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The Real Housewives of Atlanta

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta is an American reality television series on the Bravo cable network that premiered in the fall of 2008. It is the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise following (The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Real Housewives of New York City). Atlanta is not only the highest rated show of the The Real Housewives franchise, it was the highest rated reality series on the Bravo network.[1][2][3]

The show follows six women living in and around the Metro Atlanta area as they balance home, business ventures, and their social calenders as a production crew follows their everyday activities. The current Housewives are cast veterans NeNe Leakes, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, and Phaedra Parks, and new Housewives, actress and former Miss USA winner, Kenya Moore, and Porsha Stewart, the granddaughter of legendary civil rights leader, Hosea Williams.[4][unreliable source]

The fifth season premiered on November 4, 2012 at 9/8c on Bravo. It was the most watched premiere both in the Real Housewives franchise and in Bravo history, delivering 3.2 Million total viewers.[5]

Current Housewives

NeNe Leakes

(Season 1 – present)

"I don't keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses." (Season 1 - 2)

"When I walk into the room, I own it." (Season 3 - 4)

"I have arrived, and the spotlight is on me honey." (Season 5)

Linnethia 'NeNe' Leakes founded the Twisted Hearts Foundation, an LLC that deals with domestic violence against women.[6]

Leakes separated from her husband of 14 years, Gregg Leakes, and filed for divorce on April 29, 2010, during season three. Gregg Leakes is a real estate investor and business consultant. The divorce was finalized September 29, 2011, after season four had finished shooting but the couple announced that they are engaged as of January 2013.[7][8] She now has a recurring role as Rocky on the NBC hit The New Normal.[9] With co-star Kim departing mid way through the season, NeNe is currently the only original Atlanta housewife.

Marital Status: Engaged

Kandi Burruss

(Season 2 – present)

"I'm an independent woman, doing it for myself." (Season 2)

"I have fame and fortune, and I've earned it." (Season 3 - 4)

"I may be small, but my empire keeps on growing." (Season 5)

Kandi Burruss is a Georgia native and former member of the Platinum-selling musical group Xscape. She became an Atlanta Housewife on Season 2, replacing DeShawn Snow.[10] Burruss resides in Cascade Heights with her seven-year-old daughter Riley. Burruss won a Grammy Award for her work on TLC's song "No Scrubs". She has also written/co written music for artists who include 'N Sync, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, American Idol Fantasia Barrino, female rapper Solé, Pink and Whitney Houston. Aside from being active in the music industry, she owns a clothing store TAGS in Smyrna, Georgia;[11] a pleasure products line called Bedroom Kandi and production company, Kandi Koated Entertainment. She also has an iTunes app called Kandi Koated Spades, a weekly webisode series, Kandi Koated Nights, and an upcoming series on Bravo, The Kandi Factory.[12][13]

Burruss was engaged to Ashley "A.J." Jewell during Season 2. On October 2, 2009, A.J suffered a severe head injury during a fight at the Body Tap (a gentlemen's club which he co-owned) and died soon after being hospitalized.[14] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that an employee of the club, Fredrick Richardson, was arrested in connection with the death. A police spokesman said he would be taken to Fulton County Jail as soon as doctors discharged him from Grady Memorial Hospital.[15]

Burruss appeared on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, wherein she was paired with a housewife and assisted her in an effort to win one million dollars.[16]

In season 4, Kandi met and began dating Todd Tucker, a line producer for The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In season 5, Kandi and Todd filmed scenes showing the house they had purchased and moved into together. On January 14, 2013, Kandi announced that she is engaged to Todd, who at that point was her boyfriend of one year.[17]

Marital Status: Engaged

Phaedra Parks

(Season 3 – present)

"I'm the ultimate Southern belle, I get what I want." (Season 3 - 4)

"I'm a Southern belle; brains, booty, and all business." (Season 5)

Phaedra C. Parks is an entertainment attorney. She got her start as an attorney for GEICO's in-house law firm, Bridges Ormand & Faenza.[18] After being convinced by Shakir Stewart and DJ Ryan Cameron, Parks transitioned into full-time entertainment law, notably working the high-profile case of Atlantic Records rapper Drama, whom she accompanied on tour for several months after acquiring a temporary furlough for him.[18] In 2005, Atlanta magazine featured Phaedra Parks as one of the Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars.[citation needed] In the same year, Jezebel magazine recognized Parks as an Attorney of Distinction.[citation needed] In 2007, she was featured as a top young lawyer in Georgia and was on the cover of Atlanta magazine's specialty publication, Super Lawyers.[19] Parks is managing partner for The Parks Group, P.C., a boutique law firm that focuses on contract negotiation, civil litigation, and criminal defense. She has served as a legal analyst for NBC and Fox News,[18] and has appeared on infotainment television programs such as Entertainment Tonight, Celebrity Justice, and Extra for her handling of several high-profile clients and cases.[20]

