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Most of us were introduced to the fierce, fabulous and feisty Marlo Hampton during the last season of Real Housewives of Atlanta as Nene’s gal pal and common denominator in much of the drama that went down last season. If you recall, Marlo was often scrutinized by her fellow cast members, with the exception of Nene and Cynthia for being a label wh*re with a criminal past. While many assumed they knew all they needed to know about the seemingly shallow label lover, her latest interview with Hello Beautiful reveals that there’s much more to Ms. Hampton than meets the eye.

As she discussed her organization, Glam It Up, which is an empowerment program put in place to assist in the self-esteem and guidance of young girls who may be experiencing turmoil in their lives, Marlo provided some insight into what her own childhood was like, including having alcoholic mom and being in foster care, that may just slightly explain some of her erratic behavior on the show…maybe. Check out some of her story:

I grew up in a foster home. I started with my real mother of course but she was an alcoholic and on drugs and she was very abusive which is why I ended up leaving home. I ran away because she was abusive. Growing up, I didn’t get hugs and kisses from my mom, she wasn’t that type. Like the things that a mom would do with a little child, I didn’t get that from my mom. I had a little brother at the time and it was like I was his mother. I was super young. I left home at 11 so I was like nine or 10 years old taking care of my brother: taking him to day care, being his protector and making sure he was okay when my mom was out partying. I look back and it’s sad. I used to feel so bad growing up in a foster home with no mom or dad. I was so angry at the world for years but now as an adult I’ve come to accept it like, ‘You know what Marlo, everything that’s happened to you, good or bad, happened for a reason,’ and it made me stronger and the person that I am today.

She also went on to discuss how her past assists her in helping and interacting with the young girls she comes in contact with today.

Now, I can go and sit down with my Glam It Up! girls and let them know that, ‘Hey I was there! I had a mom that did drugs right in front of me and I had a mom that beat me, I was in four different foster homes but if I made it you definitively can too and you can even do better than me!’ It’s really tough. It’s hard as an adult into relationships. Like, the man and woman who were supposed to love me the most weren’t there. Like how do I know you’re going to love me? My dad didn’t love me. My dad left me. It’s just something you have to pray and overcome and realize that God has you and live on faith.

We certainly commend Marlo for being so candid about her past as well as the effort that she’s putting forth to reach back into the community and help those who may be in similar situations, but it’s still hard to see her in a new light after her behavior last season.

What do you think of Marlo opening up about her troubled childhood? Does it change your perception of her?

Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

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