If you’ve been watching this season of Real Housewives of Atlanta, you know that Nene Leakes is “VERY rich bitch.” She informed castmate Sheree of this when they had a fight over some money tied to a paid appearance. Sheree claimed that Nene tried to take a part of both Sheree and Kim Zolciak’s cut of the appearance fees. This led to her castmates speculating how rich she really was. Kandi Burruss pointed out that rich can mean very different things to different people: “When people are making new money, they can have a few hundred thousand, or even $1 million, and they think that’s rich.”
Nene was also filmed looking at a $9 million house in Miami, which seemed a deliberate attempt to show off her wealth. Nene HAS had a lot of financial opportunities, and her appearance on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice was probably very lucrative, but it’s still hard to imagine that she could afford a $9 million house. Even if you have millions of dollars, splashing down that much for a house is probably not a good move.
It’s also the case that usually when people ARE extremely wealth, they generally don’t talk about it, or try to convince others that they have a lot of cash.
After all the backlash she received from her “rich” comment, NeNe is no longer talking up her personal finances, putting a different spin on what “rich” means. She’s now claiming that when she said she was “rich” she meant all the various ways one could be rich in life, not only wealth, but health, spirit, and happiness. On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she even called people who thought she meant money by that statement (i.e. EVERYONE) “ignorant.”
Despite Nene’s spin doctorin’ people still want to know how much of a baller she is. How much is Nene Leakes really worth?
First of all, she gets paid for being a star on Bravo’s top rated Real Housewives show, which is currently airing it’s fourth season. In 2009, she claimed they were all getting paid $100,000 per episode, and that number might have risen since. Nene might even be getting paid more than the other castmates because of all the drama and buzz she creates.
She also appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, lasting 10 weeks until she walked off because of a riff with Star Jones. But how much did she make from her stay? The celebrity contestants compete for money to be donated to charity, but they are paid for the three weeks it takes to film the show. In 2009 former contestant Piers Morgan told US Weekly that he got paid about $16,000 to tape the show. UPDATE: To further investigate the “Trump check” NeNe bragged about depositing, Donald Trump Jr. (who also appears on Celebrity Apprentice with his dad) told Wetpaint.com:
“Honestly, I have no idea. All the celebrities on the show play for charity. She received a small appearance fee, sure, but that was it.”
And as far as I know she’s not involved with any of our other business or corporations. So I’m not sure what she’s talking about.”
Nene also wrote a book Never Make the Same Mistake Twice that never became a bestseller, so she’s probably not rolling in cash from that endeavor.
A couple of websites have valued Nene’s net worth at $3.5 million, which could be accurate based on her pay from Real Housewives if she’s being wise with her money and not spending it as fast as she makes it. $3.5 million is a good amount of money, but it’s definitely not enough to buy a $9 million house, and $3.5 million can be spent really quickly if you’re a reality star trying to live up to a certain image you want to cultivate for yourself for the public. Also, reality show fame usually doesn’t last any longer than the shows themselves, so saving for an uncertain future is crucial!
UPDATE: Maybe Nene hasn’t always been Rich, Bitch, but things are definitely shaping up for her. She’s landed several cameo acting roles (like on The Game) and a big, recurring role on Glee. Also an unconfirmed report estimated that her Real Housewives salary is more than all the other girls, and comes to a cool $1 million.
Nene IS trying to capitalize on her rich bitch catchphrase though, she recently tweeted a Swarovsky-crystal encrusted “I’m very rich bitch!” T-Shirt she says costs $150. Good luck with that market!