Following the death of entrepreneur and Anger Room founder Donna Alexander, “Real Housewives of Dallas” star D’Andra Simmons is sharing her personal experience with domestic violence.
Alexander was featured on an episode of “Real Housewives of Dallas” when a number of cast members visited the Anger Room—a facility Alexander created as a healthy outlet for visitors to release their inner rage by breaking things in a controlled setting.
The 34-year-old businesswoman was hospitalized on September 21 after suffering a severe beating at the hands of her estranged boyfriend. She died three days later, on September 24, after being taken off of life support, according to NBC 5, the broadcast network’s local affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Simmons, who met Alexander while filming “Real Housewives,” was moved enough to shared her own domestic violence story after learning of the late entrepreneur’s tragic death.
Ten years ago, Simmons said she was dating a man who violently abused her, according to a KDFW FOX 4 News report published earlier this week.
“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,’” she said, as quoted by FOX 4. “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.’”
Simmons said that through seeking help from a women’s shelter and receiving counseling, she was able to steer her life in a more positive direction.
In fact, both were instrumental in her eventually gaining the courage to walk away from the relationship, she said.
“Get the counseling and get the encouragement to be able to leave because I promise you, I was there,” she told FOX 4. “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.”
Alexander often used her voice to speak out against domestic violence, NBC 5 reports.
Her estranged partner Nathaniel Mitchell was initially charged with aggravated assault, but had his charges upgraded to murder following Alexander’s death, according to the outlet.
Simmons said she remembered Alexander as being a “good soul” and a “nice person” during her FOX 4 interview, but added that she was shocked after learning what had happened to her.
“Successful women, that it looks like they have everything going for them from the outside, but then there’s a secret they’re hiding,” she said.
[Photo Credit: Getty]