'Real Housewives of Potomac' star Karen Huger felt 'betrayed' by this castmate going into season 3


You gotta make millions to owe millions! That is, according to "Real Housewives of Potomac" star Karen Huger.

The self-described Grand Dame of Potomac's world was rocked last summer when The Washington Post reported that her husband, Ray Huger, owed millions in back taxes. It's a story that will take center stage on the new third season of the hit Bravo series, and it's a revelation that Karen claims to have known nothing about -- despite doubts from her fellow cast mates.

Nearly a year later, Huger -- sporting a newly-cropped blonde 'do -- told AOL Entertainment during a sit-down interview ahead of Sunday's premiere that her family's financial woes were "in our rearview mirror" and explained that she was "disappointed" in her co-stars' lack of support.

Check our out full conversation with Karen Huger below, where we talked about that Washington Post story, her relationships with her fellow Real Housewives and whether or not she regrets that infamous "Black Bill Gates" comment.

See photos of Karen Huger:

How are you feeling going into this third season? There's a lot of focus on you and your husband's financial situation this season.

I feel good! Honestly, Ray and I are in a great place. This was [filmed] a year ago, so the question you probably want to ask me is, "Was I shocked about the girls going in [on me]?" No, but I was disappointed. I would expect them to rally around me with such a serious issue and not do what they always do. But that’s okay, we’re a year down the road. I’ll handle it -- I always do.

This season picks up just a month after last season's reunion, where there was already discussion about your living situation after you moved from Potomac to Great Falls. The premiere starts with the story from The Washington Post that revealed your husband's financial woes, and the immediate discussion about it from the cast. Are you nervous for what's to come?

No, not at all, because every day I put two shoes on the same way -- and that’s called Karen Huger left and right. I put two feet into being me every day. That’s a big task, and bad things happen to good people. It’s not whether it’s going to happen to you or not, it’s how you deal with it when it does. And I think it’s going to make Ray and I stronger. I know it’s made our family much closer, and he came out on top -- but you don’t know that yet. [Laughs] It’s behind us. It’s in our rearview mirror, and I’m so proud of him.

Is this a storyline we're going to focus on all season long?

I would hope not! I would hope other people have lives, but it’s an interesting topic. My life is interesting -- it really is! So, I don’t blame people for looking at it and seeing how we navigate it. But take our truth. Don’t take the fabrication or someone else finishing our story. Hear it from us. I was disappointed that the girls were going off on the same old rag, calling me a liar. You know, the word “liar” is a defamation of character, and the only liars are the people who are completing my sentences without knowing the answers. It’s called boundaries. I set boundaries, so please respect them. I don’t go around counting people’s coins!

It seems as though this season, the other women are going to struggle with trying to support you while also not necessarily believing your story.

They’re struggling. I am such a force to be reckoned with. In my life, every which way I turn, I have a story -- be it good, bad, death, life, challenges in business -- it’s my life. I’m like the shiny object in the room for many reasons, and I was very disappointed for the initial conversation that I saw. I was hoping for more growth, but since then we have done a lot of growing.

Is there healing to come?

There’s a lot of healing, but I’ve done that, so I suggest everybody get on the healing train, because my life is moving forward. I’m doing great things now. That was a year ago. Not only did I have challenges with my husband, but I also had challenges with my mother. My life is huge, and I know that. So it will be talked about. This is the platform that I’m on.

And you knew that going into the show initially.

And I knew that coming in. I knew it wasn’t always going to be favorable, but I always expected to be truthful and not blowing smoke up people’s a--.

Were any of your cast mates fully supportive of you while you and Ray were figuring it out this season?

Not initially, but Monique Samuels came around. I expected her to, though, because she’s a class act. If enough people are serving you cold tea -- and it’s supposed to be piping hot -- you’re going to be looking for that hot tea. So she came straight to the source. She came to the well, which was me -- the walking truth. We’ve grown from that.

