Nene Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is sounding off on the second season drama of her show. Nene has seen her popularity decline this season amidst her behavior on the show, which shows her as bullying others and having an over-sized ego. In her interview with Essence, Nene talks about the meeting with her alleged father, why she and Kandi’s relationship turned sour and her relationship with the other Atlanta housewives.
ESSENCE.COM: So, Miss Nene, you finally met your alleged father, whose reception didn’t appear that warm. Have you two remained in touch?
NENE: It was warm enough because we are strangers. I wouldn’t expect him to hug me. He was very nervous with the cameras around. It took the producers about an hour to convince him to sign the release forms. I was hoping and praying that he didn’t, but I guess after they talked to him for so long he finally gave in and that’s why he wouldn’t allow us in the house. Had it just been me and my uncle he would have. I haven’t seen him since then, but I’ve spoken to him. And I still haven’t taken a paternity test but I believe he’s my father. At some point I can do a DNA test but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to know the truth. I just needed to meet him and have some closure.
ESSENCE.COM: Understood. Let’s switch gears a bit. Since the sudden death of Kandi’s fiancé AJ, are the “Housewives” closer?
NENE: No, not really. Nobody has seen each other. I’ve talked to Sheree and Lisa and saw everyone at the funeral. We put our differences aside to be at the funeral so we could be there for Kandi because we aren’t that bitter. As far as us being friends, we won’t ever be friends. I’ve known Sheree the longest; I still talk to Lisa, but our relationships are what they are. Honestly, I think if we hadn’t been on this we wouldn’t be this bitter with one another, and it’s definitely made it a lot worse.
ESSENCE.COM: Do you think you ever gave Kandi a fair chance?
NENE: I feel like i did. On my behalf, I didn’t reach out to her when she first joined the cast to welcome her because that’s just not me. I wasn’t looking for anything; I figured like, if we get along we do and if we don’t, it is what it is. The first time Kandi and I met was never shown on the show. We had a couples’ night out where we went salsa dancing and had dinner with me and my husband, Lisa and Ed [Hartwell] and then Kandi and A.J. We had fun, but the viewers never got to see us having a good time.
Above is a preview of what is to come. Kim Zolciak talks about the role of Big Poppa aka Lee Najjar in the life of her, and her kids. After doing many interviews during which she claimed she would never get back together with Big Poppa, it appears the two of them are once again back at it.
Perhaps things will be different this time as Big Poppa has put his home on the market. This is the same home he was sharing with his wife and kids.
Other hot topics to come in the reunion include a viewer question to Sheree Whitfield, asking her whether she is a lesbian. Andy also confronts Nene Leakes on her stripper past.
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOU THOUGHTS ON PART 1 OF THE REUNION EPISODE?
In a recent interview with Essence, Sheree reveals her plans to relocate, talks about her fashion line, and whether she’d be back for the third season.
Below are excerpts from Sheree’s new interview:
ESSENCE.COM: Congrats on your first fashion show in New York. What did you take away from the experience? SHEREE WHITFIELD: It was amazing. It was my way to test my line in the New York market, the world’s fashion capital. I got a lot of positive feedback and support from the fashion industry. You really have to be hands on. I feel like I need to move to New York to really be there. I tried here in Atlanta and it really did not work and it went well in New York, but I had to go back and forth a lot. I love it in New York and would love to live there and still keep a place in Atlanta when I want to slow down.
ESSENCE.COM: Back in Atlanta you had a little help from Dwight with your other show. SHEREE WHITFIELD: Working with Dwight was okay, but it came off like he did a lot more than he did. He came in on the last week and had some great ideas, but I also had some people in from New York working on it already. We pulled it off and it was awesome. I saw what he was saying in the confessional and was like, “Wow, you didn’t do this by yourself, honey.”
ESSENCE.COM: During your appearance on “Ellen,” you and Kim went at it. Any chance you’ll mend your friendship? SHEREE WHITFIELD: That piece of trash! Kim loves attention. TV made me and Kim’s relationship seem different than it was. She and I were never friends. I don’t believe in messing with married men. If she can do that to someone else, she’s no one that I would ever really hang out with. She’s on TV and doesn’t feel bad messing with a married man. How dumb can you be? Those vows are sacred.
