NeNe Leakes Reveals She Had a ‘Breakdown’ After Rape Joke: I ‘Haven’t Been in a Great Place’

Nene Leakes
Nene Leakes attends Fashion Week Kick-Off on February 8, 2017 in New York City. Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic

NeNe Leakes said she had a breakdown following the backlash she received after making a rape joke during one of her stand-up shows. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star shared a tearful Instagram Live video on Friday, October 13, and opened up about how she’s coping with the controversy.

“A lot of people know me as NeNe who’s laughing and talking,” the Bravo star said in the live stream, according to E! News. “A lot of people don’t know me as NeNe who, you know, would have a breakdown — a moment.”

What don't break you, will make you stronger

A post shared by NeNe Leakes (@neneleakes) on

A day after it was announced that she had been fired from hosting XScape’s The Great XScape tour because of the joke, Leakes, 49, said: “Trust and believe, I’m so okay, I’m in a great place today. I can’t say that I’ve been in a great place these last few days, but I am so OK. I am so OK with everything.”

During her set at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California, on Saturday, October 7, the TV personality joked about male Uber drivers trying to have sex with their female passengers. One woman began heckling the star and Leakes fired back saying she hoped the heckler was raped by a driver on her way home.

The comedian revealed in the video that the heckler had insulted her, saying, “I never imagined ever, ever, ever stepping on stage and somebody screaming out ‘Go kill yourself’ to me. It literally took me somewhere else, I apologize. I’ve let it go.”

Leakes thanked her fans and followers for their support during the scandal, saying: “Thank you, guys. Thank you so much. Thank you. I am blessed and I am overwhelmed. I appreciate all the love.” Her friends Cynthia Bailey and Marlo Hampton are also standing by her and visited Leakes’ home after the ordeal. The reality star shared photos of the visit on Instagram, on Thursday, October 12, saying, “After laughing, crying & drinking, we decided to make faces?#thatswhatfriendsarefor❤️”

The R&B group announced their decision to take Leakes off their tour in a statement to TMZ on Thursday, writing: “Like many, we were dismayed by the recent remarks made by our talented colleague and friend NeNe Leakes. As a result, we have decided to no longer proceed with her participation on our tour.”

They added: “It was an unfortunate incident for which NeNe has since apologized and we wish her the best as she navigates this very difficult period. As strong supporters of all women, we know this decision is what is best.”

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