NeNe Leakes is talking about her son Bryson Bryant’s recent arrest for the first time. Leakes, 55, sat down with former Real Housewives producer Carlos King to discuss life and the status of his arrest.
When asked how Bryant was doing, Leakes responded, “I spoke to him on the phone. I think he’s doing OK.”
The 33-year old is currently still at Gwinnett County Jail on a $6,100 bond after being arrested on July 3 for drug possession, telling police he was his younger brother Brentt Leakes, and also providing them with a false address at the time.
Leakes continued, stating that Bryant needs rehabilitation and lots of counseling.
“Like many families out there, I have family members that are struggling with drugs and certain addictions. He has an addiction. He’s been struggling with it for years. He’s been in rehab a couple of times and he still has come back out and relapse,” she explained.
The 55-year-old continued, “As a mom just to watch it, my hands are tied,” she says. “[There’s] not much that I can do. For people who have had children or family members that have been on drugs, they know that they have to be ready. They have to simply be ready.”
Addiction is a beast and lifelong disease. Studies find that 85% of people relapse within a year of treatment.
“I’ve spent so much money on trying to get Bryson where he needs to be,” she adds. “But every time I’ve sent him off is because I said, ‘You are getting your a– up and we are sending you off.’ But I learned through counseling myself that he has to say, ‘I’m ready to go,’ not me making him go. So until Bryson is ready to make a change, [there’s] nothing I [can] do.”
This isn’t the first time Bryant has been in trouble with the law. During Leakes’ time on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, he was arrested for stealing and also apprehended during a raid at McDonalds in 2015.
Leakes admitted that she’s gotten accustomed to her son’s issues since they seem to be recurring. “He is  years old, he’s an adult. He has three children — three beautiful children — who I adore. He has a wife. As a mother, I would never wash my hands of my child, right? But, I’m kind of numb to it because it’s been happening for so many years. I’m just really kind of numb to the situation,” she said.
The mom of two also admitted that being on reality TV didn’t help Bryson’s issues.
“I wouldn’t say that’s the sole cause of it, [but] it certainly didn’t help because we started on television when Bryson was like in the 11th or 12th grade and Brent was in third grade. And, so they’re, they’re having a light shine on them that they did not ask for,” she said. “People are picking them apart because of the job that I chose to do. And so I feel for them in that way. But there’s just issues that he has.”
Lamar Odom, who has been very open concerning his own struggle with addiction, also offered to help Bryant.
“Lamar Odom also called me and said that he would grab Bryson right away and send him to his place,” Leakes shared. Odom recently purchased three drug rehab centers in San Diego, El Cajon, and Lemon Grove.
Most moms will do whatever it takes to protect their kids, but there comes a point when they have to help themselves. We’re sending prayers to NeNe and hoping Bryson gets the help he needs.