NeNe Leakes Says She'd Return to 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' to Handle Some 'Unfinished Business'
By Mekishana Pierre
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NeNe Leakes is giving fans some hope that she'll return to TheReal Housewives of Atlanta one day! During an appearance on The Real, the 53-year-old reality star was asked about possibly rejoining the cast of the Bravo series after leaving over a year ago. Leakes said she'd be "happy" to return, but with some conditions.
"I'm OK with returning to the show as long as, you know, we can work through a few things," she answered. "I'm happy to return to the show and besides, I have a lot of unfinished business with a couple of them they confirmed on the show."
When co-host Loni Love asked Leakes what it would take to get her back on the show, she responded that she would need to have a conversation with RHOA executive producer Andy Cohen before she made any moves.
"I think Andy and I were really close for a really, really long time and I love Benny Boo, and I helped pay for his baby shower and all those things," Leakes shared. "I think that Andy and I need to have a sit-down and talk and then we’re off to the races."
Leakes shook the Housewives franchise when she announced her departure from Atlanta back in September 2020. She explained her exit 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."
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.
It wouldn't be the first time Leakes returned after a brief stint away from the series. The star is an original RHOA cast member, but she's stepped away from the show 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 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."
Whatever happened in the past, it's clear that Leakes has gotten on better terms with her former co-stars recently. In September, she reunited with friends and co-stars at an event honoring her late husband, Gregg Leakes. The celebration of life was held at her Linnethia Lounge in Atlanta, Georgia, with past and present RHOA stars spotted, including Lisa Wu, Phaedra Parks, Marlo Hampton, Porsha Williams and Eva Marcille. Kenya Moore was also in attendance, despite her and NeNe's longstanding beef from RHOA.
Moore opened up to ET about the touching service and why despite in-fighting among the cast, it was a "no-brainer" for her to attend.
"I was there to support. Gregg never, ever treated me any differently whether I was feuding with NeNe or not. And for that, I respected him so much, and he was just a kind, gentle, caring, supportive man, and she was really lucky to have him," Moore shared with ET. "Honestly, he is one of the nicest men I ever met in my life. To be there was a no-brainer."