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The Real Reason Why NeNe Leakes Is Missing From RHOA Season 12’s First Two Episodes Revealed!

NeNe Leakes did not appear in the Season 12 premiere episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. According to episode descriptions released, Leakes won’t be showing up until the show’s third episode.

There's been so many rumors as to why she is not appearing in the first two-episodes, one of them is that she was suspended for getting physical with production crew during last season's #ClosetGate drama. However, Leakes makes it clear that those are simply rumors and not true.

The original Georgia peach reveals that the reason why she's MIA in the first two episodes is that she was negotiating her contract at that time.

“I was sitting here trying to work my contract out,” Leakes told PEOPLE. “There were a lot of rumors around the time and I was really skeptical about what I was going to do,” she says. “I really didn’t know what I was going to do, I really didn’t. I had one foot in and one foot out.”

Looking back at all of the ups and the downs she's endured on the series, Leakes admits she stands by her behavior.

“I don’t regret it, not one bit,” she told PEOPLE. “I don’t regret anything that happened.”

Even last season, when she seemed completely shut down at the RHOA reunion? “I was very hurt,” Leakes says. “I keep it real and those were my real true feelings. How I felt is how I felt and nobody would have been able to change that.”

“My pain is often misinterpreted,” Leakes adds. “I’m not one of those people who actually express how I feel a lot. I keep that inside, and a lot of [my costars] know that. But I do believe that because somebody is louder or moves more boldly, a lot of time those are the people who always get the finger pointed at them. And honestly, that’s always the case with me.”

Despite the drama on RHOA, NeNe says she's excited for viewers to see how everything plays out this season. “I’m excited for it to air,” Leakes says. “I’m excited for the fans to see all that has happened and see all these relationships change as time goes on.”

Despite making a name for herself on RHOA, NeNe says she's still the same person. “I feel like I’m the same person,” she says. “I feel like I’ve obviously gotten older and grown in many areas of my life. But I’m still NeNe. I’m still the same person I’ve always been. I’ve always kept it real and I will always keep it real.”

NeNe is grateful for what the show has given her since joining the series. “This platform has been an amazing platform for myself,” Leakes told PEOPLE. “It definitely has opened up many doors and opportunities. A lot of that is due to fans loving me for who I am and living out loud — all the things that some of my cast members don’t like are the things that fans really love about me. I kept it real and I say it like it is and I’m really blunt. So those fans, they have meant everything to me. They’ve embraced me for who I am and carried me through some of the harder times.”
Photo Credit: Bravo