Have you been watching the new season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta?” If you have, you’d already know that former Miss USA Kenya Moore, now an actress/model and film producer, is staking her claim as this season’s drama queen. Arguing with Cynthia over a “Jet” magazine model search? Check. Hiring her own personal security guard? Check. Throwing a hissy fit over the fact that her boyfriend once asked out Kandi Burruss? Check. Paying just a little bit too much attention to the husband of another Housewife? Check. Watch Kenya in action at a “Jet” magazine model search event.
So just who IS this Kenya Moore? We caught up with Moore, behind the wheel on an L.A. freeway, and asked her for the truth behind some of the rumors. Read on for some facts about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta’”s new diva in town.
Was she booed as a pageant queen?
TRUE. Yes, Kenya says. In 1993, after winning the Miss USA crown she represented the country at the Miss Universe pageant in Mexico City. When Miss Mexico failed to make the top 10, the host country got a little upset. “They booed the late Dick Clark, [who hosted] they called in a bomb threat and the judges had to be escorted out and they booed me because the U.S. owned the Miss Universe pageant. I came in fourth and the top three finalists were all Spanish-speaking women. (Dayanara Torres, Miss Puerto Rico and the woman Mark Anthony divorced to marry Jennifer Lopez was the winner.) You had 85 girls from all over the world. We were all titleholders. It didn’t matter if we won. It wasn’t as competitive as Miss USA. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.” Watch Kenya Moore crowned as Miss USA 1993.
Did Kenya go to the same high school as Diana Ross?
TRUE. Moore graduated from Detroit’s famous Cass Technical High School which was once best known as the school that also graduated Diana Ross. Since then, a number of future celebrities have graduated from Cass Tech including rapper Big Sean, David Alan Grier, TV hostess Shaun Robinson, and two current NFL players – New York Jet Vernon Gholson and Oakland Raider Joseph Barksdale. The school is still considered among the top public schools in the Detroit area. “Cass Tech is not only a famous high school, it’s a school for gifted children. You have to be tested to get into Cass and you have to maintain a certain GPA. I’m proud to have walked the same hallways of some of the famous graduates, but I’m also proud to have gone to a school that promoted education.
Are her hair, eyes and breasts fake?
FALSE. Moore does not wear a weave, colored contacts and hasn’t had breast implants. “I don’t wear a weave, a wig, clip-on hair extensions or whatever all that stuff is. I’ve actually been working on my own hair care line and that’s something I’m going to introduce on the show. I think weaves and wigs are perfectly fine. My product line is basically to promote healthy hair. You can wear weaves or wigs if you want to, but you can wear your own hair as well. I’m very serlous about healthy hair. I do have my own hair. It is just hair. I don’t live and die by my hair. I’ve worn weaves for a movie but in my every day life when you see me on the RHOA, it’s all my hair. I don’t have fine textured hair. I have very thick hair. I don’t perm it. I don’t’ relax it. I’m wearing color in my hair right now but I don’t put any chemicals in it other than color. I wash it, let it air dry and flat iron it in small sections and use roller sets. As for everything else, my fans who’ve known me for a long time know that I’m a natural girl.
Has she really been proposed to six times and if so, is it anyone who’s name we would recognize?
TRUE. (Laughs) But no, I don’t think so and that’s my final answer.
Did she date Mike Tyson, Jay-Z, Jamal Anderson, Allen Iverson and Terrell Owens?
FALSE. No to all of the above. Mike Tyson: “I’d consider us friends. No story there. Jay-Z: “We did a video together(pre-Beyonce) and he’s a great guy and he made me laugh. But he never asked me out.” Jamal Anderson: “I’ve known him since forever and he’s always had a woman the entire time. I never, ever dated him.” Terrell Owens: “There was interest, but I caught him at a bad time and didn’t want to be part of the drama.” Allen Iverson: “I’ve met the man one time.” But did she ever date an NBA player? That is true, but Moore was cagey about which one, although it’s possible that he is the “Houston” boyfriend she and Miss Lawrence mention on “RHOA.”
Is she still estranged from her mother, Patricia Moore?
TRUE. In 1993, after winning Miss USA, Moore told “People” magazine that she had little contact with her mother. I can honestly say I don't love her," Moore told the magazine. "I don't even know her.” At the time, “People” reported that Kenya was not even named by her mother and was instead raised by her grandmothers. “That is true,” Moore says. “It will come up on the show and I’ve written a book that will be out next year called “Invisible.” One of the nice aspects of the show is that you do get into our personal lives. I was raised by my beautiful grandmothers. I owe my strength and my positivity to them. We are our parents, our family and our experiences and you’ll see a little bit more about me and kind of understand how I got to where I got to today.”
Is what we’ve seen in two episodes indicative of the person Kenya Moore really is?
FALSE. “I am a really sweet person and 20 years in the business you don’t get anywhere being nasty. There’s a lot left up to editing and that’s something that I can’t control. People don’t change their colors overnight. That’s one of the biggest fears I had in doing a realty show that you’re not being portrayed the way you really are. I was disappointed when I watched the footage as well, although I think I was portrayed better in the second episode. You’re only two episodes in and my journey is my journey with these girls and you have to watch. The show has 18 episodes and if you prematurely judge from what you see then you would be remiss. You need to see the entire season play out.
Will she be the one getting married on this season of RHOA?
MAYBE. “You know you gotta watch to find out. I’ll say that someone is definitely going to get married.”
Read the full transcription of Kenya Moore's interview with the TJMS below.