Andy Cohen has reacted to NeNe Leakes' departure from "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." After the original cast member announced that she won't be returning for upcoming season 13, the executive producer of the reality series franchise gushed over her contribution in a heartfelt tribute.
On Thursday, September 17, the "Watch What Happens Live" host shared a series of Instagram photos of the two to share the memory he had with the reality star. In the accompaniment of the pictures, he wrote, "Nene Leakes is an icon of the genre. She is a gif and catchphrase machine. In 11 years of #WWHL, Nene has been our most frequent guest, and she is always A BLAST."
"Nene nicknamed me 'Buttercup' the first day we met, and still calls me that today. Through her whole run, she has always had a serious concern and drive to maintain the success and well-being of #RHOA," he continued. "I am going to miss Nene on the show, but I'm hoping we work together again soon and will remain in each other's orbits forever. XO, Buttercup."
Andy's tribute post was soon flooded with reactions from fellow "Real Housewives" stars and other TV personalities. Gizelle Bryant from "The Real Housewives of Potomac" expressed her surprise, "Oh wow….this is sad," while Marysol Patton from "The Real Housewives of Miami" raved over Nene, "She is the best!! I love her.. great friend through the years!! Hell Yess to the OG's." Celebrity fashion stylist Brad Goreski, meanwhile, bemoaned, "2020 is really killing me."
Before Andy came out with his tribute, NeNe went public about her exit from the popular series via her YouTube channel. "I have been on an extremely, extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation. There's been a lot of emotion flying from both sides. It has been hard, and I have made the very hard and very difficult decision to not be a part of Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 13", she divulged. "It wasn't an easy decision for me. It was hard."
NeNe helped launch "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in 2008. She has since been featured in 10 seasons of the show.