Candiace has also been fully supportive, and I’m good with Ashley, too. Honestly, I’m good with everybody, because honestly -- with my life -- I didn’t have time to pick up their issues with me.

All of the other drama must feel so small in comparison when you're dealing with such a big issue.

Absolutely. It was extremely small to me, and I couldn’t pick it up. Let them deal and grow from that.

Right before the story came out in the Post, you and Robyn had a long phone call, which we hear about but don't get to see, and it sounds like she really helped you. But, in the premiere, you guys have an explosive conversation about your situation. Were you surprised that her position on your troubles had changed?

First of all, I didn’t call Robyn first. She was the one that picked up. I called Gizelle, and she was on vacay with the girls. God works in mysterious ways, and I felt comfortable talking to Robyn. She’s my friend. We may not agree on everything, but I knew I could trust her. She was instrumental and said some very positive things, and she was there for me. No matter what comes of this, I appreciate that. But when she went and told all the girls at the party the next day, I felt betrayed.

I had said to Robyn that I didn’t know [about Ray owing money], and she went and repeated that. And that started the whole thing with the "L" word, which is so dangerous. If you turn the mirror on yourself, they’ll see that they’re the liars because they are making up my journey. You can’t push that down America’s throat! What you’re wishing for or hoping for my end will actually be my beginning.

This interest in your housing and finances is nothing new -- it's been a conversation in both of the previous seasons. What's the deal?

It’s three years and viewers are tired of seeing it. Who counts someone’s coins? I don’t care. I don’t know your housing situation, nor do I care. I’m going to do me.

It seems as though some of this conversation started, though, when you referred to your husband as the "Black Bill Gates," and that comment has been used against you at times. Do you regret referring to Ray in that way?

I actually didn’t make [the comment] initially. It was a term of endearment in a beauty salon, okay? Ray has always hated it. I’m immune to it, but either you like it or you don’t. He’s not the Black Bill Gates; he’s my baby. But, you know, we never ever said we had the same money as Mr. Gates. I’ve always walked in my truth. It’s a term of endearment for a man who employed 300 people at an IT company. And he was black. Let's keep it real.

Charisse is a "friend" this season -- not a full-blown Housewife -- this season. What can you tell me about that?

I really can’t. I was as shocked as you are. I don’t know any more than you know. I was surprised to see her go, and she was part of the core four. She’s headed to bigger and greater things, so I wish her well.

You and Gizelle have your ups and downs, but you two go way back and seem to ultimately have respect for one another. Talk to me about your relationship. Is there a mutual understanding there?

That's the key to Gizelle and I: I don’t need to be the duo or the team mate for the Green-Eyed Bandit. I don’t want to be that close to her, because we do have our real moments. But what we realized is that friendship is very important, and you have to forgive. I’m in a good place with her. There’s a point in the season where I had written her off, but we’ve come a long way since that. We’re both phenomenal moms, but she’s not a loyal friend all the time. As grown women, we will agree that our opinions are what they are, but that our friendship is important enough to keep it moving along. I think Gizelle and I are good TV. [Laughs]

See photos of Gizelle Bryant:

What do fans say to you online or when they see you in person?

People are shocked by how nice I am. I’m a very nice person, but I see how people see me the way that they do. I’m very direct, and that’s part of my persona. I do believe that this season you get the full Karen. You see a woman who cares for her man and is very family-oriented. I pushed hard for viewers to get a better view of me.

Do you feel as though you're someone that viewers can look up to as an aspirational black woman? Talk to me about what it's like being part of this cast of powerful, strong, black women in 2018, when representation on television is continually getting better but it's where it should be.

Youth walk up to me a lot. My demographic is anywhere from 19 to 65. I take it very seriously, which is why I take issue with the word “Liar.” You have to be careful! When I do something, I try to keep in mind that the youth are impacted by me. They call me Miss Karen, they jump in my arms and I am one of the friendlier [cast members] in person. I try to give a hug, because you never know who you’re touching.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

"Real Housewives of Potomac" season 3 will air Sundays on Bravo at 10 p.m. EST

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