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Real Housewives Of Atlanta Alum Cynthia Bailey Responds To NeNe Leakes' Shade About Not Attending Gregg's Memorial

screenshot cynthia and nene rhoa
(Image credit: Bravo)

NeNe Leakes officially left The Real Housewives of Atlanta in ­2020. But when her husband Gregg Leakes tragically passed away from colon cancer in September, her former co-stars showed up for her in remembrance and support at his “celebration of life” party. Or, at least some of them did. Leakes made comments recently (perhaps even shadily) that alum Cynthia Bailey did not attend the memorial that day. Now, Bailey is responding with her own perspective of the situation.

First, let's rewind. Specifically, while on the V-103 radio station (via The Neighborhood Talk) NeNe Leakes said that her former co-star “didn't even come to the repast” but visited “after everything was done” and suggested it was because the franchise is a “dysfunctional family.” The star's comments seemed to indicate that she thought Bailey could have made more of an effort. However, Bailey defended her absence from the memorial on E!'s Daily Pop, saying:

I was honestly surprised…Let me just say this first, I know that Nene is still mourning the loss of her husband, and you can’t tell people how to mourn. However, I do think that speaking for myself, I came with the best intentions. I was not able to make it to Gregg’s celebration, but it was my mission in life to make sure I connected with Nene once I went back to Atlanta, and I did.

The reality TV star not meeting shade with shade is her usual M.O. News of her exit from RHOA and its world of drama dropped just a few weeks ago, and it was never a secret that she and fellow Housewives alum relationship floundered on the show. Cynthia Bailey in fact confirmed point-blank that the two of them are “not friends any longer.” But she explained why she was still taken aback by the comments:

The reason why I think I was so surprised is because when we did connect, it was even better even if I had gone to the celebration because I got to spend some real-time with her one-on-one. We laughed, we drank, we smoked hookah, we danced. I was like this was the way it was supposed to be because I felt like I reconnected with my old friend on just a respectful level.

Along with calling out Cynthia Bailey, NeNe Leakes also seemingly threw shade at many other Real Housewives stars at the same time. Apparently, a group of alums went in on a bouquet of flowers to send after her husband's death, which she considered cheap of them. Now, Leakes has never been one to filter her thoughts, but RHOA alum Claudia Jordan shared on Fox Soul (via The Shade Room) that it was “tacky” to question the nice gesture. She continued:

The things you have said about other people – you are lucky that anyone even showed up for you, actually. And the fact that people rallied around you, I thought was a beautiful moment, so let's not ruin it. Let's just build on that moment and move forward.

Obviously, NeNe Leakes still has a knack for drama – even if it’s not for the direct benefit of Bravo anymore. But nevertheless, the Real Housewives of Atlanta is moving on next season with some other women to fill out the cast, as she and Cynthia Bailey forge new paths for themselves.

Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.