Nene Leakes is taking The Real Housewives of Atlanta team to court as she has sued the company behind the hit series for tolerating a hostile and racist work environment.
A lawsuit filed in federal court says Leakes, who is Black, previously claimed that her former costar and friend Kim Zolciak-Biermann made racist remarks toward her for years. However, when Leakes complained to executives, she was the only one who faced consequences.
Here’s everything we know about the lawsuit so far:
The lawsuit describes instances when Kim Zolciak-Biermann was allegedly racist toward NeNe Leakes and other cast members.
The lawsuit alleges that during the first season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Kim Zolciak-Biermann responded to the idea of attending a cast barbecue with “words to the effect of: ‘I don’t want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken.’” The suit says the statement “perpetuated an offensive stereotype about African-Americans.”
Another alleged instance took place during the fifth season in 2012 when Zolciak-Biermann supposedly made “racially offensive and stereotypical” comments about housewife Kandi Burruss’ new home, calling the neighborhood a “ghetto” and perpetuating a racial stereotype in an offensive comment about whether Burruss needed a swimming pool.
The suit also alleges that Zolciak-Biermann used the N-word to refer to Leakes and other housewives after a dispute with them. It also states that the mother of six falsely implied that Leakes abused drugs and once referred to her former friend’s home as a “roach nest.”
NeNe Leakes complained to Bravo executives about Kim Zolciak-Biermann's behavior.
According to the lawsuit, after NeNe Leakes witnessed her former friend’s racist actions first-hand, she complained to the executives overseeing The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
However, Bravo “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior.” The suit suggests that the network “rewarded [Zolciak-Biermann] by giving her her own spinoff show.”
The suit names NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, and executive producer Andy Cohen as defendants.
“From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement.
According to USA Today, the suit alleges that the defendants’ actions violate federal employment and anti-discrimination law, and it seeks monetary damages to be determined at trial.