With a new season brings renewed chatter about Real Housewives of Atlanta fan favorite, stylista and queen shade thrower, Marlo Hampton.

Introduced to our television screens eight years ago in season four as Nene Leakes’ friend, and despite one season when they were off the rails (2013’s season six), the two have been tight as play cousins. We’ve watched Hampton be a bridesmaid to Leakes’ second wedding to her husband, Gregg, we’ve seen Hampton support Leakes through Gregg’s health struggles and even make her giggle during many girls’ trips around the world.

And she’s been making us laugh along the way too. So why doesn’t Hampton have a peach yet? (And for the uninformed, “holding a peach” means you’re a full member of the show, and featured during the opening credits holding the Georgian fruit.)

“When Marlo first entered the show, there was a lot of talk about her past. And so I think that is what prevented her from getting a peach,” Leakes told ESSENCE before the season began, referencing Hampton being arrested for a variety of charges stemming from incidents all the way back to 1999.

Leakes added that she knows her friend has changed from the woman she once was.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA — “Reunion” — Pictured: (l-r) NeNe Leakes, Marlo Hampton, Kandi Burruss, Shamari Devoe — (Photo by: Annette Brown/Bravo)

“People have pasts and people…change as you grow when you get older,” the reality star explained.

But Leakes said Hampton doesn’t really need a peach because she brings extra spices (and shade!) to the show anyway.

“Marlo’s role as a friend on the show is a very big role on the show. So, she’s seen a lot. She does everything that we do and she plays her role very well,” Leakes said. “What difference is a peach going to make? Really at the end of the day, what is it going to do—just to say I’m holding a peach? Because nothing’s going to change.’

“Just to say, ‘I’m a housewife’…really? Is it really necessary?”

Nene Leakes

Leakes continued, “She has the contract. She goes on the trips. She does everything we do. So, just to say, ‘I’m a housewife’…really? Is it really necessary?”

Good point.

“Sometimes I think people in certain roles, they are great in that role, and she’s great in that role,” Leakes concluded.

And it looks like producers are no closer to giving Hampton a coveted peach, despite some fans desperately wanting that validation for her.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA — Pictured: (l-r) Marlo Hampton, NeNe Leakes — (Photo by: Steve Dietl/Bravo)

“I think it’s preliminary to say that she’s never gonna get a peach,” Real Housewives of Atlanta executive producer Andy Cohen told co-star Kandi Burruss recently. “We don’t have a consensus among the group about that…and it’s not that I don’t love her, but she’s all over the show—that’s why I think sometimes people get hung up on semantics.”

Another producer, Lorraine Haughton Lawson, was much more optimistic about Hampton’s chances saying at BravoCon earlier this month, “She may get a peach one day. I think up until this time, it just hasn’t been the right time, but that doesn’t mean this time won’t come.” 

What do you think? Should Hampton get a peach?

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