Television January 21, 2020
Is NeNe Leakes Leaving ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’?
Rumors are swirling about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes' future on the show.
On Tuesday, Wendy Williams shared that she received a text from NeNe announcing she was leaving. On her daytime show, she said, “I took a break between commercials, my office is right there behind the set. I had to go to the bathroom and so I looked at my phone between commercials. And NeNe texts, 'I'm quitting.'”
She told guest Jerry O'Connell, “I'm surprised I got it, because I have no service in my office, but I got it.”
Wendy insisted that NeNe stay, saying, “I know something about NeNe that you all will cry, be sad and feel bad for her. She's carrying the weight of a huge thing on her shoulders. I'm not going to say it, she's got to say it. But in my opinion, NeNe, you need this platform to explain the other part of your life.”
Williams noted that Leakes should put the all drama aside, adding, “Forget arguing with them broads — you've got that secret, and that secret is going to melt their hearts. Because when she shared it with me, I cried with her… NeNe, you need that platform to explain. That's all. I'm telling you. NeNe, don't quit.”
Wendy did not go into further detail about Leakes' secret, but noted that it had nothing to do with her health or family.
After Wendy's comments, Leakes' rep told "Extra," “It's been an especially difficult couple of weeks for NeNe, and she was venting to her friend in private correspondence. Nothing has been confirmed or officially decided for next season.”
Leakes is one of the original cast members of the show, which debuted in 2008. While she took a break from the show in Season 8, she returned as a full-time member in Season 10.
A few months ago, NeNe opened up about why she missed the first three episodes of Season 12. She told "Extra's" Jenn Lahmers, "Well, there was no real reason other than we were negotiating. So many people have speculated and said so many things."
She also recently expressed her love for the show and the fans, telling People magazine, “It definitely has opened up many doors and opportunities. A lot of that is due to fans loving me for who I am and living out loud — all the things that some of my cast members don't like are the things that fans really love about me. I kept it real and I say it like it is and I'm really blunt. So those fans, they have meant everything to me. They've embraced me for who I am and carried me through some of the harder times.”