Inside NeNe Leakes’ Friendship With Wendy Williams

Honestly, you don’t expect two bad ass women, who speak their mind, and tell everyone exactly how it is, where it is and how it’s gon’ be to be friends. But when we see Black Girl Magic link up like this, our eyes light up—because no matter what they try to tell us, women don’t just fight, we uplift, support and (yes, this part is true) talk non-stop on the phone.

So when we saw reality superstar NeNe Leakes and daytime talk show host Wendy Williams reunite on the latter’s daytime talk show back in September, we were thrilled. Sadly, it was Leakes’ first time on the purple couch in seven years after a falling out over Williams’ iconic segment, Hot Topics, with The Real Housewives of Atlanta star feeling the talk show host was “running my name through the dirt.”

“It’s been seven years since NeNe has been here. You know, I’m going through a divorce and I’m re-routing my life,” Williams explained. “There are people that I have been calling and saying, ‘What happened between us?'”

After getting her telephone number “from somebody,” Williams said during the interview that’s been viewed more than a million times now, Leakes “jumped on the plane” and “went straight to her.”

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“I knew you needed me, honey,” Leakes said in her signature southern drawl.

And when ESSENCE checked in with Leakes back in October on a rainy day in New York City, the reality star revealed that she had just gotten off the phone with her friend.

“Wendy called me earlier this morning and she said, ‘I’m headed to work in this ugly weather,'” she revealed. “She’s like, ‘Text me back.'”

Hinting that the talk show host called her to get her side of Housewives‘ drama, which she recaps every Monday on The Wendy Williams Show, which was recently renewed for two more seasons through 2022, Leakes added playfully, “She just sits there and talks about me every day. I’m like, ‘Girl, will you stop calling my name?'”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 24: (L-R) Wendy Williams, Rick Ross, NeNe Leakes, and Madina Milana attend the Rick Ross “Port Of Miami 2” Album Party at Up & Down on August 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

But Leakes doesn’t mean it. In fact, Williams is a bold-faced name that the reality star has come to highly regard, often linking up with her for dinner, drinks and a rare party if ever she’s in New York.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever met someone and you become like fast friends? Like, you know, you start talking to them and it’s like, man, it feels like I’ve been knowing you for 10 years,” she told ESSENCE of her friendship with Williams. “So, I think that’s the kind of connection that she and I have. It just feels…it’s easy, it’s natural. It’s like having a big sister. It’s just really easy.”

Noting that the two have “a lot of similarities,” their big personalities have such a gravitational pull on each other that it’s drawn the two closer in each other’s orbits—their shine not pushing each other away, but igniting a bigger flame.

Still, the two are different. While Leakes will hop on a plane to New York or Miami or Los Angeles at one mention of a get-together, Williams would rather chill at home in her new New York City bachelorette pad she got after splitting from her husband of nearly 22 years, Kevin Hunter.

“She started having a hard time in her personal relationship and she and I planned a girl’s trip together,” Leakes said, noting that it was hard to convince Williams to leave the house. “You would just never believe someone with a personality that big is just really chill and really a homebody.”

And although there were rumors that Williams would bring her brand to Bravo, after also reconciling with Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen, Leakes said “she would never do that.”

“I think she’d be great for the show too, but she would never,” she added.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Meanwhile, check your local listings to find out when The Wendy Williams Show airs weekdays.


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