Kandi Burruss Responds to Kenya Moore Exposing Her 'RHOA' Salary and Dishes on Season 12 Drama (Exclusive)
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Kandi Burruss' bag is secured, and that's all she wants you to know about her finances.
"Oh gosh, I don't think it's appropriate for you to talk about what you're getting paid," the Real Housewives of Atlanta star tells ET. "You know what I'm saying?"
Kandi was forced to weigh in, though, after her RHOA co-star, Kenya Moore, went on The Wendy Williams Show and declared Kandi to be the "HBIC" of their city. She told the talk show host, "Kandi makes the most money, OK? So, if I was coming for anybody's purse and bag it would be Kandi's." This came after Wendy declared NeNe Leakes the "top biller" on the show; Kandi has actually appeared in more episodes, and in more seasons, than NeNe at this point.
"I'm not going to confirm neither here nor there," Kandi says of Kenya's claims. "What I will say is, I've seen what the blogs said for years, and they've never had my salary right, OK?"
Various Bravo-themed blogs claim that Kandi makes as much as $2 to $3 million for a season of the series.
"When I see those reports that will come out about how much each person makes on the show, I'm like, 'Who's giving them this information?'" she asks. "Like, who's really sending it in to say, 'Oh, this person makes…' I know I'm not telling anybody how much I make!"
"Bravo has treated me well, as well as they treat everybody well on this show," she adds. "They take care of us and I'm happy with what they pay me and I'm leaving it at that. I do not care about what everybody else gets paid, so then I don't want them to care what I get paid."
Kandi said she did have words with Kenya after her Wendy appearance, but it was all in good fun.
"I was like, 'Girl! What?!' and she's just, like, 'Well…' She thought it was funny," Kandi recalls. "She was like, 'Well, I just need to let 'em know!' I was like, 'Hey, man, I'm staying out of that.'"
Kenya's comments came, naturally, with some shade toward NeNe, whom some fans speculated was having second thoughts about returning to the series once she learned that Kenya had signed her contract to return after taking off season 11. Kenya only made one cameo appearance last year at an event thrown by Cynthia Bailey, much to NeNe's chagrin. The OG Housewife admitted to feeling "blindsided" by Kenya's return and, essentially, ended her friendship with Cynthia over it. Kandi, though, actually takes credit for bringing Kenya back around the group.
"I didn't even think it was gonna turn left like that," she admits. "I just really wanted Kenya to show her face. My whole goal with that situation was that I did not want us to go a whole season and the fans never got a chance to see Kenya pregnant. That didn't make sense to me. I'm like, Kenya, all these years we've been invested in her, finding love, having a baby and here it is, she's pregnant and the fans are not gonna see her one time?"
"I mean, I really didn't take into consideration other people's feelings, I guess," she adds. "But it is what it is."
NeNe ultimately decided to come back to the show, which she told ET earlier this month she considers "her baby." In that same chat, NeNe addressed her issues with Kenya and the other women on the cast, saying, "These girls, to me, all seem to want to be the queen, or the one that everybody thinks of when they say, 'Housewives.' I don't think that that's possible. I think there's one queen and there's a lot of princesses."
"You know, that's that ego thing," Kandi says, in response to the "princesses" comment. "Me, personally -- and don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to claim 'the queen' -- I feel like everybody on this show is a queen."
"This show cannot happen if there wasn't multiple stories that people cared about," she explains. "You cannot do a whole entire show by yourself. And that's why you don't see everybody with their own shows or whatever, 'cause you have to have a crew of people that has personality and different things going on outside of yourself to carry a show. One person can't carry it. So, with that being said, much love to her. I'm glad she's here, but I would never say that there is one queen and a whole bunch of princesses because those two episodes went along just fine, people tuned in and life went on."
Kandi is referencing the first two episodes of RHOA's current season, which featured no scenes with NeNe, who also did not appear at all in season 9 of the show, and only made a guest appearance in season 8.
"And, actually, those seasons were really good, apparently," Kandi says, noting the high ratings of those years, which included the heated drama between Kandi and co-stars Porsha Williams and Phaedra Parks, who spread defamatory lies about Kandi. Phaedra exited the show at the end of season 9, and in the years since, Kandi and Porsha have worked to repair their relationship. They hit a speedbump last year when Kandi confronted Porsha with information she had learned about her then-boyfriend, now fiancé, Dennis McKinley.
"Oh, after last year, I said I wasn't saying anything else about anything that I've heard, especially not dealing with the Porsha and the Dennis situation," Kandi admits. "She obviously did not take it very well from me last season and, you know, I just said, I don't want us to continue to have drama. Like, that was starting to annoy me, that she and I just became the drama every year, all of sudden, you know, in the last few years prior to now."
Helping Kandi on her new mission with Porsha was the fact that, she says, she had no idea about the dramatic developments in Porsha and Dennis' relationship. At the start of the season, the pair's engagement was off after allegations of infidelity surfaced. They've since reconciled, a journey that will play out over the course of the season. Kandi says she just aimed to be there for Porsha as a cheerleader as much as possible.
"I really wanted her to focus more on her and getting her groove back," she shares. "She just wasn't being her normal self, so she really wasn't getting made up. I had seen her [and] she didn't have on heels, she didn't have her makeup on. I was like, who are you? That wasn't the girl I know! The Porsha that I know is normally, you know, glam and heels and all of that. And so, my whole point to her was, do not let whatever is happening in the relationship get you down, because the bottom line is, you are a mother now, you may or may not be doing this journey as a single mom, who knows? But you still got to pull it together and get your groove back! Get your groove back! Keep your career on point."
Kandi admits this season is largely focused on the women's individual dramas, as every single cast member seemed to be going through something major this year. Kandi is currently expecting her third child, via surrogate, and balancing the launch of at least six new business ventures with her husband, Todd Tucker, including Kandi Koated Cosmetics. But, she says, don't worry. There's still lots going down with the group; Kandi says things get heated enough for the ladies to get physical "a couple times."
"I always say, they have too many drinks," Kandi quips. "Some of them start talking too much when they drink. Some of them get kind of mean when they drink and, so, I always say I'm glad I don't drink, 'cause if this is what's going down when you're drinking, oh…"
"But the girls and their drama is so funny," she adds. "It's, like, new drama, new drama! It's not the old stuff being rehashed. It's new stuff. And then, you're gonna get to see, people are gonna be put on blast this year. You know, I love when people tell lies, or little fibs, and then they go back and play the footage on them. Oh, that's gonna happen multiple times this year!"
Kandi also promises that "friends of" the cast Marlo Hampton and Tanya Sam are just as much in the mix as the full-time 'Wives. In fact, Kandi admits she's not sure why Marlo isn't holding a peach at this point!
"She has a lot happening in her life right now, which we will still see it," she teases. "And I think it's gonna be good TV."
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo. Watch the video above for more with Kandi, including her reaction to NeNe telling ET she's never gotten physical on the show.
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NeNe Leakes on Kenya Moore's 'RHOA' Return and Her Own Future With the Show (Exclusive)
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