Lisa Wu Hartwell confirms 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' departure
By Reality TV World staff, 07/29/2010
Lisa Wu Hartwell has confirmed that she will be leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta during the Bravo reality series' upcoming third season.
"She doesn't want to just be a reality star," her publicist Carlos Scott told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, adding that Hartwell and the network have mutually decided not to reveal any additional details about her third-season involvement.
Hartwell has recently produced a fitness DVD and landed acting roles on Meet the Browns and an upcoming Robert Downey Jr. film, according to Scott. In addition, she also appears in Black Ball, an upcoming film, and recently released "When The Cake Is Already Made," her first book.
Bravo renewedThe Real Housewives of Atlanta in January and announced Hartwell, Kim Zolciak, Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes, and Sheree Whitfield would all be returning for the third season -- which began filming this spring and will premiere later this year -- in early March, but reports of Hartwell's departure have circulated since shortly after Bravo's announcement.
In late March, Jonathan Jaxson, Zolciak's former publicist, said entertainment attorney Phaedra Parks would be joining the show and Hartwell would be leaving because she lives 40 minutes outside of Atlanta, which had apparently become a problem for the show's production.
However, according to a Tuesday report on AOL's Black Voices website, Hartwell parted with Bravo "amicably" due to "creative differences."
"They basically wanted to script elements of Lisa's life and make her amp up the drama. She wasn't with that at all. Lisa felt like if her real life alone wasn't enough for the network, then maybe it was time for her to go," a source close the production told the website.
Hartwell will reportedly be part of "as many as three" episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta's third season but will not be included in the season's opening credits or promotional photos.
"The part where the ladies hold the peaches when the show opens up, she didn't participate in that shoot," the Black Voices source said.
In addition to Parks, former model Cynthia Bailey has also been previously reported to be joining the show's third season.
Hartwell -- who is married to NFL player Ed Hartwell and the ex-wife of R&B singer Keith Sweat -- is the second The Real Housewives of Atlanta star to leave the show.
Last year, DeShawn Snow didn't return for the reality show's second season after the network allegedly concluded she was too boring for TV.
"[A producer] said that I was 'too human for a circus show' and that because the show did so well, they are about to pump up the drama and they didn't think that I would fit in," Snow said at the time.