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 48)
Queens, New York, U.S.
Residence Duluth, Georgia, U.S.
Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, U.S.
Education Morris Brown University (dropped out)
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, 1967) is an American television personality, actress, producer, author and fashion designer. 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 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. Currently, she is one of the main judges on ABC's revival of the 50s game show To Tell The Truth along with Betty White and a special co-host on E!'s hit talk show Fashion Police.

Early life[edit]

Linnethia Monique Johnson was born December 13, 1967, in the New York City, New York, borough of Queens.[1] She was sent to live with an aunt in Athens, Georgia when she was 4.[2]


Leakes (second left) with her cast members (2012)

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.[citation needed] None of her scenes are present in the final edit of the movie, therefore she is not credited for her work on the production.[citation needed]

In 2008, Leakes made her first appearance on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.[3] After the first season, she co-wrote with Denene Milner 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.[4]

Leakes has also transitioned into scripted television, playing the secretary Rocky Roades in the NBC comedy The New Normal.[5][6] 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.[7][8][9][10] In 2011, Leakes was a contestant on the eleventh installment of Donald Trump's NBC series Celebrity Apprentice.[11] During the tenth episode of Apprentice, after arguments with fellow cast member Star Jones, Leakes walked off the show.[12][13] Leakes failed to win any money for her selected charity, "My Sister's House".

Leakes has guest-hosted Anderson Live,[14] The Talk, and appeared in Betty White's Off Their Rockers[15] and The Price Is Right.[16] 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.[17]

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.[citation needed] Leakes made her Broadway debut on November 25, 2014, as a replacement Madame in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. She played the role until the production closed on January 3, 2015.[18] In November of 2015, she was cast as playing Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago on Broadway for four weeks.

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,[19] premiered on September 17, 2013.[20]

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."

Personal life[edit]

Leakes resides in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.[21] She also rents a house in the Hollywood Hills West, Los Angeles.[22][23][24] She has two sons, Bryson and Brentt,[25] and a granddaughter, Bri'Asia Bryant (born June 2012), by the former.[26]

She and husband Gregg Leakes separated in 2010, and she filed for divorce on April 29, 2010. The divorce was finalized September 29, 2011, after season four of The Real Housewives had finished shooting.[27] 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.[28] NeNe and Gregg Leakes reunited and announced that they were engaged in January 2013.[29][30] Bravo filmed their wedding planning and ceremony for a spin-off entitled I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.[31] NeNe and Gregg remarried on June 22, 2013, at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.[32]



Year Title Role Notes
2003 The Fighting Temptations Stripper Deleted scene


Year Title Role Notes
2004 The Parkers Minor Role 1 episode
2008–present 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); Season Six Special 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-present To Tell the Truth Main Judge Series regular
2016 Lip Sync Battle Herself/Contestant 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), Fashion Police (5 episodes before joining as special co-host in 2016), The Real (2 episodes), and Live with Kelly and Michael (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 Kim Kardashian: Hollywood 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. ^ "NeNe Leaks". Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  2. ^ Daniels, Karu (November 27, 2012). "‘Ebony’ Cover With NeNe Leakes Unleashes a Firestorm of Criticism". The Daily Beast. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Stasi, Linda (September 11, 2012). "Best part of ‘New Normal’ is the cast". New York Post. 
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 14, 2013). "'The New Normal': Nene Leakes Puts 'Sing' Star in Her Place". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  7. ^ Ho, Rodney (December 20, 2011). "NeNe Leakes joins ‘Glee’ for a few episodes". Access Atlanta. 
  8. ^ Hines, Ree (December 20, 2011). "'Housewives' star NeNe Leakes gets recurring role on 'Glee'". TODAY. 
  9. ^ Brown, Laurel (March 7, 2013). "'Glee' scoop: NeNe Leakes will return in Season 4 as Coach Roz". Zap2it. 
  10. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 20, 2011). "'Glee' Enlists 'Real Housewives of Atlanta's' Nene Leakes". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  11. ^ Nudd, Tim (May 11, 2011). "NeNe Leakes: Celebrity Apprentice Was 'Toxic' for Me". People. 
  12. ^ "NeNe Leakes: Why I Quit Celebrity Apprentice". Us Weekly. May 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ "NeNe Leakes Slams ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ After Quitting". Access Hollywood. May 9, 2011. 
  14. ^ Nessif, Bruna (November 18, 2013). "Rosie O'Donnell & NeNe Leakes to Guest Cohost Anderson Cooper's Talk Show". E! News. 
  15. ^ Beard, Lanford (January 28, 2013). "Bloop! NeNe Leakes gives Betty White wine-tossing tips". Entertainment Weekly. 
  16. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (February 18, 2013). "NeNe Comes To 'The Price Is Right'". Entertainment Tonight. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ "[Replacement and/or Transfer Information]. Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella". Internet Broadway Database (The Broadway League). Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Gostin, Nicki (March 8, 2013). "Why Did NeNe Call the Police?!". Bravo. 
  23. ^ "'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap, sesaon 4, episode 16 ("Peaches Don't Grow in Hollywood")". Access Atlanta. March 3, 2013. 
  24. ^ Henderson, Danielle (March 4, 2013). "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner". Vulture. 
  25. ^ Lear, Samantha (June 4, 2014). "NeNe Leakes’s Son Brentt Is All Grown — Does He Look More Like Her or Gregg?". Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  26. ^ "NeNe Leakes: Meet My Secret Granddaughter!". In Touch. August 21, 2012. 
  27. ^ Ho, Rodney (April 11, 2012). "UPDATED: NeNe is indeed divorced". Access Atlanta. 
  28. ^ Leakes, Nene (2009). Never Make the Same Mistake Twice: Lessons on Love and Life Learned the Hard Way. Touchstone. ISBN 1-4391-6730-3. 
  29. ^ "Nene Leakes Engaged To Ex: 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Star Gets Back With Ex-Husband Gregg". Huffington Post. January 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ Alyssa Toomey (January 8, 2013). "NeNe Leakes "Definitely Back Together" With Ex-Husband Gregg Leakes, Stays Mum on Wedding Rumors". E!. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ Coughlan, Maggie (June 22, 2013). "NeNe Leakes Marries Gregg Leakes for a Second Time". People. 

External links[edit]