On Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, the 50-year-old reality star addressed rumors of a relationship with Gilliams.
“I’m going to be very clear with you guys so you can never ask me again,” Leakes told her cast mates during their trip to Barcelona, Spain. “I have been married for over 20 years. I’m very much in love with my husband. Shereé and Tyrone, I’m happy for them. But I’ve never been out with Tyrone.”
“That’s Shereé’s man. … He’s not my man, he’s not my friend, he’s not my cousin, he’s not my neighbor. So whenever you bring up the name Tyrone, direct it to Shereé Whitfield,” she added. “You want to talk to me about a man? Talk to me about Gregg Leakes. ‘Cause I am Mrs. Gregg Leakes and have been for over 20 years.”
The problem was, though Leakes said questions about their relationship “keep coming up,” they hadn’t. In fact, no one had said anything of the sort.
“I didn’t even say you dated Tyrone,” fellow Atlanta Housewife Kandi Burruss told the audience. “Now you telling on yourself. Whatchu do, girl?”
Only Gilliams, who is currently incarcerated for wire fraud, seemed to imply there was more to the story during a call with Whitfield a few months earlier.
“Let’s just say this, NeNe would never want to speak anything negatively about me,” he told Whitfield during a recent episode, asking how long Leakes had been married. “She don’t want to go down that road.”
Gilliams and Leakes certainly have a past. The two had met in Miami when Leakes was divorced from husband Gregg (they split in 2011 and later wed again in 2013) — well before Gilliams ever met Whitfield.
“Tyrone admitted to me that NeNe had a thing for him back in the day,” Whitfield said, insisting that nothing intimate happened between them. “She may not know that I know, but I’ve never brought it up. The way she responded to Kandi, it just confirms it.”
But Leakes insisted on the RHOA After Show “there was no attraction at all” between her and Gilliams, and that she just went out on a date with him to get a free dinner.
“Me and this man never held hands, we ain’t kissed, we did nothing like that,” she said on Sunday’s RHOA. “Hell, I don’t know nothing about this fool, okay? I only know a couple of things about the man.”
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They did a little more than that.
As RHOA fans remember, the last time Gilliams came up on the hit Bravo show, he was the catalyst for one of the most iconic arguments in Housewives history as Leakes and Whitfield clashed over booking rates for paid appearances Gilliams was setting up.
“I met Tyrone he was putting together an event in Philly,” Whitfield said, recalling how Gilliams wanted Whitfield, Leakes, and Kim Zolciak-Biermann to participate in the event but Leakes had tried to negotiate higher rates behind her back. “Low and behold, she starts calling Tyrone where she says Shereé and Kim shouldn’t make the same amount of money as her. Trying to lower my value. You can’t tell him what I’m supposed to make!”
Whitfield confronted Leakes about the problem in the first episode of season 4, when Leakes famously proclaimed, “I am very rich, bitch.”
“It did not go well,” Whitfield said. “We get Tyrone on the phone, she’s saying that she didn’t talk to him, she’s over-talking him — which we all know NeNe does. That’s when she said she didn’t need to take money because she was on Trump checks because she was on The Apprentice at that time. ‘I’m cashing Trump checks.’ And that’s when I was like, ‘Get your teeth fixed,’ which she did, which is great because they look good.”
“It was a huge huge blow up,” Whitfield continued. “It wasn’t resolved.”
After that season ended, the two wouldn’t see one another for four years, running into one another two seasons ago during a trip to Jamaica. “I thought we moved forward,” Whitfield said. “I don’t know where NeNe and I stand. Are we really cool? Are we really on a good page? I’m kind of second-guessing that right now. NeNe acted like we made up, but while the face may have changed, the rotten personality didn’t.”
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Regardless of where Leakes and Whitfield stand now, Leakes made it clear in the end she didn’t want anything to do with Gilliams. “As far as me, Shereé and Tyrone is concerned, I have no desire to speak on anything seven years, 10 years, five years ago,” she said. “I think it’s disrespectful to be asking me about Shereé’s man.”
As for Whitfield, she and Gilliams remain strong. “You know what, honestly, I’ve gotten to know this man on a much deeper level,” she told PEOPLE Now in November. “Probably deeper than I’ve ever known anyone. We have nothing but time to talk and get to know each other.”
“He’s a good guy and, you know, he supports me. I can talk to him about anything. He’s my best friend,” she continued. “He just got caught up in the wrong craziness, and hopefully he’ll be back soon.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.