Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta reality star Margeaux Simms opens up to MStars News exclusively about her separation from husband, Nikko Smith, her fights with Mimi Faust, dating women and plans for her music career.
The freshman VH1 star came onto the LHHATL mess between Mimi and Nikko following their sex tape and their break up. Margeaux admits that she only signed up for the show only if she could expose Mimi for lying about planning the sex tape leak.
Can you explain what the House of Margeaux brand is all about?
MS: House of Margeaux, HOFM, actually started out as merchandising for the music. I really wanted it to be just cool stuff for girls and guys, unisex, that people really wanted to wear; not just come to my show and then it's like my face and my name is there. I wanted it to be something separate from me but part of everything artistic that I do. I studied design so I really wanted to do really cool merchandise stuff that people wanted to rock all the time. And House of Margeaux is this creative place that has all these different rooms of things that I create. Like House of Margeaux HOFM is like the gear in one room and then the other room is Tokiebow, this character that I created. He rides a skateboard so I started hand painting skateboards and he's a vinyl robot toy, he's a comic book, T-shirts and hats. And then the other room is music. So House of Margeaux is just this creative hub where everything that I do lives and exists and collides together.
A photo posted by h.o.f.m (@houseofmargeaux) on Jun 22, 2015 at 4:14pm PDT
What was your cash cow before you were on reality TV? I know you had some struggles.
MS: Oh yeah, as an artist I mean it's always been. Sometimes I would get money from music if it was a small songwriting deal, sometimes I would be able to sell some of my Tokiebow bowties, sometimes I would sell a couple of pieces of House of Margeaux, and then I'd also bartend on the side. I've always been working as an artist but I would work at nights and I would work on my art during the day. And whatever I could sell, most of the times I would get small songwriting deals so that really kept me going. Sometimes there would be artists that hadn't blown up yet but they might've just got a deal on Interscope or Sony and they're always looking for records. So I was always able to get by with my art, but really just get by.
Has Nikko helped you since the sex tape became successful financially for him?
MS: No because I never wanted any of it. He and I have a different kind of bond and I've always been really independent. It never made me feel good to just ask a guy for money, even if we were together and married. That's why I've always worked my whole life. That's why when all that stuff came out, I never came out because it would've just been drama. So I was always still doing my music and my art. No one I ever dated gave me money. I'm sure if I asked, I could've. But that wasn't something that we did.
Before your appearance on the show, you were talked about a lot before even appearing on the show. A lot of rumors were swirling that you were still married to Nikko for citizenship - is that true?
MS: No, that's not true. Me and Nikko had been together for over 10 years. And yeah I'm Canadian but to stay married to someone for their citizenship...we were together for over 10 years, married for 8. We got married because we loved each other but I was a kid, I spent all of my 20s with him. We just never went through with the divorce - there was a lot of stuff that we never really took care of. Not only just a young married couple, we were very irresponsible so we never got the divorce because number one, it was like the elephant in the room. We separated but it was almost like neither one of us wanted to bring up the word divorce. We didn't tell Mimi he was married because I also didn't want to have anything to do with this drama. Being on the show it would've came out, it would've been more dramatic. But also he was doing this thing with her and that would've been more of a mess too. So we just stayed married because we weren't responsible and we needed to figure that stuff out.
This last episode you dumped Nikko and that was the first time he ever showed true emotion. He actually shed tears for you and you said the relationship was toxic. What was so toxic about it?
MS: It was toxic because when you're two artists and you're both striving to get somewhere and you love each other and you want each other to win but neither of you are in that position yet, you're trying to help each other but you also need to help yourself too. And Nikko made a lot of sacrifices for me; like, when we were young and when we got married a lot of people didn't know because he didn't want it to look like I'm just some wife whose producer is her husband. And I didn't want to look like that, I wanted to shine on my own. I mean I moved to America way before I knew him. He wasn't the reason I moved to the states. I moved on my own career and just happened to meet him and fall in love. We had a group together, we did some shows out in Florida and our song ended up taking off, we got a deal on Universal, we've been through so much. And he's also his own artist and I feel like he made a lot of sacrifices for me. As an artist he really taught me to be a good songwriter and he pushed me so much to always, "M, don't focus on a guy. Focus on your career. Focus on your career" because he's so focused on money. But what it did was it actually pushed me so far away from him that I just became so focused on my career and so afraid to focus on a guy that I would lose myself even though he was my husband, we kind of started to grow apart a little bit but then we had that emotional bond because we're always so down for each other that we didn't know how to let it go. It was toxic in a sense that we needed to be apart to flourish because we couldn't seem to let each other go because we wanted to be apart but to be with each other.
