(Image credit: Bravo)
Despite hinting in 2021 that she might be up for yet another comeback return on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes apparently still has major beef with how things were run in the past. The 54-year-old filed a discrimination lawsuit in April against the reality show’s network at Bravo, other production companies involved, and even some execs like Andy Cohen. Leakes had accused them of racism on social media beforehand, and in the suit, she’s now seeking compensation for what reportedly transpired. Now, following an update in court, things might just be resolved sooner rather than later.
Lawsuit Over Real Housewives Of Atlanta Sees Major Development
The reality star claims that several incidents with her former castmate Kim Zolciak-Biermann, where she allegedly used racial stereotypes and slurs, were swept under the rug by Bravo leadership. In addition, she indicated to TMZ in May that she faced racially insensitive behavior from even the white “head of the corporation.” Her complaints supposedly incited a backlash that had her “blacklisted” from the industry at large. However, NeNe Leakes maintained to the outlet that her main goal with the suit isn’t free publicity or a money grab as some have suggested – she only wants to “stop discrimination against Black women.”
The latest development in the legal drama is that talks are in motion to settle the matter. According to court documents obtained by Page Six, Andy Cohen, Bravo and its parent company NBC Universal stipulated there are contractual agreements in place with NeNe Leakes to do arbitration in New York, or independent remediation in other words, first. Leakes apparently disputed arbitration outright. Yet, they are all seemingly of the same mind that the current efforts towards “negotiating this issue” on their own will to “avoid the time and expense of a motion to compel arbitration.” As a result, a judge in Atlanta, where the suit was filed, granted a 45-day extension for them to finish said-discussions.
If all goes well, there could be a resolution before things escalate further, in theory. Certainly, the corporate side of things would likely prefer that. Yet if NeNe Leakes’ primary goal is preventing the Real Housewives of Atlanta from continuing to be a discriminatory work environment like she alleges it is, then 45 days might not be enough to “negotiate” a true change.
Stars Speak Out In Bravo Legal Drama
Before the recent development came to light, NeNe Leakes had some updates of her own regarding the various lawsuits on her plate. The reality star stated that she was “dragged” into the civil suit leveled by her boyfriend’s soon-to-be ex-wife against her, despite having no “business” in their marriage ending as was claimed. In the same interview, interestingly, Leakes said that she hasn’t heard from anyone – Andy Cohen or otherwise – about the Bravo lawsuit. Although, it’s possible that she meant she hadn’t heard from them personally, only through their respective lawyers.
Likewise, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who eventually went on to headline eight seasons of Bravo’s Don’t Be Tardy show after her Real Housewives tenure, spoke out about the lawsuit that named her as a central character. (To be clear, she wasn’t sued by her ex-co-star like the others were, just referenced in certain situations that reportedly took place.) Zolciak-Biermann called the allegations “ridiculous,” adding that she would “deal with her” after the Bravo debacle was finished.
Sounds like more drama is on the way for NeNe Leakes – only this time, it’s not just a “storyline” for the cameras, it’s real life. We’ll keep you updated if the lawsuit finds a way to early completion. In the meantime, Season 14 of the Real Housewives of Atlanta continues to air new episodes (Sunday nights on Bravo and next day via Peacock Premium) regardless of what’s happening with the show elsewhere.