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Marlo Hampton Shares Her Life’s Struggle

 
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SamoneLenior View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:34pm

Marlo Hampton Shares Her Life’s Struggle From Foster Care to Entrepreneur Pt.1



JET Exclusive: Marlo Hampton Shares Her Life’s Struggle From Foster Care to Entrepreneur Pt.1


If anyone knows the power of TV editing, it’s Marlo Hampton. The label-obsessed glamazon made her mark on the last season of Real Housewives of Atlanta on an eventful trip to South Africa. She swiftly became a member of the Nene-named “Talls” crew, and butted heads with Sheree and Kandi, and infamously uttered the f-word. She later apologized for the last transgression but it didn’t help the already negative press she had received due to her past legal troubles.

Rumors circulated that Hampton had been arrested seven times and that she was an escort but in a forthright conversation with her good friend Nene Leakes, she revealed a softer, more level-headed side of herself and explained that you simply can’t believe everything you hear—especially in the case of reality TV, where it’s not wise to judge based on a one-hour snippet of the bigger picture.

“I wanted people to know where I came from. I mean all of the material stuff, that’s all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day that doesn’t make Marlo,” she said. “That’s a temporary high for me then it’s replaced with something else. I was thinking people would read between those lines but the way they showed it you couldn’t.”

In reality, Marlo Hampton is a woman who is a self-described work in progress.

“They may not [always] put Black women in the best light [on reality TV], but I’m not portraying to be a minister’s wife or the first lady,” she said. “I’m not hurting anyone. Everything that has happened has happened for a reason.”

The fashion enthusiast and entrepreneur is speaking of the hard knock life she endured throughout childhood. She grew up bouncing from foster home to foster home in Florida because her parents had substance abuse issues. But despite the setbacks, Hampton put herself through college and blossomed into an entrepreneur in the fashion world ranging from stylist to boutique owner. However, it is her Glam It Up Girls Foundation that is closest to her heart. Through Glam it Up Girls, Hampton empowers young girls, also in foster home situations, by taking them to brunch, taking them shopping and introducing them to concepts like money management and good personal hygiene in order to propel them triumphantly into adulthood.

“I can relate to them more. I wish I had my mom I could be with,” she said as through gritted teeth as her voice wavered from holding back tears. “I want them to see nicer things and know that they can have that too. I want them to see if Marlo can do it then so can we.”

Marlo, who is currently working on her latest project, a high-end consignment shop, had so much to say that we allowed her to speak her own words. In an exclusive interview with JETmag.com she breaks down her life and explains how she left home at nine but went from negative to positive based on her will to thrive.


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SamoneLenior View Drop Down
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her story


I know people that could really relate to my story.

I try to block out a lot of bad stuff – but what I can remember, I was brought up with my mother. I have two older sisters. My mom was a nurse at one point but I don’t remember everything. She was married to a welder. They used to drink a lot, but I remember every Friday was payday. My mom and my stepdad were big gamblers. So when they came back, if they did good they’d wake us up and take us to IHOP. We’d be so excited. But if they lost their money, my sisters and I would be so nervous because they’d come back fighting and drunk and crazy.

They ended up getting a divorce and then it ended up just being my mom. My little brother was with his father in Memphis, so my mom packed up everything, got my brother back from him and that’s when my mom got into drugs and she was an alcoholic all the time, a functioning alcoholic. They still work, they had great money, lifestyle – that actually comes from my mom. I was never in labels, but we were the best dressed. They’d be like, “That’s Big Red’s little girl.’” They called her “Big Red.”

So, we went to Memphis and I just remember being really young. I think I was in elementary school. I just knew that things weren’t right. I remember one night she was like, “Marlo, we’re going to move back to Florida and everything’s going to be like it used to be.” We get back to Florida, moved into a place and it’s the same thing. She gets back on drugs and it gets worse. She’s very violent. My mom was really abusive. The good I can say about my mom is—and it’s crazy—but I love her so much. And I think it’s just being her child, you just long for that. I love her so much, but I didn’t have that connection.

