The Bravo star was inspired to speak out after the death of Anger Room founder Donna Alexander, who appeared on the reality show.
Alexander was hospitalized on Sept. 21 after allegedly being assaulted by her estranged partner. Three days later the 34-year-old was taken off life support. Her ex-boyfriend has been charged with murder.
Alexander’s death comes just a few weeks after an RHOD episode aired showing the cast visiting her facility, where people are encouraged to get out their frustrations by smashing objects.
During an interview with Fox 4, Simmons explained Alexander was “such a good soul and a nice person. You remember people like that in your life.”
“When I found out what happened to her I had no idea, which is quite often the story,” Simmons explained to the news outlet.
“Successful women, that it looks like they have everything going for them from the outside, but then there’s a secret they’re hiding.”
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Simmons then went on to explain she previously dated someone who was extremely violent and beat her so badly she did not want to continue living.
“[He] pulled out a lot of my hair, he broke my fingers, he fractured my skull, I had internal bleeding. At the end of the time, I remember saying to him, I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,'” Simmons recounted.
“I tried to call out, and all the phones, he destroyed all the phones. They were either broken or he threw them away. I couldn’t use the phone, I couldn’t get out the door. I said, ‘There’s a rifle in the back room, just go, it’s loaded. Just put it to my head and shoot me because I can’t do this anymore.'”
It was not until Simmons sought help from a women’s shelter that she was able to get back control of her life, she says. The star encourages other women to do the same.
“Get the counseling and get the encouragement to be able to leave because I promise you, I was there. I wish I had talked to somebody a long time before I did. If I had, I would have been out a lot earlier. Luckily I didn’t lose my life, but Donna did, and don’t let her death be for nothing,” Simmons told Fox 4.
The man accused of Alexander’s murder, Nathaniel Mitchell, currently remains in Tarrant County Jail without bond, according to the Associated Press.
A lawyer for Mitchell could not immediately be located.