Real Housewives Of Atlanta Alum NeNe Leakes On Whether She’d Return To The Show

screenshot nene
(Image credit: Bravo)

The legendary eye-rolling, shade-throwing NeNe Leakes left The Real Housewives of Atlanta back in 2020. She vaguely cited ­“tiring” negotiations with Bravo at the time as her reason for leaving, but many fans speculated it was really because her relationships with the rest of the cast were surface at best and nonexistent at worst. Yet things are dramatically changing in the massive franchise these days and, as a result, Leakes has given an update on whether she would (once again) return to the show that brought her notoriety.

To be clear, a potential return for the star likely won’t be happening for the upcoming Season 14 of the whow. With Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey calling it quits after 10 years, alum Sheree Whitfield and newcomer ­Sanya Richards-Ross have already been brought in to even out the cast of regulars (Kandi Buruss, Kenya Moore, Drew Sidora, and Marlo Hampton). But as for Season 15? The reality TV star said on The Real:

I'm OK with returning to the show as long as, you know, we can work through a few things. I'm happy to return to the show, and besides, I have a lot of unfinished business with a couple of them that they confirmed on the show.

Let's do a process of elimination here. Technically, she's been good friends with Marlo Hampton, for the most part, so her “unfinished business” won't be with her. Likewise, in NeNe Leakes’ last season, she patched up things somewhat with Kandi Buruss. So that really only leaves Sheree Whitfield and Kenya Moore for Leakes to work things out with potentially in the future. Given her infamous feud with Moore over the years, it's probable that tempers would only reignite again with a Leakes return. (Which obviously, Bravo and fans would surely love.)

Lately, the media personality has been stirring the proverbial Real Housewives pot in the Atlanta offseason. Her husband, Gregg Leakes, unfortunately passed away in September after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. Not long after, however, NeNe called out alum Cynthia Bailey for not attending the memorial and also criticized other franchise alums for evidently pulling together to send only one bouquet of flowers. Despite that ongoing drama, NeNe apparently thinks all that really needs doing in the interim is to kiss the royal Andy Cohen ring. She said:

I think Andy [Cohen] and I were really close for a really, really long time, and I love Benny Boo, and I helped pay for his baby shower and all those things. I think that Andy and I need to have a sit-down and talk and then we’re off to the races.

The opportunity for old and new faces to mix things up is happening across the Bravo franchise. Real Housewives of Orange County's upcoming season is bringing back notorious alum Heather Dubrow. Meanwhile, New York is believed to be dropping a few fan-favorites next year, and Beverly Hills could potentially lose both Kyle Richards and Erika Jayne. On top of it all, the franchise is adding another location to the canon – Dubai – and Ladies of London star Caroline Stansbury is headlining.

It might just be a new era of the Real Housewives we're slowly inching into. And if so, it would curious to see whether NeNe Leakes’ old antics can meet the moment.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

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