*NeNe Leakes – the lone remaining original cast member of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” – is now the highest paid star on all of Bravo, thanks to her reported pay raise.
According to RadarOnline, NeNe will earn $1.5 million for the upcoming season. A source said she was able to “broker the huge pay increase because she is the most popular housewife of any of the Bravo franchises.”
“Without NeNe, ‘RHOA’ wouldn’t be the ratings blockbuster that it continues to be. While some of the other shows including ‘RHONJ’ and ‘RHONY’ have endured ratings slumps, Atlanta has never had to endure that,” the source said. “NeNe made it known she would need a significant raise to do the upcoming season, and Bravo had no choice but to agree to it.”
Earlier this year while appearing on Arsenio Hall’s show, Leakes called her salary at the time “okay.“
“You know what, the pay is okay, but I don’t know if it’s worth what you saw on the clip. I began this so many years ago with other girls,” she said. “And I’m the only original that’s left. It has changed a lot over the years. I thought, or at least I think, people would tune in to see the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ because they would get to see fabulousness, and a good old read, and never the hair pulling and the punching and all that kind of stuff.”
Leakes, 46, launched a clothing line for HSN, which was a huge success. Most of the clothes in her NeNe Leakes Collection sold out in a day.
The source added, “NeNe is a very smart businesswoman. She knew she could demand it and get it.”