The Real Reason Tanya Left The Real Housewives Of Atlanta

The women on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" normally love to stir up controversy. There wouldn't be an "RHOA" without the fights, the fashion, and the shade — oh the shade of it all! But not every housewife is here for the drama. The show, which just completed its 13th season, has also hosted its share of tame housewives. Remember Season 8 when "Facts of Life" star Kim Fields tried to hold court with the Georgia peaches? The infamous Kenya Moore targeted the actress for the season's entire run, and there was no sign of Fields in Season 9.

It's no secret that the stars of the show, which currently include Moore, Porsha Williams, Kandi Burruss, and Cynthia Bailey, are picky about who gets a spot in their social circle. So when tech businesswoman Tanya Sam joined in Season 11 as a friend of the girls, it was yet to be seen if the bubbly Toronto native would survive the Atlanta rollercoaster. Tanya rarely wavered from her agreeable personality and often provided a levity that balanced the group's more, ahem, dramatic storylines. While Season 13 was filming, TMZ reported Tanya departed abruptly midway through. As the season premiered, and details of "Strippergate" started to unfold, viewers started piecing together why she was nowhere to be seen. As far as we know, this is the reason Tanya left "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."

Tanya Sam's exit was her own undoing

Before Cynthia Bailey married sportscaster Mike Hill, the women headed down to South Carolina to celebrate Cynthia's last night as an unmarried woman. No bachelorette party is complete without a stripper, and exotic dancer B.O.L.O provided the entertainment for the night. As the party went on into the wee hours of the night and the cameras rolled, it was revealed that some of the guests held a private soiree in one of the bedrooms. The mystery of who slept with B.O.L.O hung over the entire season, and it became known as "Strippergate." 

While Kenya tried to out the person who hooked up with the dancer, Tanya readily volunteered that she had spent the night in Porsha's room. The confession may have been her attempt at diffusing yet another tense situation, but it did more damage than good for her. The other women questioned why Tanya, who is engaged, had seemingly let it slip that she participated in the threesome. Tanya, hoisted by her own petard, quietly exited the show following her declaration, with sources telling TMZ she was upset that there was too much focus on Strippergate ahead of Season 13.

To date, Tanya has addressed the cheating rumors only once, back in October 2020 after leaving the show. She posted a graphic on her Instagram which read "I will address this topic now and will not entertain this absurdity any further. The rumor circulating about is NOT TRUE."

What the other participants of Strippergate had to say

The post didn't deter Kenya from promoting the idea that Tanya was guilty. In December 2020, Kenya said she hadn't talked to Tanya since the night of the party. "We haven't heard from Tanya since all this happened. We haven't seen her film anything, she basically fled the country," Kenya told the Bravo blog. Subsequent posts on Tanya's Instagram show her hosting events in Atlanta, so the rumor that she had fled back to Canada isn't a total truth. "No one is running from Kenya," Porsha clarified.

Even Michael Bolwaire, aka B.O.L.O, addressed the controversy, as he posted a video on social media where he denied the rumors. "Although I'm flattered to be in the same conversation as those beautiful women, nothing happened (via irealhousewives)," he claimed.

"RHOA" star Kandi heard from Tanya briefly since the season aired, but it was nothing more than a quick DM. "The Chi" star recalled what Tanya had said to her after the Charleston incident to The Jasmine Brand, via YouTube. According to her, Tanya said, "y'all mess my dang on life up...she was like 'I gotta go tend to my dang on fiance, let me go and get that right."

Porsha recently told Andy Cohen that she and Tanya are still friends, though not as close as before since the Canadian has a lot of projects, including a new reality show keeping her busy. Tanya does seem to stay busy; besides her docuseries "Making a Mogul", the media personality has her hand in a number of startups and non-profits, according to UrbanGeekz. These include TechSquare Labs and Kate's Club, a nonprofit that helps children who have experienced the loss of a family member.