But my mom, she was going to make sure there was food at the house until she got on crack. But like I said, we were always dressed nice. We stayed at a low-income apartment complex, but it was the cleanest of the cleanest. I can remember when she last beat me and I ran away. She was cooking a pot of collard greens, and she left and was like, “Don’t go in my pot of collard greens.” It was just me, her and my little brother. So, I went in the pot and got some greens. My mom’s a clean freak and so she had saw that I had dropped some of the greens on the floor when she got back. And when I tell you this lady beat me so bad…it was crazy. Like, putting me on the ground, foot on my neck, beating me with an extension chord for going in her pot of food.

So, she was like “Go back in there and bathe your brother.” So, I went back in and I had to bathe my little brother, he was younger than me. And I remember saying, “I’m going to leave you but I’ll come back.” To this day I feel kind of hurt, because I felt like when I left I should’ve taken him with me because he would’ve had a better chance. I went running out that side door and I just never went back. I left my brother and to this day we’re not close because he feels like I left him. But I’m like, “I was nine, dude, I didn’t know.” I just hate when I tell that story.

When I left home, I ran to Ronald Cook and June Cook. It was a Jamaican family and I remember them from church. They were a great family. When I went to church I looked up to them. Like, “Woah, look how they dress. It was like the all-American family. It was a dad, his wife, son and daughter and that man was strict. He used to beat me and I was like okay, I have to get out here, too. So I left. I went to the HRS because they were not foster parents, so when I went to their home they had to contact HRS. HRS had to come do a background on them, so once I kept complaining to my worker how he beat me in my hand and how strict he was, she moved me. So I ended up in St. Petersburg, Fla. and went to a group home temporary until they found a home. And I went Ms. Ferguson, my other foster home. She had all boys and always wanted a girl. But she was so strict, too. She was strict because she had all boys, you couldn’t wear such and such on Sundays, during the week you had to do this, so I’m back in Clearwater visiting my mom and them because no matter what I still loved my mom. I would really catch the bus on St. Pete and go visit my mom. Every weekend I’d be coming back crying because you know, they’d be drinking, things would happen. So, Ms. Ferguson was like, every times she’s coming back she’s crying, she’s upset. She should probably stop going over there. they don’t think it was a safe environment. I was also talking to some lady, telling her how Ms. Ferguson was so strict and I didn’t like her, so it got back to Ms. Ferguson and when I got out of school she had the workers waiting there to move me. She really moved me because I told someone I didn’t like it there. She didn’t beat me; she was just strict. Then it got to the point like, okay I’m just going to keep getting moved around. Then after Ms. Ferguson, they put me in another home because she wanted me gone. They put me in another temporary group home until placement. That’s when I ended up in my final place, which was with the Hopkins, who I still have contact with now and that’s who I’m going to go visit for Christmas. But there were issues I had with her also. That was Rosa Hopkins she was a schoolteacher. She had three older children and a younger daughter at the time. The older kids were all gone off to school.

It was just the mom and the younger daughter. And the daughter wanted a big sister so bad. So Ms. Hopkins was so excited. I call her Rosie. Long story short, Ms. Hopkins was older and her daughter Avian was a lot younger than her other three kids and Avian was really spoiled rotten, and she felt that Ms. Hopkins was giving me too much attention. So one day I come home, and it’s like “Marlo, we love you but my daughter is having problems in school and acting out because I’m giving you more attention than her.” And I was like, “Oh my God I’m moving again.”


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SamoneLenior View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:37pm

marlo hampton host's glam it up girls lunch at neiman marcus

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We all became familiar with Marlo Hampton last season of Bravo’s highly rated reality show The Real Housewives Of Atlanta when, although never officially deemed a “housewife”, she quickly became one of the most talked about characters of the franchise. Many are wondering what the philanthropic fashionista has been up to since she did not to return to the cast this season. The Dark Room caught up with Marlo at her monthly retreat for her foundation, Glam It Up Girls!

Step inside The Dark Room to see how Marlo’s focus is no longer on cat fights and petty rumors but instead on helping underprivileged teen girls in foster homes transition into life on their own.

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Online chatter has been frequent lately since Bravo debuted the newest season of Housewives and one familiar face was missing…Marlo Hampton. The feisty, oftentimes Chanel clad diva, was noticeably absent from the official promo photos, which left a lot of tongues wagging since many assumed Hampton would be named an official housewife since she played such a huge role in many of the most watched moments of the show last season.

