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NeNe Leakes Was Only Paid $10,000 For ‘RHOA’ Season 1

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NeNe Leakes has revealed that she was only paid $10,000 USD for the first season of Bravo’s RHOA.

The longtime reality star and icon of the Bravo franchise sat down with Carlos King for a shocking two-part interview and in Part 1, she dished on the low pay she received for Season 1 despite RHOA turning into the network’s biggest hit.

“I think my first season of Housewives I made $10,000,” she told Carlos. “

Carlos seemed shocked by the amount and pressed NeNe for more information: “Wait a second, you filmed for three months on the first season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and you made $10,000?” he asked.

“$10,000,” responded NeNe. “Now, I believe if I’m not mistaken…. We did a reunion and I think they gave us $5,000 for the reunion.”

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NeNe Leakes has revealed in a new interview that she was only paid $10,000 for her first season of RHOA. (Photo: Bravo)

“We had very little money. There’s a lot of people who say a lot of stuff but they just don’t know what they’re talking about,” she said, referencing those who think all of the Housewives have been very highly paid across their time on Bravo. “Season 1, we didn’t make any money. We filmed that show, we knocked it out of the park, and we didn’t get anything. Season 2, we didn’t get anything.”

After a few seasons, NeNe reveals the cast started to make some of the big bucks the franchise is known for in the press. “I want to say Season 2, we got probably about $50,000,” she explained. “Season 3, we moved to an attorney, all of us came together, got the same attorney and we wanted to have favored nations… I think we got 100,000.”

She continued, “It was maybe at the most $150,000. We started to make a bag Season 4… We knocked this show out of the park those first three years and we were not getting real money at all… at all.”

Bethenny talks about being underpaid by Bravo

NeNe Leakes’s comments about being underpaid during her tenure on RHOA come at an interesting time with Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York City recently taking Bravo to task for only paying her $7,500 for her first season.

In a video posted to her Instagram on July 19, Bethenny revealed that she has “never made a single residual,” from NBC despite the Housewives shows now being used to monetize Peacock, aadding “either I’m missing something, or we’re getting screwed too.”

Bethenny Frankel, Andy Cohen, Reality TV Residuals, Bravo TV, Bravo
Former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has been calling out Bravo, Peacock, and Andy Cohen for failing to properly compensate reality TV talent. (Photo: Bravo)

She continued, “Anyone shooting a Bravo show should not be shooting until they get paid residuals for all the other episodes that they’ve ever done, or those episodes should be taken down. Reality stars should go on strike.”

In her comments, Bethenny made it clear that she is sticking up for the lesser-paid reality stars and not the big ticket talent like she was on her show. “I am the exception, not the rule. Me making money is because I’m extremely smart and knew what I was dealing with and grew up at the racetrack. This is not designed for me because I have more than I could ever want,” she said. “This is for the girl who gets paid $7,250 In her first season and said something she regrets that she has to watch on television and on T-shirts and on YouTube for the rest of her natural-born life and make no money on it.”

Their comments on pay come amid the ongoing strike in Hollywood, where the Screen Actors Guild—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) recently joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in their efforts to create a better future for their members. The strike has halted production on many films and TV shows, with Bethenny, in particular, believing that reality TV stars should be taking the same action.

NeNe calls out Cynthia Bailey

NeNe is speaking out about her time on RHOA in a new interview with Carlos King, discussing the demise of her friendship with Cynthia Bailey and revealing that Cynthia once tried to get her fired from RHOA.

“I don’t think that [reconciliation] will ever be possible,” she said of her relationship with Cynthia. “I just know some of the things she has done behind-the-scenes that I could never, ever respect. Now, I can’t respect them but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t work with her. I could work with her but I couldn’t respect some of the stuff I know for certain that she did.”

Carlos pressed NeNe Leakes, asking her if Cynthia was trying to stop her bag. “As much as she was on camera saying I was trying to stop hers, she was definitely trying to stop mine,” NeNe responded as only NeNe can. “I know a lot of things she did, honey. She was in an alliance too, honey… She was in an alliance with Housewives and behind-the-scenes with Housewives and the network.”

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