NeNe Leakes has made it official — she’s not returning to Real Housewives of Atlanta for its upcoming 13th season.
“I have been on an extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation,” Leakes said in a video she shared to YouTube. “There’s been a lot of emotions going on both sides. It’s been hard and I’ve made the hard and difficult decision to not be part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13.”
Leakes fought back tears as she reflected back on her time as a Peach, which began in 2008. While she explicitly states that she won’t be part of season 13, it is unclear if she’ll return to RHOA at all.
“I’m just so happy that I can say that I was part of a genre that opened up a door for Black ensemble reality shows. I want to thank everybody that has looked up to me over the years. I want to thank Bravo for all the memories. Thank you to the cast for all of the memories.”
Her choice to not be part of the upcoming season was met with sadness from fans including Bravo’s Andy Cohen who called Leakes, “an icon of the genre” and a “gif and catchphrase machine.”
” In 11 years of #WWHL, Nene has been our most frequent guest, and she is always A BLAST,” Cohen wrote on Instagram. “Nene nicknamed me “Buttercup” the first day we met, and still calls me that today. Through her whole run, she has always had a serious concern and drive to maintain the success and well-being of #RHOA. I am going to miss Nene on the show, but I’m hoping we work together again soon and will remain in each other’s orbits forever. XO, Buttercup.”
NeNe’s RHOA history is one for the books, from her friendship and falling out with Kim Zolciak-Biermann to her rivalry with Kenya Moore and all of her infamous quotables.
Bravo in a statement to TMZ wishes NeNe all the best in her future endeavors.