Despite earlier declarations that he planned to mind his business and give no energy to the damning accusations Monique Samuels launched at him during the “Real Housewives of Potomac” reunion, Pastor Jamal Bryant eventually decided to respond to Samuels in a 20-something minute Instagram Live video.
In what was obviously a move to imitate Samuels, Bryant brought a binder of his own. But that’s not where his information was sourced. Instead, he seemed to be reading off of his computer screen in full preacher voice. And there were more than a few people who seemed to believe that he really didn’t do anything to clear his name of any of Monique’s allegations of infidelity.
The Live started off innocently enough with Bryant wishing the viewers “joy to the world” and a happy, healthy and wholesome holiday season. But it wasn’t long before it devolved into to a petty, defensive and not entirely exonerating response to Samuels.
“Get my binder. I don’t want to keep you long but I wanted to make sure that I had everything I needed for tonight…I have delayed trying to honor the wishes of Gizelle who asked me not to respond and not to say anything. Some of those of you who were overwhelming concerned that I hadn’t said anything is because I was honoring what Gizelle desired. Because of mounting moments that have happened on social media, I thought it prudent that I not remain silent so that my silence would not be confused with consent.
From the jump, you need to know tonight is not an apology. I’m not asking for anybody’s forgiveness. Tonight is for clarity. For five seasons, I’ve never said anything about Potomac. Never said anything in a post, an interview, a tweet or a text. I average about 56 interviews a year and in no terms have I ever mentioned Potomac, good bad or ugly.
I have long since not been an advocate for many reality tv shows because I don’t think it represents the best of who we are, nor does it advance our progress, our maturity and our brilliance. A bone of contention between Gizelle and I for years has been her participation on the show and how I did not support it.
In baby steps of reconciliation, I agreed to be on it, against my better judgement, against my wisdom and even against my convictions. I wholeheartedly regret participating. And I want you to know that I will never be on the “Housewives of Potomac” or anything in that franchise ever again. But I wanted you to know why.
It has been a gross misrepresentation of my character, my ministry and my humanhood.”
On the relationship with his children
Many of you who were watching bombarded me with accusations of abandoning my family. Not being there for my girls, for their photo shoot. As if, I was just in Atlanta frolicking around, participating in willful neglect. The truth of the matter is, I was in South Africa, coming back for the photoshoot and had a delay in Frankfurt, Germany for six hours. The producers knew it. The network knew it. And as a consequence, my flight did not land in enough time. None of that was mentioned, none of it was brokered. None of it was represented.”
Many of you felt it was recorded in real time. It was, in fact, a year ago. So you saw my children who were not happy with me. But you didn’t have context. Their first day of school—and this is the very first time, in their entire lives, where I was not present to pick em up or to take them. Any of you who have teenagers, understand the emotional roller coaster of teenage girls. As a consequence, I had just moved to Atlanta so it was adjustment for them as it was for me. They are absolutely Daddy’s girls. As a matter of fact, they are here in Atlanta, often and frequent and they wear New Birth t-shirt and hoodies almost every day. Even though they’re in Maryland, they watch their father every Sunday. I have a very healthy relationship with my children, which I value and which I absolutely don’t take for granted.
The comments made by his father-in-law
The third thing that was put out there were disparaging remarks made by my father-in-law, Mr. Curtis Graves, who is 83-years-of-age. And unlike many, I was raised old school. You never disrespect elders. I honor him. He’s an amazing man has had incredible accomplishments and he has every right to feel protective over his daughter. I’ve been divorced for now ten years and he and I have not had a heart to heart, man-to-man conversation about me breaking the heart of his baby girl.
Anybody who is married or been married understands that working with in-laws a process and it is a journey. That was one of the very few times, in ten years, that we have been in proximity. But I want on record that I honor him. He is my fraternity brother and I want my children to always know that I honor their grandfather and Gizelle’s father.
