It is what it is. Cynthia Bailey‘s recent wedding to Mike Hill came with a few hiccups — and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bailey, 53, exchanged vows with Hill, 50, in October after more than two years together. While the Real Housewives of Atlanta star was happy to mark the momentous occasion with her family and friends, there was one person who she would have loved to have seen RSVP: former costar NeNe Leakes.
“I did invite her to the wedding. She didn’t come and, you know, that’s just pretty much where it is. I respect it,” Bailey tells Us Weekly exclusively ahead of the season 13 premiere of RHOA on Sunday, December 6. “She was one of the first to meet Mike. … Mike and I had a conversation about that [and we] just said, ‘You know what? It just doesn’t feel right not to invite her.'”
Though Bailey acknowledges that it was “a little disappointing,” not to see Leakes, 52, in the crowd as she walked down the aisle, she respects the decision.
“Because she was around during the early stages when I met my husband, it just would’ve been nice to see her and [her husband] Gregg,” Bailey adds. “But again, there’s no pressure. I’m not forcing anything. I am fine [with] where we are in our nice little respectful place. … I just do things that make me feel good. And however, the person responds, I’m fine with it. I receive it.”
One month before Bailey’s wedding, Leakes announced that she was leaving the cast of RHOA and would not be returning for its 13th season.
“It wasn’t an easy decision for me. It was hard,” the Glee alum told fans in an emotional YouTube video in September. “I’m just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows. I want to thank everybody that has looked up to me over the years. … I want to thank Bravo for all the memories. … Thank you to the cast for all of the memories.”
Leakes was an original member of the RHOA cast when the series premiered in 2008. She left the show in 2015 before season 8 but returned two years later. Before confirming her second exit from the reality series, rumors swirled that she had been fired. Bailey previously told Us in August that Leakes was “dealing with some contract stuff” and that the remaining cast members were uncertain of the New Normal alum’s future on the show.
While the Housewives faced their fair share of ups and downs through the years, Bailey holds no hard feelings for her former costar. However, the pair didn’t speak before Leakes announced she was leaving the show.
“My friendship [with NeNe] is not in the same place that it used to be,” Bailey tells Us. “I wish her well. If I ran into her at Costco tomorrow, I’d be like, ‘Hey, oh, my God, how are you?’ For me, I live in a place of respect in regards to that relationship.”
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Season 13 of Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres on Bravo on Sunday, December 6, at 8 p.m. ET.
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