Bravo, NeNe, newspaper respond to alleged eviction

After yesterday’s story that NeNe Leakes was evicted from her Atlanta house, both Bravo and the newspaper that published the original story are doing different versions of damage control. The end result is that NeNe and the paper both say she was not evicted, but she did leave the house that was affixed with an eviction notice. So whatever.

First, the network released a statement from NeNe, that blogging VP Andy Cohen insists he got after he “emailed the ‘Real Housewife of Atlanta’ to get to the bottom of the story.” Yeah, right. Translation: “Here’s what Bravo’s PR people said for her.” Because we know what NeNe sounds like in e.mail, and it’s not like this:

“The recent rumors alleging that my family faced an eviction are a huge misunderstanding and grossly inaccurate. 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. Unfortunately, there are many families who are facing real foreclosures and real evictions. That is not and never was the case with us. I know where we live and how we live, and for those blessings I am humbly thankful. It is disappointing that many members of the media have chosen to report gossip instead of news. Without wasting time on the details, the only thing I will say is that we were NOT evicted. Everybody knows that I like to be honest, real and upfront. If something was wrong, I would tell you! Thank you for your well wishes. However, please know that my family continues to be abundantly blessed, and that Miss NeNe has not skipped a beat!”

Responding to that, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho blames bloggers for not reading his story correctly. “The problem is a lot of gossip blogs, not reading our story that carefully, unequivocably [sic] said she was evicted,” he wrote.

So, let’s parse all of this bullshit, shall we? The newspaper’s story, written by Rodney Ho, said “NeNe and her husband, Gregory Leakes, left in November after Winwood Properties filed an eviction notice.” That does not say she was evicted, but it says the eviction notice was the reason she left. That sentence can reasonably be read as suggesting that it was, essentially, an eviction, even if the police didn’t throw her stuff onto the street.

That’s supported by the fact that Ho writes in his follow-up blog post, “We did say for a fact she left the house and that there was an eviction notice placed on the house because her husband hadn’t been paying the rent. That eviction notice is real and a fact.”

So basically all of this is about sidestepping that word “eviction,” which has varying definitions, one of which, according to Princeton’s WordNet, is an “action by a landlord that compels a tenant to leave the premises (as by rendering the premises unfit for occupancy); no physical expulsion or legal process is involved.” And I can’t believe I just quoted a dictionary in reference to The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Also note this gem: In the original story, Bravo spokesperson Rachelle Savoia told the newspaper, “We don’t comment on the personal lives of our talent.” Well, unless that comment can be conveniently passed off as an e.mail from a cast member and drive traffic to Andy’s blog.

Nene Speaks [Bravo]
NeNe Leakes bites back [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.