Meme’s have been going around recently of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, but instead of deceased presidents the heads have been replaced to reflect the pillars of a particular genre or subgroup. Its safe to say if there was a Mount Rushmore for reality television pioneers it would most certainly feature Ms. Nene Leakes, arguably the breakout star of the Real Housewives franchise. Her status as one of the leading women in reality television is not lost on her, as Nene recently compared her departure from the RHOA to Beyonce leaving girl group Destiny’s Child.
Leakes joined the Real Housewives of Atlanta in their inaugural season back in 2008. Prior to joining the show she was trying to make a name for herself as an actress. She had appeared on UPN’s The Parkers back in 2003 and has an uncredited role in the Beyonce/Cuba Gooding Jr. film Fighting Temptations as a stripper. Upon its debut, Nene Leakes quickly became the face of the Atlanta installment of the popular franchise thanks to a bevy of quotable moments and diva like antics.
As her star began to rise Leakes took on actings roles in shows like Glee and The New Normal while playing herself on popular reality competition shows like Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing With the Stars. She even went on to join E!’s Fashion Police after leading woman Joan Rivers passed away. During this time she took a break from RHOA, departing in their 7th season and not returning as a full time cast member till season 10. Well now with 3 additional season under her belt, Nene has departed from the show again this time under not so great terms and at odds with producers.
Speaking on her departure with Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlocked, its obvious that Nene’s exit this time was not her own choice. When fielding questions from Jason about how the show can continue without Leakes she compared her presence on the show to Beyonce and Destiny’s Child, stating it’s like “trying to have Destiny’s Child without Beyonce.” She also commented on cast members not being able to handle their story lines retorting “they don’t make them like the used to.” Check out their full exchange below.