Friday, October 9, 2015

NeNe Leakes Talks Leaving "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and Donald Trump
NeNe Leakes was the undisputed star of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." But the Bravo TV personality dropped a bombshell in June when she revealed that she was leaving the show. We talked to Leakes about leaving the show, the presidential race and her upcoming projects -- including one with Betty White. We also caught up with Leakes on her involvement in Atlanta's LGBT community: The reality star is hosting the Barefoot Wine Bear Garten Pride Celebration in The Piedmont Room in Atlanta Thursday night.

How is life now that you're not a "Real Housewife"?
I feel like I'm happier. When you work in a lot of negativity, it becomes a part of who you are and I feel like I'm getting back to me, myself and I. It's happy and free. It's been a refreshing time away from the girls. I've done [the show] every season for eight years so I really needed to have a break. I'm not saying I would never ever go back, but it was good to step away. 

That makes it sound like you're thinking about returning. Are you?
No. I'm a part of the Bravo family. I love Bravo, they love me -- I have a great relationship with Andy Cohen. Everybody over there loves me. We all have a good relationship. I started the show and I'd go back whenever I felt like going back. I just don't ever want to say never. 

How did you know that it was time for you to leave?
The whole time I was doing season 7, I was just dying. I was like, "Oh my God. I can't take it anymore." To me, when I really, really was like "This is it" was when I walked into scenes and the girls would just focus on me as if they wanted to argue with me. 

You have said before that you and Donald Trump are very fond of each other. What do you think about his campaign?
Donald and I had a great relationship when I was on "Celebrity Apprentice." He and I talked when I shot my wedding show and he came on and did a scene. I think he's doing amazing and gaining a lot of momentum. I think he's funny as s**t. I never watched a debate before till I watched his. He's funny. He keeps it real. I love all those things about him. That said, I'm not voting for him. I'm not a Republican and I have my eyes set somewhere else. 

Will you say who that is?
RELATED:  ‘RHOA’ Trouble! No NeNe Leakes Means Ratings Woes For Bravo Show – Producers Are Scrambling