LeeAnne Locken isn’t threatening to kill people anymore. Well, at least for the time being.
The 52-year-old returns for the fourth season on The Real Housewives of Dallas on Wednesday night, and tells ET this year is all about growth. She’s gone from "legit threatening" people in season one (remember Marie?) to "beating the hell out of that meditation bowl" because, as she puts it, "jail’s not worth it."
"My goal has always been, every day, in every way, to be a better and better person," she says. "And, you know, whether that is a better person with other people or just a better person in just my own life, the effort is there."
"Every year you do this, you really learn more," LeeAnne shares. "You experience more, you make mistakes and you grow, you hope. And for those of us like me who, I really want to be good at what I do -- wow, season one was just, like, mistake! And then, season two was like, 'You tried but you didn't quite get there,' and then season three was like, 'OK, we got control of things, we're good.' And then, this season, I just was like, 'Here's the deal: I'm gonna be happy, and you're gonna make me happy or you're gonna go away.'"
Even so, this is Housewives. So, naturally, some people in the group are going to get on LeeAnne’s nerves. Quite possibly even her last nerve. The season kicks off with LeeAnne and one-time best friend D'Andra Simmons in a pretty dark place, with new cheating allegations being thrown around.
"I'm most excited for the audience to see the genuine struggle that is my and D'Andra's relationship," LeeAnne admits. "I was happy that it was as authentic as it was."
"I want the audience to understand both of us, to understand why sometimes things may not be easy for either one of us, you know?" she adds. "I mean, I really think, for the first time, our viewers are going to get to see the authentic relationship that I don't even know that D'Andra realizes that is our relationship, and how it existed."
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“I will tell you, our relationship is better than any roller coaster in any country -- by far,” she says.
In one moment in the season four trailer, D'Andra seemingly tells LeeAnne, "You know what, you owe me a big f**king apology and when you get on your knees and apologize to me is when I will accept you back as a friend." But LeeAnne hints that looks can be deceiving, because she says, if D'Andra did say that to her, "She would have gone over the roof, she has to know that -- like, that was a rooftop bar. No one speaks to me like that."
It seems that LeeAnne and D’Andra’s issues are rooted, largely, in communication. LeeAnne, as viewers know, is quite direct, sometimes too direct, while D'Andra, according to LeeAnne, is more calculated.
"She thinks a lot before she speaks," LeeAnne notes. "D'Andra thinks about what she wants to say and, instead of listening to what I'm saying, which is a chance to connect, she's thinking about how she’s gonna present what she's gonna say, so that we can 'connect.'"
On top of that, there are also speculation that D'Andra copied LeeAnne's style going into season four. Both ladies debut blonder hair in the premiere. LeeAnne is quick to note that she spent the first 40 years of her life as a blonde, while D'Andra has "been dark her whole life!" But, she won’t go so far as to say that D'Andra is "Single White Female-ing" her.
"Well, she’s not single," LeeAnne scoffs.
On the flipside, LeeAnne has repaired her relationship with on-off frenemy Brandi Redmond between seasons three and four. She says the two actually connected off-camera at the reunion, and decided to move forward and support each other.
"For the first time, Brandi and I got to a point where being friends was more important than anything else," she says. "We need to be to the point of respecting each other, you know? And so, it's nice! Look, Brandi is fun. When Brandi is fun, I could pee myself laughing, she’s so fun, you know? And I love being with her! I love having fun with Brandi."
Now, the same can’t be said for the new Housewife, Kary Brittingham. The Guadalajara, Mexico, native joins the group this year and, apparently, aims to shake things up almost immediately.
"Yeah, the new girl and I are not friends… or friendly," LeeAnne teases. "She believes she's an alpha, and we all know I am. So, in her mind, I think it was, come in and take the old alpha out and show me how to do things the right way and ‘the best way,’ her way. And I'm just not big on doing things other people's way."
"I think sometimes when you're new, you think you gotta come in and beat your chest," she continues. "You know, show the old lioness that the new lioness can do things better. The problem is, the old lioness has a lot of kills under her belt."
LeeAnne hints that Kary’s challenges to her dominance don’t go so well, but admits Kameron Westcott does establish herself her own sort of alpha this year.
"Did you not see in the trailer when Kam threw her napkin in Brandi's face?" LeeAnne remarks. "I'm sorry, would you have ever expected Kam to do that? I was sitting across the table going, 'S**t, the place is gonna burn down! How do I get out?' I mean, I was like, 'OK, Kam!'"
"Kam has definitely found her individual strength that she's always had, and I've always said she's had," LeeAnne shares. "You know, people have always said 'Kam is LeeAnne's puppet.' Let me tell you something -- first of all, I need a stepladder to get up to Kam's ear to whisper in it, so Kam has never been my puppet. I've never expected Kam to defend me, she's often corrected me when I was wrong."
In one moment in the trailer, Kameron warns LeeAnne that she should actually be afraid of Kameron, not the other way around.
"Listen, I love a good challenge!" LeeAnne admits. "When people are kumbaya all the time, it's a little much. I like to be challenged! I just don’t like to be attacked or bowed at … and I know the difference because, let’s face it, I’ve threatened a few people."
With that said, LeeAnne says, moving forward, she has hope for her relationships with all the women in the group. Yes, even D'Andra and Kary.
"My favorite Bible verse is Acts 2:25, 'I pitch my tent in the land of hope,'" she shares. "I'm always hopeful."