‘RHOD’: LeeAnne Locken Accused Of Having Selfish Motivations Behind Her Charity Work

On last Monday’s Real Housewives of Dallas premiere, LeeAnne Locken was called out by Brandi Redmond for having “selfish” intentions behind her charity work. After feeling a little bullied by LeeAnne at a trunk show fundraiser, Redmond accused Locken of talking about herself too much, specifically at a past charity event for HIV-positive women.

Brandi Redmond, who was also attending the HIV charity event, told LeeAnne Locken that her life story was irrelevant to the cause. Brandi implied that sharing it on stage at the fundraiser made Locken seem pathetic. Redmond went so far as to tell LeeAnne she felt sorry for her. Locken opened up about the incident to Bravo last week, saying her story was “beyond relevant.”

“Brandi doesn’t understand the obligations of an Honorary Chair. I was asked to share my story, which related to the fact that as a teenager I have already buried someone I considered to be my older brother from AIDS, and his younger brother is HIV Positive. My story was beyond relevant. If they had only listened with their hearts and not their heads! I raise a tremendous amount of funds in the LGBT Community in Dallas, and I won’t stop until shame is removed from every HIV+ person around! #MyHeartSong”

As for co-stars Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman’s other criticisms of her? LeeAnne Locken doesn’t bat an eye at being called “loud,” but “egotistical” is another matter. Locken said her co-stars hadn’t spent enough time with her at that point to really know her and claimed only one has made an effort to get to know her since.

“As far as them calling me loud, um, hello! Is thing on?? I AM LOUD! Stay tuned and you might find out why! Egotistical? Hilarious! They didn’t know me then, and only one of them has taken the time to try to know me now. #JourneyOfBeingMisunderstood #WaterOffADucksBack”

LeeAnne Locken said growing up as a “carny kid” prepared her for a lifetime of being “misunderstood.” It started when kids at school would call her a “circus freak,” confusing her work at the carnival with being in the circus. It also gave her what she says is one of her “best traits to this day — a strong work ethic,” which she generously applies to her charity work.

“Getting things done on the charity circuit requires a strong work ethic and great connections!”

LeeAnne Locken’s best friend of many years, Tiffany Hendra, weighed in on the matter, saying she knows without a doubt that LeeAnne’s intentions are pure. She also pointed out that a charity cocktail party probably wasn’t the appropriate place for Brandi to confront LeeAnne with her feelings. However, she recognized that LeeAnne’s “taunting” of Brandi and Stephanie earlier that night may have helped set off the “little red headed firecracker.”

“Knowing LeeAnne for so many years, I can say wholeheartedly that her motivation in the charity world is sincere. She used to pull over and pick up stray dogs and help people to her detriment. Some people are more reserved about their charity work and it must have bothered Brandi enough to feel the need to get it off her chest and approach LeeAnne. I agree, there is a time and place to share your personal story, but I believe LeeAnne has the awareness of when it is or is not appropriate. It just may have been best to have that chat privately over coffee.”

Dallas lifestyle blogger, Cynthia Smoot, contacted some of the charities featured on the Real Housewives of Dallas to get their thoughts on how the LeeAnne and Brandi’s confrontation portrayed the Dallas charity world. Melissa Grove, director of Legacy Counseling Center, was one of several to respond to Smoot’s request.

Legacy Counseling Center is the organization at the center of the fundraiser where Brandi Redmond felt LeeAnne Locken shared her story in poor taste. Grove felt Locken’s story was “totally appropriate.”

“Brandi had said that it was inappropriate for LeeAnne to talk about herself after the women of the Grace Project had told their stories. but I think her comments were totally appropriate as they bridged the link between troubles we all have. Her disclosing her own issues made the women feel more comfortable in disclosing theirs.”

While Brandi Redmond argued that you’re only valuable in the charity world if you can donate the big bucks, LeeAnne Locken insisted that her time, talent, and connections are just as valuable. Melissa Grove agrees with LeeAnne, saying she doubts women with HIV would even be on Brandi’s mind if LeeAnne hadn’t gotten her to attend the fundraiser.

“One other role people can play besides writing checks, is connections. Until LeeAnne got involved, the issue of women with HIV was not really on the society radar. With her connections, she helped me connect with people I don’t have access to.”

LeeAnne Locken is not going to let a little criticism slow down her charitable efforts. Do you think her intentions are sincere or did Brandi Redmond call it right by saying she’s selfish?

[Photo by Michael Larsen/Bravo]

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