LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” NeNe Leakes has sued the companies behind the show, alleging that they fostered and tolerated a hostile and racist work environment.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Atlanta alleges that Leakes' “Real Housewives” castmate Kim Zolciak-Biermann made several racist remarks between 2008 and 2017. But the suit says executives from NBCUniversal and Bravo television took no actions after Leakes, who is Black, complained. Instead, Leakes claims they retaliated and eventually forced her off the show.
The suit's defendants include NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, executives from the companies and “Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen, but not Zolciak-Biermann.
“From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Emails seeking comment from the defendants and Zolciak-Biermann were not immediately returned.