Little Women: Atlanta might be a spin-off series, but the cast is truly original. Among them is Tiffany “Monie” Cashette who’s claim to fame is that she always — and we repeat always — keeps it real. The reality star, who has been with the series since the beginning, famously left during Season 5 after losing a custody battle in which she aimed to move her son to Atlanta. For Season 6, Monie is back in Atlanta, dragging her carry-on right into some major drama.
The truth is that Monie has a lot more to deal with than any misunderstandings with her co-stars. She’s still grieving the loss of her friend and castmate Minnie Ross, she’s becoming adept at the balancing act that is parenting during the pandemic, and she may (or may not be) going through a divorce with her husband Morlin. When she sat down with Nicki Swift for a late afternoon Zoom call, the star assured us that it all plays out during Season 6, and we’ll just have to watch to find out. If there’s one thing we know about the Lifetime star, it’s that she’s a go-getter who has no problems promoting her achievements.
In this exclusive interview, Monie gets real about her absence on the series, her lengthy custody battle, and the most gripping moments of Season 6.
What's in store for Season 6 of 'Little Women: Atlanta'?
I just wanted to talk to you about the new season of your show. I watched the first episode and it seems already filled with drama.
Thanks a lot.
So, what do you have in store for the rest of the season?
Well, expect the unexpected. It’s full of drama. Of course, there’s a lot of heart-filled moments as well. We do survive the pandemic, thank God, but you see us go through that as well as talk about Black Lives Matter. We have… We also have a woman empowerment moment. Believe it or not, I know you do see the previews. You’d be like, “Wait a minute, where do y’all fit that in?” But actually, we just show you the ins and outs, and I just believe that’s what sisterhood is all about.
If you just have a group of girlfriends you could actually have your ups and downs. There’s sometimes you may have two people in a group that’s up, and then one person can be down, and everybody tries to wrap their arms around that person. They may reject it, but all in all, you show how we survive all the drama and the dysfunctional moments, as well as the good moments as well. Also we do pay tribute to our good friend Minnie. We tragically [lost] her after shooting scenes with her, and then we go through the pandemic, and we come back. She doesn’t return with us. So, all of that does play out throughout the season.
On Minnie's death and filming in a pandemic
That’s actually some of the stuff that I wanted to ask you about. I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s so tragic. How have you and the rest of the girls been coping with that?
I mean, it’s just taking it day by day. That’s something I feel like we just… it’s going to live with us. But, one thing we can do is just push on because, Minnie’s legacy deserves to be out there’s legacy deserves to be out there and we have to keep going on.
Absolutely. And what was it like filming during the pandemic? How was it different from the way that you filmed in the past?
Well, before in the past, we can all be together and it was no problem. But when we came back, everybody was so strict along with production, and we’re making sure we were six feet apart. We had to have a COVID test. Sometimes, we would get tested two and three times a week just to make sure or whatever. Especially, if you have people coming in and flying out, they just want to make sure everybody was safe.
And it was different because you used to be able to cuddle, hug up on each other or be, and they’re like, “No.” So, it was hard. It was something to get used to, but also, it was for our safety, too. And I think we’re still trying to get used to it, with having to be apart most of the time and Zoom or talk on the phone or we won’t be able to all be together unless we’re in a big open space. Other than that, it’s just probably more you and one other girl or sometime another one. But it really… I’m still trying to get used to it.
I think all of us miss hugging our friends.
Monie's 'life changing' moment during the Black Lives Matter protests
I guess, it just is what it is until it sorts itself out. So, I also saw in the trailer that you guys went to some of the Black Lives Matter protests in Atlanta. What was that like?
Well, it was… Man, that was a good moment. I was able to experience it. I just felt like everyone there, it was unity. I felt that we were all there for one cause. It was very good. The moment, I felt “Wow. That really touched me as well. We all have to take the lead.” And we did. We sat there for the eight minutes that George Floyd suffered from the knee of the officer, and wow, that was just life changing.
So yeah, we touch on that. You guys get to see that, but I really think that’s something that we’re going through and with us being reality TV, we just open our world up and show guys everything because in that moment, it didn’t matter your height, you know what I’m saying? Your skin tone. Everybody there was different shades, of course. And we were all there for the same cause. And that was a great moment. I was glad to experience it, that moment.
Yeah, it’s really important, and that’s amazing that you got to show it on such a massive platform and raise that awareness.
What's up with Morlin?
So, I saw that you had some drama with [your husband] Morlin.
You had a very tumultuous relationship on the show and you got married and I read that you might be getting divorced. Do you want to talk about that?
Well, a lot, we’re going to get into it this season, but from what you see, yes. That decision was on the line, of course. But because I opened up and I wanted the world to be a part when the times were good, when times are bad too with doing reality TV, I’m going to open up and I’ll show that. So, we just have to see, how do I get through those times? That’s something to stay tuned for it. But yeah, that was definitely on the line and let’s just see how it goes.
I love that you’re showing that, because it is true. We followed you on that whole journey.
Exactly. Right. And the pandemic, you get to see if the pandemic tore us down, or if the pandemic brought us together. So I mean, everything is, I talk about that.
That’s like an added extra drama, the pandemic. It’s like so much stuff is up in the air because of that. I’ve read a lot about how it either drives people apart or it brings them together. So, that’s extremely exciting to get to see that.
The real reason Monie left 'Little Women: Atlanta'
In the first episode you came back. You originally left the show to go to Houston.
I’m assuming that was because you wanted to be closer to your son because you were in that sort of custody battle.
When I was going through the court situation with his dad, and like I’ve said, sometimes I can’t focus if I’m away. I tried to bring him, my son, to Atlanta and that wasn’t working. And also when I sat and thought about it, I was like, “That was a selfish decision.”
