Real Housewives Of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore On Shedding Her Role As The Show’s ‘Villain’ In Season 14

screenshot of Kenya Moore on The Real Houewives of Atlanta
(Image credit: Bravo)

Season 14 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is on the horizon, but it’s not going to be the same show as before. Longtime alums Cynthia Bailey and Porsha Williams announced they were quitting to pursue other projects, so the Bravo network in turn had to do some serious recruiting. The biggest difference, though, might surprise some fans. Namely, Kenya Moore is proclaiming far and wide how she’s shedding her role as the show’s “villain.” But do we believe her?

Due to the other sudden departures, the 51-year-old is now the second-longest reigning OG of the Atlanta-based reality series, after Kandi Burruss. And in that time, she has garnered quite the reputation for not being well-liked by her co-stars. Kenya Moore was even seen losing her one and only solid friendship with Cynthia Bailey during their stints on the first season of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip last year. Yet Moore told Entertainment Tonight that she turned a new leaf for Season 14, saying:

I'm the Kenya that I was always meant to be this season. It's so funny because I think that I got pegged into this villain role and now it's like, girl, just let someone else have that baton. Here, pass the scepter on. Honey, it's over for you! I just think I'm back to reclaiming who I was always meant to be on this show. Lighthearted, fun, sassy -- I will still tell a bitch off, but I do it with such dignity and grace.

It might seem contradictory to some – to not be a villain but still “tell a bitch off.” But then, they must not know Real Housewives of Atlanta, where castmates have literally made shade-throwing a sport. However, we’ll probably have to take what the star says with a grain of salt anyway, given all the drama going on in the Season 14 trailer. Her co-star, Drew Sidora, previously hinted that amid her return, things got “spicy,” but who knew that entailed cheating speculation and having to be held back by security?

The real villain won’t necessarily be the one in the midst of the fighting – but the one holding the ladle and stirring the pot. Technically, Kenya Moore has been known to partake in both. Her “scepter” reference in fact harkens back to the notorious Season 6 reunion (where the use of several of her “props” in a discussion with Porsha Williams led to Williams literally dragging her to the floor). However, she doubled down that she’s changing the perception about herself in the new season. The RHOA star later told the outlet:

I think that I was just pegged into that villain role really early, and I just was never able to get out of that. I sort of, in my own way, leaned into it and then it was just like, 'OK, this is old, because now this really isn't who I am and I hate that I'm even perceived that way.'

Perhaps Kenya Moore’s other reference to handing off the “baton” is actually a hint about the new antagonist of the show. Sanya Richards-Ross is the latest addition to The Real Housewives of Atlanta lineup, and she just so happens to be a four-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field. But alum Sheree Whitfield has also returned to the fold after all following a three-season absence, and Marlo Hampton has finally been upgraded to a main cast member. So really, it’s anyone’s guess who picked up what Moore supposedly put down for good.

My bet is that Kenya Moore isn’t quite as done with poking bears as she’s letting on. Although, wilder things (such as that controversial engagement to a co-star’s ex-husband…) have happened over the last year. Find out what happens when Season 14 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres on May 1 at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo as part of the 2022 TV schedule!

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

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