Nene Leakes disclosed during a sitdown interview with Tamar Braxton on Tamar’s “Under Construction” podcast that one of the main reasons for her ultimately leaving “Real Housewives of Atlanta” besides negotiations was the behind-the-scenes drama that occurred with production and cast members. The podcast initially aired on Jan. 12.
NeNe began explaining at the 33:00 mark that because the perception of reality TV brought in more viewers and money than actual reality, production would sometimes influence guided drama even though it wasn’t warranted.
“Because reality TV is better than reality. Cause you know, reality TV is a little twisted. That makes more money. That is the truth, it makes more money. Listen, it took me years to figure out why all these girls were coming after me every season — we would’ve squashed something in the background — why some of my friendships were falling apart. It took me years.”
She added, “I was blaming a lot of people, and it took me years to figure out who the real devil was. When I figured it out though it really crushed me. It really hurt my heart really bad. I was really, really hurt over it. And I was like ‘wow.’ It felt to me like American greed or something. Greedy, just greedy. They will never stop. That’s what happens. It’s sad. It’s a lot and it’s a lot to deal with. So much.”
When Tamar queried the 53-year-old about the side effects of being a reality star, Nene said that when she first started in show business she did everything from scripted television and competition shows to Broadway. She also pointed out that all fame eventually fades.
“The flip side of that is, it’s going to come to an end. Either it’s going to come to an end or you level off.”
The former “RHOA” star went on to describe the power she says corporations maintain over people in her industry.
“The other thing is, you could still be going just as hard as you were when you first came out, but that corporate devil is sitting right there. It’s a corporate devil that people don’t know is controlling a lot of your career.”
She continued, “Corporate devil is a beast. … It’s a lot that happens behind the scenes that people just don’t know about.”
NeNe announced her departure from the hit Bravo franchise last September and claimed failed contract talks led to her departure. Months later, the “RHOA” OG asked fans to boycott the network for unfair treatment toward their minority talent and accused the company of racial discrimination.
Despite being deemed the “Queen of Reality TV,” the entrepreneur discussed the most significant regret when filming “RHOA,” her divorce from her now-husband, Gregg Leakes. The couple were initially married from 1997-2010 and got divorced in 2011. They remarried in 2013.
“One of the things I tell people that I regret, and this is really real, I regret that Gregg and I divorced on television the way we handled it on the TV.”
Although she talked to Gregg previously about separating, the 65-year-old wasn’t listening and wanted a clear break from their then-failing relationship.
“I had given Gregg a lot of conversation about ‘Let’s separate first before divorcing.’ He wasn’t here for that. He was just like ‘It’s all or nothing’ kind of a thing.’”
NeNe added the couple went through the divorce process because her husband didn’t give her space to “think” or process what happened in their relationship. She regrets that her son can go back and view those unpleasant moments.
“I just regret it because my child now can go back and look at it. He is of age now where he can understand it better. I just wish we handled it better.”