There was a clip on VH1 where you both told your sides of the open marriage. It seemed like he said that you took advantage of the open marriage. He insinuated that you cheated and you admitted to that. Why did you cheat?
MS: Well, I feel like when you're young and I had things that I wanted from Nikko that I didn't get there was a time where he said "I love you but I'm not in love with you. I want you to focus on your career, focus on your art." And when you're 22 years old and you love a guy and you're like okay well sh*t, maybe he doesn't care for me that way but he cares about me enough to tell me to focus on my career. It's kind of like as I started to get older, there's things that I wanted, sometimes it'd be nice to tell the world that this is my husband, sometimes it'd be to have someone that's your husband take you out on a nice dinner. So as a woman I started to get older and there's things that I wanted and so it wasn't just black and white, at the time Nikko and I weren't on the best of terms and he didn't really want to be with me like that. I didn't handle things in the best way but I also decided to tell him I was sorry for hurting him because I thought that would be a safe place for him to also tell me that he was sorry for the things that he said. But it's hard for him and some guys to admit certain things so I more did that for myself and to instead of placing blame and judgment on him it was like why don't I just look at myself in the mirror, say I'm sorry I hurt you, can we now be honest with each other? And I think that's another thing that he and I have always struggled with is being completely honest with each other.
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta
This season you didn't care what anyone thought. You knew that he wasn't lying and that Mimi was lying. And it was kind of scary because a lot of people sided with Mimi and it seemed like they were coming at you. What made you believe him even after he didn't tell you he was dating Mimi that the sex tape was fake?
MS: Because I feel like I know, I'm not saying he's perfect he's done a lot of things that have hurt me, but there's not enough time in the world on the show to show all of our backstory. It's not the Margeaux and Nikko show. But even though he hurt me, I know he wouldn't do something like that. And that's part of also why we fought, is like I'm here defending you because I'm the only one who I felt like I could. So even though he and I were going through our issues, it's like he came to me as a real- because we still have such a deep friendship aside from also being married over the years, he was really hurt that he was looking like some scum bucket. He was really distraught that he looked like some scum bucket that did this to this woman. And I knew I was the only one that could play for Nikko, even though I was hurt by him and mad, I felt like its like how can I sit there and allow this happen? I know he didn't tell me the whole truth about Mimi and what he was doing when he came down here but then I had to say well sh*t, I was also seeing someone too. So I know he's not perfect but it's just really like my own thing. I can't sleep at night if I don't help someone out or help a friend. Even if you hurt me, if you have me in your life as someone who's cared about you as a friend I'll always be there for you for life. And I knew that me saying something would just look like he's just putting a battery in my back or I'm his stupid wife and I didn't care because I'm the one person saying something that is true that doesn't mean that I'm wrong. Again, I know Mimi was hurt I just feel that sometimes people when we're hurt, we take things a little too far. And he did some things to her too, he's got to own up to that as well.
Why did things get so hostile between you and Mimi? It seemed like you kind of lashed out on her. I don't know if it was editing and there's something we missed, but you just snapped at her. Why did it go there?
MS: Because she said well I did it but it was his idea. And for me I just feel like she doesn't owe me an explanation technically. But now that you've come to my event and now you're saying this and now you're saying okay I did it but it was his idea it's like okay I'm confused. So why are you even telling me? It's like okay even if it was his idea, you know what I'm sure it probably was, the point is it doesn't really matter because you both did it together. The fact is that she blatantly lied and said he leaked it behind her back and I just think that that's really not cool. That's some slime bucket sh*t. A man leaking an intimate moment between a woman, if I ever thought for a moment he did that I would tear him up. I would've sided with her in two minutes because I'm a girls' girl. But I just know he didn't do it, even though I know he can be as assh*le. That particular thing is just a fact, it's not even about her, you know the other stuff that people want to make it dramatic about. It's just that she said I did but it was his idea and I'm like, if I said let's do a murder that's my idea and I tell you let's go along with because you can make money and you still do it, does that make me worse than you because I came up with the idea? And on top of it I felt like we were in a public setting, you're here and you're and this is where you choose to talk about it like why can't we just sit down without everybody else there? And yeah, I lost it.
