NeNe Leakes Responds to Wendy Williams' Claim That She Quit 'Real Housewives of Atlanta'

Nene Leakes and Wendy Williams
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NeNe Leakes is speaking out after reports that she's departing The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Shortly after Wendy Williams claimed that her 52-year-old reality star pal would be exiting the Bravo reality series, a representative for Leakes told ET that nothing has been decided just yet. Leakes was an original housewife on RHOA, before departing the series in 2015. She returned to the reality show full time for season 10 in 2017.

"It's been an especially difficult couple of weeks for NeNe, and she was venting to her friend in private correspondence," the rep said. "Nothing has been confirmed or officially decided for next season."

Leakes' statement comes after Tuesday's episode of The Wendy Williams Show, when the host told guest Jerry O'Connell that she received a text from Leakes that Williams claimed confirmed Leakes' departure.

"I took a break between commercials, my office is right there behind the set. And I had to go to the bathroom and so I looked at my phone between commercials. And NeNe texts, 'I’m quitting,'" Williams said. "[At] 9:08 this morning! I’m surprised I got it, because I have no service in my office, but I got it." 

As for the reason for Leakes' potential exit, Williams cited a big secret that Leakes is harboring. 

"I know something about NeNe that you all will cry, be sad, feel bad for her. She’s carrying the weight of a huge thing on her shoulders," Williams said. "... I’m not going to say it, she’s got to say it. But in my opinion, NeNe... you need this platform to explain the other part of your life."

"Forget hair pieces and arguing with them broads. You know, you’ve got that secret, and that secret is going to melt their hearts," she continued. "Because when she shared it with me, I cried with her... NeNe, you need that platform to explain. That’s all. I’m telling you. NeNe, don’t quit."

Back in November, Leakes told ET's Kevin Frazier that she didn't plan to depart the show any time soon.

"This is my baby,"she said of the series. "I feel like I birthed this baby, and I need to see it all the way through. [Though], there are times when I get frustrated with it, and I wanna give the baby up for adoption."

"After talking to my family, talking to my friends, and my team, you know, they encouraged me to go pick my baby up and rock my baby," she added. "So, Housewives is my baby. And I really do wanna see it stay around for 10, 15, 20 years if we can."

Season 12 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.


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