It all went down when the loose-lipped series OG stopped by "Good Morning America" for Monday's "Strahan, Sara and Keke," and an eager Keke Palmer pressed her for some tea. With NeNe's birthday having just fallen on Friday the 13th, the "Hustlers" actress asked the reality star if she was superstitious. Keke also made it clear she wanted to know whatever secrets Leakes was willing to spill on this season's "SnakeGate."
As fans of the show recall, NeNe revealed to former friend Cynthia Bailey that someone they're both close with secretly recorded Bailey allegedly talking all kinds of smack about Leakes.
"No, I'm not superstitious like that, but I've had my birthday fall on Friday the 13th many days," NeNe told Keke. "And I know many people feel some kind of way about Friday the 13th, but I feel just fine about it."
"Now, there is a snake, but as you know, it won't be me, honey!" she went on. "I am not that kind of snake. I'm the kind that just straight-up bites you. I'm not sneaking around. I'm not beatin' around [the bush]."
Leakes was coy in admitting she does know who the snake is, which lit a fire inside an already invested Palmer. "You know why, because it has to be somebody that's also friends with Cynthia in order for Cynthia to have told them something negative, for her to be comfortable like that," Keke said, scooting to the edge of her seat. "So I'm thinking -- this is no shade, no tea -- that it could be Marlo."
"Uhhh, well let me just say," NeNe replied, smiling. "Marlo is not that girl, either. Marlo is pretty much like me. We gon' just go and bite ya, baby. You ain't even have to worry about it."
"I'm telling you, you can kind of look at the show and tell who is going to be the one that's really in your face, and they will do it not behind your back," she added. "So the person that did this was more behind the back. Me, I just gon' ahead and tell ya, girl, 'Look, this is the recorder. Now, what's goin' on?'"
So far, viewers of the show seem to think the culprit is either Marlo Hampton, NeNe's longtime ride-or-die, or Yovanna, who we met last season as "that bitch...from Clark."
To several of the cast members' disappointment, Yovanna returned this season as NeNe's glorified sidekick. At one point, she revealed to NeNe on camera that she had met up with Cynthia and that Cynthia spoke poorly about Leakes. "Her exact words were, 'Being friends with you is toxic, a burden,'" Yovanna said.
Because she was so forthcoming about that information -- and because she denied being the offender when Kandi Burruss point-blank asked her a few episodes back -- maybe it's not her, either?
When TooFab caught up with Eva Marcille prior to the start of Season 12, she expressed similar sentiments, saying, "There's definitely a snake in the group, and a lot of this season you see us trying to figure out who the snake is. And it's like so unassuming and kind of catches you off guard. Literally no one expected it. At some point, you'll find out who it is, but you couldn't guess it. They just created so much discord between the girls, and different relationships and friendships were severely fractured from this snake."
"We spend the better part of the season trying to figure out and realize who the snake really was," she added. "And it's a snake, so unless the grass is cut low, the snakes won't show. You don't know who it is because there's so many people involved. Oh, my gosh. It's crazy."
NeNe also told Keke why she didn't appear on Season 12 until Episode 3, which she first addressed last month.
"Well, we were negotiating," Leakes explained. "You know, with so many rumors out there with saying things like, 'NeNe is suspended,' and things like that, I said, 'Well, if she is suspended then they need to let me know first, honey.' But that wasn't the case. We were really negotiating. And some of us negotiate quick, you know, but I'm kinda dragging my feet a little bit. I'm tryna get all my little thangs together."
Michael Strahan noted that "when the queen have the party, she don't show up first!" NeNe agreed. "No, she doesn't, honey! She's the last one there," she said with a hair flip.
When Palmer asked Leakes if she'd want to film another season of the show, she said, "I've been doing it for a really long time, and honestly, I don't know. Every year when it's over, me and my team discuss, like, 'What's best? How do we feel? Should we do it again? What's on the table?' Like everybody else does. So you know, I don't know. I don't know."
So what does she know? That she'd "like to line some of them up and run down and just slap 'em! Like just cht cht cht cht cht."
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.