“She’s always going to be a major part of our family,” Burruss told E! in a recent interview about Leakes. “It is what it is but this is a show where people come in and out and this year she’s just not here.”
Burruss continued, telling E! that even though Leakes is no longer a part of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the show will still go on. “I mean it’s not her first time not being here,” Burruss said to E!. “The show is still going to be the show. The girls are still gonna have drama. It’s still The Real Housewives of Atlanta, nothing changes much. The girls are still gonna be crazy, we’re still gonna have our things that we’re gonna bump heads on, we’re still over the top, nothing has changed. Like one person doesn’t change that. And that has nothing to do with her personally, that’s just how it works in any friend group. If one person’s not there it’s not like you guys stop talking, it’s not like you guys stop hanging out, it’s not like you guys are ever going to stop having issues or anything. Just one person isn’t there, you know what I’m saying? That’s just the way life is.”
In a September 2020 video posted to YouTube, Leakes announced that she was leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta. “There’s been a lot of emotions on both sides,” Leakes said during the video. “It’s been hard and I have made a hard, difficult decision to not be part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13.” Leakes had been a part of the franchise since the first season.
Another ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Star Was Surprised About Leakes’ Exit
Burruss was not the only one to speak about Leakes’ exit. During an October 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Cynthia Bailey said that she was “surprised” about Leake’s departure from the show.
“I was surprised,” Bailey told Entertainment Tonight. “You always have to give NeNe her props just in terms of being one of the first, being on the forefront of the show, helping to create the platform so that someone like myself and Eva could be a part of it. She’s great for the show. I’ve always thought she was great for the show. Even when we weren’t friends and she was coming from my wig. I still thought she was good for the show.”
NeNe Leakes Was Replaced by Drew Sidora
Taking Leakes’ place during this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is Drew Sidora, an actress who has starred in movies such as Step Up and White Chicks. Sidora is married to a man named Ralph Pittman, and has three children.
“We’re new to Atlanta so just getting to know people has been difficult, especially during this time and with three kids,” Sidora recently dished to People. “I love Cynthia. She’s been so gracious, and throughout everything, she’s just really been there for me. Even my husband, his father passed away recently, and Cynthia and Mike [Hill] were just really there for us and supportive. So definitely from the beginning, we kicked it off. Our husbands are good friends.”