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NeNe Leakes: Why I Quit Celebrity Apprentice

USMagazine, Monday, May 9, 2011, 7:20am (PDT)

See ya, NeNe!

Real Housewives of Atlanta's NeNe Leakes made a quick getaway on Sunday's Celebrity Apprentice, but she didn't get to hear Donald Trump utter his famous phrase "you're fired!" Instead, the reality star bolted on her own accord, reasoning that the drama with foe Star Jones had pushed her over the edge.

VIDEO: NeNe trashes Star in vicious catfight

During Sunday's episode, where teams were tasked with producing and selling tickets to a comedy show, Leakes, 41, left her team -- John Rich, Lil Jon and La Toya Jackson (who switched places with Meat Loaf at the start of the episode) -- high and dry without an explanation. Later, when her teammates couldn't reach Leakes, Trump decided to dial her up himself.

"I've never called anybody but I'm calling you because I think you have great ability," Trump, 64, told Leakes in a last-ditch effort to keep her around. "If you quit, it's going to follow you for the rest of your life. For you to quit at the end is stupid."

VIDEO: Meat Loaf and Gary Busey get into epic Apprentice spat

In the wake of her monumental blowout fight with Jones (as seen on the May 2 episode), Leakes remained confident in her decision to leave the series.

"I really feel that Star got her way," Leakes said after her conversation with Trump. "Mr. Trump bought into her bulls--t. I don't have to stay with BS to raise money for my charity. The best thing for me to do is leave."

Leakes' swift exit stunned her castmates, namely Rich, 37.

"Star ran her off and that's so amateur," the country crooner said after they confirmed she was gone for good. "I cant say I have a healthy amount of respect for that. You can't just abandon your team. She didn't even say goodbye to us!"

PHOTOS: Remember these wild reality TV personalities?

When Rich, Jackson and Lil Jon met with the opposing team -- Jones, Meat Loaf and Marlee Matlin -- Trump was even more fired up about Leakes. The billionaire businessman launched into an epic tirade about potential, and how Leakes' exit cost last week's eliminated contestant Hope Dworaczyk a chance to compete.

"The fact is she left, she quit, she gave up. To you, NeNe, I say, you're fired. And you're a quitter. And Star Jones kicked your ass whether you like it or not. Potential doesn't mean sh--. I've been hearing about potential all my life, but that usually [is said of people who are] not performing. We let go of Hope and we ultimately lost NeNe. That's fine. That's the way life is."

VIDEO: Apprentice winner Bill Rancic tells Us who he's rooting for this season

Leakes wasn't the only contestant to hit the road on Sunday. Jackson and Jones were given the boot by The Donald at the conclusion of the three-hour episode, leaving Rich, Lil Jon, Meat Loaf and Matlin to fight for the title.

Tell Us: Which of this week's eliminations surprised you most?

By Allison Corneau for UsMagazine.com. For more Channel Surfing, click here.

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