Parks is an equestrian.[citation needed] She graduated from Clarke Central High School in 1990, and earned a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Wesleyan College (in Macon, GA) in 1993 and a law degree from the University of Georgia in 1998.[19]

Phaedra has been active with the Gate City Bar Association, the oldest African-American bar association in Georgia, where she served a stint as president.[18][21] She sits on several boards, including the University of Georgia’s Law School Alumni Counsel and Atlanta Children's Shelter.[22] Parks' family is close with the family of rapper Too $hort, whom she has represented as an entertainment lawyer in the past.[18]

In 1995, Parks first met her husband Apollo Nida, who works in asset recovery, most notably as a rollback repo driver. Nida is a convicted non-violent offender.[23] He served almost 5 months from December 29, 1998 to May 14, 1999 for theft by receiving stolen goods in March 1997. According to public records, Apollo Nida was convicted for racketeering and began serving his sentence July 28, 2004. He served nearly 5 years of his 18-year sentence before being paroled on May 27, 2009. Parks and Nida married November 1, 2009,[24][unreliable source] and Phaedra gave birth to son Ayden Adonis Nida in May 2010.[citation needed]

In May 2012, Parks filed a $30 million dollar lawsuit against VIBE Publishing, citing libelous activity after the company published a book by an ex-client who claims the attorney participated in criminal activities.[25][unreliable source] The case is currently pending.

On December 28, 2012, Parks announced that she and Nida are expecting their second child. Parks also announced that the couple have finally finished their exercise DVD, titled Phine Body, which is currently for sale.[26][27][28][29]

Parks has published a book, Secrets of the Southern Belle. Its expected publication date with Simon and Schuster is April 9, 2013[30] and with Gallery Books is November 11, 2013.[31]

Marital Status: Married

Cynthia Bailey

(Season 3 – present)

"I know how to work it and be seen." (Season 3 - 4)

"Beauty fades. Class is forever." (Season 5)

Cynthia Bailey won several beauty pageants and was the first African American homecoming queen of her high school. She moved to New York City when she was 18 years old to pursue her dream of modeling.[32] Her first booking was the cover of Essence.

Bailey resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her teenaged daughter, Noelle, from a previous relationship with actor Leon Robinson. During Season 3, Bailey's relationship with boyfriend, Peter Thomas, a restaurateur and entrepreneur, unfolds.[33] On the Season 3 finale, Cynthia married Peter at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.

Season 4 highlights Bailey's preparation for, and opening of, The Bailey Agency which trains people interested in working in various aspects of the modeling business. The couple's parallel efforts to recover from Peter's previous failed venture, which Bailey had invested in, and Peter's opening of a new club are depicted.[34]

Marital Status: Married

Kenya Moore

(Season 5 - present)

"I won Miss USA, not Miss Congeniality." (Season 5)

Moore (born January 24, 1971) is an American actress, model, author, producer, author, and reality tv star. She was the 1993 winner of the Miss Michigan USA title, went on to win Miss USA 1993, and finished in the top six of the Miss Universe 1993 pageant. She is also the creator of the Kenya Moore Foundation, a charity which awards scholarships to under-privileged girls from her high school alma mater, and founder of the Moore Vision production company.

Kenya was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan by her grandmother and aunt (a primary inspiration). She is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, whose other notable alumni include Diana Ross, David Alan Grier, Lily Tomlin, Big Sean, Jack White, Shaun Robinson, and Miss USA 1990 Carole Gist (the first African American to win). After high school, Moore went to Wayne State University, where she majored in Psychology.

After winning Miss USA in 1993, Kenya appeared in a number of movies, television shows, music videos, and magazines.[35] In 2007, Moore published a non-fiction dating advice book titled Game: Get Some.[36]

Marital Status: Single

Porsha Stewart

(Season 5)

"People say I live a picture perfect life, and I do." (Season 5)

Porsha Stewart is the granddaughter of legendary civil rights leader Hosea Williams.[37] She currently resides in Buckhead with her husband, Kordell Stewart, who starred for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a quarterback for 11 seasons.[38] In 2004, she appeared in a music video for Trillville's "Some Cut".[39] Porsha was introduced in the third episode of season five.

