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NeNe Leakes Announces Exit from ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’
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NeNe Leakes is leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She announced her departure Thursday on her YouTube channel, noting that after a lot of "emotional negotiations," she could not come to a deal with Bravo.
"There's been a lot of emotions on both sides," she shared with fans. "It's been hard and I have made a hard, difficult decision to not be part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13."
Leakes added, "It wasn't an easy decision for me. It was hard."
The reality star also reflected back on her time on RHOA. "I'm just so happy that I can say that I was part of a genre that opened up a door for Black ensemble reality shows," she said before offering up her gratitude. "I want to thank everybody that has looked up to me over the years. ...I want to thank Bravo for all the memories. ...Thank you to the cast for all of the memories."
Leakes concluded her announcement by telling her fans, "Love you guys, I'm going to miss you!"
Following Leakes' announcement, Bravo released a statement noting that the door is always open for her to return to the show. "We wish NeNe all the best in her future endeavors and thank her for sharing her journey for over a decade with the fans of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s been instrumental since the start and will truly be missed, and maybe one day she’ll hold the peach again," a spokesperson for the network said.
The news comes after the 52-year-old reality star tweeted on July 31, "I’m READY! U have tried to lessen me and make me insignificant for the last few years! That ends NOW! Wanna talk publicly or privately? #igotthedreamteam"
"Not sure where these rumors are coming from!" she told ET at the time. "If these negotiations don't work out, I will announce it myself."
Leakes is an original RHOA cast member but she's stepped away from the series before, skipping season 9 entirely. She's also had some major drama with her fellow Housewives, walking off of season's 12 virtual reunion. She told ET in May that the reunion started off with more than three hours of questioning directed solely at her.
"All they had was to focus on NeNe Leakes," she said of her co-stars. "My check need to be doubled, thank you very much. My check need to be doubled, because the rest of you girls live a false life. You're paying all these girls to sit up and talk to me all day, can I get my raise, please? Thank you very much."
She also noted that some of the other women pointed out that she wasn't in every episode of the season, yet she was still the focus of the reunion.
"I may have missed episodes, but I did not miss one check -- and they teased me [in] every episode until I showed up," she said. "So, for anybody that has anything to say about me not being in an episode, NeNe, don't forget to let them know, honey, you never missed a check and you were teased until you showed up. And if I wasn't needed, they wouldn't have had to tease me, honey."
Leakes told ET later that month that her future with RHOA was still up in the air.
"Every year I quit, every year I don't know what I'm doing," she said. "So, will I walk away? I just don't know. You have to treat me like this is the house I built. I was the first one in this house and everybody feels threatened by my presence."