Cynthia Bailey and Will Jones’ budding romance hit a major stumbling block on Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta when she learned that her businessman beau was dating another woman at the beginning of their relationship.
The revelation came at a party celebrating Kandi Burruss’ Essence cover, where new Friend of the Housewives (and former America’s Next Top Model winner Eva Marcille) recalled meeting Jones when he was with another woman.
“[My fiancé Michael Sterling and I] met Will at a really nice cigar bar and we met his girlfriend,” Marcille told pal NeNe Leakes. “Now, you know, relationships might die so they might have broken up that night. He didn’t say how long they were dating but it didn’t seem new. … This happened four days before the world knew he was dating Cynthia, like two months ago.”
The timeline was questionable, as Jones had told Bailey that he had been single for “2½ years.”
Asked if it was true, Jones denied it at first to Bailey’s pal Kenya Moore — but later admitted to Marcille during a heated argument that he “had a woman with me” but was “no longer dating that woman.”
He also denied Marcille’s claimed that his unnamed ex had a relationship with his daughter. “This woman has not been around this child,” he said, barking back at Marcille.
“This is what’s pissing me off,” he said. “Really wish you would have spoke to me first and you would have had a different answer. Because everything was perfect with us until this came along. And I think this hurt me because the perfect gentleman that I was to [Bailey], you showed me that I could be more better in other things. I’m bowing out.”
For her part, Bailey was torn. “I know that we’re not exclusive, I know we’re just dating. But I don’t want to date you if you have a girlfriend,” she told Jones.
“After my divorce, I wanted to date a couple of other people. But I met Will and he seems to be pretty great,” she told viewers. “That said, I would be devastated if he has a girlfriend and I’m made to look like a fool in front of my girlfriends.”
Her concerns were understandable, though confusing considering that she had told Jones earlier in the episode that she wanted to keep playing the field, taking their relationship slow, and was on a dating site.
“I really like you, but I don’t want to be like, ‘Okay I’m dating’ and then I meet you and it’s like, ‘Okay I’m not dating,’ ” she said. “Which is how it feels. Because I didn’t really get to get my dating swirl on. And it’s your fault. You messed up 50 Cynt getting her dating swirl on.”
“Damn, why did I meet him right now?” she asked in a confessional. “I’m not ready for this right now. I promised myself a year of just doing me — I have a whole bucket list plan. But if Will is the real deal and he feels as strong about me as he’s making me feel, then he’ll be able to wait. Get it out your system before you get with me. Because the last thing I want to do is get hurt again.”
“I don’t have another boo,” he said. “I’ll be 42 at the end of the year. My goal in this next stage in my life is to have a family and be successful in that. So I don’t want to date multiple women. I want to focus on you. If you’re not ready, I get it.”
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But Bailey seemed to forget all about that when talking to Marcille.
“I’m confused and overwhelmed. I’ve known Will for a couple months now and I assumed he was telling the truth. I don’t know,” she said. “I just don’t want to be played. I definitely don’t want to be dating someone who has another girlfriend.”
Perhaps Marcille summed it all up when first addressing Bailey and Jones about the situation: “This is quite messy.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.