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Bob Whitfield apologizes for spousal abuse jokes on 'Real Housewives of Atlanta'

This was posted Thursday, March 16, 2017 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

People often get upset when another person in an uncomfortable situation starts smiling or laughing or making inappropriate jokes. Typically, that's a defense mechanism, not a way to mock the other person. Unfortunately, it's often perceived as an added insult. (Psychologists have studied this behavior.)

Bob Whitfield, the former husband of Sheree Whitfield on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," made some rather tasteless jokes regarding spousal abuse in front of Sheree. And he remained seemingly joyous even after she started crying. Later, he laughed again after she left a store in pure upset. ( Read my full recap of the episode here.)

On his blog yesterday , he posted a mea culpa:

My Dearest Woman

I am wrong. I made trivial the abuse of  HER in front of the world.  I am no monster.  I allowed truth, comedy and conjecture to convey an image of myself that I would never condone.  I know  how emotionally charged anger can inflict damage to someone you hold dear.  My mockery is shameful and no longer funny. One instance of psychological abuse may not condemn someone​ to death, yet it would be no instances that makes a man wholesome; by being thoughtful in words and actions; being responsible in procedure and measures; being a protector, provider and provisioner for his family;   and to show proper restraint with committing actions that lack virtue;

I laugh because it feels better than crying. However, I must cry for forgiveness. My humility now is true to the pride that I take of holding HER to the highest esteem as mother or as wife, as confidant or as friend .

This ode is true…

His double whammy of bad jokes on Sunday's episode, which was taped in the fall in Maui: when he asked her whether he had choked her, she said he did. He responded, “Could you still breathe?” Then he said he didn’t remember choking her when they were married. “I didn’t choke you hard enough,” he concluded in a way that was in shocking poor taste.

Whitfield, a former NFL player who divorced Whitfield about eight years ago, later tried to apologize by buying her jewelry and explaining why he laughed but she has such trust issues, she wasn't buying it and left the store in tears.

He and Sheree are not together though on the show, he appeared to be trying to woo her despite ample evidence he is actually dating other women.


"Real Housewives of Atlanta," 8 p.m. Sundays, Bravo

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.