Housewives Legal Drama! 'RHOA' Star NeNe Leakes Files Lawsuit Against Bravo Exec Andy Cohen For 'Encouraging' Racist Work Environment
The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum NeNe Leakes sued Bravo for reportedly tolerating "if not encouraging" a racist work environment.
Leakes, who is a Black woman, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, April 20, claiming she's spent years making complaints regarding comments made by then-costar Kim Zolciak-Biermann.
"NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged," the court documents read.
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The Bravolebrity — full name Linnethia Monique Leakes — alleged in the suit that Zolciak-Biermann — a white woman — made repeated racist jabs at her throughout her seven seasons on the show that "perpetuated an offensive stereotype about African-Americans."
Among the examples provided in the court filing was a moment in season one when she made a comment with "words to the effect of: 'I don't want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken,'" after being invited to a cook out.
She also alleged that her former costar had used the N-word when referring to several of the other housewives during a time she was upset with them, and later noted the 43-year-old also implied Leakes was a drug-user and that her home was a "roach nest."
"From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives," the reality star's lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement.
Meanwhile, her other attorney, Joe Habachy, explained that "not a day goes by that NeNe doesn't wake up with an onslaught of overwhelming emotions as a direct result of these unfortunate and avoidable occurrences" in an email regarding the lawsuit.
Despite repeatedly going to the network to address her costar's alleged offensive and unacceptable conduct, Leakes' lawsuit — which targets NBCUniversal, Bravo, Truly Original, True Entertainment, as well as producer Andy Cohen — claims that Bravo "did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior."
Zolciak-Biermann is not currently named in the suit.