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With the season thirteen premiere less than a month away, the reality of NeNe Leakes’ departure from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” franchise is beginning to feel more real than ever. While Kandi Burruss’s relationship with her now-former co-star has been strained, to say the least, the reality star admits that Leakes’ departure is a loss for the franchise.

“She will be missed on the show for sure,” Burruss confessed during a recent appearance on “STEVE on Watch.” “I’m not trying to take anything from her. She was a great addition to the show.”

As for the current status of their relationship, which has historically been hot and cold, Burruss says that they are presently on the outs.

“We don’t really talk,” she told Steve during the driveway interview.

The Xscape singer did, however, seem to offer some hope that Leakes may return to the show at some point by highlighting that she only chose not to return for season thirteen.

“I think in negotiations, sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t get what we want and…when we don’t get what we want, we have to make the decision on if we want to part ways and I think [NeNe] made that decision for herself,” said Kandi. “I guess right now she didn’t care to come back this season, for whatever reason.”

As you may recall, if Leakes did decide to return to RHOA in season fourteen or beyond, it wouldn’t be the first time a cast member has left and then returned to the series. Kenya Moore left the series after season ten and then returned for season twelve. Kim Zolciak and even Leakes, herself, also returned after departing the popular Bravo series. Only time will tell.

The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” returns to Bravo on December 6.

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