'RHOA' Newbie Courtney Rhodes Is No "Friend" of OG Kandi Burruss (EXCLUSIVE)

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Jun. 2 2023, Updated 4:00 p.m. ET

(l-r): Courtney Rhodes in a purple dress and Kandi Burruss in a neon suit and bodysuit
Source: Getty Images

When The Real Housewives of Atlanta returned for Season 15 on Bravo, many hoped for a better season than the previous one as Season 14 was deemed one of the show’s worst. Fortunately, for fans hoping that the tea would be piping hot this time around, some new blood caused friction early on the show — in one of her first scenes no less.

Sheree Whitfield’s close friend Courtney Rhodes isn’t a peach holder yet, but after witnessing her and Kandi Burruss’s drama, it’s safe to say she’s well on her way.

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In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Courtney talked about her and Kandi’s blowup and how it will affect the rest of their time together in Season 15.

Courtney Rhodes holding her hip while wearing a gold dress
Source: Bravo
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Courtney Rhodes found herself on Kandi Burruss’s bad side on ‘RHOA’ Season 15.

Sheree introduced fans to her friend Courtney, who she met through their kids. While Courtney said she and Sheree bonded over their mutual Capricorn zodiac sign, not everyone in the RHOA cast felt the same way about her.

During her first scene, Courtney mentioned that she knew Kandi through a mutual connection.

Courtney later confronted Kandi about comments she made regarding their relationship, leading to a heated argument at a party.

“You need to calm the f--k down!” Courtney said to Kandi, who replied with, “I’m about to headbutt this b--ch!”

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Kandi Burruss posing in a red sequined dress and curly hair
Source: Bravo

While discussing the blowup with Distractify, Courtney claimed she had “no intention” of fighting with Kandi at the party. Although she does believe Kandi’s “ratchet” crowd didn’t reflect the Tony nominee’s “worldwide” status, she said she regrets using the term “ghetto” to describe Kandi’s audience and wanted to calmly hash out her issues once they were in the same room.

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“When I got to the party, I realized that Marlo [Hampton] and Sanya [Richards-Ross] had a conversation, so the girls had started to talk about what I said, so I kind of just wanted to head it off, not necessarily end up with a headbutt or anything,” Courtney explained about her and Kandi’s beef. "I just wanted to have a conversation. And that was literally my intention.”

“But certainly, we both were very animated and excited, and it went to 10,” she continued. “And I'm not proud of that moment, but it happened, and it's just a part of life.”

Courtney Rhodes smiling in a purple dress
Source: Getty Images
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The ‘RHOA’ newcomer said she wants to “move forward” from her and Kandi’s drama.

Courtney and Kandi’s rift continued in Season 15, Ep. 3. During Drew’s showcase at RHOP star Candiace Dillard Bassett's concert, Kandi and Courtney argued over Courtney’s “ghetto” remark again backstage. When Courtney said Kandi was “triggered” by her telling the crowd was ghetto, Kandi said she was more offended by her perceived way of “looking down” at others with different backgrounds.

“Bottom line, I bring EVERYBODY out!” Kandi shouted at Courtney during their discussion.

While Drew’s event seemed to confirm that there will be more drama between the new castmates, Courtney told us not to expect any more “headbutt” threats from Kandi this season.

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Although they’re not friends, the jewelry designer said they will try their best to coexist as the season continues.

“What you will see is you will see two people trying to make it comfortable for the rest of the women,” Courtney said about her and Kandi’s relationship. “And I'm going to move forward because what I don't want to do is keep arguing about like I am not here to argue with a bunch of women I'm getting to know.”

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“I genuinely wanted to connect and create real friendships,” she added. “And it worked out with some of the women and with some of them, you know, it hasn't so, you know, it's I certainly made an effort to move forward and to meet her where we were.”

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Courtney Rhodes’s 'RHOA' stardom is one of her many accomplishments.

Despite Courtney not being one of Kandi’s friends, she has bonded with a few other ladies through Sheree, such as Sanya, Marlo, and Cynthia Bailey, the latter is returning to RHOA for a few episodes.

The Peach Report first listed Courtney as one of the potential cast members in November 2022 and stated she began filming with the ladies last year to see if she would be a good fit for the show.

“Season 15 newbie and longtime Atlanta businesswoman #CourtneyRhodes will join the ladies (Kenya, Marlo, Kandi, Shereé, Sanya, Drew, and Monyetta) for an already eventful season!” The Peach Report wrote under a photo of Courtney. “We hear she’ll likely join the show through Marlo or Shereé and isn’t holding back!”

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While RHOA is Courtney’s reality TV debut, the Atlanta resident is a boss in her own right. The marketing-savvy fashionista is the owner and creative director of her namesake jewelry brand, Courtney Raquel.

Courtney shared on the brand’s website that she created her line to encompass her three passions: “designing meaningful jewelry, chasing personal freedom, and making a positive impact in the world."

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The Morgan State University grad also has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Morgan State University and a Master of Arts in Publications Design from The University of Baltimore

Education is still essential to Courtney, as she sits on the Board of Trustees at Baltimore. Education is still essential to Courtney, as she sits on the Board of Trustees at Bethune, Cookman University, per her LinkedIn.

When she’s not working or on a board, Courtney travels in style with her daughter Jala who works as an artist. Jala is Courtney’s only child from a previous relationship with music producer, actor, and ½ of Groove Theory, Bryce Wilson.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs new episodes Sundays at 8 p.m. EST and on Peacock the next day.

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