Kandi Burruss Says 'RHOA' Cast Is 'Over and Tired of' NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore's Drama (Exclusive)
Kandi Burruss is trying to fly above all the Real Housewives of Atlanta drama, but it’s not always easy.
"During the season, I pretty much got along with everybody, I didn't have any arguments but lately it just seems like Ms. Leakes and I have been bumping heads," Kandi tells ET. "And I really don’t know what her problem is, you know what I’m saying? Well, now I do, because I have been petty."
Kandi and NeNe Leakes got into a bit of a social media back and forth this week after NeNe went live on her YouTube channel to share her thoughts on the season.
"For some reason, though, Kandi just can’t be on my side for nothing," NeNe said in her video. "The fact that this girl -- every single season -- she sits in her interview and just snaps at me and can never, ever say, 'NeNe was right about this.' It just really comes off like hate, you know what I’m saying? But she’s willing to laugh and talk to the people who did the whole rape and dungeon thing? It’s crazy."
"Me and her had never even been into anything like that," she added. "We had a whole thing years ago, with the 'I see you, you see me, we see each other.' That was so long ago! That was it. But there was nothing nasty and dirty about it. Although we are oil and water, I’m still grown enough to say, when she’s right, she’s right. And when somebody has done something to her that was wrong, I’m still adult enough to say, ‘That was wrong. They shouldn’t have did that against her.’ But she’s never, ever did that towards me. Never, ever. She always come off like she’s just hating me so much. Girl, dang! There’s enough space for all of us. She ain’t gotta hate on me."
Kandi says she really has no idea why NeNe feels the way she did, noting that she can only think of one joke she made about NeNe in her confessional interviews.
"I feel like she was starting it," Kandi says. "Just gave people this sense of... just trying to get people [to think] I was coming for her during this season, when actually, I’m the only one who wanted to film with her at the beginning of the season. Like, I was the one who was trying to get everyone back on the same page with her. So, I don’t know how she changed that into trying to make people believe that I have something against her. I honestly feel like it’s just because I’m friends with Kenya [Moore]."
NeNe and Kenya have basically been at war all season long, with things coming to a head on the cast trip to Greece. Kenya got so frustrated with the group that she stormed off; Kandi chased after her in hopes of getting her to return and work through her issues with the women, but Kenya refused.
"I feel like everybody else is, like, we -- honestly -- we’re over and tired of [Kenya] and NeNe arguing with each other," Kandi admits. "It's always one of them walking away so let's just have a real conversation and try to do it without arguing. And then, you know, get to the bottom of whatever the drama is because to be honest with you, I'm still confused on where the beef originated, you know?"
Kenya, herself, has admitted to not fully understanding why NeNe has an issue with her, other than feeling threatened as the "queen bee" of RHOA, which NeNe has said she finds laughable. The divide has split the fans -- and even some of the Housewives -- into "Team NeNe" and "Team Kenya."
"People want me to be mad at Kenya so much, you know what I mean? They want me to be angry with her about her behavior on the show or whatever, but it's, like, Kenya and I really hit it off, like we're really cool and, at the end of the day, I do tell her when I feel like she's not, you know, doing something that is cool or whatever," Kandi says. "We do have our talks. I'm very straightforward. You do not have to worry about me beating around the bush, but just because I may not agree with something she does, it doesn't mean that we are going to fall out."
"She's always been good with me," she adds. "People always know Kenya as the villain, right? But then, you actually get to see that a lot of things actually do affect her. You see she just got to a breaking point that I don't know if everybody realizes, like, that little 10 minutes of the [“ruin party”] argument, 10, 20 minutes, whatever [you saw on TV], it lasted for hours. So, if you think about it, she had the crown on almost the entire time."
The heated exchange that led Kenya to storm off came during a "ruin party" the women threw in Greece, where they passed around a crown and aired their grievances with each other in hopes of being able to move forward. Kenya hit her breaking point when Marlo Hampton shared her issues with Kenya to the group.
