Earlier today, NeNe Leakes confirmed what fans had suspected for a while. She is quitting the Real Housewives of Atlanta after seven seasons and pursuing other interests.
NeNe has appeared disengaged for several seasons now. Spending less and less time engaging with the women, and more time on her own and pursuing business interests. She was also spending a lot of time fighting with the other women. This past season, for example, she spent most of her time arguing with Claudia Jordan (who got fired).
NeNe released a statement to Us Weekly, in the early hours, confirming her intention to leave the Bravo show:
“After seven seasons of being part of Real Housewives of Atlanta, I can confirm that I am not going to be returning to the show for Season 8.
I am grateful to Bravo, Andy Cohen and True Entertainment for giving me the opportunity to show the world NeNe Leakes and sometimes to show them NayNay.
Being part of RHOA has been a big part of my life but I’m excited for new the beginnings I am pursuing and embarking upon. Thank you so much to everyone who has watched and supported me over the years on this amazing platform.
With lots of thought and prayer I’ve decided to step out on faith and not fear.” [via Us Magazine]
She told PEOPLE, “This was definitely a hard decision for me. Me and my husband [Gregg Leakes] have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time. This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things.”
“I’m actually going to be doing a new primetime television show with a big legend,” she teased of her upcoming plans. “All of my fans will get to see me be really happy, witty and funny and tell all of those one liners that I always have said on Housewives.”
NeNe revealed, “I feel a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.”
She wrote on Instagram: “This is so hard for me to type! I cry as I do so! I am so Grateful for all the love and laughs! Thank you so much to everyone that has watched and supported me over the years on this amazing platform! With lots of thoughts and prayer I’ve decided to step out on faith and not fear😥 #nomoRHOA4me”.
Producer Andy Cohen reacted by tweeting about the news:
We love @NeNeLeakes & she is always welcome back to the house she helped build! She's a Real Housewife forever!!
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) June 30, 2015