NeNe Leakes responds to reports that she was “embarrassingly drunk” while hosting a show for the Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour.
According to multiple sources via DailyMail.com on Tuesday, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star reportedly appeared intoxicated in front of a packed audience at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
Reportedly, the 51-year-old came on stage nearly 50 minutes late after an abnormally long introduction from friend/former Real Housewives of Potomac star Charrisse Jackson Jordan.
Related: Porsha Williams SLAMS NeNe Leakes For ‘Fat Shaming’ Her DAYS After Giving Birth!
Leakes — who reportedly appeared to stumble — shouted into the microphone:
“Hey DMV [DC, Maryland, Virginia]. Get on you motherf**kin’ feet everybody.”
Reportedly, the Bravolebrity tried to segue into her comedy material, but appeared disoriented.
As she paced back and forth, she reportedly said:
“Everyone wants to know when did NeNe Leakes become a comic. Is she a comedian?… No bitch, I’m not a comedian. I’m a motherf**kin’ hustler!”
When she introduced the show’s first comic, Janelle James, Leakes reportedly struggled to remember some of James’ credits, and called her “Jes James.”
At the start of her set, James reportedly joked:
“Thank you all of the applause because you don’t know me. And apparently, neither does NeNe Leakes because my name is Janelle James, not Jes James.”
Leakes may have confused Janelle with Jes Hilarious, who appeared on some of the Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour dates.
When NeNe introduced comic Melanie Comarcho, she reportedly began repeating herself, by saying:
“This next lady you know her from Def Comedy Jam, you know her for touring with Katt Williams, you know her from Def Comedy Jam, give it up for Melanie Comarcho.”
After Leakes introduced Loni Love, The Real co-host reportedly took over hosting duties for the rest of the show.
NeNe returned to the stage only when Love brought her back out during the curtain call.
According to a source involved with the tour:
“It was a mess backstage. NeNe had this enormous entourage and everyone was scrambling trying to get her together each time she was supposed to go on stage. She was embarrassingly drunk, barely able to walk and was slurring when she spoke. Not how any professional should show up to host a show.”
Additionally, an insider who was reportedly backstage said NeNe was crying and extremely emotional.
“She kept saying, ‘Somebody put something in my drink bitch. I only had two drinks; I ain’t supposed to be this drunk.’ Her husband Gregg [Leakes] kept trying to calm her down.’”
To make matters worse, audience members were reportedly heard saying:
“I can’t believe NeNe would show up to host this show drunk. It’s so unprofessional.”
“This bitch ain’t drunk, she’s f**ked up! Somebody better get her off the stage.”
In a lengthy response, NeNe’s rep DENIED she was intoxicated, and blamed the star’s tardiness on the venue.
“The decision to begin the show late was made by the VENUE. Not by NeNe Leakes. NeNe was backstage with the other comedians watching video footage of the audience filing into their seats which was still occurring approximately 10 minutes prior to their scheduled start time of 8PM. She waited backstage until she was notified by someone at the venue that it was time for her to take the stage to start the show, which she then did promptly.
NeNe takes her professional commitments very seriously. She was not intoxicated, and therefore she did not stumble nor was she disoriented. She started the show by welcoming the audience as she does in every city, which was met by applause and positive fan response as usual. Any comment made about her material or comedic timing is someone’s personal opinion.”
While the rep admitted that NeNe mistakenly referred to Janelle James as “Jes,” it was simply an “honest mistake.” Also, the rep DENIED that Love took over Leakes’ hosting duties.
“NeNe DID misidentify Janelle James and she confirms this was an honest mistake. This was only the second time they had worked together and she accidentally called her Jes, instead of Janelle. When Janelle took the stage, she made a joke to the audience along the lines of how ‘Ya’ll don’t know me, NeNe doesn’t even know me,’ which was met with applause and laughter from the audience. There was no negative feelings between Janelle and NeNe, and it was clear this was an honest mistake.
Loni Love never took over NeNe’s hosting duties. This is absolutely incorrect. At the end of every show, Loni concludes her set by introducing NeNe and bringing her back to the stage to ‘thank’ her for being their host for the evening. Every time NeNe was expected to take to the stage as host, she did so.’”
While the spokesperson said NeNe had “a cocktail,” she primarily got sick because she took a vitamin on an empty stomach.
“Prior to the show, NeNe had taken a vitamin on an empty stomach. Neither she nor Gregg had eaten all day, and when she arrived at the venue she had a cocktail backstage. She then got immediately sick.
As NeNe takes every professional commitment seriously, NeNe assured everyone backstage that she was OK and would still do the show as planned despite feeling incredibly sick and unsure of what the cause was. Immediately after the show, Nene did confide in Gregg and those backstage. ‘Why would I be sick like this. I only had ONE drink. Who made this for me, did someone put something in my drink?’
Gregg was also sick, from not eating all day and having to take medication on an empty stomach, which is when they realized this was the cause. Nene had not taken the vitamin with food as advised, mixed with having only one cocktail prior to the show. Any emotion to these statements were because of frustration and confusion by Nene as to why she was feeling so sick when she barely drank; evidence from her asking if there might have been someone who spiked her drink.’”
Earlier this month, NeNe revealed on Instagram that her husband completed six months of chemotherapy after getting diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN.]