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 49)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Residence Duluth, Georgia, U.S.
Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, U.S.
Education Morris Brown University
Years active 2003–present
Home town Athens, Georgia, U.S.
Spouse(s) Gregg Leakes (m. 1997–2011, 2013–)
Children 2

Linnethia Monique "NeNe" Leakes (/ˈnni lks/; née Johnson; born December 13, 1966[1] or December 13, 1967;[2] sources differ) is an American television personality, actress, presenter, author, and fashion designer. Born in Queens, New York and raised in Athens, Georgia, she is best known for her eight-year stint on the reality television series The Real Housewives of Atlanta as an original cast member and for her recurring character Roz Washington on the Fox sitcom Glee.

She also played Rocky Rhoades as a series regular on the award-winning sitcom The New Normal on NBC until its cancellation in 2013. She has also participated on Donald Trump's The Celebrity Apprentice and ABC Dancing with the Stars. Leakes made her Broadway debut as Madame in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella in 2014 and in 2015 played Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago.

She is one of the regular panelists on ABC's revival of the 1950s game show To Tell The Truth. Leakes is a clothing designer for the Home Shopping Network and has tour comedy show, So Nasty, So Rude.

Early life[edit]

Linnethia Monique Johnson was born in the New York City, New York, borough of Queens.[2] One of five children, she and one of her brothers were sent to live with an aunt in Athens, Georgia, while the other three children stayed with her mother; because it was believed that her mother could not take care of all five.[3]


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 Beyoncé; however none of her scenes are present in the final edit of the movie, therefore she is not credited for her work on the production.[4]

In 2008, Leakes made her first appearance on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.[5] After the first season, she co-wrote with Denene Millner the book Never Make The Same Mistake Twice. Leakes was a part of the cast for the first seven seasons. In June 2015 Leakes announced she would not return to the Real Housewives of Atlanta for the eighth season.[6] However, Nene did feature in season 8 of the Real Housewives of Atlanta in a supporting role, reportedly earning her full salary from the previous 7 seasons.

Leakes has also transitioned into scripted television, playing the secretary Rocky Roades in the NBC comedy The New Normal.[7][8] 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.[9][10][11][12] In 2011, Leakes was a contestant on the eleventh installment of Donald Trump's NBC series Celebrity Apprentice.[13] During the tenth episode of Apprentice, after arguments with fellow cast member Star Jones, Leakes walked off the show.[14][15] Leakes failed to win any money for her selected charity, "My Sister's House".

Leakes has guest-hosted Anderson Live,[16] The Talk, and appeared in Betty White's Off Their Rockers[17] and The Price Is Right.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] Leakes made her Broadway debut on November 25, 2014, as Madame in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. She played the role until the production closed on January 3, 2015.[21] In November 2015, she was cast as playing Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago on Broadway for four weeks. On November 17, 2015, Leakes appeared on The View to promote Chicago, headlines started when she claimed via Twitter that the women of show, specifically Joy Behar and Raven-Symone were "mean girls" because they were "turning up their noses looking u [Leakes] up and down as if you don't belong." She later deleted the Tweet. [22]

On January 2, 2017, Leakes and her husband took part in the second MasterChef Celebrity Showdown.[23] The pair versed Trai Byers and Grace Gealey, from Empire,[24] in the tag team challenge and lost.

Other ventures[edit]


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,[25] premiered on September 17, 2013.[26]

Fashion line[edit]

In February 2014, Leakes announced that she would be launching a clothing line later 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. "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."


In March 2016, Leakes announced that she would be touring the United States in a one women comedy tour called "SO NASTY, SO RUDE" after one of her catchphrases. The tour started in April and will continue until the end of the year. Every show has sold out so far.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Leakes resides in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.[28] She also rents a house in the Hollywood Hills West, Los Angeles.[29][30][31]

She and husband Gregg Leakes separated in 2010, and he filed for divorce on April 29, 2010. The divorce was finalized September 29, 2011, after season four of The Real Housewives had finished shooting.[32] NeNe and Gregg Leakes reunited and announced that they were engaged in January 2013.[33][34] Bravo filmed their wedding planning and ceremony for a spin-off entitled I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.[35] NeNe and Gregg remarried on June 22, 2013, at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.[36]

Leakes has two sons, Bryson and Brentt. She has a granddaughter Bri'Asia Bryant (born June 2012).



Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Fighting Temptations Stripper Deleted scene


Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Parkers Minor Role 1 episode
2008–16 The Real Housewives of Atlanta Herself Main cast (Season 1-7); Guest (Season 8)
2011 The Celebrity Apprentice 4 Herself Season 11; 10 episodes
2012–15 Glee Roz Washington Recurring role; 13 episodes
2012 The Amandas Herself 1 episode
2012 The Game Herself 1 episode
2012 Let's Stay Together Herself 1 episode
2012–13 The New Normal Rocky Rhoades Series regular
2013 Betty White's Off Their Rockers Herself 1 episode
2013 The Price Is Right Herself 1 episode
2013 Miss USA Herself Main judge, 1 episode
2013 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding Herself Main cast/Executive producer; 7 episodes
2013–present Fashion Police Co-Host Guest Co-Host (2013–15); Co-Host (2016–present)
2014 The Millionaire Matchmaker Herself 1 episode
2014 Dancing with the Stars Herself Season 18; 8 episodes (including the finale)
2015 The Prancing Elites Project Herself 1 episode
2015 Real Husbands of Hollywood Herself 1 episode
2015-16 New Year's Eve with Carson Daly Co-Host Special broadcast from Times Square
2016 To Tell the Truth Panelist Series regular
2016 Larry King Now Herself 1 episode
2016 Cupcake Wars Competitor 1 episode
2016 Celebrity Family Feud Competitor 1 episode
2016 Lip Sync Battle Competitor 1 episode
2016 Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry Herself 1 episode
2017 MasterChef Celebrity Showdown Competitor 1 episode

