"Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Phaedra Parks says she's still open to love despite her very public separation from estranged husband Apollo Nida, who is currently serving an eight-year prison stint for bank fraud and identity theft.
Parks told ABC News that she still believes in the institution of marriage.
“I do believe in love,” she revealed. “This has not tainted my view on the sanctity of marriage, the importance of marriage, the importance of relationships.”
“I mean I think I’m a pretty great catch," she continued. "I’m a young woman and I’m still pretty vivacious. So I don’t have anyone that I’m dating now because I’m still married and we’re going through the process of divorce but I’m open to dating once it’s finalized. I’m open to love.”
For now though, the drama of her split is playing out in front of the cameras during the current season of the hit Bravo reality series. One episode showed scenes of the soon-to-be single mom and her two young children journeying to visit Nida in a federal jail.
“It was very difficult but I made a decision [that] no matter what I would hold my head up and try to conduct myself in a dignified manner and handle it with grace and class," Parks said. “And at no point in time do I think I detoured from that path.”
The Athens, Georgia, native is aware that many of her fellow reality stars ended up divorcing their partners. But she said being on a reality show is often not the cause.
“People are who they are, whether they are on TV or whether they aren't,” she said. “Statistically whether you’re on TV or not, 75 percent of marriages in the United States just don’t work. I’m not sure why.”
When it comes to her own personal circumstances, the self-proclaimed Southern belle takes some of the responsibility for her marriage.
“I would never blame television,” Parks said. “I was who I was and my husband was who he was before TV and after TV. It had nothing to do with TV. I think TV will obviously put a strain on a relationship because it brings it under fire, but that’s anything.”