Keep in mind that Phaedra Parks, Esq. has denied all allegations made by Ms. Angela Stanton. This review does not contradict Parks’ denial of involvement. It is merely a review of Angela Stanton’s account of their friendship and a review of her allegations, soon to be addressed in a court of law.
I have to begin this review with an old school musical salute to Ms. Stanton. The Delfonics, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time?”… Yes, yes you did, Ms. Stanton, you blew my mind, and after the musical interlude, friends, I’m about to blow yours.
I think we’ve all heard that Ms. Stanton has alleged that Esq. Parks ran a criminal enterprise, specifically she alleges that Parks helped hide the fraud activities for which she and Apollo Nida were convicted. My assumption was that the allegation was purely about the car theft and stolen checks. Stanton’s allegations are so much bigger than that. SO.MUCH.BIGGER. In essence? Stanton claims that she became a booster (thief), of sorts, on Parks’ behalf, to the point of being given a “shopping list” of what to get and where and when to get it. If her claims are true, some of ya’ll out there, and you know who you are, might not have done yourselves any favors if you took back or exchanged your “Gifts by Phaedra” (Bravo Snark). Stanton also alleges that Parks hooked her up with other big time grifters around that time – people who were well known in the ATL community and who also appeared to be upstanding citizens.
Yes, she tells tales and names names. You’ll have to buy the book to find out who they are. WOW is all I’ll say. We also find out that Stanton is introduced as one of Parks’ best workers, the indication being there were a number of “workers” who are under Parks’ care. Several of you, either in the comments from the “Preface, Chapters 1 and 2”, or in email, said that Parks seemed as if she was “grooming” Stanton to work for her. These chapters strengthen the sentiment. As Stanton recounts events related to her fourth pregnancy, she also recounts what she says was Parks’ “family planning” advice to her. As you read the book for yourselves, I’ll leave it to you to determine what causes Parks’ to allegedly advise Stanton in the manner Stanton claims. The advice goes far beyond “visit a physician.”
As I read further, I begin to think differently about criminality. This may be an individual case, but I can see that it’s not really the lure of money that lands some people into “making a fast buck.” I’m beginning to feel as if it’s a lack of trusted connections with others that gets you there, those who can pull you back – that may be the difference between those whose situations are desperate and engage in crime to “save” themselves and those who are desperate and don’t. Once you are there, it’s the foolishly trusted connections you make with your partners in crime, and the increased need for money to survive, that keeps you there. I see that in Stanton. She met a lot of people who were of questionable character, who were willing to use a teenage girl, then a woman in her early 20’s, to get what they wanted rather than pay for her to go to school, or help her get a legitimate job. She was never going to get out of that lifestyle any other way than prison or via death, and fortunately for her it was the former, not the latter.
Stanton, by her own claims, is a highly successful at what she did, but was largely unpaid (you read that right, she says she was never paid for those job). Her “booster” work included learning how to write business checks – fake checks written on real accounts. She explains how she was able to get away with it and where she got the checks from. This could have easily happened in a time when security was so lax, and well before Homeland Security – so keep that in mind as you read what she was able to get away with. It’s mind-blowing. She’d forgone payment because she trusted she had a “high-powered” attorney who was on an unpaid retainer. At her age, and given her background, I can understand that Stanton didn’t know the difference between an entertainment attorney and a criminal defense attorney.
By the time Apollo (a man she describes as “intelligent’) is introduced, the jobs get bigger. I fully understand the secret service involvement if this is accurate. Stanton is even crossing state lines with prepared documents, by her account to pull off some of the ring’s bigger jobs. The bigger jobs are the ones for which she and Apollo were later arrested; they were jobs for which she was paid a small fee in comparison to the large sums they stole. We learn the ins and outs of the operation from Stanton’s perspective. Who called for the bank accounts to be set up? How does crossing state lines for other documents figure into all of this? Who gives her the documents she needs that will eventually land her in prison? As she paints this picture, I have a hard time believing a street kid, undereducated, poor, and without enough resources to survive was able to figure out this plan.
That court ordered deposition is going to be something special if Stanton’s attorneys ask about the account Stanton is weaving in this portion of the book. I am officially worried about Parks at this moment – and if you’ve read anything I’ve ever written about RHOA, you know that’s a shocker.
I begin to understand why Stanton is as confident as she is in her story, but she then describes who is involved, what they know and the extra insurance she provides for herself, unknown to Parks and Nida. She also provides a very different account of their relationship than the one we’ve been told through the show. Stanton’s version paints Nida as being very similar to her, a “worker” before he becomes something more to Parks – and the picture she paints is not pretty. It is, however, more consistent with fans’ observations about the relationship between the two on the show! Stanton also reveals some medical information about Nida you’ll have to read for yourself. Two words: Oh.Dear. The tidbits she posts in this section makes the price of purchase worth it. It give so much context, in my opinion, to what we’ve seen onscreen that I would have paid twice the price for it.
She continues showing us connections she made with Parks, even after an initial arrest, something that will be hard for Parks to explain, in my opinion. We are introduced to “E” another worker and find out how the car business comes about. NO WAY, folks, I’m sorry. After reading the details, there is NO WAY you can convince me Stanton or Nida thought up this elaborate plan. We also learn about one of the most dangerous relationships she’s been in, even beyond the alleged mess with Parks. The term “Head Doctor” comes up in these chapters as Stanton tells us where the term originates – from her account. Did Nene Leakes know that term because of the rumors she heard about in their little home town or did it come from Stanton’s book? I’m now curious! If I remember correctly, Nene claimed it was a name given to Phaedra “back home.” If my memory is faulty, please correct me! Stanton seems to suggest that it was a name Phaedra was given during their friendship. WOW, if that’s true, the ATL housewives are shading each other in ways we don’t even know about, as an audience.
We find out how the ring is busted, and as with Apollo’s last arrest, we find that they were all being watched for months before that. We also learn how it came to be that Stanton gives birth to her last child, while handcuffed in a prison hospital bed. We learn who was there for her when she was caught, and who wasn’t. I literally got chills reading this all went down. Stanton walks a fine line between accepting responsibility and laying blame. It’s an interesting well-balanced dance.
Join us Thursday, July 3, for Chapters 6 – 8 and finally on Sunday, July 6 for the end of this saga. I hope you’re reading along with us and prepared for the discussion, people. We’re going in for the hair of the dog.
Click here to purchase Lies of a Real Housewife: Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil