NeNe Leakes is one of the most famous “Real Housewives” stars of all time. The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” OG was a main cast member for 10 seasons on the Bravo reality show.
According to IMDb, on the heels of her Housewives fame, Leakes logged roles on the scripted TV shows “The New Normal” and “Glee,” and popped up as a guest co-host on both “The Talk” and “The Real.” But she also almost had her own talk show, according to the celebrity who claims he was supposed to be her co-host on a chatfest that was scrapped before ever making it to air.
Here’s what you need to know:
Tom Arnold Said NeNe Leakes Was Supposed to Headline a Talk Show With Him, But the Show Was Killed Over Her Dispute With Wendy Williams
On the June 29, 2022, episode of the “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast, guest Tom Arnold dished on the topic of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise. After the actor and comedian admitted that Kandi Burruss is his favorite Housewives star, he dropped the bomb that he was supposed to do a talk show with NeNe Leakes, “the most famous one” of the RHOA cast.
“I met with her and we were going to, and then she insulted Wendy Williams’ purse in a tweet and they pulled the show,” Arnold said of Leakes. “It was going to be with the people who do ‘The Wendy Williams Show.’ And I didn’t even know what that meant. I read the tweet, like, what is she talking about? But she talked about a purse. So I got a call from the studio. They’re like, ‘It’s a big deal when you insult a Black woman’s purse.’ Is it? What what’s the Issue? I don’t understand. Well, she’s out. So that ever happened.”
“The people that produced ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ were going to produce a show with NeNe Leakes and I hosting,” Arnold clarified. “Just us. A talk show. Lifestyle. That kind of stuff. And then right before we were going to shoot, she tweeted something about Wendy Williams’ purse. And then yeah. Wendy Williams was very powerful in that company and Wendy Williams was like ‘If they are coming, I am leaving. I am leaving if they are coming.’ And the tweet to me seemed innocuous. It was, I just didn’t know it was possible to insult somebody’s purse and, and offend them so severely.”
Heavy has reached out to a rep for Leakes for comment but has yet to hear back.
Nene Leakes & Wendy Williams Had a Purse Feud in 2014 & Things Got Worse in 2020
Arnold did not confirm when the supposed talk show was supposed to have taken place, but in 2014 Leakes did make headlines for a “purse” feud with Williams.
The fight took place when Williams criticized Leakes over an expensive Hermes Birkin Bag that she had painted and then posted on Instagram. According to ABC News, Williams called out Leakes on Twitter for defacing the expensive handbag with “NeNe-isms.”
After Leakes heard about Williams’ comment, she fired back at Williams via a blog on her website. The RHOA star explained the graffiti-adorned purse with, “My Birkin is being turned into a work of art to raise money for a worthy charity something you fail to mention on your show! I don’t have one Birkin I have five now run tell that WIG.”
“I know you hate because I turned down the chance to come on your Talk Show and I am sure you’re scared I will take your place (I know you have heard! Ummhmm wink wink),” Leakes added. “BE SCARED! I have a clothing line on HSN coming out in a few days and I know it must be hard for a Black woman to support another Black woman but you should try it sometime.”
Leakes also claimed that she gifted Williams “a beautiful black $3,200 Celine Phantom bag” to celebrate her 500th show.
“But you haven’t spoken of that!” Leakes added. “But what you have chosen to do is constantly speak negative of me and lie on me! What you need to do is stop spewing hate! When it comes to gossip you are the lowest of the low!”
Williams marked the 500th episode of her talk show in 2012, per The Huffington Post. In 2013, Lekaes retweeted a post from @famegeneration that said: “@NeNeleakes why @wendywilliams didn’t have anything bad to say when that Celine Bag got handed over #b*****sforget.”
The two women ultimately survived Purse Gate, and in September 2020, Williams appeared on “Watch What Happens Live” and claimed she was still close friends with Leakes. But during the segment with Andy Cohen, the talk show host publicly questioned how Leakes would make money following her exit from RHOA. Williams also said a spinoff featuring Leakes’ family would be “boring.”
Leakes hit Twitter following the WWHL segment to seemingly blast both Williams and Cohen. “Both are f their ratings are LOW! Bye QUEENS,” she wrote.
Soon after, Leakes slammed Williams in a YouTube video as she made it clear their friendship was no more, according to Entertainment Tonight.
“Yes, I have considered Wendy a close friend or associate. Why she has chosen to speak so negatively of me lately?“ Leakes asked. “Wendy, for you: Spend more of your time trying to figure out how you can drain your enormously large legs and feet, OK? Opposed to worrying about my family and what we are doing.”