Much of the first season of Married to Medicine revolved around the drama between Toya Bush-Harris and Mariah Huq. Their intense poolside brawl, supposedly brought on by Mariah's belief that Toya gossiped about her family, split the cast and ruined long-standing friendships.
In a recent interview with DMVixen.com, Toya explained that Mariah told her about Lauren's adoption over two years ago and never asked her to keep mum about it. Other members of the cast have confirmed that the adoption was not a secret. Still, Toya gave Mariah a heads up when Eugene said "Aydin is a great guy. He's a stand-up guy, and he adopted her daughter" on camera.
"When I said something to her, she was like, Oh you guys plotted this! You plotted this! and we are like, Plotted WHAT? Like, what do you mean? The only conclusion we could come to is that in order for Mariah and Aydin to think of us [as being malicious] is because they think like that themselves," Toya shares. "It was like if this is such a big family secret, then why do you keep bringing it up on camera? Why aren’t y’all shutting that down?"
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Toya believes that Mariah wouldn't have acted the way she did if she were a true friend from the start, adding, "She would've really looked at my situation and got to know me for who I am, and then she would've never even thought that my husband or myself would've been malicious."
"I think that a lot of times when you have those situations you have women that are insecure," Toya said. "Maybe they haven’t had the best friendships in their life. Or maybe they haven’t had people that really support and love them. Therefore, they are .. I don’t know .. they’re really guarded. They are in a place where they are quick to say that you are out to get them. When in reality, you have other things on your plate and they are the last people you are thinking about."
Toya added that Mariah changed once filming began. "She went from being the person who was trying to create a show to one who created drama."
I stand by my opinion that Mariah (who is an executive producer) filmed the "beauty shop gossip" scene with Lake long after her physical fight with Toya, hoping to garner sympathy from the viewers. I also now believe that Mariah allowed Quad Webb-Lunceford (who is her BFF) to film the "aggravated assault" discussion with Gregory after Toya found Quad's mug shot online.
"Just give me something to back this up besides your own family," Toya said about the alleged hair salon gossip. "But it was like okay, people wanted to believe what they wanted to believe. There is nothing I can do about that. Even if I go on there and tell the absolute story, people are still gonna believe what they want to believe."
Married to Medicine proved to be a learning experience for Toya. First, she learned who her real friends are, and I think it's very telling that the majority of the cast formed a tight bond with Toya – not the Queen Bee – after the fight.
When asked about Kari Wells, Toya said, "We talk every day actually," adding, "Me, Simone, Kari, and Jackie – all of us, we talk to each other quite a bit. All of this did make us much closer. I think in those situations it made Kari and everybody else see what we were dealing with. No one likes the unknown."
Second, Toya learned that reality TV is a tough gig, saying, "You have to do it smart. Mariah is very savvy and strategic in the way she does things. I didn't know how to not be a true friend."
Toya admitted that the lasting effect of the lies and manipulations made it too difficult to rebuild relationship with certain cast members. "What you will see about reality TV is that a lot of people will try and make a story line to promote their lies," Toya added. "Like in the last episode, I was so upset with Quad for lying on national television. For her to come up with something based on a lie … it was just terrible."
"What you see is a snippet of our lives," Toya shared. "For example, you see Mariah's Indian dinner on the last episode, but you don't see the fact that my father-in-law died. What you didn't see is that we had to leave and go to a whole 'nother state to take him off of life support."
Apparently, when Kari learned about Toya's father-in-law, she, too, skipped the dinner to help her friend pack. Toya added, "There was a ton of more important things going on in our lives at that current time. That's the part that didn't fit in the 'reality TV' scheme of things."
"If I went into another season, I would have to be a little more boisterous," Toya concluded. "I think that's where people like me go wrong, because we are too quiet. We appear to stand for anything, which lets the public form their own opinion on us. I would be a lot more open and stronger in my character."
Given the ratings, there's no doubt in my mind that Married to Medicine will be renewed. The big question is whether or not it returns with this same cast. Will Queen Bee Mariah pull some strings to eliminate competition / those who do not like her? Only time will tell. Until then, there's a two-part reunion and lost footage special coming up to wrap up season one!
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