Last month, former OG Nene Leakes slapped Bravo, Andy Cohen and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” show production staff with a lawsuit. The reality star alleges the show fostered a toxic work environment and ignored years of her complaints about former ‘RHOA’ cast members Kim Zolciak-Biermann. Court docs obtained by TMZ allege Zolciak-Biermann made racially offensive comments about Leakes and her co-star Kandi Burruss.
TMZ ran into Leakes at LAX Airport on Monday, May 2, where she explained the overall purpose of her lawsuit. She said, “The goals are to stop discrimination against Black women. Stop discrimination. That’s just the goal. Nobody want to go to work every day as a Black woman with blonde hair and the head of the corporation call you a white woman.”
The 54-year-old refused to answer if she was seeking any financial compensation, adding that she wanted to file this lawsuit years ago. “I felt like it was the right time a few years ago, but I was constantly being retaliated against. Being blacklisted, not able to work. Being silenced. And so you know, it was difficult to do.”
Leakes, who voluntarily left “RHOA” in 2020, told the outlet she went from working persistently to getting nothing from the show she’s been a part of since its 2008 debut.
She denied any claims about desires to get her show, saying, “That is so small. That is so ridiculous. It doesn’t make sense. We’re talking about discrimination. We’re not talking about a show. It has nothing to do with having a temper tantrum and wanting a show. I never wanted my own show.”
She said she hopes this lawsuit will put an end to the discrimination against Black women, specifically, noting that remarks about Black women with blonde hair should be unacceptable.
“A white man shouldn’t say to a black woman ‘You’re a white woman’ because you’re wearing your hair blonde as if it belongs to a certain ethnic group,” Leakes said. “It’s just more than that. It’s discrimination. Yes, I’ve been blacklisted when you haven’t worked in three years. When all of a sudden you’re working and sought after and suddenly you’re not working, it’s being blacklisted.”
Since leaving “RHOA,” Leakes has been outspoken about experiencing racial discrimination on the show, as well as from cast members. Her lawsuit claims she reported the alleged racism to executives and folks who produce the show for years, according to TMZ. Instead, she alleges the network offered Zolciak-Biermann a spinoff series.
Zolciak-Biermann’s reality series, “Don’t Be Tardy,” aired on Bravo for eight seasons before its cancellation in 2021. It was named after her 2009 song, “Tardy for The Party,” which Burruss co-wrote and produced in season two of “RHOA.” Kim spent seasons three and four disputing claims that she refused to pay the Grammy-winning singer for writing the track. However, it wasn’t until season five that Kandi filed a lawsuit against her former friend for copyright infringement. The case was ultimately dismissed due to insufficient evidence, according to The Wrap.