lawsuits

NeNe Leakes Claims Andy Cohen ‘Tolerated’ Kim Zolciak’s Racism in New Lawsuit

Photo: Prince Williams/WireImage

On September 28, 2020, NeNe Leakes called Andy Cohen “racist” on Twitter and tweeted, “They gone leave my name outta these shows. Send me your best discrimination attorneys info to booknene@gmail.com ITS WAR.” Two months later, she asked for a contact at the U.S. Department of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star sued the producers and production companies (True Entertainment and Truly Original) behind the show as well as NBCUniversal, Bravo, and Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen for fostering “a corporate and workplace culture in which racially insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated — if not, encouraged.”

In the lawsuit, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Leakes’s attorneys attest that she was subjected to years of racist verbal abuse from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who is white, and that when she complained to show execs, they “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially offensive behavior.” Instances of Zolciak-Biermann’s “systemic racism” mentioned in the suit include offensive anti-Black stereotypical insults directed at Leakes and co-star Kandi Burruss. The suit also claims that Zolciak-Biermann used the N-word against her Black co-stars in 2012. The suit states that this behavior “was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives.” Leakes is suing for monetary damages, claiming that her ouster from the show in 2020 violates federal employment and anti-discriminatory laws.

On the subject of racism, Zolciak-Biermann went mask-off during the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion in 2018, telling Cohen: “This whole racism thing in this day and age is bullshit. Everyone of those motherfuckers on that couch owe this world a fucking apology for this racism shit. They already tried to claim that shit long ago. Nobody bought into it then because the social media wasn’t there and racism wasn’t fucking all that real. You know it.”

NeNe Leakes Says Andy Cohen ‘Tolerated’ Racism in Lawsuit