NeNe Leakes Walks Away From The Real Housewives Of Atlanta With No Regrets And Real Fame

| July 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

“This is so hard for me to type! I cry as I do so! I am so Grateful for all the love and laughs! Thank you so much to everyone that has watched and supported me over the years on this amazing platform! With lots of thoughts and prayer I’ve decided to step out on faith and not fear. #nomoRHOA4me”

NeNe Leakes

For all the haters who loved to hate the RHOA star don’t feel bad…there will always be villains who will love to fill her role as the brassy housewife but NeNe aint mad at you because the controversial reality star created the blueprint for turning reality TV into real success. #Girlbye!


NeNe Leakes, the seldom-disputed Queen Bee of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, recently announced that, after seven seasons, she is departing the hit Bravo TV reality series that made her a household name.

Leakes, who tearfully bid farewell to the show to take advantage of the “opportunity to spread my wings and do different things,” isn’t the first reality star to leave a hit series, but her departure from the show is significant because she is often seen as a pioneer in the genre, an example of someone who parlayed what is usually 15 minutes of fame into a yearslong career.

When Leakes was first introduced to the Bravo audience, she (and the network) weren’t very well known. She was introduced as a no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is girlfriend who knew how to laugh it up and have fun.

She used volume to get her point across, and with her height, she towered over other co-stars, such as petite cast members Lisa Wu and Phaedra Parks. Her presence and strong point of view endeared her to some viewers and served as fuel to the fire for those who found reasons to dislike her.

In retrospect, Leakes was a tad rough around the edges then, compared with her season 7 persona. That’s to her credit because she was introduced as a former stripper whose dreams of acting had been deferred. Fast-forward to Leakes seven years later, and she’s in a renewed relationship with her husband, Gregg Leakes. She’s performed in Las Vegas and on Broadway after starring in two popular broadcast-TV scripted shows. She’s also started a fashion line and, while announcing her RHOA exit, has shared plans for a new prime-time TV project with a “big legend.”

Leakes, as many of her fellow reality stars will attest, set the blueprint for how to use the platform to create and extend a brand.

Former VH1 reality star and Leakes’ bridesmaid on I Dream of NeNe Laura Govan gave the onetime Celebrity Apprentice contestant props, telling Sister 2 Sister magazine, “She’s very mothering. She’s very wise. She gives me a lot, a lot of knowledge about TV, life, being a woman, coming up in this business, what I should do, what I shouldn’t do.”

Govan said of Leakes in 2013: “I admire her as a person, as a woman.”

While she seemed to do it with ease, Leakes’ achievements aren’t the norm for reality personalities. Where are once-popular stars Tiffany Pollard, Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander and DeShawn Snow now? Leakes did what many, including a roster of former RHOA cast members, were never able to do. In fact, just her ability to remain on the series for seven straight seasons, and apparently leave on her own terms, is more than can be said for most stars who lack an executive-producer credit.

Though she’s admired by some fellow reality divas and has paved the path to success for them, that’s not to suggest that Leakes’ legacy is all about self-empowerment. That’s definitely part of it, but she’ll also always be known for the diva moments, drama, arguments and shade she delivered for viewers.

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About the Author ()

Darnell Moore has extensively studied music and urban culture both academically and professionally for over 20 years. His writings and posts have appeared in many major urban publications. Moore is the founder and creator of Memoirs of an Urban Gentleman. Contact him , or

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