NeNe Leakes and her new granddaughter Bri’asia pose for photos as her home in Duluth, Georgia on Sunday August 12, 2012

*At age 40, NeNe Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” has become a grandmother.

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Her granddaughter, Bri’asia Bryant, was born two months ago, but she has remained quiet about it until now, telling In Touch magazine “Forty is the new 30. I’m a sassy, fashion-forward grandma!”

NeNe says she was shocked when she learned from her 22-year-old son, Bryson, that he and his girlfriend, Ashley Hill, 21 were expecting a baby girl.  It seems that Bryson was hesitant to tell his mom about the baby as he wasn’t sure how she’d react.

In Touch reports: “I only found out about everything because I ran into Ashley when she was more than six months along,” NeNe tells In Touch in an exclusive interview. “I said, ‘You look pregnant.’ And she said, ‘Hasn’t Bryson told you?’ But he hadn’t because he knew that I wouldn’t approve of him having a child so young.”

“I didn’t feel like he was ready for such a big responsibility,” she says. “I was his age when I had him, so I know how tough it is. I didn’t want him to make the same mistakes that I did. I needed to let it sink in.”

Once little Bri’asia was born in mid-June, NeNe’s heart thawed: “I always wanted to have a girl,” she says, “and now I have one! She’s just adorable.”

NeNe’s wallet thawed as well: “I paid for everything in the nursery: the clothing, the diapers. I don’t want her to feel strapped.”  She told In Touch that she’s gone completely “crazy” buying gifts for the baby, including “little dresses, sparkly headbands, and Gucci shoes … We just love her!”