Marital Status: Married

Former Housewives

DeShawn Snow

(Season 1)

"I always knew I was destined for greatness." (Season 1)

Originally from Detroit, a resident of the Atlanta suburb of Milton in the Manor Golf and Country Club, north of downtown Atlanta, she has three children and was married to former NBA player and announcer Eric Snow at time of filming. DeShawn was not invited back for the second season; she alleges that producers said it was because she was "too human for a circus show" and did not create enough drama.[40]

Marital Status: Divorced

Lisa Wu-Hartwell

(Season 1 – Season 2)

"If it doesn't make me money, I don't do it." (Season 1 - 2)

Wu-Hartwell's mother is of Afro-Caribbean descent and her father is Chinese American. Hartwell was married to R&B singer Keith Sweat from 1992 to 2002, and was married to NFL player Edgerton "Ed" Hartwell while filming RHOA.

Lisa and Ed Hartwell had several businesses, such as a real estate firm called Hartwell and Associates, a jewelry line called Wu Girls, a T-shirt line called Hart 2 Hart Clothing, a women's clothing line called Closet Freaks, and a baby clothing line called Hart 2 Hart Baby. Hartwell did not participate as a cast member in season three, but made several cameo appearances.

An article on Bankrate.com highlights that court records posted on TMZ.com show Lisa and Ed Hartwell borrowed $2.9 million to buy their suburban Atlanta mansion in June 2007.[41] Just more than two years later, Bank of America paid id="mce_marker".9 million for the house at a foreclosure sale at the Forsyth County, Ga., courthouse, after the Hartwells defaulted on their adjustable-rate mortgage from the bank.[citation needed] As of October 7, 2011 Lisa and Ed Hartwell are divorced.[42][unreliable source]

Marital Status: Divorced

Sherée Whitfield

(Season 1-4)

"People are intimidated by my success." (Season 1 - 2)

"I like things that are elegant and sophisticated, just like me." (Season 3 - 4)

Shereé Whitfield is the ex-wife of former Atlanta Falcons player Bob Whitfield. After marrying in 2000, Whitfield and her husband separated in 2003 and divorced in 2007. The first and second seasons of the show chronicled Whitfield's attempts to launch a fashion line called She by Shereé. After issues with the quality of her clothing samples caused her to change a planned fashion show at the end of Season 1 into a fashion "viewing" where she displayed sketches, Whitfield rallied in Season 2 and staged a show, depicted in the season finale. Despite eventually debuting She by Shereé at New York Fashion Week, she cited the hardship of "trying to find the right group of people to come together and help out" as the reason for putting the line on hold.

Marital Status: Divorced

Kim Zolciak

(Seasons 1 - mid 5)

"In Atlanta, money and class do give you power." (Season 1 - 2)

"People call me a gold-digger, but they just want what I have." (Season 3 - 4)

"I asked, believed, and I received." (Season 5)

A Connecticut native and Johns Creek, Georgia resident, Kim Zolciak (/ˈzlsiæk/) is a mother of four children, Brielle, Ariana, KJ and Kash. She was a licensed practical nurse in Connecticut and Georgia from 1999 to 2003, according to public records.[43] During 2008's Season 1, Zolciak was working on her debut single, "Tardy for the Party", which she released in 2009. She put out a new single, "Google Me", in Season 3. She married Atlanta Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann on November 11, 2011.[44] In the Season 5 photo shoot, Zolciak was unavailable due to her being pregnant but she still was in the new season premiere of the series until her departure of the season on December 2, 2012.

Kim announced in a November 2012 interview, with InTouch magazine, that she would be leaving the series during its fifth season; the sixth episode of season 5, which aired December 9, 2012, was her last debut. Also confirmed, Season 5 would be her last season. According to the interview, Zolciak notified the cast of the dates she would be available to attend the trip but eventually alerted them that she's unable to fly due to her being 8 months pregnant at the time, which was the root cause of the drama that led to her departure of the series. Zolciak also tweeted the news officially on November 21, 2012.[45][46] It has been confirmed that Zolciak will be receiving another spin-off series, which is slated to debut in spring 2013. This would be the second spin-off Zolciak has had on Bravo with Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding being the first.[47]

Marital status: Married


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