During the Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 13 premiere, Riley Burruss gave us an update on how she feels regarding her estranged relationship with her father, Russell “Block“ Spencer.
The situation has been a topic of discussion on the show before, but was addressed on Sunday night’s Season 13 premiere during a conversation between Riley, mom Kandi Burruss and her stepfather, Todd Tucker. It arose when the trio was talking about financing the 18-year-old’s education at NYU. Riley, who is Kandi’s eldest daughter, had this to say about the possibility of her biological father contributing to the costs.
“OK, well, I feel like my father never really did anything. It’s time for him to at least provide something when I’m going away to college,” she said.
Her father previously appeared on the show in Season 9, where he seemingly made attempts to rekindle his relationship with his daughter. Even then, their on-screen dynamics seemed tense and uncomfortable for the teen.
Kandi said during the episode that Riley was hurt by her father not keeping his promises and being a consistent presence.
“For her as a little kid, she’s like, ‘well, my dad say he’s coming’ and then he wouldn’t come and then she’d be all upset and that would upset me,” the RHOA star said in a confessional. “It would be hard for Black to bond with Riley this late in life,” she added, “she’s really hurt and he does not get it.”
Riley addressed that in her chat with her mom and Tucker.
“Wasn’t I like 15 when he came around and tried to start talking again? When you are only the bum father to me, it just kind of rubs me the wrong way because you had the capability to be there because I can see it with all your other children,” she said. “I have the people around me who I’m already comfortable with, so I feel like I just kind of moved past the point where he’s necessary.”
Not concerned with bonding with Spencer, Riley is focused on school and enjoying herself in New York. On the road to making her dreams of becoming an an entertainment lawyer come true, last year the teen shared how excited she was to be accepted into NYU, which was her number one school during the process of applying to colleges. Her growth into adulthood has been increasingly documented in seasons of the show and online in recent years. She made headlines last year when viewers saw the teen’s apartment search for a temporary home while she completed an internship in NYC in Season 12. We also got to see her glowing in a red strapless dress for her prom in 2019. In addition to that, in 2018, the teen inspired many with her weight-loss journey.
Only time will tell how things between Riley and her father change. In the meantime, we’re glad to see that such a situation hasn’t, in any way, dampened her dedication and excitement when it comes to pursuing her goals at NYU.