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We saw Marlo battle with many of the other women about clothes and class, but the biggest part of Marlo’s life was never shown. Raised in foster homes most of her life, Marlo created a project for girls called Glam It Up!, noted as “a place where girls can ask questions and can be inspired, where they can learn and can dream, where they can realize that despite the circumstances they may find themselves in today, there is tomorrow.”

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Glam It Up!, which meets every month, met this month at Neiman Marcus Buckhead for a Christmas brunch. The girls were greeted by Marlo and Neiman Marcus’s publicist, Rebecca Brodnan. The day consisted of numerous things, including seminars on skin care, financing and fashion styling on a budget.

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It didn’t take much to quickly realize how close to home this was to Marlo, even sending a car service last minute to pick up one of the girls after receiving a call from the young lady stating that her original transportation to the function was no longer willing to bring her. She told personal stories about her life as a foster child and how even today, a dysfunctional relationship with her birth mother is something with which she still struggles.

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“I never had that mother/daughter relationship that every young girl deserves. My relationship with my mother was not and is still not perfect. I knew she loved me but because of her drug problem, I also knew that she was not capable of giving me what I needed, so I ended up in foster care.

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I remember the loneliness and isolation of being shuttled from one foster home to another, never feeling as if I had family or a home. In many places I was not even provided a key to the door; hugs and attention were reserved for other girls. I always felt like a stranger, an outcast. I remember hopelessness and not seeing a way out. I remember the despair of thinking that the future would, for me, not become brighter. I stand here today a version of myself I had never dreamed possible. I could not have imagined arriving at a place of inner peace, confidence, strength, perseverance and drive. I could never have envisioned arriving at a place of gratitude, for through my hardships, my pain and endless difficult times I have become the woman I am today. Through all of my experiences, I came to be capable, independent, motivated, college educated, an entrepreneur and someone who desires more than anything to bring opportunities to young girls starting out in life just like me. So if you ladies need me, you call me, because I will be here. Even at times when you feel like no one else is.”

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After speaking with the young ladies about her own troubled childhood, Marlo allowed them access to the “beauty bar”, which held skin care products by Clinique and allowed each girl to pick items to take home with them. On hand was Neiman’s product manager, Sabah Essa and Clinique rep, Donna Beara, to give the girls tips on how to maintain beautiful skin. Wells Fargo rep, Christy Ransom, was also present sharing how important it is to maintain and protect your credit score and finances while Marlo’s personal fashion stylist, Daniel Hawkins and Rebecca Brodnan, showed the girls how to get a Neiman’s look on a Target budget.

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The day ended with Marlo gifting each girl with a special bracelet made by jewelry company, Monkey Sue.

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So why the change of heart for the feisty fashionista? Marlo says there is no change of heart but just a piece of of her life that we all did not see.

The Real Housewives Of Atlanta was a wonderful experience for me in so many ways because I learned so much about myself. I am grateful for the platform that it has given me to present positive things for my Glam It Up Girls in foster care and my Simply Giving project that helps those in need. I was also able to meet some beautiful people. NeNe Leakes is my girl and we continue to have a great time together. Cynthia Bailey is also fabulous and I consider her to be a great friend as well.”

So we had to ask Marlo what she thought about the other new additions to the cast.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to really get to know Kenya or Porsha but I can say that from what I can see, Kenya is a great “actress” and Porsha has a shape.”

-TDR

Read below for more photos.

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Stylist Daniel Hawkins and Neiman Marcus Vice President, Mark Fillion.

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Addicted19034 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Addicted19034 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:40pm
Oh
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EPITOME Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:41pm
i actually read her blog last week about her family--and her struggle with that term when her family has never been there for her.  and she also talked about how she couldn't see her nephews because of family problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote maysay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 12:54pm
I don't watch real housewives so I don't know anything about her.

But just based off this article...she appears to be doing the same ish a lot of people do when it comes to helping foster youth...which is to say, not really helping at all while watching their pockets get fuller and fuller.

I hope I'm wrong though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FarraFace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 1:24pm
What college did she graduate from?

eta: And who is she married to?


Edited by FarraFace - Jan 28 2013 at 1:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote zolloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:00pm
Cliff notes for skimmers who dont like reading long ass dissertations?   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by FarraFace FarraFace wrote:

What college did she graduate from?

eta: And who is she married to?

She's a whore. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2013 at 2:39pm

I was wondering if she recently got married since LQ asked

She sleeps/slept with an old white man for some of her money
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