Nene Leakes
NeNe has been on Real Housewives of Atlanta since it premiered in 2008 on Bravo Getty

Real Housewives of Atlanta's (RHOA) NeNe Leakes has become the highest-paid reality star on Bravo after bagging a $1.5m (£933m) payday for the upcoming season of the hit show.

The 46-year-old star, best known for her outspoken and often frank demeanour, has been with the show since it premiered in 2008 and is the network's most popular personality.

According to Rador Online, she was able to negotiate an impressive pay rise because producers realised she was an asset and could not risk her leaving.

"Without NeNe, RHOA wouldn't be the ratings blockbuster that it continues to be. While some of the other shows including RHONJ [Real Housewives of New Jersey] and RHONY [Real Housewives of New York City] have endured ratings slumps, Atlanta has never had to endure that," a source told the celebrity news site.

Earlier this year during an appearance on the Arsenio Hall's show, Leakes admitted that although the pay was "okay", she no longer believed the show was worth her time.

"You know what, the pay is okay, but I don't know if it's worth what you saw on the clip. I began this so many years ago with other girls," she said.

"And I'm the only original that's left. It has changed a lot," she said, noting that there was "never the hair pulling and the punching and all that stuff."

Besides RHOA and its various spin-offs, the mother-of-one has been busy with other ventures.

She has her own clothing line for 'regular-sized' women for HSN, was a contestant on season 18 of Dancing with the Stars, and was recently tipped to replace the late Joan Rivers on E! Fashion police.