NeNe Leakes just hit her former employer Bravo with a lawsuit.
The “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum sued the companies behind the show on Wednesday, alleging that they fostered and tolerated a hostile and racist work environment.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta says Leakes, complained to executives about years of racist remarks from fellow “Housewife” Kim Zolciak-Biermann, but that only Leakes suffered consequences.
From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement.
The suit says after Leakes’ complaints to the executives overseeing the show, they “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior,” and if anything rewarded her by giving her her own spinoff show.
The suit names as defendants NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, executives from the companies and “Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen, but not Zolciak-Biermann.
The lawsuit alleges that her complaints of racism led in part to Leakes being forced off the show in 2020 before its 13th season.
Leakes announced September 2020 she made the difficult decision to leave the show and wasn’t given a “fair offer” to film season 13. A few months later she called for a boycott of the network and called Cohen a “racist” and “master manipulator.”
The suit alleges that the defendants’ actions violate federal employment and anti-discrimination law, and it seeks monetary damages to be determined at trial.
Leakes and Zolciak-Biermann’s on-again-off again friendship was highlighted during their time on the show together. Zolciak-Biermann last appeared on season 10 and she and Leakes appeared to be on good terms. The ladies also appeared together at the “Ultimate Women’s Expo” in November 2021.
“NeNe and Kim have been fine for a while now,” a source close to production tells PEOPLE. “Kim isn’t sure where all this is coming from.”
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