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Why NeNe Leakes Is Missing From First Two Episodes Of RHOA Season 12

The "truth" is out there.

On Sunday night The Real Housewives of Atlanta had their season 12 premiere, however, the OG of the ATL NeNe Leakes was noticeably absent from the entire episode. And we've got news for you, she won't be back next week either.

According to episode descriptions released by Bravo, the Rich Bitch won't join the rest of the ladies until episode three and in my opinion, I don't really miss Linnethia...

In a new interview with PEOPLE, NeNe addressed her absence from the show and blamed her skipping the first two episodes on contract negotiations, alluding she almost didn't come back for season 12. The Atlanta Housewife told the outlet:

“I was sitting here trying to work my contract out. There were a lot of rumors around the time and I was really skeptical about what I was going to do. I really didn’t know what I was going to do, I really didn’t. I had one foot in and one foot out.”

Of course, NeNe sitting out on the first few episodes of the season comes after she physically assaulted the cameraman last season and was on the outs with (almost) every single cast member on the show, so taking a few weeks off was probably best for everyone involved. However, even after filming has wrapped on the latest season, NeNe still says she doesn't regret any of her behavior in the past:

“I don’t regret it, not one bit. I don’t regret anything that happened. I was very hurt. I keep it real and those were my real true feelings. How I felt is how I felt and nobody would have been able to change that.”

A tiger never changes its stripes and I guess NeNe never takes accountability for anything either. She also blamed everyone pointing the finger at her last season on the fact that she was a big personality. NeNe loves to say everyone is coming for her because she's the head bitch in charge, but that's just a way to avoid owning her bad behavior. Linnethia said:

“I’m not one of those people who actually express how I feel a lot. I keep that inside, and a lot of [my costars] know that. But I do believe that because somebody is louder or moves more boldly, a lot of time those are the people who always get the finger pointed at them. And honestly, that’s always the case with me.”

NeNe claiming she didn't appear in the first few episodes of the season due to contract negotiations is plausible, however, in past seasons there's never been a returning Housewife who was randomly absent from the first episodes and Bravo usually throws in a solo scene of them just to keep everyone happy, so I'm not sure if I'm buying this excuse.

Back in June when the ladies started filming the new season, we reported on NeNe allegedly being banned from filming the first few episodes as the producers were punishing her for beating up the cameraman in her closet last year, and that seems like a much more believable excuse, even though NeNe has since denied the claims.

RELATED: RHOA Premiere Recap: Barbie Baby Boom

If a Housewife doesn't appear in an episode, they don't get paid, so obviously, Bravo was trying to punish NeNe by banning her from the first two episodes because it means she wouldn't be paid for them. However, if it were just "contract negotiations" they'd probably throw in an odd scene of her and Gregg talking in the kitchen so that she could still get her cheque for the week. See where I'm going with this?

Thoughts? Sound off in the comments!