NeNe Leakes: “I’m Blessed To Be Alive”
Before outspoken host, fashion designer and reality star, Nene Leakes met the producers of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, she had appeared on TV shows like The Parkers and minor roles in various films The Fighting Temptations starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé.
Yet, when she landed as a cast member on The Real Housewives, she became a household name. Leakes was the main draw of the show, making it the network’s number one show at the time. On the show, she was brash, at times harsh, confrontational and blunt.
But since then, you will see a much more calm and poised Leakes. Something she says she’s been actively working on.
On the cover of Pose Magazine‘s September 2016 issue, she revealed that it’s because of her time on RHOA that she’s been able to mature into the woman she is today.
“Over the years, I feel I have grown for the best,” NeNe said. “I have grown as an adult. I am older and wiser. I know so much more now that I didn’t know when I came into this world. I feel I have gotten better. I feel my life has changed for the better.”
“I think people misunderstand,” she continued. “I don’t go out a lot. I am very private. I am really chill. I understand why the girls on the show are made to come after me. I am the original.”
While some have labeled NeNe as egotistical or say she’s nasty and rude in her delivery of words from time to time, the actress admitted that she’s working on taming her combative nature.
“My husband is always like, ‘you don’t need to say that,’ or ‘you don’t need to be that real about it.’ I’m like, okay, maybe he’s right. I’m going to do much better from now on. I am really working on it,” explains Nene. “When I was growing up, the one thing all my teachers agreed on was that I love to talk. Sometimes what comes up, comes out.”
Born Linnethia Monique Johnson in Queens, NY she was 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.
In her book, Nene says her aunt started receiving phone calls from NY from other relatives and friends saying that Nene’s mother wasn’t taking proper care of her children; leaving them here and there while she ran the streets.
Nene’s aunt tells Nene’s mother to bring the children to Georgia to let them stay with her until Nene’s mother got back on her feet. Nene’s mother never came back to retrieve her children, leaving them to be raised by her aunt and her husband.
When reflecting on life, the star says, “I’m blessed to be alive” after blood clots were found in her lungs.
Back in 2013, Nene went to the hospital after not feeling well. She said:
“I wasn’t feeling well and was feeling a little short of breath,” the statement reads. “I know my body and I know when I should be concerned so I went to the hospital to get checked out. After some routine tests I was diagnosed with blood clots in my lung…