After nearly eight drama-filled years on Bravo’s hit Real Housewives of Atlanta, fast-talking fan favorite NeNe Leakes is calling it quits, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Leakes, 48 – arguably the network’s biggest star, who’s been with the show since its inception – will not be returning for season 8. She says there comes a time when enough is enough.
“This was definitely a hard decision for me,” Leakes tells PEOPLE. “Me and my husband [Gregg Leakes] have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time. This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things.”
The announcement comes with the news that Leakes will soon be focusing on totally new projects.