"I have been on an extremely, extremely long, exhausting, tiring, emotional negotiation," she explained in a video posted to her YouTube page today. "There's a lot of emotion flying from both sides."
"It has been hard and I have made a hard, difficult decision to not be a part of 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' Season 13," she confirmed. "It wasn't an easy decision for me. It was hard."
This is the second time Leakes has left the show, after she didn't appear in Season 9.
"I started on 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' in 2008. We took off like a rocket. I mean, we took off," she continued, reflecting on her time on the show. "You could have never told me that I starred on this little show and it'd still be going strong 13, 14 years later. And it is."
"I'm just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened up doors for Black ensemble reality shows to step up and be a part of what we now all love so much, reality TV," she continued. "I want to thank everybody that has looked up to me over the years, thank you so much for your love and support."
She went on to thank Bravo for "all the memories, the laughs, the tears," the production company, her costars and her team "who has stood with me during this time, supported me and pushed me," and all of her fans.
"It has just been amazing, thank you guys so much," she added.
Back in April, Leakes told People she wasn't sure about returning to the franchise.
"I got back and forth with it every day," she explained. "I feel like it's a big conversation I need to have with the network and with production. Because if they value their talent in some sort of way, then we need to talk. We need to come up with some sort of compromise here."
Her exit comes after former costar Eva Marcille also quit the series back in July. "I am thankful for the opportunity I was provided however, after speaking with my family and representatives, I believe what I hope to accomplish for the culture and community will be better served by focusing on other opportunities," Marcille said in a statement to The Jasmine Brand.
"I look forward to serving the community under Rickey Smiley Morning Show and finding ways to be a voice during this transformational time in our country for people of color."