The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The Real Housewives of Atlanta is an American reality television series that debuted October 7, 2008, and airs on Bravo. It is the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise. The series follows six women living in and around the Metro Atlanta area as they balance their home life, business ventures, and their social calendars while a production crew follows their everyday activities. As of April 2013, The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the highest rated installment of the franchise as well as the most-watched series on the Bravo network.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta was announced as the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise on June 26, 2008, featuring NeNe Leakes, Kim Zolciak, Sheree Whitfield, DeShawn Snow, and Lisa Wu Hartwell. A peach serves as a symbol for the series, as the state of Georgia is a renowned peach growing area and one of the well-known streets in Atlanta is Peachtree Street. Season 1 averaged 1.49 million viewers a week with the series itself becoming Bravo's first reality television series ever to crack the two million viewer mark among adults 18-49.
The second season renewal was announced on December 15, 2008, with the season premiere on July 30, 2009. DeShawn Snow was replaced by Kandi Burruss. Snow was let go from the series due her being "too human for a circus show".
Season 3 was revealed on January 10, 2010. Lisa Wu Hartwell did not return for the series' third season. Hartwell parted with Bravo "amicably" due to "creative differences." Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks were added to the cast. The third season premiered on October 4, 2010, and averaged 2.52 million adults 18-49 and 3.60 million total viewers.
The series would be renewed for its fourth season on March 30, 2011. with the actual premiere taking place on November 6, 2011. Marlo Hampton was added to the cast as a recurring wife. Hampton was to be added to the cast as a main housewife until Bravo uncovered her extensive criminal record and her lies regarding being engaged to NFL player Chris Grant. Prior to season four starting, Bravo green-lit The Kandi Factory as a one time special, which would later evolve into the first spin-off of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The Kandi Factory aired for one season. Kim Zolciak's spin-off - Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding - was announced on November 16, 2011.
Season 5 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta debuted on November 4, 2012, with Kenya Moore and Porsha Stewart joining the cast. Sheree Whitfield confirmed that she would not be returning due to the show going in a direction that is "no longer a fit" for her lifestyle. Episode 6 of the fifth season showcases the departure of Kim Zolciak. Despite Zolciak leaving The Real Housewives, Bravo green-lit a second season of Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding - which was retitled Don't Be Tardy... and chronicles Kim as she moves on from the series.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta was renewed for a sixth season on April 2, 2013. Season 6 will premiere on November 3, 2013, with all of the wives from the fifth season returning.
See Nene Leakes for more information
(Season 1 - present)
Linnethia "NeNe" Leakes became pregnant at age 21 with her first son Bryson. In order to support herself, she became a stripper under the stage name, Silk. Her son Bryson was born in December 1989. NeNe says she was a young single mom, fresh out of an abusive relationship when she decided to search for a job in the sex industry. Leakes perused the classifieds, scanning ads seeking dancers and models; while she admits her days as a stripper were fun, she's never taken cash for illegal activity. In 1996, she met Gregg Leakes while stripping. They married in 1997 and their son Brentt was born in February 1999.
Leakes founded the Twisted Hearts Foundation in 2008, an LLC that dealt with domestic violence against women. However, according to state documents, the charity was dissolved in September 2010.
In 2009 she co-wrote with Denene Milner the autobiographical novel, Never Make the Same Mistake Twice.
Ryan Murphy cast NeNe on his series Glee in the third season with a recurring role as synchronized swim coach and Olympic bronze-medalist Coach Roz Washington. He later cast her as Rocky Rhoades in the NBC comedy The New Normal.
Leakes separated from Gregg on April 29, 2010 and the divorced was finalized September 29, 2011, after season four had finished production.
In January 2013, NeNe and Gregg announced their engagement. It was announced in April 2013 that NeNe and Gregg have received their own spin-off, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding, which chronicles the couples lives as they prepare for their remarriage and feature the wedding itself. The series is scheduled for a fall premiere.
With co-star Kim Zolciak's departure during season five, NeNe is currently the only original Atlanta housewife. Zolciak and Leakes ended Zolciak's run on the show with mutual respect, hugging each other at the fifth season reunion.
On June 22, 2013, Leakes remarried her former husband, Gregg Leakes, in a private ceremony among family and friends at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.
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. 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 including 'N Sync, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, American IdolFantasia Barrino, female rapper Solé, Pink, and Whitney Houston. Aside from being active in the music industry, she owns clothing store TAGS in Smyrna, Georgia, a pleasure products line called Bedroom Kandi, and a production company, Kandi Koated Entertainment. She also has an iTunes app called Kandi Koated Spades, a weekly webisode series, Kandi Koated Nights, and a series on Bravo, The Kandi Factory.
