Cynthia Bailey Denies Lying to NeNe Leakes — Despite That Hot Mic Moment on the RHOA Finale
The model, 52, appeared on an episode of costar Kandi Burruss‘ Speak On It YouTube series posted Sunday. And once again, she denied that she tried to set up Leakes by inviting her nemesis Kenya Moore to a filmed event that aired on the RHOA season 11 finale.
Moore, 48 — who joined RHOA in season 5 and left after season 10, reportedly due to messy contract negotiations — had appeared to surprise Bailey at the launch event for her Seagram’s Escapes’ Peach Bellini signature drink, showing up with Burruss.
Bailey insisted in the episode that she didn’t know Moore was coming. But while talking to boyfriend Mike Hill, it looked like she tried to cover up the fact that she plotted with Burruss to bring Moore there without Leakes’ knowledge. “I’m supposed to act like I didn’t know Kenya was coming,” RHOA editors captioned Bailey whispering.
Later, while talking to Burruss off-camera after the event, Bailey was again caught appearing to cover things up. “I just want to make sure we was on the same page, setting up how Kenya got here,” Bailey told Burruss, as the “Rise Above” singer repeatedly warned Bailey, “I’m mic’d, I’m mic’d , I’m mic’d , I’m mic’d.”
All of this was a compete misunderstanding, Burruss and Bailey said on Speak On It.
According to Bailey, she had invited Moore to the party originally, but Moore had declined knowing that the cameras were there and she wouldn’t be paid for her appearance. Burruss said she then went behind Bailey’s back to convince Moore to attend — explaining that fans wanted to see the former Housewife’s next chapter.
“We’ve all been invested in her finding love and her eventually having her baby that she always wanted,” Burruss said. “It did not work out for her to be on the season. I just felt like we were kind of cheating the fans for them not being able to at least being able to see her pregnant.”
But Burruss said she didn’t know Moore was coming until seconds before she was set to arrive at the event. “At the end of the day, I knew that she possibly might be coming but I did not share that with Cynthia,” Burruss said. “I was the one who got Kenya to come. I was the one who talked her into it. But I did not get a confirmed answer until I pulled up at the party.”
So then what was with the hot mic moments? Well, the one between Burruss and Bailey came well after the Seagram’s Escapes’ party, they said, prior to a sit-down the two were having with Leakes and her friend Tanya Sam. Apparently, Bailey was just trying to make sure that Burruss was going to own up to the responsibility that she brought Moore to the party.
“If I was going to say something that I knew was going to be recorded, that’s when I would have hung up my phone and texting Kandi,” Bailey said. “If I knew she was coming I would say, I knew she was coming.”
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As for the one between Bailey and Hill, she was a little less clear about that. “That was really tricky for me. I was drinking a lot of Seagram’s Peach Bellinis that night, I really was,” Bailey said.
Looking back, Bailey said she didn’t remember telling Hill that she was “supposed to act like [she] didn’t know Kenya was coming.” Nor did she hear herself saying it despite watching the episode back over and over again.
“I don’t remember saying that but I can tell you this: the caption said that I said that, so I’m not really trying to go against production really per say,” Bailey said. “I don’t remember saying that nor did I have a reason to say that. At the end of the day, I’m not trying to look like a liar because I’m not a liar — there’s nothing to lie about. If I did say that, after I saw how NeNe was treating Kenya, at that point, I’m just trying to keep the peace. I would have said anything at that point. If I said it, it was to keep the peace.”
In the end, both women made it clear that they weren’t against Leakes.
“This was not a plot or ploy against NeNe,” Burruss said .”Us wanting Kenya to come by the party during a taped episode had nothing to do with NeNe. I know that she has been putting it out there that we have been plotting against her but this has nothing to do with NeNe. Yes, we are both friends with Kenya. I would like to see her back on the show. But it has nothing to do with NeNe. … We want all of them to be there!”
“I have publicly said many times, Kenya and NeNe are both great for the show,” Bailey added. Why would I plot to get NeNe off the show? Can I even get NeNe off the show? I didn’t even know I could get NeNe off the show. I know she’s tried to get me off the show before but I’ve never actually tried to get her off the show. I ain’t tried to take money off of nobody’s plate. ‘Cause that’s not what I do.”
Leakes made headlines in March when she announced on Instagram Live that she was no longer friends with Bailey, claiming that the model was “sneaky and underhanded,” had “lied and lied and lied,” and that their friendship was over for good.
“I don’t have no hate in my heart for Cynthia,” Leakes said. “We are coworkers from this day forward. I don’t have any reason not to speak to her, I’m happy to not speak to her. I’m happy to speak to her. But anything else further than that, it’s not going to happen. No. We are coworkers.”
She later unfollowed many of her other RHOA castmates on social media, including Burruss.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.