LeeAnne Locken is literally a child of the circus. She grew up on the carnival circuit and, now, in a way, she's back on it, as a cast member of The Real Housewives of Dallas. Locken is known as the queen of the Dallas charity circuit, supporting organizations in the city including the SPCA of Texas and AIDS Services Dallas. She didn't plan on becoming such a staple of fundraising, Locken told SheKnows, it just sort of happened. "I was asked to help promote and volunteer at one and it was a ripple effect! One led to three led to 10 and now I have a really hard time saying no."
The Real Housewives of Dallas is a brand new show but already Locken has become notorious for her tense relationship with costar Brandi Redmond. The two have clashed over etiquette, Redmond's impression of LeeAnne and, most recently, appropriate hats.
Redmond certainly has had a lot to say about Locken behind her back, but it's what she's said to her face that's caused much of the ruckus so far this season, including her comment that people in Dallas are afraid of Locken. "I think it's great that she is willing to speak her mind, but she is clearly either exaggerating or just doesn't know. Brandi doesn't live in Dallas... I am of absolutely no threat to anyone nor would I want to be! Does it bother me? If I thought she really knew enough people that it might be true, maybe but honestly no. I actually think it’s kind of funny."
Locken is rather a non-traditional sort of Southern woman, especially in the context of the rest of the RHOD cast, who are, for the most part, like Redmond, married with children. Locken is 48, doesn't have children and lives with her boyfriend, Rich, and her very beloved dogs. She's very much content in her current situation, contrary to what her best friend, RHOD castmate Tiffany Hendra, might think. Hendra recently hypothesized that Locken might not feel like she had to be such a star in the charity scene if she and Rich were married, but Locken objects. "I love Tiffany for thinking it and wanting me to be settled," said Locken, "but I truly already am. I have a better relationship than most marriages in any town. We treat each other with respect and trust. Rich is one of my biggest blessings ever. I am a 'superstar' in the charity scene because there is a need."
Locken and Redmond might have more in common than they think in that they're both, in some ways, shirking convention — Locken with her marital situation and Redmond with her sense of humor. Locken doesn't buy Redmond's claim that she doesn't care what people think of her, though. "I think Brandi does care about what people think or she wouldn’t attack back on social media when people attack her," Locken said. Money, though, certainly plays a role in Redmond's ability to act as though she couldn't care less about social graces, according to Locken. "Of course she would act differently if they didn’t have money. Money has a tendency to deliver false confidence. I think Brandi has more grace than that!"
We have a whole season of The Real Housewives of Dallas ahead of us, and only time will tell if Locken and Redmond will continue their feud, but Locken is already reflecting on what it will mean when it's over, especially in regard to the strained relationships between castmates. "I think this is going to be a really difficult journey for all of us watching how we behaved and I think it would be nice if we bonded as a group to support one another."
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