NeNe Leakes explains why she quit The Apprentice

NeNe Leakes appeared on The Today Show this morning to explain why she quit The Celebrity Apprentice, which wasn’t really explained during the episode except for a really phone phone call between Trump and NeNe during which she said she was leaving.

NeNe told the completely uninterested third-hour Today Show hosts, “It was not a good situation for me. It was very toxic.” She also said that her divorce was pending during taping, “I was going through a lot when I was on the show.”

She cited the “backstabbing and manipulative and lying,” and eventually mentioned Star Jones. Perhaps the most interesting thing she said was that NeNe and Star had “dinner and drinks and double dated with my husband and her boyfriend” during production, and thus they were forming a friendship outside of the show that NeNe felt Star betrayed in the context of the competition. (She reiterated that in an interview with Access Hollywood.)

However, NeNe also mentioned domestic abuse. “Had I stayed any longer, it wouldn’t have been good for me. Women of domestic abuse, our slogan is, ‘If the situation isn’t good, you get out.’ I chose to leave. Simple as that,” NeNe said.

Here’s NeNe’s full interview on Today:

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

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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.