I immediately thought it was odd when NeNe Leakes announced her departure from Real Housewives Of Atlanta. Namely because she’s already been spotted filming for season 8, and because love her or hate her, NeNe anchors the cast which celebrates its 100th episode this coming season. And NeNe is the only Housewife who has survived RHOA from its first season.
Another red flag was that none of NeNe’s fellow Housewives spoke out on her leaving – not even a certain Miss WHO-S-A, yet Andy Cohen immediately tweeted about it. Something he hasn’t done in the past when a Housewife leaves or is fired.
Just as I suspected, it seems NeNe’s well-publicized departure may be a PR stunt to prove to Bravo how necessary she is to RHOA to prompt a big ole’ pay bump!
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Well-placed sources disclose that NeNe is still in talks with the network, and will definitely appear on the upcoming season – although they’re negotiating her salary and just how much of a role NeNe will play. Season 8 has confirmed Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, and Phaedra Parks. Reports say that Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey are filming they have not received official Housewives status, and at least one lady is Kim Fields. So where does that leave NeNe?
According to TMZ, producers are “still angling” to have NeNe “appear periodically during the season.” Andy Cohen already verified NeNe’s departure, but assured she’s welcome back at any time! NeNe will remain on Bravo in a spinoff with Kim Zolciak.
While NeNe is definitely branching out to expand her presence in Hollywood and pursuing other ventures, she’s been a staple on RHOA but after a particularly rough season last year her affections towards her homebase definitely seemed soured.
It’s been confirmed that NeNe has already committed to a primetime network sitcom with a big star, which will have her going back and forth between LA and Atlanta, and the potentially “crushing workload” of juggling the reality show and her sitcom is the number one thing preventing her from remaining a part of RHOA. So, NeNe wants Bravo to give her a huge pay bump to make the stress worth her while. As for NeNe bemoaning negativity on RHOA, sources say it’s all about the coins. And NeNe Leakes is a very rich bitch who wants to become richer!
If Bravo meets NeNe’s salary demands she’ll agree to return part-time as a ‘Friend’ of the Housewives – if she can coordinate it with filming her sitcom. And Bravo is “absolutely interested” in negotiating with NeNe. The two sides are said to begin those negotiations soon.
So how much does NeNe want to remain a part of RHOA? Millions, allegedly! NeNe reportedly earned $1.2 million dollars (plus bonuses) last season, but she wants to more than double her salary for season 8.
Blind Gossip reports that a certain TV star has been “all over social media making a big deal out of leaving her show” but it’s simply a tactic to get the network to recognize her worth and pay accordingly. The unnamed reality star is currently discussing her options with producers and is requesting $3 million for her return, but they’re only offering $2 million!
The Blind elaborates that this certain star isn’t as rich as she pretends to be, and although she nabbed a sitcom, nothing in Hollywood is ever set in stone (and salaries for a pilot or first season are not high ). Furthermore, the nameless star has big ego and loves the attention she receives from fans as a result of her reality TV show.
In the meantime, NeNe is doing whatever she can to prove she’s worthy of the high dollar she’s demanding! “I don’t know if the show will survive without me,” NeNe confided to People. “I hope so. … It will just have a little bit of a different tone without me there, for sure.” *MAJOR EYE ROLL*
For NeNe the most worrisome thing about leaving RHOA is disappointing the viewers. “The fans are going to gag!” she laughs. “I definitely don’t want to let them down.”
However, NeNe feels “very free” since leaving the demands of RHOA. “I can breathe a little and do some things that I’ve wanted to do,” she explains. NeNe is currently working on a secret business deal with Kim Kardashian (her own app??) and is opening a clothing boutique. And, of course, she’s enjoying the new $2 million-dollar dream home!
As for how Bravo is taking the news, NeNe insists there is no bad blood (of course not – because they want to stay cozy with one of their biggest stars!). “Everything’s just fine between me, the show and everyone at Bravo,” NeNe assures. She also hints that she may stop by “to play with those girls,” sometime this season.
Well, I personally always believed she’d be back in some capacity, but thought Bravo would quietly reach a contract agreement and then have NeNe stage a ‘Surprise bitches – I’m back!’ as the season was premiering to drum-up hype. Especially if NeNe is going to star on a major network show, that brings a ton of attention for RHOA. Furthermore, NeNe did not want to work with Claudia Jordan, who was fired!
Don’t count out the Neenster!
TELL US – IS NENE JUST FRONTING TO GET A HIGHER PAYCHECK? DO YOU THINK SHE’LL RETURN AS A ‘FRIEND’?
Photo Credit: Bravo TV