Shereé Whitfield has an incredibly tough exterior, so it's easy to forget that her relationship with ex-husband Bob Whitfield hasn't always been as friendly as it is right now. In past seasons of Real Housewives of Atlanta (as we were handily reminded with flashbacks), we've seen Bob promise he would never pay child support and just generally come across as unsupportive and immature. However, this season, it seemed like the two were moving past their history and possibly even fated to get back together, until in the March 12 episode, Shereé claimed that Bob had physically abused her. On RHOA, he reacted by saying that he didn't remember hurting her and then sarcastically saying, "maybe I didn't choke you hard enough." On Instagram last week, Bob denied ever abusing his ex-wife. (Bustle reached out to Bravo for further comment on Bob's behalf and did not immediately receive a response.)
But in that moment on the show, the ride went completely silent at Bob's "joke." Phaedra and Kenya immediately noticed that Shereé was incredibly upset, and beginning to cry. Bob grabbed at Shereé in order to get her attention, which was incredibly uncomfortable because she so clearly was trying to avoid any unwanted physical contact, repeatedly asking him to let her go. Now, it's easier to understand why Shereé has been so hesitant to believe Bob when he claims that he's changed since their marriage ended — her reaction didn't feel like the exaggerated antics of a reality TV star, but of someone genuinely uncomfortable with the situation. Shereé even said, "I thought I was over what happened between me and Bob, but I'm not."
Even after some prompting from Phaedra, Bob never said the words "I'm sorry" over his comments. Instead, he tried to apologize without apologizing, even later only offering the justification that perhaps he jokes, laughs, and minimizes the issue because he's uncomfortable. In a comment posted to Instagram earlier this week, he denied ever abusing his ex-wife and wrote, "I am physically too strong to ever put my hands on a woman in a violent manner because I know how to restrain myself ... I spent 15 years in the NFL which has a strict personal conduct policy I have never violated. Nor the vow I made to myself, [sic] that I respect her to [sic] much to damage her."
After the tense situation in the car on RHOA, it was very empowering to see Shereé walk away from the situation while saying that she's holding off on any further relationship with Bob. Kenya said that "it's important to believe women" and since it looks like this discussion will continue in future episodes, I hope the rest of the Housewives are willing to stand behind Shereé in her choice to no longer look for a renewed romantic relationship with Bob.