I want to make sure I’m on the right page of my binder because you can’t bring me receipts if I got the cash register. Yes, I dated a young lady in New York. In case you all missed it, I been divorced for 11 years and single people date. When you date, sometimes it works and sometimes it didn’t. And this instance it didn’t. Nothing immoral, illegal or unethical took place. It did not work out. There is some clarity that needs to happen. I’m not married. I’m not engaged. Some of you have a strange relationship with language. You can’t have a mistress while you’re single. I never had a mistress. As a consequence, she has never been to visit me in Atlanta, never been to New Birth, never been in my home. I haven’t been in her home.
You would think that things just move forward and people move on. They don’t. So if we’re going to show text messages, let’s show all the text messages. Let’s show the text messages of the young lady asking to fly to Atlanta for my instillation. Show the text message where I said, ‘No, it’s not a good idea.’ Show the text message where you asked to come down for Memorial Day and I said, ‘No, you can’t come here.’
Show the text messages where you complained because I didn’t open a door for you to speak on The Word Network. If you’re going to show the text messages, show all of them. How it is that you wanted me to hire you to be on staff. I told you, you weren’t qualified.
Because doors were not opening because you’re chasing clout and an opportunity to get on a stage that gift and integrity necessitate. You then sent it to the executive producers of Bravo. They didn’t respond so you sent it to every member of the cast. Your dissertation is on the empowerment of Black women so why did you send it to the cast and never sent it to Gizelle. You wanted to equip her and not break her and you thought something was awry, then the responsible thing to do is to go to that woman. But you didn’t do that. It’s okay.
The only person who bought into it was Monique so let’s go to that.
On Monique and her family
Monique Samuels I’ve never met. Never shook her hand, never been in the room with her and yet, she’s assassinated my character with anger and hostility. I’ve got to address this because on national, international television, you labeled me a Holy Whore. I’m not sleeping with any woman in my church. I have no babies in my church. I have no inappropriate relationship with any woman in my church.
I understand what the hostility was about—why the redirect of attention was on me. You wanted to redirect because you thought a story was getting ready to break that your baby is from your trainer. That’s what got your husband upset because he thought Gizelle leaked it.
I want to tell you Monique and Chris, it is not Gizelle who leaked it but your best friend GiGi. We had nothing to do with it.
You became hostile and angry and it was misdirected rage because you live in a house with a man who has anger management, who doesn’t mind expressing volatile behavior. And everything I’m saying tonight is not conjecture. This is not murder, this is self-defense. So, for the first time in years I’m inviting my audience to watch the housewives of Potomac where you will see Monique’s husband try to attack my wife, ex-wife and Robyn. Security had to be called and he had to be subdued. I’m very concerned.
Monique, you had my phone number as you expressed on the show but I had you all’s address.
Chris, you’ve got to take care of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy—the deterioration of brain matter due to repetitive trauma to the head—often associated with athletes, specifically football players.)
Some of your former teammates contacted me. They said Jamal, please don’t respond. Just last week, you had an outbreak again, verbally assaulting a Black woman in Safeway. We have the footage of that but I’m not going to air that. I’m asking you to please get help. I’ve tracked down your pastor so all that I’m saying is in love—so your pastor can help you get the help that is needed and that is necessary.
I thought it was necessary to address this because of the failures of my past, it made the accusations of the present believable. And many of you began attacking me with no information. And I want believers to know that no matter what it is you did in your past, you can outlive it in your present. Regrettably those of you who have said the most vile, nasty and negative things, did it behind scripture. You did it under the guise of being saved. Not calling for prayer but immediately calling for crucifixion. I didn’t say I was perfect, nor do I pretend to be but don’t come for me, unless I invite you.”
Lastly, before he left, Bryant listed all of the community work he was doing in the city—including feeding families, visiting people who are incarcerated and getting people in Georgia ready to vote.
I gotta go because I’m not called to entertainment. I’m called to empowerment. I know a lot of you will still have a lot to say. I’m not here to convince you. What I am here to say is I wish we would expend as much energy pushing positive than we do pushing negative…I live in Atlanta but I’m from Baltimore. I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and to all, a good night. God bless you.
You can watch Bryant’s full comments in the video below.