- Real Housewives Of Atlanta -The Behind-The-Scenes Story Of Drew Sidora's First Fight On 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta'
Drew Sidora entered the Bravo universe with a bang — and she didn’t even mean to. When viewers were introduced to the new Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sidora during the second episode of Season 13, her marriage immediately took center stage when she and her husband, Ralph Pittman, got into a heated argument while celebrating their sixth anniversary. It was a scene fit for a finale or at least a midseason cliffhanger, not a new cast member's first day. But, according to Sidora, that scene wasn't supposed to happen at all.
As Sidora explains now, her anniversary dinner with Pittman was intended to be a typical introduction to a new Housewife’s home life. “I had no idea the direction it was going to go in," Sidora tells me. "Absolutely not. I was like, 'I can show people how amazing we are! Show Black love!'”
What happened instead was an argument between Sidora and Pittman about the latter's three-day absence from his home and children. His point: He needed a break. Her counterpoint: Not only did he not tell her where he was (450 miles away in Tampa, Florida, as it turns out), but she also accused him of spying on their family via cameras in the home. (Pittman denied the latter.) The situation got so intense that Sidora stopped filming and went to another room to remove her mic pack. She could still be heard crying and telling her mother, “I just feel like I can’t get through to my husband.”
Being a professional actor — you can see her in Step Up, The Game, and as T-Boz in CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, among other projects — Sidora is used to being in front of the camera. What she’s not used to is being in front of the camera without a script and a character to play. “In my world, when I say ‘cut’ and I take off my mic, that’s usually when it’s over,” Sidora says. “But in this world, it’s like, no, they catch everything … When they say ‘reality’, it really is. It’s 100 percent real and raw.”
And Sidora confirms that the dinner argument really did happen on her first day of filming. “That was day one. That was like, and hello!” she says. “That was really, really hard for me, but it is what it is.”
Clearly, hard for Pittman too. Especially since, in any other year, he would have played much more of a supporting role. When Sidora first considered joining RHOA in 2015 (before the premature birth of her son kept her from committing to the series), the couple figured their opposing careers — she in entertainment, him in IT — would mean little screentime for Pittman. Plus, “he didn’t want to be involved,” Sidora says with a laugh.
Fast-forward five years, and you have a 2020 that looks quite different than 2015, especially within the Sidora household. As the actress explains, Pittman became her nurse after she had a recent surgery on her achilles, and the pandemic forced them — along with her mother, Pastor Jeanette, who is also featured on the show — into even closer quarters. Add their explosive fight on day one of filming into the mix, and it became impossible for Pittman not to be filmed. “He really didn’t have a want or have a desire to be on, but obviously, as you saw, he has no choice now,” she says.
When Housewives sign on for the exposure Bravo offers, they also sign on to be exposed, inviting viewers into their marriage troubles, careers, and drama with fellow cast members. Sidora might not have planned to feature her marriage so heavily, but she did always want to open up about her tough year, which, in addition to everything else going on in the world, included her ankle injury and her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. But it's not all doom and gloom. “You’re going to meet my three beautiful kids," she says. "You’re going to see me having fun. Just really embracing this whole 2020 and really pushing forward. I think 2020 was hard for everybody, so I'm the most excited to just be on this journey of getting back to myself.”
Of her cast mates, Sidora says that she’s the closest with the woman who introduced her on the show, Cynthia Bailey, having first met her through former Housewife Eva Marcille. “You know when you meet people you instantly connect with? She was definitely that,” Sidora says of Bailey. “Super sweet, super genuine, down-to-earth.” She also formed a solid friendship with Porsha Williams: “Porsha, she’s my neighbor. She lives literally six minutes from me, and our daughters are the same age, so they play together. So, I would say those have been two really, really great friendships that I really am excited about and appreciate.”
On the flip side, we’ve already seen Kenya Moore say of Sidora in her confessional, “Oh, Cynthia, where do you get all of these strays from, honey? What do you do, visit the local pound?”, while New Friend of the Housewives LaToya Ali said that Sidora’s wig looked like a “pet,” something that Moore and Ali continue to laugh about in the third episode. “I was sitting there like, wow, really?” Sidora says of finally hearing the comments made on the show. “I just felt like [Moore] didn’t really give me a chance, she wasn't really open to me.”
It's behavior she finds particularly disappointing in 2020. “I think we’re living in a time when African American women, you want to uplift and support each other with everything going on in the world, [with] Black Lives Matter” she says. “It’s just disappointing that she was being as nasty as she was being to me … I just would have expected and hoped we could have done better and been more supportive especially during a time like this. It was hurtful.”
But 2020 has given us one bright light: Bailey’s bachelorette party. And, just like the rest of us, Sidora can't wait to put the scandalous pieces of the event together. “I don't know anything. I’m confused,” Sidora says of the rumor that two Housewives had sex with a stripper. “I felt like for the first time we were all just having a very genuine girls trip. And what happens at a girls bachelorette party — what I know — it’s supposed to stay at a girls bachelorette party, so I was shocked at these allegations.”
As for where Sidora was during the after-party? Asleep. But she certainly has her eyes open now. As she says, “I'm going to be sitting there eating my popcorn like everybody else.”