NeNe Leakes Leaving Real Housewives of ATL Over Money

6/29/2015 8:52 PM PDT
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NeNe Leakes is finally hitting the road after 7 seasons on 'RHOA' cause she couldn’t get the big bucks she was looking for ... and now the show’s worried she’s taking the fans with her.

Sources tell TMZ the reason for the NeNe’s change of heart had to do with contract negotiations.

Everyone part of the show is at a loss for words over NeNe’s sudden departure since the show was just about to start filming its new season in the next couple of weeks.

Cast members have been dropping like flies recently but now producers are scrambling because they just lost their queen bee ... and we’re told they’re worried they’ll take a huge hit in the ratings over it.

The show already found a replacement -- actress, model and singer Kim Fields -- but no one can really replace NeNe who was arguably the network’s biggest star.

NeNe is going to be focusing on new projects outside the biz ... one of which is her own clothing store that we reported on before.  

You know what they say, you gotta spend money to make money … guess Bravo never learned that lesson.