From Bravo’s ‘RHOA’ to Zeus’ ‘Baddie’: Is Nene Leakes Desperate to Get Back on Reality TV?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Nene Leakes is making her return to reality television, but not quite in the way that fans hoped she would. The former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star announced that she will join Janeisha John from the 2020 season of “Joseline’s Cabaret: Miami” as the hosts of the forthcoming “Baddies East” reunion show on Zeus Network.

Leakes shared the news on Instagram, writing, “We are about to get down downnnnnn and keep the baddies on point. Send me some love y’all” in an Instagram post. Nearly four years have passed since the O.G. housewife left “RHOA.”

Nene Leakes faces accusations of being desperate to regain notoriety on reality TV after announcing she’ll be hosting the “Baddies East” reunion show on Zeus Network. (Photo: @Neneleakes/Instagram)
Nene Leakes faces accusations of being desperate to regain notoriety on reality TV after announcing she’ll be hosting the “Baddies East” reunion show on Zeus Network. (Photo: @Neneleakes/Instagram)

Still, early reactions to the news were mixed. “A check is a check but this is BENEATH you, girl,” wrote a fan in the post’s comments.

“A fall from grace indeed. Nene Leakes was making almost $2million a season to film for 4 months out the year . In the words of @FunkyDineva ‘what other job gone pay you that much money for that little of work.’ She stopped her own unfortunately,” wrote an X user. While another critical post about the gig read, “Well, it’s official NeNe Leakes has hit rock bottom.”

Leakes joined the “RHOA” franchise in 2008 and left for good in 2020. She was a main cast member for the first seven seasons before reducing her screen time to a recurring role for season 8. She returned to film seasons 10-11 as a key player, bowing out one last time in season 12.

The reality star was reportedly paid $2.85 million her last year on the show. However, the two-time Broadway actress felt she deserved more. Months after her departure from “RHOA,” Leakes told “Entertainment Tonight” that speculations about her being fired were false.

“I had an offer on the table. I did not think the offer was a fair offer,” she said. At the time, she was at odds with “RHOA” executive producer Andy Cohen after he allowed Wendy Williams to make critical remarks about Leakes on his “Watch What Happens Live” talk show.

Leakes’ rift with Cohen deepened when she filed a lawsuit in April 2022, accusing him, Bravo, NBC, and the RHOA’s production company of fostering a toxic and racist workplace. She later dismissed the suit.

Rumors have since surfaced suggesting that her Bravo return is imminent after noticing she began to follow the network on social media after previously unfollowing them. But Leakes has remained critical of the network, calling out for what she saws is its preferential treatment of white housewives.

“Black girls do not get that same treatment,” she told former “The Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel. She suggested that the white women in the franchise continue to work with the Bravo franchise after showing problematic behavior while Black women are fired or let go.

For others, Leakes’ Zeus gig could not come at a better time. Critics speculate that her pockets are drying up since losing her big reality TV checks and shuttering all three locations of her retail shop, Swagg Boutique.

Last year it was revealed she was on the hook for $22,900.75 in unpaid rent for the Atlanta retail space. Before the year’s end, she also closed down her lounge, Linnethia Lounge, two years after its opening.

Leakes was also a cast member on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011, though she quit the competition show after weeks of competing in a variety of business-related tasks to raise money for a special cause. She later admitted she didn’t want to help show producer Donald Trump become president at the time.

After “RHOA,” viewers saw Leakes back on reality TV, courtesy of BET’s “College Hill: Celebrity Edition,” which aired last year. She said she was grateful for the opportunity to obtain a college degree by completing the program at Texas Southern University, the same school Megan Thee Stallion graduated from, and supporting other celebrities. Others on the show for season 1 include Ray J, Amber Rose, Joseline Hernandez, rapper Slim Thug, Stacey Dash, Lamar Odom, Iman Shumpert and others.

Still, one critic said, “nene doing college hill on bet…. i feel embarrassed for her lol” while another added, “I thought this was a fckn joke Frm Bravo to Zeus is wild.”

From Bravo’s ‘RHOA’ to Zeus’ ‘Baddie’: Is Nene Leakes Desperate to Get Back on Reality TV?