Kenya Moore Leaving Real Housewives of Atlanta After 'Messy' Contract Negotiations: Source
Kenya Moore has not been fired from Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but she won’t be returning to the show, either
Multiple source close to the show tell PEOPLE that the former Miss U.S.A. will not be on the upcoming eleventh season after a messy, lengthy contract negotiation that left her and the network on opposite sides of uncrossable battle lines.
According to the insider, both production and Moore wanted her to return as a full-time Housewife. But she wanted more money than they were offering, and they wanted her to film all parts of her life — including her personal time with husband Marc Daly — that were previously off-limits (Reps for Bravo and Moore did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment).
Moore came under criticism by producers, fans and her castmates last season because she hid so much of her life. She and Daly famously got eloped in June 2017 when the Bravo cameras were down, without telling producers. He only appeared on RHOA once during season 10, for a quick scene.
The couple are expecting their first child together now, due before the end of the year, but Moore kept her entire fertility treatment away from show. She also didn’t participate in last season’s cast trip to Barcelona (guests Shamea Morton, Marlo Hampton and Eva Marcelle attended alongside the rest of the full-time cast).
“Everyone wanted to have Kenya back, but they wanted to have the old Kenya back — the one who isn’t afraid of the cameras,” a source close to production tells PEOPLE. “You can’t have secrets and be on reality TV. Especially when other Housewives are showing all of their lives — the good, bad, and the ugly. They need to see your life.”
The insider explains that Moore was still being offered other options as of last week, but those talks are now done.
Filming had already begun on some scenes without her, including a cast trip to Miami, but there was always a chance that Moore could come in. She even recently spent time with Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burrus and Porsha Williams to keep the relationships going in case she returned.
“They were at a stand still for so long,” the source says. “Everyone was rooting for her and wanted to see her back, even women like Nene and Porsha who haven’t always been on ‘Team Kenya.’ The cast, producers, Bravo — they all know she’s good for the show. But it got messy. She just refused to compromise.”
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Another source close to the reality star, though, says that Moore “knew her worth,” “had her priorities set” and wasn’t interested in bending to producers’ “insulting” offers.
“Kenya really loves her life with her husband. She’s always wanted to be a wife and a mother, and she’s put all of her focus into her growing family,” the source explains. “She’s not going to jeopardize that for some television show.”
“Marc isn’t comfortable being on camera, and Kenya respects that. Relationships go both ways and she respects her husband,” the insider adds. “He loves her. They’re having a baby. That’s the priority — not fighting with some women for ratings.”
The source also pointed out that Moore isn’t the first Bravo star to keep parts of her life off-camera.
“Erika [Girardi’s] husband Tom never films, nor does her son. Cameran Eubanks [of Southern Charm] doesn’t have her husband on camera. Why was Bravo so bothered about Kenya?” the source asks. “Kenya gave them one of the only storylines last season by fighting with Kim [Zolciak-Biermann]. She knows how to stir up ratings. The fact that they made this into a big deal is very unfair.”
Coincidentally, Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen recently addressed Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Girardi’s level of transparency when asked about it on an episode of his Sirius XM show Andy Cohen Live earlier this month: “We always encourage people to be as real and open as possible on all of the Housewives.”
Moore has yet to comment about the negotiations publicly but appears to have alluded to the situation a few times on social media as gossip circulated that she had been demoted to a Friend of the Housewives role.
In June, she posted a video montage of her time on RHOA, calling gossip reports that she was demoted #FakeRHOANews.”
“No one has EVER asked me to be a friend to show,” she said. “#Fact: I am THE housewife that has had THE highest rated episodes the past 3 seasons… even last year having missed 3 episodes.🤔 #Fact: The Barcelona New Lineup didn’t work…The fans have spoken. I’ve never been called boring 💅🏾 #Fact: Love me or hate me I may not be the ‘fan favorite’ (my sister @kandi is and well deserved) but thank you for being invested in my life and continuing to contribute to the success of #RHOA and my success in my career on all levels
“Don’t worry #teamtwirl you will get to see #babytwirl and all that I’m experiencing as a new wife and mother-to-be one way or another,” she said. “You will see my raw truth… the good the bad and the ugly one way or another ☺️.”
“#Fact: I am good effing TV! ❤️ #Fact: I will be a HW or nothing at all. 😘 #Fact: I don’t discuss business but know that I know my value,” she wrote, hashtagging the post, “#queen #truth #shadequeen #shadeassassin #blameitonmyhormones #letaBishknow.”
On July 18, she wrote an ode to her cast on Instagram. “Thank you for making me feel so loved @cynthiabailey10 I miss you!” she said. “Thank you @kandi for always being you and @porsha4real for sending your well wishes. #sisterhood #babydaly#RHOA”
Asked in the comments if this was her goodbye to RHOA, Moore said “LOL no just sending out love.”
She was singing the same tune Tuesday, though she appeared to be more disappointed than hopeful.
“Was never offered a friend role, just friend [money] to do the same job and show family and baby story,” she wrote on Twitter, with a puzzled emoji face. “No movement in negotiations but not to worry… a girl has options just in case.”
“A dream would be to have everything aligned for once in my life… falling in love, getting married, having a baby, businesses thriving and world life… all at 47. God will have my back,” she said. “I feel you, as a fan I wholeheartedly agree this would be the pinnacle of my tenure on the show. The fans deserve to see my happy ending… unfortunately, it’s not up to me.”
Moore joined RHOA in season 5 and has given the show some of its most iconic scenes, from her “Gone with the Wind fabulous” battle with Williams in her first season to her Moore Manor rivalry with Shereé Whitfield.
Ironically, Whitfield has also left the show. During an Instagram Q&A Monday, she said that she wasn’t going to return because she is “not interesting in entertaining the low ball offer that was sent.”
Season 11 of RHOA is expected to return in the fall.