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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Dallas

LeeAnne Locken Opens Up About Her Rough Carnival Past

"A lot of bad happened to me," she told

By Laura Rosenfeld
It's a Little Plano in Here

The Real Housewives of Dallas' LeeAnne Locken hasn't been shy about her past working in carnivals. Her Season 1 tagline is "I grew up a carny kid. Play games with me and you're gonna pay," after all. 

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And it's no wonder LeeAnne has proven to be a force to be reckoned with this season. She's known the meaning of hard work since she was a toddler. “I started working during the summers when I was 3 years old,” she told earlier this month. “I worked for my mom and then other people. When I was 11 I bought my own game and I had adults working for me.” 

LeeAnne became so successful that she said she ended up owning "five or six games and part of an arcade." However, working in the carnival circuit proved to not be all fun and games, so LeeAnne retired at the age of 16. “A lot of bad happened to me,” she said. “I attribute a lot of it to how I looked and who I was. I had a lot of therapy along the way to discover who I was as a human.”

LeeAnne wrote in her blog that she also struggled to fit in while she worked the carnival circuit. "Growing up a carny kid seemed normal to me. I truly didn’t know any better until I went to school and started getting called a circus freak," she wrote. "I would get so offended I developed the line, 'We don’t entertain you (circus act)! We just take your money!' as a comeback. It was the first time I experienced what would be a lifelong journey of being misunderstood."

These days, LeeAnne is focusing on her charity work, which her work in carnivals has actually helped prepare her for. "My summers on the carnival [circuit] taught me one of my best traits to this day — a strong work ethic! Getting things done on the charity circuit requires a strong work ethic and great connections!" she wrote in her blog.

But charity work has also posed some challenges for LeeAnne when she's around her RHOD castmates, as we saw in this week's series premiere. “I have a huge personality,” LeeAnne told “It’s not always the easiest thing to be around.” 

We'll see more of what she means as this season of RHOD continues. Catch a sneak peek of Monday night's new episode, below.

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