‘RHOA’ Star Marlo Hampton Tearfully Recalls Foster Care Past After Fleeing Home at Age 10

RHOA Star Marlo Hampton Tearfully Recalls Foster Care Past After Fleeing  Home at Age 10

“You can only imagine the things I’ve had to survive,” Marlo Hampton said on Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion

Marlo Hampton got emotional on Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion as she opened up about her childhood growing up in the foster care system.

The reality star, 46, had an intense visit with her biological mother Emma during season 12 of the Bravo reality show when the two came together for the first time in three years to discuss their fractured relationship, which Emma admitted was caused in part by her struggles with substance abuse.

By the end of the season finale, it looked as though the two were in a good place. But in part 1 of the RHOA reunion, Hampton admitted that Emma “went back to her same old ways” when the cameras went down and she returned to her home in West Memphis, Arkansas.

She stopped checking in on Hampton, the Atlanta Housewife said, and stopped checking in on her grandkids Michael and William, whom Hampton took in during a period of family strain.

“I hate to talk about it because her childhood was rough,” Hampton told Andy Cohen of her mother. “My grandmother didn’t know how to be a mom so my mom went through a lot. But I want my mom sometimes. I want her when I have a bad day. When the girls make me mad, I would love to go talk to my mom.”

“I just feel like I’m so by myself,” Hampton added. “I just need her. Every girl needs her mom or dad, and I don’t think my mom gets it. She doesn’t get it.”

The admission brought Hampton to tears as she began opening up about her own difficult childhood.

According to the Le’ Archive founder, she fled her home at 10 years old after her mother had “beat me so bad.”

“I went in the bathroom and I bathed my little brother and I told him ‘I’ll be back,'” said Hampton. “And he was even mad with me for years because he felt I never came back for him, but I was 10. I knew I was just tired of being beat.”

From there, Hampton lived in five different foster homes until she aged out of the foster care system at 18 years old.

She left some of the homes, including the first one she lived in with a Jamaican family she knew from church. “He was abusive,” Hampton said. “So I called a social worker and she put me in a temporary center.”

Hampton was kicked out of other homes. One foster mom in St. Petersburg, Florida, sent Hampton packing when she learned Hampton had been telling neighbors how strict she was (“She cared about her image,” Hampton explained, “so she made me leave”). Another foster guardian in St. Petersburg, a schoolteacher, seemed like the perfect match but went sour when the foster mom’s biological daughter began feeling as though she wasn’t getting enough attention, Hampton said.

“After that, I was just mad at the world,” acknowledged Hampton. “That’s when I just got into a lot of trouble and I just figured this out on my own.”

Scott Gries/Bravo

This is one of the first times Hampton has opened up about her past, though it’s previously been known that she’s been arrested a number of times.

“I’m an iconic ex-con,” Hampton joked on Sunday’s reunion.

She first began appearing as a friend on RHOA’s fourth season in 2011 and finally got a “peach” as a full-time Housewife this season. And though she’s proud of how far she’s come in life, Hampton said her past still leaves her feeling insecure.

“[There have been] times it was like, ‘Why not me? I work hard? Why am I not worthy?'” she recalled of the years she wasn’t asked to be a full-time Housewife. “And it just went to where you numb yourself and you’re like, ‘You’re not worthy enough.’ Or, ‘You’re too ghetto’ — as some of them say — or, ‘You’re an ex-con.’ And it’s like, ‘Look at me? Can I fit in? Can you love me?’ ”

“A lot of the girls don’t make me feel worthy,” Hampton added. “It hurts, just not being someone and not being allowed in circles or people judge you from your past. … Running away from home at 10, living in five different foster homes — you can only imagine the things that I’ve been through. You can only image the things I’ve had to survive,” Hampton added.

She continued, “When people judge me, they don’t know half my story. They couldn’t walk a mile in my shoes. To live on the streets and go into people’s houses and sleeping on mattresses on the floor? And then they wanna call me a whore and prostitutes. … because I say whats on my mind, and they don’t want to get to know me?”

Hampton admitted, “It hurts.”

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