Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes is dishing about her return to the seventh season of the show. NeNe talks about her relationships with her cast mates including Marlo Hampton, Kenya Moore and Cynthia Bailey, reveals whether or not Phaedra Parks is returning to the show and speaks about Apollo Nida’s jail sentence.
“Every single season, somehow people think I’m not coming back. Somehow, I’m the only one who people ask, ‘Is she coming back or not?’ But I think that people don’t understand it’s not really our choice like that,” NeNe tells Madame Noir. “When I signed on for season 1, I signed on for a number of seasons. We’re like actors, we sign for a number of seasons and they’re either going to pick you up at the end of the season or drop you, unless you finish out your contract. So I have obligations. It’s not like I can just walk away from something like it’s just that easy, it’s really not.”
NeNe continues, “And I have to say, listen, although the show can be very negative, it truly, for me–now I know it ain’t happening for everybody because I looked and I’ve got two big ole eyes– but for me it has opened many doors of opportunity. It has been a major platform for me. It is a negative show from time to time. And it does suck from time to time but it’s also an amazing platform and it definitely opened up doors of opportunity for me.”
NeNe also reveals why she believes she has lasted this long on RHOA and others have not.
“Everybody on these shows are not smart. Everybody isn’t smart. Trust me. A lot of girls are on the show and they walk around and they’re not that smart. They’re not… that… smart. They’re not business savvy, how about that?” she says.
Some of that negativity has been the demise of her friendships with people like Marlo Hampton and Cynthia Bailey.
“I think the people who watch these shows, they don’t see everything, one,” NeNe says. “Marlo, first of all, has never been a housewife, she’s never signed on. She doesn’t have a contract. We’re all contracted. She’s just a character that just comes around to play. When we do a show like this, there will be new girls that come on these shows all the time.”
NeNe continues, “I will give you a good example: when Kenya came on the show I never met Kenya Moore a day in my life, until she came to Atlanta and they signed her to be a housewife. They obviously have to connect her with somebody. And then when the shows air, you guys watch the show and think ‘She fell out with her friend.’ It’s like girl, I’ve only known her for six months and she talked about me, she’s not my friend!”
“Same thing for Cynthia,” NeNe continues. “Not saying that Cynthia and I did not have a friendship. We actually formed a real friendship in real life. They signed Cynthia up to do this show, I never met her a day in my life. I know people said she modeled, I’m just keeping it real, I’d never seen her model, I never knew her name, I never knew anything about her. They brought her to my front door step and said ‘This is who you’re shooting with today’. It was the first time I met her a day in my life.”
“Outside of that we did form a real friendship. But people who watched “I Dream Of NeNe,” know I have real friends in my real NeNe Leakes life, who I have been friends with for 15-20 years. Some of my newer friends or my tv friendships, they showed up as bridesmaids because we are doing television and so they were there for TV,” she continues. “As far as Marlo, she’s a non-factor, really. She really, really is. Cynthia I honestly had a real friendship with her. I don’t know where all this is coming from. But it was sorted out on season 7 for all of your guys to see. But I must say I feel like I’m a great friend to everybody who’s really been a friend in my life.”
NeNe also dishes on whether or not Phaedra Parks will return to the show.
“Bravo has to make that announcement. Y’all don’t put your money on her not being back, how about that?” NeNe teases.
Lastly, Leakes weighs in on Apollo Nida’s sitation.
“I like Apollo and I really do hate that this happened,” she says. “I think Apollo is smart. And they have to little young boys… eight years is a long time. That’s a long time to give your life away. I can’t give these people seven days. I hate it happened, I really do. And I also hate that it’s public. They’re already going through something, he’s got to be going through something and she’s going through something and now the public is all in it.”
Photo Credit: Bravo