'RHOA' Star Apollo Nida's Setence Will Definitely Affect the Show, But How?

Scandals are so commonplace among Real Housewives cast members that it's become routine to read about divorces, fallouts between old friends and, in more serious cases, jail sentences. But the ease of processing bad news about a Bravo-lebrity doesn't necessarily apply to reports that The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks' husband Apollo Nida received an eight-year prison sentence for his role in a scheme involving bank fraud and identity theft.

At this point, both Nida and Parks have much bigger issues to contend with than their reality TV careers, so it's on us to ponder the more trivial side of this awful situation — like how this will impact next season's storyline.

Since all the RHOA ladies signed on for next season, it'll be interesting to see how Parks handles questions about this situation. As a lawyer who prides herself on her Southern belle modesty, how will her tight-lipped approach fit in with Nida's sentencing being prominent parts of her story? Surely Andy Cohen won't allow her to slide by without discussing Nida and the impact his absence will have on their marriage. She's the queen of maintaining her composure and offering PC responses but those tactics won't hold up throughout an entire season, especially with enemies like fellow cast member Kenya Moore, who makes a sport out of pushing other people's buttons.

That leads to the question of how the other cast members will deal with Parks next season. Will they treat her with kid gloves or completely discard them and prepare for an epic shade-filled throwdown? Even though Nida's sentencing is an extremely serious topic, the Housewives aren't known for their diplomacy. And Moore's tendency to fight dirty shows that no topics are off-limits. In some cases, Nida's presence served as a barrier for Moore's attacks on Parks, like at the reunion when he completely ripped her a new one. But his absence may prompt Moore to do and say whatever she pleases. Hopefully for Moore's sake, she has a heart and withholds her opinion on Parks' drama. Then again, that's highly doubtful.

Regardless of whether everyone alienates Parks or rallies around her next season, so far she's managed to keep her cool while the cameras roll, so a documented pity party in her future doesn't seem likely. But with this much drama going on, no one will blame her if she chooses to place her picture-perfect Southern belle image on a temporary hiatus.