Actually, when I thought about it and weighed that, the pros and cons of it, I would be robbing him of being around his family. And that wouldn’t have been fair because I’m trying to chase my dream or whatever. So I came home to get things settled, taken care of, and once I got that taken care of, then I was like, “You know what? Now it’s time to focus on me career wise,” and I’m able to do that now.
And of course, he’s getting older so it’s getting a lot easier for me as well. But now, we spending time together. It’s wow. I’m learning a lot. Google is like my best friend because I have to help him with his assignments and a lot of stuff is like, “whoa.” It looks foreign to me, but it’s great. I’m just glad that we’re together, and it feels good to be home with him too, and be able to do both. Balancing.
Are you guys both back in Atlanta together?
No. I’m in Houston.
How Monie's taking advantage of lockdown amid the pandemic
So, with school being — I know around here, they’ve been closing schools and opening them and closing them. So, have you had to play teacher and homeschool?
Yeah. That’s what I mean. Google, we’re great friends. I’m also, like I was saying, the cafeteria lady as well. I have to prepare the meals. And I’ve been learning quick things to do as well. I got an air fryer, so I was like, “This is my best friend.” It cuts down on time and we can focus more on projects and work.
So, it’s definitely… And then I’m also thinking too like, “You know what? Should I go back to school? Should I think of some stuff to do as well that I might want to pursue?” Because the way I’m assisting my son with his work and exercising my mind is definitely something that I’m thinking about as well as I’m already taking acting classes myself to get in that field. And I’m just using this time while we’re on hiatus and also down just to make sure the numbers go down with the pandemic. I’m also trying to take advantage of this moment as much as possible.
The wrong team put Monie on the right path
That’s really smart. So, you do have a lot of stuff going on though? Beyond your acting classes and stuff like that, you have a skincare brand, a shoe brand and a fragrance brand?
Well, that’s something that I would like to come out in the near future. When I first started doing this show, I had managers and people around me. So, they were on the internet, and they were typing things that I was telling them that I would like to talk about. But that’s another journey that I’ve learned throughout trying to put myself out there or whatever, spending all this money on managers, and trying to get out there. And it was useless at that time.
It really did do nothing but cost me money. And then it put a — I guess — a dent on a relationship with my son’s father and me because he feel like I’m just chasing my dream and not paying attention to my son. So, now that I’ve slowed down, I’m just going back and I’m doing things the right way, but hopefully that’s something that once I get a good solid team, I can get cleared up. But that’s something that I would like to do in the near future, but right now, I’m just focusing on me and acting classes. And of course just being real and just keeping it open. And hopefully, I can help somebody by me opening up and being who I am. I try to keep it real on the show as much as I can or whatever.
Yeah, you definitely do. And that’s just really refreshing and nice.
What ever happened with Monie's custody battle?
So regarding your son, I forgot to ask you, did you sort out the custody? I’m assuming you sorted out the custody?
Mm-hmm. Yeah, he’s good. He’s with me.
Oh, that’s really nice.
Mm-hmm, yeah. Because in the State of Texas, we didn’t know, but when it came out all said and done, there’s no… You can’t have full… I can’t have full custody. There’s joint custody here in Texas. So, when we both were sat down and was like, “She has much as right as you have.” And I have to listen and was like, “Okay. So it’s like, yeah, we both have to share.” But I think growing up and maturing on both our end has helped with that. And now that D2 is older, he’s able to make up his decisions as well. And of course, he like being home with his mom or whatever, but it worked out.
It must have been difficult work. A lot of parents struggle with that, but it must have been difficult working it out when you have to figure out all the details.
It was on both ends, you know? My son and then leaving my passion in Atlanta, but I’m glad I went through it. Things are better now. And now you get to watch me try to figure out what I want to do now. That I’m back in Atlanta, around my girls. And of course, losing my friend Minnie, as well, but you get to see it all played out this season. So to me, it’s definitely going to be a good season.
Being a mom hasn't slowed Monie's ambition
There’s one last thing I wanted to ask you, maybe two last things. So, you’re also working in voiceovers or trying to get into that. How has that been going?
Well, that’s what I’m learning. I will have to go and do a class because I … that’s something that you will see me talk about this season as well, or whatever. So, I definitely had… It was a lesson learned. Just put it that way. So — and I’m looking, thinking about it — I’m like, “Okay, yeah. I do need some classes” because I just thought I had it all figured out.
Everyone needs classes. Even the best people need classes. The most skilled.
Anyway, how do you balance all of that? Because you’re with your son at home, and he’s home from school sometimes because of the coronavirus, depending on how it is. And then you’re working on these classes. You’re filming this TV show and managing all of the press. How are you doing it all?
Yes. Oh, he’s home. Right. Well, I’m juggling, definitely. It’s definitely a schedule. I’ve learned to make a list now with everything. So I keep a list. I stay on top of things, of course, the phone with setting alarms, calendar, is definitely helping me juggle things. And I just know it’s part of being a mom. Mom don’t stop me wanting to chase my career. That doesn’t stop. So, I got ambition. I’m motivated now. So, that’s really what’s keeping me going.
That’s awesome. So is there any last thing you wanted to promote that you’ve got on your plate besides the show?
No. Not at this time. All I can do is say, just stay tuned because it’s, you know, some ideas and stuff I got in the works, but just pay attention to my platform and we’ll see it. And plus, you know I’m going to keep it real with y’all on the show. And whatever I have to offer, I will be presenting it. So just stay tuned. That’s all I could say.
You can catch Monie on Season 6 of Little Women: Atlanta, currently airing on Lifetime.
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