Guest co-hosting[edit]

NeNe has appeared as a guest co-host on a variety of talk-shows including Anderson Live (3 episodes), Kris (1 episode), The Chew (2 episodes), WWE Raw (1 episode), The View (5 episodes), The Talk (2 episodes as host, 1 as guest), Fashion Police (5 episodes before joining as special co-host in 2016), The Real (2 episodes), Live with Kelly and Michael (1 episode) and FABLife (1 episode).

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist Role
2015 If I Don't Have You Tamar Braxton Madam NeNe

Video games[edit]

Year Video Game Character
2015–present Kim Kardashian: Hollywood NeNe Leakes
2016–present NeNe Leakes: Ne'mojis The App NeNe Leakes


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Loving Him Is Killing Me Pinky Bell Stage Play (Toured Major U.S. Cities)
2014 Zumanity Mistress of Sensuality Las Vegas Resident show
2014–15 Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Madame The Broadway Theatre
2015 Chicago Matron "Mama" Morton The Ambassador Theatre


  1. ^ "Birthday: NeNe Leakes". La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse, Wisconsin. Associated Press. December 16, 2016. Archived from the original on January 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b "NeNe Leaks". Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Real Story With NeNe Leakes' Mother". Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Karu, Daniels. "Ebony Cover With NeNe Leakes Unleashes a Firestorm of Criticism". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann Are Teaming Up for a New Bravo Show and We're Already Obsessed". E! Online. 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Stasi, Linda (September 11, 2012). "Best part of 'New Normal' is the cast". New York Post. 
  8. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 14, 2013). "'The New Normal': Nene Leakes Puts 'Sing' Star in Her Place". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ Ho, Rodney (December 20, 2011). "NeNe Leakes joins 'Glee' for a few episodes". Access Atlanta. [dead link]
  10. ^ Hines, Ree (December 20, 2011). "'Housewives' star NeNe Leakes gets recurring role on 'Glee'". TODAY. 
  11. ^ Brown, Laurel (March 7, 2013). "'Glee' scoop: NeNe Leakes will return in Season 4 as Coach Roz". Zap2it. 
  12. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 20, 2011). "'Glee' Enlists 'Real Housewives of Atlanta's' Nene Leakes". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  13. ^ Nudd, Tim (May 11, 2011). "NeNe Leakes: Celebrity Apprentice Was 'Toxic' for Me". People. 
  14. ^ "NeNe Leakes: Why I Quit Celebrity Apprentice". Us Weekly. May 9, 2011. 
  15. ^ "NeNe Leakes Slams 'Celebrity Apprentice' After Quitting". Access Hollywood. May 9, 2011. 
  16. ^ Nessif, Bruna (November 18, 2013). "Rosie O'Donnell & NeNe Leakes to Guest Cohost Anderson Cooper's Talk Show". E! News. 
  17. ^ Beard, Lanford (January 28, 2013). "Bloop! NeNe Leakes gives Betty White wine-tossing tips". Entertainment Weekly. 
  18. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (February 18, 2013). "NeNe Comes To 'The Price Is Right'". Entertainment Tonight. 
  19. ^ "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. 
  20. ^ "NeNe Leakes joins Zumanity!". Cirque Du Soleil. March 31, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2017. [dead link]
  21. ^ "[Replacement and/or Transfer Information]. Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella". Internet Broadway Database (The Broadway League). Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  22. ^ McGrath, Rachel. "'They're a bunch of mean girls!' Nene Leakes calls out the women of The View after they 'turned their noses up' at her on the show". Retrieved 20 November 2016. 
  23. ^ "An All-New "MasterChef Celebrity Showdown" Airs Monday, January 2, On Fox". Fox. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Stars Compete in a Culinary Battle for Charity on an All-New "MasterChef Celebrity Showdown," Monday, January 2, on FOX". The Futon Critic. October 19, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  25. ^ 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. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "NeNe Leakes kicks off stand up comedy tour in Charlotte in April". March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Gostin, Nicki (March 8, 2013). "Why Did NeNe Call the Police?!". Bravo. 
  30. ^ "'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap, sesaon 4, episode 16 ("Peaches Don't Grow in Hollywood")". Access Atlanta. March 3, 2013. [dead link]
  31. ^ Henderson, Danielle (March 4, 2013). "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner". Vulture. 
  32. ^ Ho, Rodney (April 11, 2012). "UPDATED: NeNe is indeed divorced". Access Atlanta. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Nene Leakes Engaged To Ex: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Gets Back With Ex-Husband Gregg". Huffington Post. January 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ Alyssa Toomey (January 8, 2013). "NeNe Leakes "Definitely Back Together" With Ex-Husband Gregg Leakes, Stays Mum on Wedding Rumors". E!. 
  35. ^ 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. 
  36. ^ Coughlan, Maggie (June 22, 2013). "NeNe Leakes Marries Gregg Leakes for a Second Time". People. 

External links[edit]