Real Housewives of Atlanta NeNe Leakes and her cast mates stay in the news. One of the highest rated Bravo reality shows comes with a cast with skeletons. While no adult walking the planet has a squeaky clean past, the cast of many reality shows still seem to shock and amaze viewers. When reality television first began with MTV’s Real World back in 1992, the creators Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray wanted to capture young adults living under one roof on their own struggling with growing pains and getting jobs. None of the cast members were old enough to have deep closets filled with skeletons yet. However, the Real Housewives franchise has full-grown women and men who have truly lived. NeNe Leakes, one of the original cast members of Real Housewives of Atlanta, has reportedly evolved from her criminal past.
Leakes, 46, is known for her finger-snapping, sharp-tongued one-liners that shuts everybody down in their tracks. A mother to two sons, a new grandmother, and a sought-after reality celebrity, Leakes has managed to use the Housewives platform to catapult her to new levels earning $1 million per season. The highest-paid housewife on Bravo and possibly anywhere, Leakes can remember days that were not so glamorous. She revealed to fans that she was a single-mother in her younger days and felt she had to become an exotic dancer to take care of her son. Fans were forgiving of her past because she went on to marry Greg Leakes and settle down to a beautiful, quiet life in the suburbs of Atlanta where she became an actual housewife.
Fans watched NeNe Leakes transform from season to season as her popularity grew and took on a life of its own. She was cast on the hit show Glee and then later also cast on the New Normal. Leakes’ life was upgraded with a home in Los Angeles, California, as well as Atlanta, Georgia. She wears high-end shoes, designer labels, and drives nice cars. Bravo fans were happy for the once-struggling mother who had escaped an abusive relationship. Viewers thought they knew all there was to know about the Real Housewives of Atlanta star as cameras followed her every move. When Leakes landed a spot on the hit show Dancing With The Stars, more of who Leakes used to be surfaced out of nowhere. Fans were shocked and stunned, raising eyebrows and wondering if the budding actress has left her criminal past.
Talk-show host Wendy Williams’ infamous Hot Topics exposed several old mug shots of Leakes to the world. Many fans were outraged that Williams would dig in Leakes past for dirt she had allegedly done over 20 years ago. Others, however, were not at all shocked that Leakes was arrested for robbery, bad checks, and probation violation. With her quick temper and imposing figure she used to intimidate fellow cast mates, it was not a stretch to imagine her in a jail cell wearing orange and fighting with other inmates.
It was reported that Leakes had tried to have her criminal record expunged, but being in the spotlight has its downfalls. She has come a long way from allegedly wearing an orange jumpsuit or swinging around a pole in a thong struggling to feed her son. NeNe Leakes took a hard time and turned her life into a dream. She proudly yells from the mountaintop that she is “very rich,” possibly making those who are actually wealthy quite nervous around her, as the wealthy tend not to tell the party how much money they have.
While many believe she still carries the same mentality and attitude from her underworld days to the Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes has, indeed, evolved from her criminal past into a business savvy, successful woman. As friendly and as hilarious as she comes across to associates, no one in Hollywood has yet to cross the reality star, because it is evident “you can take the girl out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the girl…ever.”
Opinion by Meleika Gardner