*Apollo Nida of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” due in court later this month on charges of bank fraud and identity theft, is at the center of a new controversy after demanding $2000 up front to attend a charity event for battered women and children.
According to Radar Online, Chase DeCarlo of the charity Dio Bambini says he approached Nida, the husband of cast member Phaedra Parks, along with fellow “RHOA” castmate Kandi Burruss, to attend a fundraising event.
“At first I thought he would do it for free,” DeCarlo says. “His people were saying … he wouldn’t mind appearing.”
But that quickly changed. DeCarlo says, “At first it was like, ‘Ok, I’ll do it for $2,000.’” Then, DeCarlo says he bargained him down to “about $1,200. It’s still a lot, but we’re still in discussion. He just sent me a contract for $2,000!”
“We’re trying to get Kandi to come too, and she said she would come for free,” DeCarlo reveals. “I’m still talking with my people to see if it’s worth it getting Apollo to come at all. We have people with a better background willing to do it for free, so I don’t know.”
Nida is working on a potential plea deal with federal prosecutors in his bank fraud and identity theft case. A judge told his lawyers that he had until April 25 to come to a deal or possibly face prison. With DeCarlo’s charity event scheduled for May 2, he’s worried Nida might take the money and run.
“I’m really, really leery that his court date is before the event,” DeCarlo says, especially since Nida wants the money up front. “It makes sense why he’s pressuring me and wanting me to book him.”
“His people told me that I have to pay him everything up front and then they’ll send me a photograph to print on a flyer,” DeCarlo explains. “I spoke to different celebrities, and he’s the only one who really wants to be paid before the event even happens.”
“I feel like I’m trying to book Beyonce!” DeCarlo jokes. But reminded of the fact that Nida is a convicted felon with a history of running scams, DeCarlo admits, “It seems like that’s exactly what he’s showing now.”
In a follow up posted today, Apollo tells Radar that the charity scandal is all one big misunderstanding, and that he never intended to bring negative publicity to anyone involved.
“Not only am I facing legal troubles, but to have something like this [happen]?” Nida said. “…I get attacked for doing good things.”
He continues, “I’m not even the person in correspondence with this guy,” insisting his branding manager was handling the negotiations. “I have a marketing and booking company that books me and markets me and brands me. All of my stuff is official.”
In fact, according to his “attorney drawn-up contract,” obtained by Radar, Nida would have been required to return his 50% deposit on $2,000 even if he didn’t go through with the event.
“There’s a clause that says if I don’t show it’s refunded,” he explains. As for the $2,000 fee, he says, “I’m not going to go to a charity event in Chicago for free,” since he would need to pay for travel and expenses. As such, Nida says his proposed fee of $2,000 was “very generous.”
And now, he feels like he was being used as a pawn. “Don’t lure me in just because you’re trying to get publicity,” Nida says. “I do not call people and say, ‘Hey do you want to pay me to go to a function?’”
He continues, “You do not pull out some ploy like this … You do not throw children out there like, ‘Come do this, do that.’ That’s really not cool.”
Nida tells Radar. “This is how I feed my family and how I feed myself. What the hell?”