Bloop! NeNe Leakes is exiting “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”!
In a YouTube video posted Thursday, the reality TV superstar revealed she is leaving the hit Bravo series ahead of Season 13 after undergoing an “extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation.”
“There has been a lot of emotion flying from both sides,” the 52-year-old said in the clip. “It has been hard, and I have made the very hard and difficult decision to not be a part of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Season 13.
“It wasn’t an easy decision for me,” she continued. “It was hard. I started on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ in 2008. We took off like a rocket. I mean, we took off. You could have never told me that I would start on this little show and it’d still be going strong 13, 14 years later. And it is. I’m just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows to step up and be a part of what we all now love so much, reality TV.”
After thanking fans, the network, her team, and her castmates, Leakes also addressed a false statement that was released on her behalf last week.
“I had no knowledge of it, and I did not approve it,” she clarified.
Leakes concluded the video, saying, “I will see you again. Real soon.”
Earlier this summer, a Bravo spokesperson denied to People that Leakes was fired from the reality TV program.
“There is no truth to this story — NeNe was not fired and conversations for the next season are still ongoing,” the representative told the outlet at the time.
In January, Leakes’ friend Wendy Williams claimed on her talk show that Leakes was quitting “RHOA.”
While Leakes later denied this, she did admit that she has thought about exiting on her terms.
“I don’t know. I just don’t know,” Leakes told People in May. “I go back and forth with it every day. I feel like it’s a big conversation I need to have with the network and with production. Because if they value their talent in some sort of way, then we need to talk. We need to come up with some sort of compromise here.”
In July, Love B Scott reported that actress Drew Sidora and YouTube star LaToya Ali are joining “RHOA” for the new season.
That same month, longtime cast member Kandi Burruss revealed she and her co-stars have resumed production but are undergoing strict COVID-19 protocols.
“We’re getting tested all the time,” Burruss said in an interview with Extra. “That’s what we have to do to be to continue to tape together, we have to make sure everyone’s status is negative.”
Leakes, an OG on “RHOA,” was a Housewife from Seasons 1 to 7, and returned to the show full-time for Seasons 10 to 12.