A new report has sources close to the series revealing that Sheree might be getting the boot because she has become too boring and drama free. Really? Even more boring than Lisa Wu Hartwell?
According to the source, one of the housewives has to go to make room for new blood next season. Kandi Burruss was allegedly going to be the booted housewife until she surprised the producers by becoming the series favorite, which isn’t seating too well with former favorite Nene Leakes.
The source also claims Sheree is biting the hand that feeds her by refusing to stir up drama on the show this season because she wants to be taken seriously as a fashion designer. Umm didn’t Sheree stir up some major wig yanking drama early on?
Not sure how accurate this story is. I suspect Lisa will be the housewife to go if they decide to get rid of someone. She’s been very boring to watch this season, and has been the most drama free which is a major no-no for being a Bravo housewife.
Tell Us – Which Atlanta Housewife Would Get The Boot If The Choice Was Up To You?
Lisa gives her opinion of each of her fellow Atlanta housewives, during which she refers to Kim Zolciak as “Crazy with a capital C.”
When asked about her thoughts on Sheree Whitfield, Lisa uses the words “High maintenance, motivated, and not genuine,” to describe her. She goes to to refer to Kandi as being “cool, down to earth, and talented.”
When asked if Nene Leakes was genuine, Lisa says — “I guess to some people, yes.” Interesting answer from Lisa.
Lisa wraps up her interview by predicting the reunion show will be crazy. “This reunion is going to be crazy. I can’t wait to see the numbers. I want to know how many people,” says Lisa. “I know it’s going to supersede everyone’s expectations. I do.”
The two-part reunion is still set to air on October 29 and November 5.
ESSENCE.COM: Since you stopped by the ESSENCE office in August, how have you been keeping busy?
LISA WU HARTWELL: Believe it or not, I’ve been speaking at churches and colleges. It all started at Pastor Jamal Bryant’s church for his empowerment seminar. I was invited to speak, and when I did I backed everything up with scripture. A lot of people were shocked that I knew the Word, but that’s a side of me folks don’t get to see on the show and that’s my spiritual side. I was saved when I was 19 and very into the church. After I spoke there were other bishops there and they invited me to come speak at their churches. It’s funny how everything comes back full circle.
ESSENCE.COM: Who knew? Would you describe yourself as an overzealous Christian?
HARTWELL: Yes, I was a fanatic. If I was in someone’s car and hip-hop was playing I would turn their music off, or I refused to be around certain people, which was wrong because those are usually the ones that need to hear the Word the most. My brothers used to hate to see me coming and called me a holy roller. I was really into church, but I started to backslide a bit, but I’ve always had morals and integrity. Now, I don’t claim to be holier and thou because I’ve learned to find the balance. It’s just funny how God has a sense of humor and makes sure to always bring you back to him without you even realizing it, so I’ve been enjoying speaking at churches.
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Nene talks about her goal to have a talk show, her relationship with the ladies of Atlanta housewives and what she thinks about the song “Tardy for the Party.”
Below are excerpts from the interview-
What’s your relationship with Kim and Sheree like these days?
We’re just associates. I feel we have a business relationship. However, Sheree and I have known each other the longest and we’ve found a way to respect one another. And Kim and I just haven’t found that yet. And if Kim and I weren’t on the show together, we probably would never talk. But we’re on the show, so we have to talk and we have to be cordial, so we’re cordial. But I’m not friends with any of these girls. They’re my associates, and I don’t think that the word “associate” is a bad word. Some people don’t even get to be my associate, so they’re in a very good position.
So you’re not friends with anyone in the cast?
Down the road with some time, Lisa and I could possibly be friends. I don’t really know Kandi at all but I won’t close the door on that. I’m just saying I don’t know her because she’s new to the show. We didn’t get a chance to really get to know each other. She came into our relationship. I feel like I’m the HBIC [head b– in charge] if you know what that is.