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Wendy Williams says NeNe Leakes is quitting ‘RHOA’ with a painful ‘secret’

Talk show queen Wendy Williams (Photo credit: Bang News)

Wendy Williams sent shockwaves through popular culture when she announced on her talk show that original “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes is quitting the popular reality TV series.

Leakes is the only remaining cast member left from RHOA’s inception in 2008. But she is leaving the show in the very near future, Williams stated, and she is taking a painful “secret” with her.

Williams said she began to tear up when she got a text from BFF Leakes during a break in “The Wendy Williams Show” on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

“I took a break between commercials, … my office is right there behind the set. I had to go to the bathroom, and so I looked at my phone between commercials. And NeNe texts, ‘I’m quitting,’ ” Williams said. “I’m surprised I got it because I have no service in my office, but I got it.”

People magazine also reported that Leakes is quitting. But then a rep for Leakes tried to clean up the mess by telling People: “It’s been an especially difficult couple of weeks for NeNe, and she was venting to her friend in private correspondence. Nothing has been confirmed or officially decided for next season.”

During her talk show, Williams implored Leakes not to quit because RHOA provides a sufficient platform for whatever is burdening Leakes.

“I know something about NeNe that you all will cry, be sad and feel bad for her,” Williams said on the show. “She’s carrying the weight of a huge thing on her shoulders. I’m not going to say it, she’s got to say it. But in my opinion, NeNe, you need this platform to explain the other part of your life.”

Williams then added: “Forget arguing with them broads — you’ve got that secret, and that secret is going to melt their hearts,” Williams added. “Because when she shared it with me, I cried with her.”