"Real Housewife" NeNe Confesses: I Was a Stripper

Atlanta housewife reveals dark past

By Xana O'Neill
|  Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009  |  Updated 3:55 PM CDT
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"Yes, I was a stripper, a woman who took her clothes off and danced for dollars," Leakes wrote in her new memoir.

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"Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes confessed she used to be a stripper who went by the stage name "Silk" -- and that she felt empowered when men would gawk at her as she strutted her stuff at jiggle joints throughout Georgia.

"Yes, I was a stripper, a woman who took her clothes off and danced for dollars," she wrote in her new memoir. "Let the judgment ensue. I mean, it's easy enough to do, right?"

In the tome, "Never Make the Same Mistake Twice," the feisty reality TV housewife said she used to strip at a high-profile Atlanta club after her relationship with the father of her oldest son ended and she was forced to live with a roommate, according to People magazine.

"My son was in private school, his father wasn't chipping in for pull-ups or food, I had no job and no money coming in, the rent was past due and the super told me and my roommate that our condo owner was about to put us out," she wrote. "So I did what I had to do."

She answered an ad in a newspaper at "the most glamorous upscale gentlemen's club in Georgia" and was hired on the spot, she wrote.

"I felt power in front of those men," she wrote. "They were obviously there to see what I had, and I quickly realized that those men weren't there to make me feel bad about myself."

"Quite the contrary. They were there to make me feel good."

She quit the upscale strip club when her family found out that she was dancing but moved on to a less classy establishment.

"Men can do some really filthy things in the club," she wrote. "I can tell you this much." 

It wasn't until she met her current hubby that she stopped dancing -- after he convinced her to do so.

"I worked this body like a well-oiled machine, and every movement got me closer to my goal of financial independence for me and my child," Leakes said.

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