NeNe Leakes

Also Credited As:

Linnethia Monique Johnson
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Biography

As reality stars went, NeNe Leakes was one of the most unapologetic, confident, and brash personalities on television. Making onscreen pronouncements like "I don't keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses," she was the breakout star of Bravo's hit reality series "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (2008- ), which followed privileged women in the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area as they juggled their personal, professional and social lives. Before …
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Born

Linnethia Monique Johnson on December 13, 1967 in Queens, New York, USA

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About

As reality stars went, NeNe Leakes was one of the most unapologetic, confident, and brash personalities on television. Making onscreen pronouncements like "I don't keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses," she was the breakout star of Bravo's hit reality series "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" (2008- ), which followed privileged women in the Atlanta, GA metropolitan area as they juggled their personal, professional and social lives. Before Leakes stirred up controversy on the hit show, she was a social butterfly in the upscale Duluth area of the Southern city. Born on Dec. 13, 1967 in Queens, NY, Linnethia Monique Johnson grew up in Athens, GA. She had two children: Brice, from a previous relationship, and Brentt, whom she had with her realtor husband, Gregg Leakes. She first burst on the scene as one of the wives on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," which provided viewers with a peek into the lives of Atlanta's socialites as they went on luxurious shopping sprees, attended exclusive parties, and participated in shocking showdowns with each other.

When viewers were first introduced to Leakes during the show's first season, she was unpretentious, funny, and cordial with the other housewives. But as the series blew up, so did Leakes. She feuded with most of her co-stars, most notably Kim Zolciak - the bodacious, wig-wearing single mother who churned out the one-hit wonder "Tardy for the Party" (2009). The sassy Leakes even provoked Kandi Buruss for no apparent reason, a former member of the '90s-era R&B group Xscape and who was the most down-to-earth member of the "Housewives" cast. But while Leakes' diva moments often took center stage, she did bare her emotional side onscreen as she searched for and then met her estranged biological father for the first time. Leakes catapulted her 15-minutes of fame into a memoir titled, Never Make the Same Mistake Twice (2009), in which she revealed that she had worked as a stripper to support her first son. The book also covered her experience as a domestic abuse victim, which led her to establish the Twisted Hearts Foundation, which spread awareness on the disturbing issue. The following year, she competed on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" (2004- ), a reality series where stars participated in challenges to win money for charity. And true to form, Leakes quickly enraged some of her "Apprentice" co-stars, particularly Star Jones and La Toya Jackson, while the show filmed in New York. Jones allegedly implied that Leakes was only on the show to promote herself, and not her charity.

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