Josiah Kamau//Getty
June 30, 2015 03:10 PM

The star has left the building!

At least that’s how NeNe Leakes feels about her grand exit from Bravo’s hit Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Leakes will not return for the show’s eighth season, she announced to PEOPLE exclusively Monday.

“The fans are going to gag!” Leakes tells PEOPLE of the news. “I definitely don’t want to let them down, but I feel very free. I can breathe a little and do some things that I’ve wanted to do.”

While Leakes, who just teamed up with Kim Kardashian West on a project, says she is confident about moving on to work on a prime-time network show, she’s not too sure about what this all means for RHOA.

“I don’t know if the show will survive without me,” she says. “I hope so. It will just have a little bit of a different tone without me there, for sure.”

Despite her decision, Leakes insists there’s no bad blood.

“Everything’s just fine between me, the show and everyone at Bravo,” she says.

And it seems to be true. Following the announcement, the show’s creator Andy Cohen Tweeted his support.

And Leakes, who says she might still pop up here and there “to play with those girls,” knows the show will still have at least one viewer.

“I’ll definitely tune in,” she says. “Whenever there’s time.”

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