“You can’t say things that aren’t true and try to defame somebody,” Kim Zolciak-Biermann said of former Real Housewives of Atlanta costar NeNe Leakes
Kim Zolciak-Biermann is not happy to be cited in NeNe Leakes’ ongoing lawsuit with Bravo, NBCUniversal, Andy Cohen and other Real Housewives of Atlanta producers.
The reality star, 44, speaks out for the first time about being included in the suit in Saturday’s episode of OWN’s The Nightcap with Carlos King, telling King that Leakes’ claims that she made racists remarks while filming the reality show are untrue.
“[NeNe] knows what she’s saying is not true in regards to me,” Zolciak-Biermann said in a preview clip from the episode shared by Entertainment Tonight on Thursday. “That’s ridiculous, and she knows it.”
“I’ll deal with her when she’s done with them,” added the “Tardy for the Party” singer. “You can’t say things that aren’t true and try to defame somebody.”
Leakes, 54, and Zolciak-Biermann have a long history together, with a friendship that spans back years before RHOA cameras started filming them in the first season of RHOA in 2008.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 1 Cast Reunites on The Nightcap with Carlos King — Watch!
‘Close Your Legs to Married Men’: A Brief History of Kim Zolciak-Biermann & NeNe Leakes’ Rocky Friendship
Over the course of filming, the two fell out many times, their feud and never-ending ups and downs fueling much of the the drama during the series’ first first few seasons. When Zolciak-Biermann left in season 5, they were ultimately in a good place. “There’s always this level of respect between NeNe and I no matter what’s gone on,” Zolciak-Biermann said before hugging Leakes at the season 5 reunion. “We knew each other before this … and we make each other madder than anybody else.”
But things went south after that. A spin-off series starring the two was announced and then scrapped before filming could begin due to behind-the-scene conflicts. Zolciak-Biermann ultimately returned to RHOA as a Friend in season 10 and seemed to be cool with Leakes until Zolciak-Biermann claimed Leakes lived in a “roach nest” after the Don’t Be Tardy star’s daughter Brielle filmed bugs in Leakes bathroom and shared the clip on social media.
That launched “RoachGate,” with Leakes calling Zolciak-Biermann and “racist” and many of the Atlanta Housewives telling Zolciak-Biermann they felt her comment was racially insensitive. Zolciak-Biermann denied she was racist and claimed she obtained legal counsel against Leakes. Both vowed to never be friends again.
That was in the spring of 2018. By the fall of that year, the two were back in one another’s good graces thanks to Zolciak-Biermann, who sent Leakes’ support during her husband Gregg’s initial cancer diagnosis. The mother of six was also there for Leakes after Gregg died in September 2021, and the women currently follow each other on Instagram.
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Leakes did not return to RHOA for its 12th season, announcing her exit in September 2020 while thanking fans, Bravo and her costars for supporting her over the years.
“I have made the very hard and difficult decision to not be a part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13,” she said at the time. “It wasn’t an easy decision for me. It was hard. I started on The Real Housewives of Atlanta in 2008. We took off like a rocket. I mean, we took off. You could have never told me that I would start on this little show and it still be going strong 13, 14 years later. And it is. I’m just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows to step up and be a part of what we all now love so much, reality TV.”
But in the following months, she has repeatedly claimed that she was pushed out of the show and that the network is blackballing her.
This April, she filed a formal complaint against Bravo, Andy Cohen, NBCUniversal and RHOA production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original as defendants, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated — if not, encouraged,” the filing alleged.
NeNe Leakes Sues Bravo and Andy Cohen for Alleged Racist and Hostile Work Environment
Though Zolciak-Biermann was not named as a defendant in the suit, she was cited in it when Leakes claimed Zolciak-Biermann had made racist comments for years that went unchecked by those in power. Instead, Leakes alleges she was the one punished after telling executives.
“Executives “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior” but instead gave her a spinoff, the suit claims — referencing Don’t Be Tardy, which aired on Bravo for eight seasons.
Leakes is alleging the defendants violated federal employment and anti-discrimination laws and is suing for an unspecified amount to be decided upon during trial.
The case is ongoing. Neither Bravo nor Cohen or any of the other defendants have commented.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Saturday’s episode of The Nightcap with Carlos King will see Zolciak-Biermann reunite with former RHOA season 1 costars DeShawn Snow, Shereé Whitfield and Lisa Wu for the first time in more than 14 years.
Leakes’ other former costars are expected to give their opinion about the lawsuit on the episode as well.
The Nightcap with Carlos King airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN, and season 14 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.