NeNe Leakes Recalls the Last Time She Spoke to Wendy Williams After Their Friendship Ended

In an interview with Carlos King, the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' alum shares where her friendship with Wendy Williams took a turn.

NeNe Leakes is opening up about her former friendship with Wendy Williams and sharing where things took a turn for the worst.

During an appearance on Carlos King's Reality with The King podcast released on Tuesday, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star shares that she would be "very confused" when the 59-year-old former talk show host would call her out on her now-canceled series, The Wendy Willams Show.

"There [are] many times that I would call Wendy, but you also have to know that I was one of her friends that was on the inside, so I saw a lot of things and I would take it with a grain of salt where other people would take it personal," she explains. "So Wendy saying that, I knew then something's going on with Wendy at that moment because she wouldn't say that in the other case. So my friendship with Wendy was off and on a lot. I would have to say that I liked her a lot and when she was fun, she was really fun. I enjoyed going to New York, being with Wendy, going out and having drinks with her, going to her beautiful place that she had..."

The 55-year-old reality star shares that she felt like she witnessed Williams "switch on me right on the same day."

"I don't know what happened but [she would] change and be something else or do something else," Leakes recalls. "Every time it would be like, we're having a great time and then suddenly, I'd turn on the TV and she would be saying something about me. I would be like, 'We were just having a damn good time, how did we get here?'"

In September 2020, Williams publicly criticized Leakes both on her show and on an episode of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. The former talk show host stated that she didn't know what Leakes would do for money after her RHOA exit, adding that she hasn't established herself as a "a legitimate multimillion-dollar situation" like Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel. While Williams said, "NeNe likes attention, dramatic attention" and could see her returning to the Bravo show, she also said that she just can't see another show working out for Leakes, calling her "boring."

Leakes later hit back in a YouTube video and declared they were no longer friends.

"Wendy, for you: Spend more of your time trying to figure out how you can drain your enormously large legs and feet, OK?" she said. "As opposed to worrying about my family and what we are doing."

The next month, Leakes told ET that Williams talks about her "every week."

"I mean, I don't know why that wouldn't upset anyone else," she said. "I guess maybe I'm different. But she talks about me every week on her show, or every month on her show, and then she went away and went on hiatus while we were in this pandemic. She came back and since I announced my exit, she's talked about me on three different occasions. I mean, and she's only been back I think a week, maybe two weeks."

Leakes said she no longer considered Williams a friend because of her actions.

"I don't know why she or anyone else thinks that it is OK to go on to your national television show and bash a person over and over and over again," she said. "Now, maybe I'm a hot topic, but every single week, or every month, you need to be very negative towards me. That does not feel good over here. I am human. And I deserve more and better than that. It's not right to do that to somebody every single week. You wouldn't want that done to you. It feels like I am being devalued by two people [Cohen and Williams] who seem to be intimidated and that's not right."

Speaking with King on his show, Leakes claims that while she would attempt to reason that Williams was simply trying to make good TV, she warned the former host about turning on her friends. 

"I would always say to her, 'Wendy, you have to have at least like two friends that you're gonna be friends and you're not gonna go in on them,'" she shares. "'You can talk about everybody else but these two friends right here!' But it would never be me. I honestly felt like Wendy was in a place where she didn't care about any of her friends anymore and she would just say whatever she had to say. I hated that because I really liked her as a person. No matter what was going on with her show."

Leakes reveals that "it's been awhile" since she spoke with the host, sharing that Williams last reached out to her around the same time that she stepped down from hosting her long-running syndicated talk show and a number of guest hosts, including Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Leah Remini, Michael Rapaport and Sherri Shepherd, stepped in to talk "Hot Topics" and interview celebrity guests.

The Wendy Williams Show ultimately came to an end in June 2022 after 13 successful years in syndication. In June, Williams' manager, Will Selby, confirmed with ET that she is currently in a wellness facility, where she is receiving treatment after her rep, Shawn Zanotti, previously refuted claims that the former host had been hospitalized.

"I feel like she was trying to resolve whatever...trying to apologize. At that moment, I didn't even want to hear it," Leakes muses.

Leakes also addresses the rumor that Williams led to her losing out on a talk show hosting gig with Debmar-Mercury after a back-and-forth in 2014 over a Birkin bag trend. 

She explains that she had a deal with the production company -- which produced The Wendy Williams Show -- which was also in talks with Tom Arnold to co-host. Leakes recalls that the public argument began after she jumped on the growing trend to "deface" Birkin purses, and one of the graffitied phrases was seemingly a shot fired at Williams.

Leakes says that Williams responded by making a shot that she couldn’t afford to deface such an expensive item, and after "it went super left," Debmar-Mercury allegedly pulled her deal.

In a previous installment of Leakes' conversation with King, the reality star spoke out about the arrest of her son, Bryson Bryant. 

"I spoke to him on the phone. I think he's doing OK," Leakes said of the 33-year-old, whom she shares with her ex, Calvin Bryant. "He needs rehabilitation, he needs a lot of counseling. Like many families out there, I have family members that are struggling with drugs and certain addictions."

Leakes said Bryson has been struggling with addiction for years and has been to rehab in the past.

"He has an addiction. He's been struggling with it for years," she explained. "He's been in rehab a couple times, and he still has come back out and relapsed."

She added, "As a mom, just to watch it, my hands are tied... He's an adult. He has three children. Three beautiful children who I adore. He has a wife. It's not much that I can do."

While she's tried to get Bryson help in the past, she said that, like anyone struggling with an addiction, they have to be ready to receive that help in order to get clean.

"They have to simply be ready. I've spent so much money on trying to get Bryson where he needs to be, but every time I've sent him off, it's because I've said, 'You are getting your a** up and we are sending you off.' But, I've learned through counseling myself, that he has to say, 'I'm ready to go,'" Leakes explained. "Not me making him go. So, until Bryson is ready to make a change, there's nothing I can do."

She continued, "As a mother, I will never wash my hands of my child, right? But I'm kinda numb to it, because it's been happening for so many years." 

Bryson has also been offered help by former NBA star Lamar Odom, whom Leakes said called her following the news. "Lamar Odom also called me and said that he would grab Bryce right away and send him to his place," she shared. "He has a rehabilitation place somewhere."

Bryson has faced legal trouble before, People reports, having previously been arrested for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. Per the outlet, he was also accused of stealing razors and planning to print counterfeit checks.