NeNe Leakes is suing Bravo, producers of The Real Housewives, and Andy Cohen for racial discrimination.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta claims Nene, who is Black, complained to executives about years of racist remarks from fellow housewife Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who is white, but that only Leakes suffered consequences.
It names as defendants NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, executives from the companies and “Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen, but not Zolciak-Biermann.
“NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged,” the suit says.
Nene, 54, a TV personality and actor whose legal name is Linnethia Monique Leakes, spent seven seasons as one of the central stars of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” between 2008 and 2020.
The suit alleges that the defendants’ actions violate federal employment and anti-discrimination law, and it seeks monetary damages to be determined at trial.
The suit says in 2012 during the fifth season, Zolciak-Biermann made “racially offensive and stereotypical” comments about the new home of housewife Kandi Burruss, calling her neighborhood a “ghetto” and perpetuating a racial stereotype in an offensive comment about whether Burruss needed a swimming pool.
That same year, the suit says, Zolciak-Biermann used the N-word to refer to Leakes and other of the housewives after a dispute with them. It also alleges also that Zolciak-Biermann falsely implied that Leakes used drugs and called her home a “roach nest.”
The suit says after Leakes complained to the executives overseeing the show, they “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior,” and if anything rewarded her by giving her her own spinoff show.