NeNe Leakes

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NeNe Leakes
NeNe Leakes at PaleyFest 2013.jpg
Leakes at the PaleyFest 2013 panel
Born Linnethia Monique Johnson
(1967-12-13) December 13, 1967 (age 47)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Residence Duluth, Georgia, U.S.
  • Actress
  • television personality
  • producer
  • fashion designer
  • author
Years active 2008–present
Home town Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Television The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Spouse(s) Gregg Leakes (1997–2011; 2013–present)
Children 2

Linnethia Monique "NeNe" Leakes (/ˈnn/; née Johnson; born December 13, 1967) is an American actress, television personality, producer, author and fashion designer. She is best known for being on the reality television series The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which documents the lives of several women residing in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2013, she was commissioned to star in the spin-off series I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding, which focused on the preparations for her remarriage to husband Gregg Leakes.

Leakes portrayed the recurring character Roz Washington on the sitcom Glee since its third season in 2012, and has also played Rocky Rhoades on the award-winning sitcom The New Normal until its cancellation in 2013. Leakes appeared as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice 4, where she finished in seventh place in 2011, and the eighteenth season of Dancing with the Stars. It was also announced that Leakes would be joining the cast of Cinderella on Broadway from November 25th, 2014.

Early life[edit]

Linnethia Monique Johnson was born on December 13, 1967 in Queens, New York.[1][2] She was sent to live with an aunt in Athens, Georgia when she was 4, and tried her luck in acting for many years without success.[3] While working as a stripper, she met Gregg Leakes in 1996. Gregg Leakes is a real estate investor and business consultant. They married in 1997 and had son Brentt on February 22, 1999. Gregg has older children with his exes. Nene Leakes resides in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.[4] She also rents a house in the Hollywood Hills West, Los Angeles.[5][6][7] NeNe has a son named Bryson "Brice" Rashard Bryant (born December 1989) from a previous relationship. Leakes has a granddaughter, Bri'Asia Bryant (born June 2012).[8]


Before Leakes met the producers of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, she had appeared on TV shows like The Parkers. In 2003, she had also landed a minor role as a stripper in the film The Fighting Temptations starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Beyonce. None of her scenes are present in the final edit of the movie, therefore she is not credited for her work on the production.

In 2008, Leakes made her first appearance on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.[9] After the first season, she co-wrote with Denene Milner the book Never Make The Same Mistake Twice. Leakes has been a part of the cast for all six seasons. Leakes has also transitioned into scripted television, playing sassy secretary Rocky Roades in the NBC comedy The New Normal.[10][11] Ryan Murphy cast NeNe on his series Glee in the third season in a recurring role as synchronized swim coach and Olympic bronze-medalist Coach Roz Washington.[12][13][14][15] In 2011, Leakes was a contestant on the eleventh installment of Donald Trump's NBC series Celebrity Apprentice.[16] During the tenth episode of Apprentice, after arguments with fellow cast member Star Jones, Leakes walked off the show.[17][18] Leakes failed to win any money for her selected charity, "My Sister's House".

Leakes has guest-hosted Anderson Live,[19] The Talk, and appeared in Betty White's Off Their Rockers[20] and The Price Is Right.[21] On March 4, 2014 she was announced to be one of the celebrities who will compete in the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars. She paired with professional dancer, Tony Dovolani. Leakes and Dovolani were eliminated in Week 7 of competition (Latin Night) on April 28, 2014, finishing in 7th place.[22] As well as competing on Dancing with the Stars, Leakes played the Mistress of Sensuality in Las Vegas, for resident show Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity in honour of their 10-year anniversary. In July 2014, Leakes launched The Nene Leakes Collection for the Home Shopping Network (HSN). The collection sold out just days after the launch of the line, making it an instant success. In September 2014, it was announced that Leakes will be making her broadway debut on November 25 as she will be joining the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella as the wicked stepmother, Madame.[23] The production closed on January 3, 2015, after 41 previews and 770 regular performances.


In 2013 Leakes founded NeNe Leakes Entertainment, a television production company. The production company produced Leakes spin-off series I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding alongside True Entertainment, where Leakes was also credited as an executive producer. The spin-off series I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding, which documented the preparations for their second wedding;[24] it premiered on September 17, 2013.[25] In early 2014, it was announced that NeNe Leakes Entertainment are currently working on new shows.

Fashion line[edit]

In February 2014, Leakes announced that she will be launching her clothing line later on in the year. On the 28th of July 2014, Leakes launched The Nene Leakes Collection for the Home Shopping Network (HSN). The collection sold out just days after the launch of the line, making it an instant success. "We took meetings with a lot of different people. And HSN actually felt right," Leakes said. "When they walked into the room we totally clicked. And you need to really work with people who really understand and get you. There were 17 pieces in the collection, which catered for every size and shape with loose blouses, relaxed pull-on pants, cardigans and more. After the success of The Nene Leakes Collection it was announced that more pieces will be added to the collection in October 2014 and that they will also expand to Jewelery in January 2015.