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. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that an employee of the club, Fredrick Richardson, was arrested in connection with the death. A police spokesman said Richardson would be taken to Fulton County Jail as soon as doctors discharged him from Grady Memorial Hospital.
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.
In the fourth season, Kandi met and began dating Todd Tucker, a line producer for The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Within the fifth season, 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.
Burruss makes a cameo appearance within the first season finale of Married to Medicine, at Toya Bush-Harris' opening party for her husband's doctor office's, NOMAD, grand opening.
Marital Status: Engaged
(Season 3 - present)
Phaedra Parks is an entertainment attorney. She began her legal career working for GEICO's in-house law firm, Bridges Ormand & Faenza. 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. In 2005, Atlanta magazine featured Phaedra Parks as one of the Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars. In the same year, Jezebel recognized Parks as an Attorney of Distinction. 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. Parks is currently 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, 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.
Parks is an equestrian, which she states during her introduction to the series. 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.
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. She sits on several boards, including the University of Georgia's Law School Alumni Counsel and Atlanta Children's Shelter. Parks' family is close with the family of rapper Too $hort, whom she has represented as an entertainment lawyer in the past.
In 1995, Parks met her husband Apollo Nida, who works in asset recovery, most notably as a rollback repo driver. Nida is a convicted non-violent offender. 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, and Phaedra gave birth to son Ayden Adonis Nida in May 2010. In season five, episode three ("Call Me Miss USA"), Phaedra and Apollo discussed his having become certified as a nutritionist and fitness trainer.
In May 2012, Parks filed a $30 million lawsuit against Vibe Holdings, citing libelous activity after the company published a book by an ex-client who claims the attorney participated in criminal activities.
On December 28, 2012, Parks announced that she and Nida are expecting their second child. Parks also announced that the couple had finished their exercise DVD, titled Phine Body.
Parks has published a book, Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment. Its expected publication date with Simon and Schuster is April 9, 2013 and with Gallery Books is November 11, 2013.
In late February 2013, speculation started that Parks had received her own court show. At the time, the rumors remained unsubstantiated as no television network representatives had verified the claim. On April 2, 2013, Bravo announced that Rich People Problems, a series that will focus on Parks' life as she works as a mediator for problems of Atlanta's high society, is in development.
Us Weekly reported that Parks gave birth to her second son on May 7, 2013.
Marital Status: Married
(Season 3 - present)
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 a modeling career.
Bailey resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her teenaged daughter, Noelle, from a previous relationship with actor Leon Robinson, and her husband, Peter Thomas. During Season 3, Bailey's relationship with then boyfriend, Peter Thomas, a restaurateur and entrepreneur, unfolds. 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 and pageant industries. 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.
Marital Status: Married
See Kenya Moore for more information
(Season 5 - present)
Kenya Moore (born January 24, 1971) is an American actress, model, author, and producer. She won the 1993 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 the founder of the Moore Vision production company. Kenya was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan by her grandmother and aunt. She is a graduate of Cass Technical High School, and Miss USA 1990 Carole Gist (the first African American to win).
After winning Miss USA in 1993, Kenya appeared in a number of movies, television shows, music videos, and magazines. In 2007, Moore published a non-fiction dating advice book titled Game: Get Some.
During the fifth season reunion, Moore indicated she was in a relationship, but declined to name her partner.
Marital Status: In a Relationship
(Season 5 - present)
Porsha D. Stewart (née Williams) (born June 22, 1982) is an American singer, actress, and public speaker. Introduced in the third episode of season five, Porsha Stewart is the granddaughter of civil rights leader Hosea Williams.
On Saturday May 21, 2011, she married Kordell Stewart, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a quarterback for 11 seasons. Their wedding was featured on WE tv's Platinum Weddings. Porsha helps run the Atlanta-based non-profit organization, Hosea Feed the Hungry, with her Aunt Elisabeth Omilami and Uncle Afemo Omilami.
Porsha has also modeled in multiple media, both before and after marrying Kordell. For example, she appeared as a dancer in the music video for "Some Cut" (2004) (on The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville & Lil Scrappy, a split album between BME Recordings artists Lil' Scrappy and Trillville released in 2004), modeled for the June 2005 Atlanta Dymes calendar and video promo (the Straight From the A blog posted photos and the video from that shoot, courtesy of Atlanta Dymes)., and is prominently featured on the cover and interior of the Winter 2013 "Legacy Issue" of Urban Lux Magazine.
