Cynthia Bailey and NeNe Leakes ended their feud during the February 16 episode of Real Housewives Of Atlanta. The reality stars met and hashed out their issues, and even shared a toast to “new beginnings,” after their friendship fell apart during the previous season finale.
The road to reconciliation began when NeNe, 52, sent hors d'oeuvres to Cynthia, 52, to celebrate the launch of her business, Bailey Wine Cellar. As a thank you, Cynthia invited her to have a drink together and talk about their problems. Although both brought baggage to the talk, the reality stars were more focused on putting their pain behind.
“It really sucks to be in this place with NeNe. I’m not concerned about us being the best of friends again, but I can’t stand walking around knowing that she hates me,” Cynthia admitted before their meeting. “This has been a long time coming for us to sit down and have a conversation. I feel like we deserve to at least have a mutual respect for each other.”
Nene confronted Cynthia about why she called her a toxic friend, which she didn’t find fair. “This is somebody I considered to be a sister, and I felt she was out saying I was a toxic friend,” NeNe admitted. “‘Toxic’ is heavy because I thought I was a good friend to Cynthia. So I thought that was a stretch. I thought the word was nasty.”
Cynthia said she knew that using the word was harsh, and she said it out of frustration. “When you are a friend, you are an amazing friend,” she told NeNe. “When things go left, then you can be very closed, you’re very quick to shut people off, pretty much close people away. When I made that statement, you had said some things, I responded to some things, we both had said a lot. Maybe toxic was a little strong, but I felt like the last time that we were together, I was trying to explain a situation to you and I felt like you were completely closed to hearing it. And then I actually saw you saying things about me that I didn’t like. … You have said I was weak and insecure, which is not true.”
NeNe countered that she felt calling Cynthia “weak” was fair after she saw negative interviews that her costar gave about her. “You did that and you need to take responsibility to what you did,” she insisted. “You know me well enough to know that I take my friendship very seriously and I would not be out there purposefully doing something to somebody else.”
Cynthia fired back, “When you get mad at your friend, you’re the first one to try to tear them down.” NeNe dug into the model more, and claimed that she had a secret side to her that no one knew about. “You have done stuff that you don’t want people to think that you’ve done,” Leakes alleged. “You want people to think that it’s me, that’s the problem.”
Things became so emotional that NeNe left the restaurant in tears. “I think you don’t understand me, and the way you’ve made me feel,” she told Cynthia, who went after her. “This thing that you said, ‘I’m a toxic friend,’ it was very hurtful to me...I think you wanted people to think I was this bad person or this horrible friend and I want to be a good friend. I’m not trying to be a bad friend. And I just want you to know I’ve been hurt by a lot of the things.”
NeNe’s vulnerability ultimately made Cynthia realize that she was “struggling to have an accountability or own any of this,” and she ultimately apologized. “I know that I hurt you,” Cynthia said. “I am sorry. … I know I have said some things that were not nice to say. Just give me a hug please. NeNe, I’m sorry.” NeNe accepted her apology. “And I’m sorry. I really am, I’m sorry,” the native New Yorker said as they embraced. “What I don’t want to do is hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you and that’s real, I don’t want to hurt you.” Cynthia responded, “You are that person in my life that I just never saw coming. And life is really too short.”
“I receive it,” Leakes said. “And I’m glad you understand how I feel. I do understand how you feel. And I’m glad we had this conversation. I am.”
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