but he has some bad moments. He bites Anderson Cooper. It was funny but wasn’t funny that day… He bit me. He doesn’t like it when I have gentleman callers. He wants to be the only man in my life. I have this great dog trainer. He was terribly abused in his past life. I have to figure out what his triggers are that causes him to defend himself. He bit Rick Springfield. But Rick Springfield brought it on himself. He pulled Wacha’s ears really hard.”


Diary effect: “Keeping a diary and publishing it makes you think about your life. You know others will read it. I went deeper in this book with my own feelings and my own emotions of loneliness and self worth. The baby thoughts came about as a result. I always thought I could be a great dad. I always loved kids. When will I settle down? I’m always having the best time ever. When will I take a break from having the best time ever to give someone else the best time ever, to have the best time ever with that little guy and girl. What was interesting to me, when you do this for three years straight, you start realizing I’m kind of doing the same thing every year. I live an unusual life. I consider my life very exciting.” He noted that he and Cooper are always seeking the next exciting thing. “We need to be constantly entertained, which is kind of pathetic.”

On his threesome: “It was on a book tour. I met a couple in Boston. One thing led to another. We had a little romance. It was crazy. For a minute, I thought I was going to lose my virginity with a woman. It didn’t happen. It was exciting.” [Phaedra noted: “The good version is on Howard Stern on demand.”]

Getting married: “I’d love to get married. I”m in a committed relationship with a young man. Whether he’s the guy, I have no idea. We’re kind of vibing. He lives in Boston. I met him while I was working on the book. The reason I stopped writing the book, I felt like we were progressing where I didn’t want to start reporting on this relationship… I don’t put his name in there. He doesn’t want his name out. I just felt like he can write his own book and put his name out there in his own way.” [Phaedra noted he’s a “substantial person with a PhD from Harvard.”]


A past connection: Phaedra, as an attorney, represented Bobby Brown while he taped his 2005 Bravo show “Being Bobby Brown” and worked a bit with Cohen when he was an executive running programming for Bravo.

Worst “Housewives” decision: He had a hard time picking one. He said the show is not dependent on any one person. He wanted to bring “Housewives of D.C.” back but Bravo didn’t. Phaedra didn’t like it either, saying it didn’t feel authentically D.C. This led to a discussion that no one show represents that city in a broad sense.

Worth the wait: Phaedra said reunion tapings usually take all day, from early morning into late at night. Andy said the ladies in Atlanta take the longest to get ready and be glam perfect  – at least three hours. “Once they’re there,” he said, “they are so turned out, I’m always happy about it.”

Break time: Now that he has stopped writing the diary, he feels good. “I do feel existentially free from having to report the details of my own life. It got really exhausting.”

Which housewife has given him the most “angst“? NeNe Leakes and Jill Zarin.

Who would Phaedra like to wife swap with? Lisa Vanderpump

The person he’d most like on “Watch What Happens Live” who has yet to be on: Michelle Obama


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