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The Minne Kariuki and Michelle Ntalami beef, explained

Features
 Michelle Natalami and Minne Kariuki drama [Courtesy, Instagram]

It all started with an introduction between the two ladies gone wrong, per episode one of The Real Housewives of Nairobi.

Viewers meet the main cast of the show, Vera Sidika, Susan Kaittany, Minne Kariuki, Lisa Christoffersen and Sonal Maherali, and after a few scenes showcasing their glamorous lives and friendships, the next major topic is Susan's upcoming event.

On the episode, the entrepreneur expresses her interest in expanding her business ventures, going from her hair and spa business, The Posh Palace, to launching a fragrance store, Polished by Posh Palace.

After inviting the ladies to a sip and scent event, Susan brings along her friend, Michelle Ntalami, who is a well-known Kenyan entrepreneur and social media personality.

The two come into the scene on a helicopter as Susan explains why she loves to make a grand entrance.

When all the ladies settle at the dinner table after an evening packed with banter, everything seems to be going well until Vera Sidika and Dr Maria Bayerl have a tense exchange about the morality of clout chasing.

After Dr Maria leaves, Michelle moves to her seat, which happens to be opposite actress Minne Kariuki.

"Minne what's good?" Michelle says as she sits, as Minne responds in like fashion.

"What's popping honey?"

"I feel like I've met you in all these events but we never say hi," Minne adds, before Michelle interjects and insists that Minne snubs her, and that there is some catty energy between them.

Michelle then says: "I don't think you're a [expletive], we just don't seem to connect with each other.

At that point, Minne says that she does not know Michelle, rather only sees her around, and the stress of the situation escalates.

After a heated exchange, Minne leaves.

 The Real Housewives of Nairobi cast [Courtesy, Showmax]

The ladies speak outside the show

After the introduction that left a bad taste in the ladies' mouths, the resulting fallout was characterized by comments made on interviews.

Michelle said in a February 2023 interview that she "never pretends to like someone with bad vibes."

"I won't act like we are besties, so people should expect authenticity. When I am hurt, I am, when I am happy, I am."

In March, she told radio hosts Kwambox and Obinna that the cattiness on the show is "so real."

When probed on whether she would want to be a housewife on the show, she said; "No, because I'm not sure I can do it, just because from what I've experienced, the toxicity, the bullying and drama, it can be too much. It doesn't go with my personality."

She added: "I just can't relate with [Minne's] Vibe. Yes, she has insulted me. Whatever she insults me is not who I am, maybe it's a projection...When you start attacking someone personally, insulting them low blows, calling them names, it's not a right way to fight. Fight fair, I believe in that."

Minne also gave her side of the story on another radio interview, telling Radio Maisha's Mwende Macharia that she has "no beef with Michelle" and that she "doesn't know her."

"Why should I have beef with you when I don't know you? Uliona pale kwenye show alikuja akakaa right opposite me na akanitaja. Alikuwa na kitu ameniwekea, alikuwa na mzozano na mimi, and I just handled it like a very mature lady," Minne said, adding, "I don't have enemies."

The drama takes a legal turn

Early this month, Michelle Ntalami made headlines when she sued South African based TV channel MNET for using her images on the show without consent.

She also accused Minne Kariuki of defamation and commercial exploitation.

The Standard reported: "In a case filed at the High Court in Nairobi, Marini Naturals Chief Executive Officer Michelle Ntalami is seeking compensation for alleged defamation and use of her image and voice. She has named Minne Kariuki Njuguna, Young Rich Television Ltd, M-NET and D&R Studios Ltd as the defendants."

The report added: "She claims to have asked one of the Young Rich Television and D&R Studios crew members about her actor's agreement or consent form, but was not offered."

Further, Michelle claims in her suit that "as soon as the show was launched, Minne started bullying her, with malicious words being used against her on the show, on television and radio shows, and on social media."

"The defamatory words, she says, were meant to disparage her business, adding that she has suffered damages as a result."

Minne, she states, intended to commercially exploit her social influence and reputation by printing and wearing a T-shirt with the defamatory words.

Following news of the impending legal battle breaking to the public, Michelle then took to her social media account to express why she took that course of action.

"Today I take a firm stand for myself and other women against the belittling and degrading of women in Kenya through a show that sadly profits off of this."

After some blunt words to the stations running the show and the studios involved in it's production, the Marini Naturals founder then turned her attention to Minne.

"Woman. Your cyberbullying and insults is what has led us here. You could have been the Queen of anything to grow your personal brand on a global show, but instead you chose 'Queen of Shade.' Joke's on you. You get high off bullying and putting other women down. But soon enough, you were bound to meet the wrong one."

Before the dust of the suit could settle, Minne had already responded.

The actress filed a countersuit and issued Michelle a Cease and Desist.

On suit documents seen by The Standard Entertainment, Minne claimed not to have received proper notice or legal documents from Michelle.

A letter by Minne's advocates insists that Michelle "cease and desist any further false or defamatory statements about our client on social media or any other platform and publicly retract your previous statements and refrain from any other attempts to tarnish our clients's reputation."

Minne is demanding Sh3 million from Michelle in general damages.

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