'Real Housewives’ Divorce Epidemic Hits Atlanta


Reality television fans and divorce attorneys in Pasadena alike have been watching the ladies of Bravo's hit franchise "The Real Housewives" go through big time off-camera marital drama over the last several months. Both Tamra Barney and Vicki Gunvalson fromThe Real Housewives of Orange County made the tabloids with their respective high-profile divorces earlier this year, while New York housewife Countess Luanne de Lesseps split from her Count in 2009. Now the reality television divorce epidemic has migrated down south. Outspoken star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta NeNe Leakes reportedly has filed for divorce from her husband of 14 years, Gregg Leakes.

Fans of the Atlanta version of the franchise know NeNe Leakes as the outspoken, take-no-prisoners wife to Gregg, a subdued and seemingly reasonable businessman. The couple seemed like one of the more solid unions on the show compared to "other woman" Kim Zolciack and forever frigid Shree Whitfield. But the happy union began to crumble before the audience's eyes this season as Gregg and NeNe were often shown at odds over finances and secrets. A recent episode showed NeNe at a divorce lawyer's office but the star now tells Essence.com that she filed for divorce from Gregg "months ago." Yet she also tells the magazine she and her estranged husband still live together.

"We are still together. We are in the same house and we are still legally married. But that's not to say we won't be unmarried," she says.

The reality star turned memoir author also tells Essence she and Gregg remain friendly and committed to raising their 11-year-old son. Still, Leakes admits the emotional strain has started to take its toll.

"We are cordial, and it is very much of an up and down thing," she says. "One day is good, the next day is bad. That's what I'm really tired of. And I'm very aware that the 40s for me are the new 30s and that I need to be happy because life is very short. "