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NeNe Leakes: Why Wendy Williams had my talk show with Tom Arnold killed

NeNe Leakes claims the real reason Wendy Williams allegedly axed her talk show with Tom Arnold goes beyond the frenemies’ 2014 Birkin bag debacle.

While the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” alum tells Page Six exclusively that “there is truth” to the story the former “Roseanne” star told us, she insists there was an underlying implication that triggered her scathing blog post, which both she and Arnold believe cost them the gig.

“Wendy saw that I had defaced my Birkin bag, and yes, she posted a comment on her show’s social media page about it,” Leakes, 54, recalled.

“But that wasn’t the trigger. The trigger was what she said about it and me on her ‘Hot Topics’ [segment].”

Prefacing that she doesn’t remember Williams’ on-air comments “word for word,” Leakes alleged that the “Wendy Williams Show” host, 57, suggested she wasn’t wealthy enough to “deface” a purse that can cost upwards of $10,000.

Photo of NeNe Leakes' Birkin bag covered in her famous sayings
Leakes feels Williams suggested she wasn’t wealthy enough to “deface” a Birkin bag.
neneleakes/Instagram

“Kim Kardashian had done the same thing around the same time, ‘defaced’ her [Birkin] bag,” Leakes told us. “Wendy said Kim can do that because she had the money to do such a thing, but basically I didn’t.”

The reality star doesn’t necessarily feel it was her furious response to Williams – which in part read, “I am sure you’re scared I will take your place (I know you have heard! Ummhmm wink wink) BE SCARED!” – that set off the media personality.

NeNe Leakes and Wendy Williams posing for a picture together
Leakes told us that Williams “didn’t like” that she called her “Wendell” in her response.
neneleakes/Instagram

“I respond by saying something like, ’Now, Wendell, I have four Birkin bags, and I can do the same,’” Leakes recalled, noting that the name “Wendell” quickly went viral.

“Wendy didn’t like it,” she claimed, adding that she allegedly never heard from the production company again.

“Debmar-Mercury pulled the deal and stopped all communication with me. Our deal went dead.”

Tom Arnold at a luncheon in L.A. in November 2019
Arnold told us Leakes “was unrepentant” and that their show was axed.
Getty Images for Lupus LA

According to the Linnethia Lounge owner, she was already in talks with Debmar-Mercury — which produced “The Wendy Williams Show” at the time — when “they brought up the possibility of it being a male/female duo.”

She claims that’s when Arnold was brought into the mix.

In his own interview with Page Six, the actor, 63, told us that the purse debacle was “an eye-opener” for him and a topic he was hoping to dive into on the first episode of his show with Leakes. However, he claimed Leakes “was unrepentant.”

Reps for Williams did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.




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