Kenya Moore has worked hard to keep her relationship with husband Marc Daly away from the public eye, even hiding his name in the days following their June elopement in St. Lucia.
And on Sunday’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, fans got to understand just how important their privacy was for Moore as the former Miss USA broke down in tears crying over the pressures she and Daly had been under since PEOPLE broke news of their secret “I dos” exclusively.
“This is really just f—— with him,” Moore told her producer Joye, in tears, of Daly. “He can’t even sleep, he’s not eating. He’s got ex-girlfriends sending him things about me from 25 years ago [about] some famous guy I dated. Like, what does it have to do with now?”
“They don’t know me and everybody said he fought his mother and everybody for me,” Moore continued. “This pressure is too much. It’s too much stuff going on. I don’t wanna get divorced.”
Joye kept encouraging Moore that she and Daly could see through this. “He just has to fight the fight,” Joye said.
But Moore felt broken by the critical comments coming their way. “It’s become public fodder,” she said, quoting “all these people” taking about her online. “‘She was just with this on. How the hell she married, did she pay him?’ … He did not signed up for the crazy, he signed up for me!”
“It’s really scary how people don’t want to see you happy,” she confessed to viewers. “I’ve been told so many times by people who just were not very kind to me that they try to make me feel like, you know, you’re not worthy of true love.”
Moore had told friend and fellow Atlanta Housewife Cynthia Bailey similar things earlier in the episode.
“Marc’s not used to [all this public scrutiny and media attention],” Moore said. “It’s not his world, but I feel like in this case, I need to be his protector. My husband is just feeling very overwhelmed because he’s a private person. So for him to now be the subject of every blog site internationally is insane to him.”
Bailey, who finalized her divorce from ex-husband Peter Thomas earlier this year, felt protective of Moore. “I feel like for whatever reason, Kenya gets the most criticism about her relationships,” she told cameras. “If [Kenya’s] not in a relationship, she can’t get a man. She gotta buy a man — it’s all this crazy nonsense. And looking back, I wish I would have done a lot more work to protect my marriage.”
She then encouraged Moore to stay strong, joking that the critics will leave her alone eventually. “They’ll get tired,” Bailey said. “Even haters gotta sleep sometime.”
In June, Moore opened up to PEOPLE about her decision to initially keep Daly’s identity secret.
“He didn’t sign up for this world, I did,” Moore explained. “Every time someone has been associated with me, they attack that person – immediately going after them, trying to bring them down and saying crazy things. They tear people apart. And so for [Marc], he was like, ‘This is about me and you — it’s not about me or you.’ He just wanted it to be about our pure love and not about him.
“That’s why I fell in love with him,” Moore continued. “For him, it’s about being my protector and my best friend — not being someone that stands next to me, but someone who supports me and is okay with being behind me sometimes. He doesn’t want my money, he doesn’t want my fame, he doesn’t want my success — he just wants my heart, and he has it.”
Elsewhere on Sunday’s RHOA, Moore talked about first meeting Daly when mutual friend (and fellow Bravolebrity) Chef Roblé Ali invited her to a restaurant Daly owned in Brooklyn, New York.
“I ate, and Chef Roblé introduced us,” Moore recalled. “It was just a quick, ‘Have you enjoyed your food?’ Then he left and Chef Roblé spoke so highly of him. Chef Roblé just got excited talking about him. And I noted that. Like, ‘Wow.’ To myself I thought, ‘What can’t I meet a guy like that?’ ”
They didn’t start dating until a few months later, in December. “I was not in the right headspace to have a serious relationship,” Moore said. “I needed to do a lot of work on myself. But right now, I am in a totally different space because I worked on myself.”
“Honestly, I got my husband. He’s everything that I prayed for,” she said of Daly, a former Wall Street banker and now entrepreneur who owns several businesses. “I’ve never been attracted to man like this. It was a miracle that I met him. We would have never crossed paths.”
Besides the hardships of the spotlight, Moore said the two are also battling the long distance of living in separate places. “It’s challenging not having your husband in the same city. His business are in New York and mine are in Atlanta,” she said. “Until we figure it out, this is just how it is.”
But that hasn’t stopped their love. The reality star even said that she “cannot wait to change [her] name,” adding that she plans on getting it hyphenated.
“I literally have been married for all of five minutes, but I have to say getting married was the most amazing time in my life,” she said. “I think I’m still on cloud nine. Did it really happen? Did I really get married? Did I really walk down the aisle?”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.