New details continue to leak from the bombshell lawsuit filed against Bravo by Real Housewives of Atlanta alum, NeNe Leakes.
NeNe’s explosive lawsuit takes aim at Bravo, RHOA producers, and Andy Cohen, accusing the defendants of ignoring her complaints against former castmate, Kim Zolciak-Biermann. NeNe claimed that she was ignored by the network and producers after speaking out about her co-star’s alleged racist comments, per the complaint obtained by Radar Online.
NeNe was an original cast member on the long-running Bravo show, which premiered in 2008. NeNe’s last appearance on the series was in 2020.
The suit alleged that the reality star was lied to about the dress protocol for the Season 12 reunion and was “told to wear a darker color when the entire rest of the housewives appeared on the reunion show wearing white”
“She stopped mid-show and changed to a white outfit to match her fellow housewives,” the suit stated.
NeNe also accused the network of inviting Yovanna Momplaisir to the reunion, against her wishes. NeNe explained that she requested that the “friend” of the cast not be allowed to participate due to the pair’s ongoing conflict.
NeNe ended her time at the reunion early, after she was reportedly attacked by other cast members.
NeNe claimed that Shari Levine, Bravo’s Executive VP of Production, called her after the disjointed reunion appearance. NeNe’s lawyer stated in the lawsuit that Levine told NeNe that she would have to sit out Season 13.
“I want you to sit out for Season 13. You can come back on Season 14,” the network exec supposedly said.
NeNe said that the comment shocked her because Andy Cohen had previously referred to the Georgia franchise as “the house that NeNe built.”
NeNe explained that when she pressed for an explanation there was “no answer that made any sense.” Levine later cited her reunion walk-off as the reason for the decision.
The suit stated—“But this happens with some level of frequency, and the housewife is not typically banished. This excuse smacked more differential treatment. Other (white) housewives have walked off reunion sets only to either return the next year or, alternatively, receive their own spin-off show. The call ended without any agreement or mutual understanding.”
NeNe explained that Levine called a second time and confirmed that she would not be invited back for Season 13. She revealed that she was offered a development deal on a show focused on her Duluth, Georgia club, the Linnethia Lounge.
“This development deal came with a paltry one hundred- and fifty-thousand-dollar ($150,000) offer,” NeNe claimed.
The former Bravo star added that she asked the network to “give her a sendoff that was appropriate in light of her years of service.” She said that Levine “played dumb,” like the “creative side of the network could not figure out how to do this.”
NeNe was eventually offered a six-episode deal for Season 13.
NeNe’s attorney wrote—“they still offered no legitimate explanation for why. Indeed, the varied explanations shifted with time. Initially, Mrs. Leakes was told that she needed to sit the season out because she had walked off the reunion show.”
“Later during negotiations, the executives suggested part of why they wanted her to sit out was because of an ill-conceived comment Mrs. Leakes made to a heckler at a comedy show she was performing at. This was just another instance of dredging up stale excuses: these events occurred back in October 2017,” the suit read.
NeNe took to social media to put Bravo and Andy Cohen on blast after the network supposedly shut her out of a special about race, in August 2020. The network allegedly withdrew the development deal and “cut-off future negotiations for continued employment on RHOA or otherwise.”
NeNe claimed that another executive told her, via a phone call—“NeNe, I thought we could work this out but you called Andy a racist.”
The lawsuit reads—“NBC, Bravo, and True have an unwritten rule: do not accuse us of race-based misconduct. And, certainly, do not accuse Cohen of it – even if he participated in, fostered, and turned a blind eye for years to it. Once Mrs. Leakes did that, her fate was sealed and her career with NBC, Bravo, and True was over. It was just a matter of time.”
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Sundays at 8 pm, ET, on Bravo.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.