Marital Status: Divorced
Originally from Detroit, a resident of the Atlanta suburb of Milton in the Manor Golf and Country Club, north of downtown Atlanta. She graduated from Michigan State University. In 1998 she married her college sweetheart former NBA player Eric Snow and they have three sons: Eric Javon, Darius Michael, and Jarren Christopher. In May 2010 Eric filed for divorce from DeShawn after having an affair and having daughter Ava with mistress Marisela. She runs various charities. Jarren's Island is to help ADHD\autism kids after her son was diagnosed at age 7.
DeShawn was not invited back for the second season of RHOA. She alleges that producers said it was because she was "too human for a circus show" and did not create enough drama.
Marital Status: Divorced
(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 the judge presiding over the case found that "there is evidence that father has been violent towards mother" and the relationship was an "extremely tumultuous". During her time on Real Housewives of Atlanta, she was married to NFL player Edgerton "Ed" Hartwell.
Lisa claimed to have 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 left the show after 2 seasons, due to her not wanting to deal with drama. Hartwell did not participate as a cast member in season three, but made several cameo appearances.
Just over two years later, Bank of America paid $1.9 million for the house at a foreclosure sale at the Forsyth County, GA courthouse, after the Hartwells defaulted on their adjustable-rate mortgage. As of October 7, 2011, Lisa and Ed Hartwell are divorced.
Marital Status: Divorced
(Season 1 - 4)
Shereé Whitfield (born January 2, 1970) is the ex-wife of former Atlanta Falcons player Bob Whitfield. At 15"then known by her maiden name Sheree Fuller"she had daughter Tierra Fuller in 1985. In 1989, she was arrested twice for stealing jeans from Saks Fifth Avenue and was banned from all Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Ohio. Sheree met Bob in 1993. Their son Kairo was born in 1996, and their daughter Kaliegh in 1999. The couple married in 2000; however, they separated in 2003. In 2007, the couple divorced.
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.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that Sheree was awarded $775,000 lump cash settlement; an annual $113,422 from Bob's retirement funds; and $2,142.87 in monthly child support. No spousal support was awarded.
See Kim Zolciak for more information
(Season 1 - 5)
A Connecticut native and Johns Creek, Georgia resident, Kim Zolciak 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. 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. In the Season 5 photo shoot, Zolciak was unavailable due to her being pregnant but she nonetheless appeared in the season 5 premiere until her departure on December 2, 2012. Kim is currently pregnant with twins.
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. Zolciak also stated that Season 5 would be her last. However, in April 2013, Zolciak stated in an interview with Us Weekly that she might return to the series for the sixth 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 eight months pregnant at the time, which was the root cause of the drama that led to her departure from the series. Zolciak also tweeted the news officially on November 21, 2012. After her departure from the series, Bravo announced the second season of Don't Be Tardy for the Wedding, with a title change to Don't Be Tardy.
Marital status: Married.
Lisa Wu Hartwell
Main article: List of The Real Housewives of Atlanta episodes
In 2009, The Real Housewives of Atlanta was one of Bravo's most successful shows in terms of ratings and the highest rated of The Real Housewives of... franchise. Although The Real Housewives of Orange County had run for three seasons up to that point, and was successful enough to garner a spin-off in New York City, The Real Housewives of Atlanta was the channel's first reality series to hit the 2 million viewer mark among adults 18-49. The series averaged 1.13 million adults 18-49 and 1.495 million total viewers, with the reunion telecast totaling 2.055 million adults 18-49 and 2.817 million total viewers tuning in.
The second-season launch attracted 2.7 million viewers, the most for any Real Housewives debut; including the rerun at 11 pm, almost 4 million people watched the show. The show gained viewers throughout the second season. Season 2 averaged 1.992 million adults 18-49 and 2.836 million total viewers, up considerably from Season 1.
The January 30, 2011, season-three finale episode brought in 4.4 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode in Housewives history. That record was surpassed by the season-four premiere on November 6, 2011.
March 14, 2009
April 1, 2011
August 9, 2011
Fans of the franchise have questioned the series' credibility. Media Takeout reported scenes from the season four episode "Law by Sheree", which took place in the courtroom, were staged. The judge who presided over the case, Bensonetta Tipton Lane, was a white female, but pictures of the individual in question later revealed the real judge was African American. It was later revealed that the scene was not fictional, and the judge who presided over the case was a part of Judge Lane"s judicial office, which is standard procedure.
More recently, Walter Jackson, who appeared as the boyfriend of former Miss USA and current "Housewife" Kenya Moore, revealed in a December 10, 2012, radio interview with V-103's Frank and Wanda that she had paid him to act as her boyfriend during the filming of the series; he explained that she called him for a favor to play her boyfriend on the show and then revealed she deceived the RHOA producers by intimating that they were soon to be married. Moore denied those claims.