Personal life[edit]

In 2010, NeNe and Gregg separated, and NeNe filed for divorce on April 29, 2010. The divorce was finalized September 29, 2011, after season four of The Real Housewives had finished shooting.[26] In October 2011, Leakes released a memoir describing her experiences with abuse called Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way.[27] NeNe and Gregg Leakes reunited and announced that they were engaged in January 2013.[28][29] Bravo filmed their wedding planning and ceremony for a spin-off entitled I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.[30] NeNe and Gregg remarried on June 22, 2013, at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.[31]


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Fighting Temptations, TheThe Fighting Temptations Stripper Minor Role
2004 The Parkers Minor Role
2008—Present The Real Housewives of Atlanta Herself Main Cast
2010 Maury 1 episode
2011 The Celebrity Apprentice 10 episodes
2012—2015 Glee Coach Roz Washington Recurring
2012 The Amandas Herself 1 episode
The Game
Let's Stay Together
Anderson Live 1 episode (Co-Host)
2012—2013 The New Normal Rocky Rhoades Series regular
2013 Betty White's Off Their Rockers Herself 1 episode
The Price Is Right
Kris 1 episode (Co-Host)
I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding 7 Episodes
The Chew 2 episodes (Co-Host)
2014 Dancing with the Stars Contestant on season 18. Finished in 7th place.
The Millionaire Matchmaker 1 episode
Fashion Police 1 episode (Co-Host)
WWE Raw Guest
The View 1 episode (Co-Host)
2015 The Real 1 episode (Co-Host)

Theatre & Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 Loving Him Is Killing Me Pinky Bell Stage Play
2014 Zumanity Mistress of Sensuality Resident show
2014-2015 Cinderella Madame Broadway Musical


  1. ^ Harris, Annika (August 12, 2009). ""Real Housewife" NeNe Spills Her Guts In New Memoir". The Frisky. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Happy 43rd Birthday, NeNe Leakes". Essence. December 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ Daniels, Karu (November 27, 2012). "‘Ebony’ Cover With NeNe Leakes Unleashes a Firestorm of Criticism". The Daily Beast. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Gostin, Nicki (March 8, 2013). "Why Did NeNe Call the Police?!". Bravo Blog. 
  6. ^ Ho, Rodney (March 3, 2013). "'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap, sesaon 4, episode 16 ("Peaches Don't Grow in Hollywood")". Access Atlanta. 
  7. ^ Henderson, Danielle (March 4, 2013). "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner". Vulture. 
  8. ^ "NeNe Leakes: Meet My Secret Granddaughter!". In Touch. August 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bravo's Hit Franchise Docu-Series "The Real Housewives" Heads South for "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"". The Futon Critic (Press release). June 26, 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Stasi, Linda (September 11, 2012). "Best part of ‘New Normal’ is the cast". New York Post. 
  11. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 14, 2013). "'The New Normal': Nene Leakes Puts 'Sing' Star in Her Place". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  12. ^ Ho, Rodney (December 20, 2011). "NeNe Leakes joins ‘Glee’ for a few episodes". Access Atlanta. 
  13. ^ Hines, Ree (December 20, 2011). "'Housewives' star NeNe Leakes gets recurring role on 'Glee'". TODAY. 
  14. ^ Brown, Laurel (March 7, 2013). "'Glee' scoop: NeNe Leakes will return in Season 4 as Coach Roz". Zap2it. 
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 20, 2011). "'Glee' Enlists 'Real Housewives of Atlanta's' Nene Leakes". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  16. ^ Nudd, Tim (May 11, 2011). "NeNe Leakes: Celebrity Apprentice Was 'Toxic' for Me". People. 
  17. ^ "NeNe Leakes: Why I Quit Celebrity Apprentice". Us Weekly. May 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ "NeNe Leakes Slams ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ After Quitting". Access Hollywood. May 9, 2011. 
  19. ^ Nessif, Bruna (November 18, 2013). "Rosie O'Donnell & NeNe Leakes to Guest Cohost Anderson Cooper's Talk Show". E! News. 
  20. ^ Beard, Lanford (January 28, 2013). "Bloop! NeNe Leakes gives Betty White wine-tossing tips". Entertainment Weekly. 
  21. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (February 18, 2013). "NeNe Comes To 'The Price Is Right'". Entertainment Tonight. 
  22. ^ "Dancing With the Stars Cast Revealed! Cody Simpson, Nene Leakes and James Maslow Are Among the Names—See the Full List! | E! Online UK". 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  23. ^ Ng Philiana. "NeNe Leakes to Make Broadway Debut in Cinderella", Hollywood Reporter, September 3, 2014
  24. ^ Kaitlin Menza (April 18, 2013). "NeNe Leakes Is Getting Her Own Spin-off! See What It's About (And the Great Title!)". OK!. Northern & Shell. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  25. ^ Sara Bibel (September 18, 2013). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, 'Tosh.0', 'Suits', 'Amish Mafia', 'Face Off' & More". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  26. ^ Ho, Rodney (April 11, 2012). "UPDATED: NeNe is indeed divorced". Access Atlanta. 
  27. ^ Leakes, Nene (2009). Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way. Touchstone. ISBN 1-4391-6730-3. 
  28. ^ "Nene Leakes Engaged To Ex: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Gets Back With Ex-Husband Gregg". Huffington Post. January 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ Alyssa Toomey (January 8, 2013). "NeNe Leakes "Definitely Back Together" With Ex-Husband Gregg Leakes, Stays Mum on Wedding Rumors". E!. 
  30. ^ Carpenter, Cassie (April 18, 2013). "I do... again! Nene Leakes to marry ex-husband in reality TV spin-off I Dream Of NeNe". Daily Mail. 
  31. ^ Coughlan, Maggie (June 22, 2013). "NeNe Leakes Marries Gregg Leakes for a Second Time". People. 

External links[edit]