NeNe Leakes Leaving 'RHOA,' Friend Wendy Williams Claims

NeNe Leakes could be leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta after this season, longtime friend Wendy Williams revealed during Tuesday's episode of The Wendy Williams Show. After taking a break in her office between commercials, Williams told guest Jerry O'Connell that she had checked her phone and seen a text from Leaks reading, "I'm quitting."

"I'm surprised I got it, because I have no service in my office, but I got it," she continued, adding that she got the message at 9:08 a.m.

Williams added she begged her friend to stay on the show to explain some kind of secret burden she's been shouldering, but didn't go into what that was, other than it didn't involve her health, nor that of her husband and kids.

"I know something about NeNe that you all will cry, be sad and feel bad for her," Williams said. "She's carrying the weight of a huge thing on her shoulders. I'm not going to say it, she's got to say it. But in my opinion, NeNe, you need this platform to explain the other part of your life."

"Forget arguing with them broads — you've got that secret, and that secret is going to melt their hearts," Williams continued. "Because when she shared it with me, I cried with her."

Beginning to tear up, Williams begged, "NeNe, you need that platform to explain. That's all. I'm telling you. NeNe, don't quit."

Leakes has been on RHOA since its 2008 debut, but did leave the series in Season 8 to focus on acting before returning for Season 10. The following year was a tough one for Leakes, who amid her husband's cancer battle, was accused of choking a producer during a massive freakout over the other women entering her closet. Just this season, Leakes had to be physically restrained again during a fight with Kenya Moore.

In November, Leakes told PEOPLE she was initially unsure if she would return for Season 12, which is why she was absent from the first few episodes.

"There were a lot of rumors around the time and I was really skeptical about what I was going to do," she said. "I really didn't know what I was going to do, I really didn't. I had one foot in and one foot out."

"My pain is often misinterpreted," Leakes added. "I'm not one of those people who actually express how I feel a lot. I keep that inside, and a lot of [my costars] know that. But I do believe that because somebody is louder or moves more boldly, a lot of time those are the people who always get the finger pointed at them. And honestly, that's always the case with me."

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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