NeNe Leakes Breaks Silence After Son Bryson’s Arrest: ‘He Has An Addiction’

The 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star talked about how her son's doing and more, in a new in-depth podcast interview.

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NeNe Leakes, 55, broke her silence about her son Bryson‘s arrest, in a new two-part interview. The former Real Housewives of Atlanta star appeared on a new episode of her friend Carlos King‘s podcast, Reality with the King, and talked openly about the 33-year-old’s recent run-in with the law, which resulted in him going and remaining behind bars at the Gwinnett County Jail on a $6,100 bond and facing multiple charges. They include violation of probation in two cases, possession of a scheduled II controlled substance, loitering/prowling and giving a false name, address or birthdate.

“I spoke to him on the phone, I think he’s doing OK,” she told Carlos when asked how Bryson, whom she shares with ex Calvin Bryant, was doing. “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.”

NeNe Leakes
NeNe poses at a previous event. (Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Bryson was arrested after authorities found him with “a small plastic bag that contained a white powdery substance,” according to a report from the Gwinnett County Police Department obtained by PEOPLE. The substance was then reportedly field tested and “provided a presumptive positive for Fentanyl,” police said.

When further discussing Bryson’s legal troubles and addiction, NeNe admitted there’s only so much she can do. “As a mom just to watch it, my hands are tied,” she explained. “[There’s] not much that 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.”

NeNe Leakes
Another photo of NeNe at an event. (Derek Storm/Everett Collection)

“I’ve spent so much money on trying to get Bryson where he needs to be,” she added. “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.”

NeNe also admitted that since Bryson has been going through his issues for years, she’s become “kind of numb” to it all. “He is [33] years old, he’s an adult. He has three children — three beautiful children — who I adore. He has a wife,” she explained. “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.”

In addition to Bryson, NeNe is the mother of Brentt Leakes, whom she shared with late husband Gregg Leakes. According to police, at the time of his arrest, Bryson identified himself as Brentt and gave the authorities a former address of NeNe’s as his current address. Police learned of his true identity later.

Both Bryson and Brentt appeared on RHOA with NeNe for 10 years and she admitted it may not have been good for Bryson’s drug problems.  “I don’t think it helped. 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 Brent was in third grade,” she told Carlos. “And, so they’re, 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.”

“I don’ know addiction because I don’t have an addiction,” she added. ” You know, I just know from what people have said to me.”

Check out part one of NeNe’s full interview in the video above. Part two will be released on Aug. 1.