If you did not watch one of the best seasons in Housewives history, season two of The Real Housewives of Dallas, then you are missing out big time! Following the explosive season reunion, I was lucky enough to catch up with the franchise’s breakout star, LeeAnne Locken, to discuss her career, her devastating friendship breakup with Brandi Redmond, her close relationship with Dallas socialite and cast newcomer D’Andra Simmons, and the truth behind the tweet that made everyone wonder whether or not she’ll return next season. Read on for the details of my chat with LeeAnne.
What advice would you give to women who want to be more charitable?
Volunteer. Get off the sofa and volunteer. Google in your city what you are truly passionate about, whether it be rescuing animals, if it’s children or education or feeding the hungry… there is so much out there. So many people are in need, and if you Google and find an organization to be passionate about in your area and go volunteer, you will quickly learn how great the need is. It will immediately make your life a hundred times more valuable and you more valued.
When did you decide to be a motivational speaker?
I’ve always been someone who tries to help others, it’s how my grandmother raised me. When I was doing pageants, I realized how much I enjoyed that and as I got older, people would pull me aside and ask me questions about “How do I do this?” or “You’re so strong” or “How do you do this?” And everybody kept saying you should write a book or you should be an inspirational speaker, you should encourage others. I always thought about trying to find interesting ways to educate and inspire. To me education is one thing, and entertainment is one thing, so if you make it edutainment then you have real value.
Has being on the Housewives hindered any speaking opportunities? Or if that hasn’t been the case, are you more sought-after now that you’re on the show?
Being lied about from my other cast members certainly has hindered my ability to authentically help others in my community, which is kind of one of the things that makes me question whether or not continuing on is the right thing. Once you take away something that I truly love and am passionate about, which is helping others, you have to decide if it’s worth it. At some point we all have to decide in our lives, “Is it worth it?”
I guess we can get into Housewives discussion since I do believe Dallas is one of the best seasons that has aired in a long time.
I love to hear that.
How did you feel when Brandi essentially dropped you as a friend shortly after reuniting with Stephanie? And how she treated you at the reunion?
Well, that was sad. Honestly, I had anticipated that all — that what I would see was going to be bad — when at the beginning of the season she (Brandi) had tweeted out that she and I were never friends. And I was shocked by that, and [it] was probably my first time [realizing] that I wasn’t going to like what I was going to see from her. It was very disappointing and heartbreaking, because until we filmed the very last scene at D’Andra’s house, I truly believed that Brandi and I had created a friendship. I mean, I thought it was an authentic friendship. I even stood up for her, with D’Andra and Kameron, and said look, give her a chance, here’s something you might be able to connect on. It certainly wasn’t what I had expected.
Do you think you and Brandi could ever become friends again?
Much like I said at the reunion, my grandmother raised me to consistently give people another chance. How much of a chance is truly based on a level of commitment and level of desire to move forward. I never say no to anything ever. I don’t say no to any possibility, I think that’s what life is about is another opportunity and once we stop giving opportunities is when we stop growing and stop allowing our life to be expand to what it truly could be. When you limit God’s work in your life, you limit your own potential.
Do you think the other housewives, like Stephanie, Cary and Brandi, planned to gang up against you?
You felt like it was premeditated?
It was! I think generally the three of them truly believed for an extended period of time towards the end that if they all ganged up that they could get me kicked off the show. I think they are just starting to come to a realization that that’s not how Bravo works or operates. It’s going to be a cold hard day for them to learn that’s not how it works. It is what it is.
Now that you have watched the season and the reunion, what would your hands do to Cary or Brandi if the cameras were not rolling?
You’re hilarious. Let me explain to you how that came about. Obviously, I was highly medicated and didn’t even remember any of it, still to this day I don’t remember any of it. The reason that I said, ‘I don’t have knives, they're just hands” is because Cary and Stephanie were consistently during the season bringing up that false [police] report that never happened. I told them to their faces several times that it was a false report and yet they kept tossing it at me like it was the truth. That is where that whole soliloquy came from. It makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?
It does. I love your friendship with D’Andra, can you tell me a little about her that we may not know from the show?
What you see is what you get with D’Andra. She is one strong, incredibly amazing woman who I am grateful to call a friend.
You had tweeted after the first part of the reunion you would not be returning. Is that still the case or have you not decided?
I tweeted that I was not interested in returning with the way that it was going. Depends on how we move forward. I’m not interested in moving forward with a show that continues to allow them to say I’m dangerous human being when I’m not. I’m not interested in that. If that’s the direction the show wants to go, then they go there without me. And I’m okay with that. Here’s the thing, a lot of people didn’t like how they were handled this year and I’m okay with the majority of it. I just don’t want lies, I’m not a big fan of lies.
And that’s a big one, to be accused of being dangerous to be around.
That’s a big one. I’m not going to hurt anyone, if I’m going to harm people, I would not live with a police officer (her fiancé Rich Emberlin). It’s stupid and petty and dumb. That’s just how I feel about it.
How’s your relationship with your mom since the therapy session?
We are much better. We are very happy. We schedule time to talk so we can give each other the right amount of time and the commitment to really have communication and conversation. It’s getting a lot better.
That’s great to hear. Now I have to know, what’s your favorite carnival game to play?
I don’t have one.
Will there be any carnival themes at your wedding? How has the planning begun?
Yes, girl. Yes!
That’s awesome. Have Carly and Chief tried Sparkle Dog food?
Chief gobbles it down and loves it and [is] a good friend of Louis (Kameron’s dog). He really likes Louis, he and Louis got along very well. And Louis doesn’t like anyone so that goes to show what an obedient dog Chief is. Chief loved it. I haven’t given it to Carly, she suffers from seizures and we don’t know where they come from so I’m very cautious to change anything in her diet.
If you could put together an all-star cast of housewives, who would you choose?
I would have to pick all the OGs and throw us on a cruise, where none of us could leave and just see how it all went down. I truly appreciate each powerhouse on their own franchise because I learn from them; I mean, it’s authentically a moment to, like, gather information, learn and grow. To me, I would just be sitting around in awe. I kind of want to see Bethenny and Nene and see what happens. It’s interesting to watch dynamics between people.
Especially strong ones, because Bethenny and Nene have strong personalities.
Yeah, I can’t…. yeah, I don’t do boring people. And that’s kind of the problem that I have with my some of my cast members, they bore me. They are intimidated easily and I don’t have the potential to be a soft, weak person, so for me I don’t know how to deal with them. And D’Andra is very much like that as well.
I can tell because her mom is super strong willed so she had to be that way.
Yes, she did. Neither D’Andra nor I were ever given the opportunity to be weak, gentle, childish, or tender. You got up and went a hundred miles per hour and that was your job.
I don’t know If that’s a good or a bad thing?
For us it doesn’t really matter because it is who we are. Judgment is something we are not willing to accept from others; it’s who we are authentically. I think it’s why we get along so well. When I start crying, D’Andra is like “Stop, I’m over it,” like, I understand her. It’s a form a weakness in her eyes, as it is in mine sometimes.
I feel the same way too. Crying is hard for me.
Crying shows that you are affected, and when you tip your hand then the other party knows how to attack. We just grew up being trained that way.
This interview has been edited and condensed.