Straight From the A, a local gossip web site, broke the story last year about Marlo Hampton’s arrival on “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The site also broke the story about Hampton’s rather shaky past. Hampton herself brought up her seven arrests to NeNe Leakes in an episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” this past Sunday. She said she had attacked a woman in a club and was re-arrested for probation problems.
Among the charges that I saw in a Nexis/Lexis background search last year, she was arrested in 2002 for firearms possession in Florida. In 1999, she was arrested for aggravated battery, which presumably was the nightclub incident.
Michelle Brown, who runs Straight from the A, received an email from a family member of the woman Hampton attacked.
Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Hello M. Brown,
My name is [name removed], and the young lady that Marlo slaughtered was my sister, [name removed].
My sister’s son, and my family does not have any ill feelings towards Marlo. That’s between her and God.
All that we ask is for her not to refer to my sister as a b**** or even mention her name, because she has passed away.
We wish her luck in her career
Brown chose not to name the woman, who isn’t a public figure. The woman, Brown wrote, was horribly disfigured in the face after Hampton’s attack. The woman also committed suicide six years later, Brown wrote.
After the initial reports of her arrest last year, Hampton reached out to Straight From the A and wrote in part:
“It has come to my attention that some of my past indiscretions have come to light. Let me first state, I am not ashamed of my past, as my past has helped me become a better woman today.
We all have a past; and my hard-knock childhood in the Foster Care system is a reflection on a bigger issue we faced in America, a broken Foster Care system.
I remain deeply sorry for my actions and I will continue to work hard to contribute to a better community.
UPDATE: At 4 p.m. today, Hampton sent me this statement:
“I am shocked and saddened to hear of the recent distortions of events and false accusations disseminated over an altercation I was involved in over a dozen years ago. It had been my preference, out of respect for the person involved, as well as her family, to not speak about this incident publicly, but the recklessness with which the story is being manipulated has forced me to come forward.
I was in my early twenties, and what took place started out as an argument with someone who was once my friend, over the phone. In the first incident, I was ambushed at my house and badly beaten. Though charges were initially filed, those charges were later dropped and I filed a restraining order. As disturbing as the carrying of a weapon may seem, it was quite common in the environment in which I was raised, and not only I, but also the person involved in the altercation, had each brought weapons to protect ourselves. There was a confrontation, her knife dropped, mine did not.
I was arrested and convicted of aggravated battery for which I served 6 months in jail. What is so disturbing about the false reports now circulating is that it was she, my friend, who appeared in court on my behalf and fought to reduce my sentence.
Like many people, I was deeply saddened by her untimely death – 6 years later – and shocked at the recent attempts to connect me to it. Ultimately, it does a disservice to her and her family, to guess and draw conclusions as to her state of mind when she committed suicide. Those reasons are obviously personal and painful and do not deserve to be speculated on for the purposes of entertainment or drawing readers to your site. She and her family remain in my prayers.
My attorneys will be sending a cease and desist letter with a request for retraction shortly.”
I ignored the suicide story when I first saw it on Monday on Mediatakeout.com, a reprehensibly irresponsible gossip website that tends to exaggerate stories and swipe other sites’ stories without credit. It provided some of this Hampton info without saying where it got it from. Brown, who is far more credible, told me that she had to have her attorney contact the site to inform them to give her credit. Mediatakeout eventually did, without linking to her site, which is a typical Web courtesy. Mediatakeout will get all huffy if people do not cite them for exclusives but will take other people’s work without attribution.
Hampton’s violent past is probably why “Real Housewives” ultimately chose not to make Hampton a full-time cast member. For now, she is merely a “recurring character.”
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk