Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey wasn’t looking for love after her divorce from Peter Thomas. In fact, she swore off marriage altogether at one point. Still, the model and proud mom was open enough to welcome a new man into her life, unexpectedly falling head over heels for Fox Sports anchor Mike Hill.
Bailey chats with EBONY about her new love, ever-evolving views on marriage and living as an empty-nester since saying goodbye to the true “love of her life,” daughter Noelle Robinson.
You recently went public with your boyfriend, Mike Hill. What was it about him that made you feel he was worth your attention?
You know, I was just living my best life, dating. I wasn’t trying to get serious with anybody, I just wanted to date. Then, I met this wonderful man, Mike Hill, and he was the one I wanted to actually be exclusive with. He’s the only man that I see, and we’ve been exclusive for four or five months now.
It’s hard to say what it is about him, it’s just a feeling he gives me. It didn’t happen overnight, but at some point, he started to make me feel how I felt when I first bought my home on the lake, that peace that I felt. He’s like Lake Bailey in a man! He’s my peace, he’s my calm, he’s my happy and he’s comfortable with himself. I have a lot going on, just sent an 18-year-old to college, I have businesses to run, I’m on this show, I can’t have a man who is going to disrupt what I have going on, I need someone who’s going to bless what I have going on, and be that calm.
Mike is just like me. If I were a guy, I’d be Mike Hill [laughs]. I really would, we just get each other. He’s just a good guy with a good heart and he just feels right.
I was fine being single. I did not think at this point in my life that I would be in a relationship with someone like Mike and actually be in love. I’m not even afraid to say it, I am completely in love with this man.
He actually lives in LA, so it’s a long-distance relationship, but we see each other all the time. He just feels right for me.
You recently attended Eva Marcille’s wedding. Would you be open to remarrying?
I was not! I was not, I was not, I was not. I had no desire to marry again after my divorce, none whatsoever. Then I had to change that narrative to be more open because I don’t know what God has in store for me. If it’s God’s will, if it happens, it happens, but I still was not looking for that.
When I met Mike, I didn’t get the feeling that I had to get married, I just have to be with him, whatever that looks like. If that looks like we’re moving in together, that’s fine. If that means we’re getting married, that’s fine, I just know that I want to be with him.
So yes, the door is still open. Let me be specific, the door is open for Mike Hill [laughs]!
Has he met your daughter, Noelle?
Absolutely! He’s crazy about Noelle and Noelle loves him as well!
How is Noelle enjoying her first semester at Howard?
I think she’s enjoying herself. When she was first preparing to move to college, it was an adjustment. She was a little apprehensive, she basically didn’t want to go.
Noelle and I are super close, she’s my one and only, my girl, the love of my life, and she had a small meltdown about leaving because we’re so tight. At one point, even I was like, ‘well, I guess she can stay in Atlanta and go to school here,’ but I felt like I would be doing her a disservice to not insist that she move, for her own growth as a woman.
I need time, too! One thing about being a mom, you love your kids, but you also look forward to them leaving one day so you can get your life back, you know? [laughs]. This season for me is all about being an empty-nester, my baby goes off to college, but the nest isn’t empty very long, because here comes Mike Hill jumping in the nest [laughs].
Season 11 of Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.