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Lisa Wu Hartwell wearing Closet Freak line

Atlanta Housewife Lisa Wu Hartwell is opening up in a new interview with Essence.com. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star talks about her spirituality and the criticism she received from some of her castmates regarding her new Closet Freak clothing line.

Photos of Lisa’s Closet Freak clothing line can be see here.

Excerpts from her interview below -

ESSENCE.COM: Since you stopped by the ESSENCE office in August, how have you been keeping busy?
LISA WU HARTWELL:
Believe it or not, I’ve been speaking at churches and colleges. It all started at Pastor Jamal Bryant’s church for his empowerment seminar. I was invited to speak, and when I did I backed everything up with scripture. A lot of people were shocked that I knew the Word, but that’s a side of me folks don’t get to see on the show and that’s my spiritual side. I was saved when I was 19 and very into the church. After I spoke there were other bishops there and they invited me to come speak at their churches. It’s funny how everything comes back full circle.

ESSENCE.COM: Who knew? Would you describe yourself as an overzealous Christian?
HARTWELL:
Yes, I was a fanatic. If I was in someone’s car and hip-hop was playing I would turn their music off, or I refused to be around certain people, which was wrong because those are usually the ones that need to hear the Word the most. My brothers used to hate to see me coming and called me a holy roller. I was really into church, but I started to backslide a bit, but I’ve always had morals and integrity. Now, I don’t claim to be holier and thou because I’ve learned to find the balance. It’s just funny how God has a sense of humor and makes sure to always bring you back to him without you even realizing it, so I’ve been enjoying speaking at churches.

ESSENCE.COM: What’s up with your Closet Freaks collection?
HARTWELL:
We’re going to be in stores in 2010. We had to revamp some things with Myriam Belasse, but I’m happy with the final product. I know Dwight criticized me on air, and there’s a time and a place for everything, and a friend would know that. I can take constructive criticism, but I have no idea who made him the fashion guru. And Sheree? I don’t know where all the negativity was coming from. She called me a copycat, and I’m like, what are we in grade school? (Laughs.) It’s just hilarious to me, because last year I met with her and was advising her on which direction she should take with her clothing line, and if she remembers I had a baby clothing line before Closet Freaks. We’ve talked since that taping. As sad as it is, they are my castmates. It’s a reality show. Some feel the need to put on to stay relevant and stand out when the cameras are turned on but I am the same person whether the cameras are there or not.

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