NeNe Leakes Talks Stripper Past & Says It Was a Great Hustle

nene leakes stripper

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

NeNe Leakes’ stripper days aren’t a secret. The reality star of Bravo’s smash hit Real Housewives of Atlanta hasn’t tried to hide the fact that she used to make her living on the stripper pole. Before becoming the head chick in charge on RHOA, NeNe Leakes was a student at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, and moonlighted in the later hours as a stripper. In fact, NeNe Leakes’ stripper days are a part of her past that she still has fond memories of. And even til this day, NeNe Leakes feels her time as a stripper was a great hustle, especially for a college student in need of some extra cash.

In a recent interview with Ebony Magazine for their December 2012 issue, NeNe Leakes gets candid about her time as a stripper. NeNe’s stripper days aren’t anything she is ashamed of, despite her fast growing success as an actress.

She says:

“I used the name Holly and then Silk. I thought I made pretty good money. It was a great hustle. If I needed to make $1,000, I got dressed and went to the club. If me and my roommate needed $5,000 by the weekend, I would work all week. What you mentally wanted to make, you could make.”

NeNe Leakes admits her favorite part of stripping was that she could make a lot of money rather fast:

“Everybody dancing beside you is usually another student. Atlanta strip clubs are full of students. There are a lot of conventions there. You can make a ton of money. I remember working at the strip club about a month and then bought a new car. The money was fast.”

NeNe Leakes’ stripper days occurred while she was a 23 year old single mom and college student. She stripped for three years before retiring the pole, and eventually embarking on reality television stardom.


  1. Child BYE. And I see you kept right on trying to hustle after you stripped by marrying Greg. I’m glad you are doing your thing now, but seriously, let’s not glamorize stripping. It’s a sucky profession. Seriously.

  2. Oh NeNe. I can think of better ways to make money. But hey, your past is part of the reason you’re where you are no. So…I guess.

  3. Most strippers hate the job but love the money. So I’m going to assume that’s what she was trying to say here. I say do what you have to do, but stripping should always be a short term career. IJS.

  4. Well alright. LOL. I wouldn’t strip. Instead, I’ve had two jobs that permitted me to keep my clothes on and use other skills like my brain. But everyone is different. I agree that stripping should always be a short term thing.

  5. I don’t think stripping is a good hustle. Too many times, women are put in dangerous situations as strippers, and many of them resort to selling sexual favors on the side to make ends meet. I understand she was a single mom at the time, but there are better ways to take care of your kids.

  6. The thing I don’t like about this is that she’s passing this off as something that’s ok. I don’t pass judgement and realize that everyone has their own destinations in life with different ways of getting there. But with her newfound success and more people (especially young women) looking up to her now, this was a piss poor interview. Do what you have to do and when you make it, encourage others to take a different route. I can’t get with NeNe on this one.

    1. You,and others do pass judgement by the way you speak.Strippers are not prostitutes and , for just stripping, there’s a no touch policy ( probably, however,to encourage private dances, but again: no touching genital,or breast areas).

  7. Stripping is indeed a dangerous way to make a living. I am not going to pass judgment on Nene’s choosing to work as a stripper. What I will say that it took her being a stripper to be where she is today. “Do not judge anyone until you have walked in their moccasins”. I wish her all the best.

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