'The Real Housewives of Atlanta's NeNe Leakes: 'We were not evicted'
By Steve Rogers and John Bracchitta, 12/04/2008
The Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes is speaking out against a "huge misunderstanding" that resulted in reports that she and her husband, Gregg Leakes, were evicted from the Duluth, GA home they were shown living in during the Bravo reality show's first season.
"The recent rumors alleging that my family faced an eviction are a huge misunderstanding and grossly inaccurate," Leakes said in a statement released by Bravo on Thursday.
"I am truly blessed to enjoy a wonderful life and lifestyle. We have indeed moved to another home, but we did so on our own free will. We live in an absolutely beautiful home and we are fortunate to be able to live in the place of our choice," she added.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreported that the Leakes had moved out of the 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom residence they had lived in during the production of The Real Housewives of Atlanta's first season after being served with an eviction notice for failing to pay $6,240 in rent.
According to the newspaper, the couple had been served with an eviction notice on September 14 and finally vacated the property in November. The notice was filed with the magistrate court of Gwinnett County, the Georgia county that Duluth is part of, on September 24.
Leakes doesn't seem to be disputing that an eviction notice was served -- in fact, she had reportedly previously noted it contained only her husband's name and not hers when the Journal-Constitution had contacted her about the matter last week.
However she denies that the couple ended up being evicted from the house -- a claim the Journal-Constitution's report had stopped short of alleging but multiple media outlets had subsequently reported.
"Without wasting time on the details, the only thing I will say is that we were NOT evicted," Leakes said in the statement. "Everybody knows that I like to be honest, real and up front. If something was wrong, I would tell you!"
According to the newspaper's Wednesday report, the Duluth, GA residence was purchased for $829,400 in September 2006 and is currently owned by Kajani Shenaz Ali, who lives overseas. The couple had moved into the home in 2006 as part of what Leakes had termed a "lease purchase corporate deal between Greg & his company" in an email to the Journal-Constitution last week.
"Things didn't work out between the two of them so they did what they had to do and he did what he had to do," she wrote.
Leakes had subsequently declined to tell the newspaper where she and her husband were now living.
"It's none of your business," she wrote in an email exchange with the Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. "[We] are financial able [sic] and stable to live where ever we feel fits."
"If we rent, lease purchase or buy, money is still coming out of my pocket," she wrote. "So who's [sic] business is that??"
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In her Thursday statement, Leakes said she was well aware of the current situation surrounding the real estate market -- her husband is listed as a real estate investor while one of her goals is to open a luxury boutique hotel in the near future -- and was grateful that she did not have to deal with the troubles that many others were currently facing.
'Unfortunately, there are many families who are facing real foreclosures and real evictions. That is not and never was the case with us," she wrote. "I know where we live and how we live, and for those blessings I am humbly thankful."