Alex Martinez/Bravo
Will Robinson
June 29, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Next season’s Real Housewives of Atlanta will be missing its star: NeNe Leakes tells People she’s gone. “This was definitely a hard decision for me,” Leakes says. “Me and my husband [Gregg] have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time.

“This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things.”

Leakes has been on RHOA since its inception in 2008 and lasted seven seasons. Leakes was the star and often in the middle of the action and fights. “There were times when I was a target,” she says. “I won’t miss the negativity.”

Head to People to find out what other projects Leakes has cooking and if she will truly be off the show forever.

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