"It wasn't even really what Marlo was saying that made her break down, it's the fact that she had to deal with things being back to back to back," Kandi says. "Plus, what she already had going on at home that she just was, like, done."
Just a day before the cast embarked on their vacation, Kenya and her husband, Marc Daly, announced they were separating.
"Regardless of whether you're wrong or right in a situation, if you had to argue with every single person in a room and then, on top of that, people, like, spitting and throwing stuff at you? Like, you're gonna break," Kandi notes.
As for what the future holds, Kandi hopes both NeNe and Kenya stick around.
"Of course we can exist with both of them in [the group]," Kandi promises. "I mean, let's be for real -- they've been on the show arguing for years, pretty much. I mean there was, like, one brief moment in time where they kind of got along, you know? But other than that … we've dealt with both of them on the show."
“Yeah, there were a couple of seasons where NeNe wasn't there, and there was a season where Kenya wasn't there, but for the most part, we had the both of them there together, and I think it's better," she continues. "I think it's better when the both of them are there. I don't really want to see the show without either one of them, me personally. Even though, you know, there are times when I've butt heads, as well. But that has nothing to do with us. I still want to see them both there."
RHOA's current season only has a few episodes left to air, and there will be at least one more Kenya-NeNe blowup to see.
"It was so many arguments that happened this year, especially between the two of them," Kandi says. "And so, I just was, like, you know what? I'm over it. I hope they are over it. I hope -- I don't know if they will ever get to a point where they will be able to be on the same page, but it will be nice. It would be nice."
Kandi adds that fans shouldn’t expect Kenya and NeNe to work things out at the reunion, which has actually been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kandi is currently isolating at home in Atlanta with her family due to the near-worldwide shutdown; ET spoke to the RHOA star via video chat.
"Everything's going well," she shares. "Family-wise, everything is going well. Everybody's healthy, everybody's doing well. You know, I'm having more time at home with the kids, so doing classes online with the kids, and you know, having a lot of family time. But as far as business? Business sucks right now!"
Kandi and her husband, Todd Tucker, were forced to shut down their Old Lady Gang restaurants as part of the national effort to "flatten the curve," though they are still open for take-out and delivery orders. Kandi and Todd’s businesses' have been at the heart of some of their drama on this season of RHOA, and according to Kandi, there’s more to come before season’s end -- and it’s all about her mom, "Mama Joyce," who is part of the restaurants’ namesake.
"OK, so, my mom didn't come to [our] baby shower, him and her had started back having issues with each other again right before the baby shower," Kandi teases. She and Todd welcomed their second child together, daughter Blaze, in November.
"To be honest with you, they weren’t talking ... until our baby was born," Kandi confesses.
"The day of our baby shower, we were out and about at a restaurant, close to the house, my mom and I, and Todd came, but he didn’t even come and speak to her or whatever," she shares. "[That] had her on fire and she was, like, so mad. She was like, 'I'm not coming to your baby shower!'"
"Basically she was going to let him have it at the baby shower, and she didn’t wanna do that -- especially because the cameras were going to be there -- and she was like, 'You know, I’m not going to be able to hold it in and I don’t want to ruin your baby shower, so I’m not even coming…'" Kandi recalls. "Let’s be honest, my mother is always gonna be herself, OK? You will definitely see more of my mom on Bravo, and she’s still gonna be herself."
Rumors have been circulating that Kandi is working on a RHOA spinoff focused around the Old Lady Gang restaurants, which would include her mom and her aunts, though Kandi wouldn’t confirm if her "more of my mom on Bravo" line was in reference to that.
"I just said my momma is gonna be herself," she says. "You will always be entertained, always. That’s the thing about my mom. She’s keeping it 100, and she’s not putting on for you. No fake drama there."
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. To see what Kandi had to say about speculation she's competing on the current season of Fox’s The Masked Singer, check out the video below.
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