Photo Credit: NeNe Leakes/Instagram

The day many of us have been waiting for for years has finally come, and that is for the star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta NeNe Leakes to leave the show. Now don’t get us wrong, Leakes is an instant one line generator and highly entertaining but she’s been visibly unhappy on the show for years. It started with her moving to LA and having to come back home after the show she was on was canceled. And while she’s still been the leader of the pack mostly since, she’s very much been giving an “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” for years. We’ve been saying the same thing almost ever since Kenya Moore came on the show and that is, if you don’t want to be here, leave. If it’s so toxic… I mean, ma’am, you have gone on to open 3 boutiques, been on Broadway, all from you auditioning to be on a show where you were living in a house that wasn’t even yours, exposed by the local Fox affiliate that you were lying. So all this pointing out alleged fraudulent ways of others, you were the original fraudster. Remember that.

Whew. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s discuss Leakes’ announcement. In a Youtube video she said “I have been on an extremely, extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation. There has been a lot of emotion flying from both sides. It has been hard. And I have made the very hard and difficult decision to not be a part of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ Season 13. It wasn’t an easy decision for me. It was hard.”

A Bravo spokesperson told Variety magazine about the decision, “We wish Nene all the best in her future endeavors and thank her for sharing her journey for over a decade with the fans of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta.’ She’s been instrumental since the start and will truly be missed, and maybe one day she’ll hold the peach again.”

Executive producer for Bravo’s Real Housewives’ franchise, Andy Cohen referred to Leakes as an “icon of the genre” and he’s never been any more accurate. Among her famous catchphrases are “I said what I said”; “Close your legs to married men” ; “Bye, wig!” “I am very rich, bitch”; and her own piece of onomatopoeia, “Bloop!”

Leakes’ goodbye video went on to say, “I’m just so happy that I can say that I was part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows to step up and be a part of what we all now love so much, reality TV. I want to thank everybody that has looked up to me over the years — thank you so much for your love and your support.”

One important thing to note is that she said she would not be returning for Season 13. She didn’t say she wasn’t returning to the franchise altogether. This is significant as this isn’t the first time she left. She’s been gone for a season before. She might be trying to see if the show and network misses her. That might be the case but she’s obviously been trying to move on with her career for years, has expressed how she feels she’s outgrown the other women so why not at 52 years old move on with your life?

Leakes has stated that Bravo has mistreated her without going into detail and has accused both costar Kandi Burruss of essentially taking food out of her mouth by being given shows when she was denied them and similarly accused Wendy Williams’ ex-husband of blocking her from getting her own show. So why not leave on a high note and try your hand at something else? Anyway, we wish Leakes the best. She’s definitely become a force to be reckoned with over the years on Bravo.