Do you think it was petty for Nikko to all of a sudden a year after the whole incident to just come out and reveal their backend deal?
MS: It was actually more so me, because I told him like listen if I'm going to come here and do this show I have to be myself and I'm not lying for you and I'm not lying for anybody. And I didn't want to drag anyone's name through the mud but it just so happened that she was the only one else in the tape with him. And I'm like I said that they did it together, I'm not going to sit here and act like I don't know anything about it just act like an idiot. So it was really me who said something. Because if I never said anything, he wouldn't have said anything. But then the problem is that if he's complaining that he's looking like a scum bucket but then he doesn't want to say anything because he doesn't want to look like he's being a snitch or being a womanizer or now he's just saying that because he's not with Mimi anymore. And so he was caught between a rock and a hard place. And I didn't say anything for her but I also said it more so for myself too. Because a lot of people thought because I didn't come out I was in on it with Nikko, and I'm like what? Like no, I just didn't come out because I really didn't want to be part of the drama. But then when it came out that we were married, it became a total fiasco like I was holding the tape and I knew about it that's why I didn't come out. I can't have people attack me for something like that.
What's going on in your marriage with Nikko? In the episode you said that you're over him, it's toxic but then before that on an "After Party Live" episode I think you said that you guys were seeing a counselor to make things work. Are you guys still working on things?
MS: Oh no, I said that it's like a therapy session that he's in. Nikko and I, even though we were separated, the emotional separation is the hardest. Especially when you've been through a lot with someone and you trust them and they know so much about you. That's the hardest part but even though we were separated and we were with other people, we would still speak on the phone, we would still wonder are we going to get back together, but it's not like it was a physical things. It's not like he was cheating on me or anything. It's just that that emotional bond is the hardest to break. So that's what I meant, we've always talked about seeing a counselor but we never did. Right now we're separated but there's so much more that comes out in this season. As much as I would love to tell you now, you've got to call me back in a few more weeks.
I feel like you guys will end up on the celebrity couple therapy show. If they would offer you that, would you do it?
MS: Probably not. I never say never but I don't know. Probably not [laughs]. I won't say never but as of today probably not.
Are you currently dating?
MS: Sometimes. I mean, really the thing is to be able to sit with myself for a while and be okay with me.
Same sex marriage was legalized today nationwide. Do you play both sides or are you straight. You seem like a very free spirited person.
MS: I'm very free spirited. I like girls, I date girls too. But I'm very picky. It's about the person for me. It's not about what she would look like, it'd have to be like we absolutely click. And I'm a big supporter of the LGBT community and I'm glad that there's same sex marriage. Listen, I've been married to a man and men and women have ruined the sanctity of marriage already [laughs]. So I feel like if you don't believe in gay marriage, then don't marry someone who's gay. I support it, I'm happy and I'm glad things are changing. And that's another thing that I felt like bothered me about the gay rumors about Nikko because I am a supporter of the LGBT community. It's kind of like, is that supposed to be a diss? Because he's not. And I feel like even if he was, which he's not, are people saying its bad? Maybe I think too much in my head but yeah. That was something else. He's not but if he was what would be wrong with that?
What's going on with your music? What can we expect?
MS: Well I have a single out called "Start a War", its on iTunes right now. And actually a lot of people really like it. I've been performing it here in Georgia. I just got back from New York for opening Harlem Pride. "Life in Color Festival" I was performing it out there. So yeah, it's really taken off. I think a lot of people were shocked that I do music but I've been doing it forever. It's just that people didn't know me. I got on some tours in LA so I'll definitely be performing a lot this summer working on the show, getting ready to go on tour. If you go to my website I have some songs up there and on my Soundcloud. And I've really put out a lot of songs this summer for free just to give away so people can hear what I do. There's some old stuff up on my site like when I was in LA touring, some of my old videos up there, I did some covers. I'll put out an EP not until later in the fall but this summer I'll just be releasing a bunch of singles and make videos to them. I'm doing a video to "Start a War" next month and actually I wrote that one when all that stuff came out on the blogs about me and Nikko being married and all that drama. And I felt like 'Woah, how is all this happening, for all this to go so bad' and take off the way it did and cause such a mess and a fiasco. It's about basically battling yourself."© 2018 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.