NeNe Leakes Opens Up With Heartbreaking Response To Son Bryson's Arrest & Addiction Issues

NeNe Leakes is doing her best with a really tough situation.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum has been dealing with some major adversity involving her 33-year-old son Bryson Rashard Bryant. Bryson, who the reality TV vet shares with ex Calvin Bryant, has been running afoul of the law in his adult life, including a notable arrest earlier this month that has netted multiple charges against him.

Related: NeNe Speaks Out After Fans Question Son Brentt’s Sexuality!

As we learned late last week, Bryson was arrested earlier this month in Lawrenceville, Georgia. As of Monday, per People, he still remains behind bars on a $6,100 bond after he was first taken into custody by police in that city on July 3 (for which he is pictured in his mugshot, above).

The charges against him include possession of a schedule two controlled substance (which cops believed to be fentanyl immediately after running field tests on it), prowling, loitering, giving a false name, and multiple probation violations from earlier cases.

Now, in a sneak-peek preview of a forthcoming podcast interview between NeNe and her longtime producer pal Carlos King, the 55-year-old mother of two is being shockingly honest about Bryson’s issues. In Monday’s teaser for this week’s upcoming episode of Reality With The King, Leakes explained how Bryson is in need of “a lot of counseling” and rehabilitation for drug addiction and other things.

She lamented:

“He needs rehabilitation. He needs a lot of counseling. Like many families out there, I have family members that are struggling with drugs and certain addictions. He has an addiction. He’s been struggling with it for years. He’s been in rehab for a couple of times and he still has come back out and relapsed.”


She also frankly spoke about how Bryson’s problems are beyond her reach at this point, considering the fact that he’s now well into his 30s and with a family of his own. The longtime Bravo vet explained:

“He is [33] years old, he’s an adult. He has three children — three beautiful children — who I adore. He has a wife. As a mother, I would never wash my hands of my child, right? But I’m kind of numb to it because it’s been happening for so many years. I’m just really kind of numb to the situation.”

That may sound harsh, but as NeNe was quick to note, that arms-length affair is part of the reality of dealing with longstanding addictions. She added:

“As a mom just to watch it, my hands are tied. [There’s] not much I can do. For people who have had children or family members that have been on drugs, they know that they have to be ready. They have to simply be ready.”

The Atlanta native also explained how she’s already put up quite a bit of money and time in trying to help Bryson get past his drug addiction issues and legal problems.

But from the sound of it, judging by this podcast preview, NeNe’s beloved son does not appear ready to make that change for himself:

“I’ve spent so much money on trying to get Bryson where he needs to be, but every time I’ve sent him off is because I said, ‘you are getting your ass up and we are sending you off.’ But I learned through counseling myself that he has to say, ‘I’m ready to go,’ not me making him go. So until Bryson is ready to make a change, [there’s] nothing I [can] do.”

Interestingly, when King asked whether NeNe being on RHOA for a decade could have affected Bryson as he grew up, the reality TV superstar admitted:

“I don’t think it helped.”

She then went on to clarify that remark with deeper thoughts:

“I wouldn’t say that the sole cause of it, [but] it certainly didn’t help because we started on television when Bryson was like in the 11th or 12th grade and Brentt was in third grade. And, so there, they’re having to be in a light shine, a light shine on them that they did not ask for. People are picking them apart because of the job that I chose to do. And so I feel for them in that way. But there’s just issues that he has.”

In a poignant move at the end of the preview, NeNe did acknowledge that her College Hill co-star Lamar Odom has reached out to offer his support.

The former NBA star, who nearly died of an overdose at a Nevada brothel way back in 2015, has opened multiple Odom Wellness Treatment Centers in Southern California. According to NeNe, he has already offered a spot in one of those rehab facilities to Bryson when the time comes:

“Lamar Odom also called me and said he would grab Bryson right away and send him to his place.”

In the preview clip, NeNe did not explain whether her family will choose to take up Odom on that very generous offer. Still, that’s a serious assist Lamar is offering up there. We can hope that (or something like it) is put to good use.

You can watch the full preview clip (below):


That’s some seriously heavy stuff to be dealing with. And for pretty much all of Bryson’s adult life, no less. We send our love to NeNe and the rest of her family during this challenging time.

FYI, the first part of her sit-down with King with drop on all major podcast platforms on Tuesday. Then, part two of their wide-ranging chat is set to debut next Tuesday.

[Image via Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office/Carlos King/YouTube]

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