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“I wanted to know my mom’s family. They agreed to let me stay [with them] until I finished high school,” said Kenya, who has been open about her difficult relationship with her estranged mother. “It got too tough for my grandmother, and she was like, ‘Yeah, we’re taking you back.’ So they put me in the van. I was crying, all this stuff. Before the van could even stop, I opened the door, I dropped and rolled, and ran away. They couldn’t find me for weeks. I went and stayed with an ex-boyfriend.”
Speaking to Sanya Richards-Ross, Kenya continued, “It adds to a child’s trauma and abandonment issues. Because it's like, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why did you give up on me?’”
During a Season 8 episode of RHOA, Kenya shared more details about her upbringing. “I don’t think a lot of people understand, when I grew up I was raised by my dad’s mother,” she said at the time, referencing her late paternal grandmother, Doris. “We were the closest that you could ever imagine a grandmother and a granddaughter to be, and I have always, from day one, called her Mom. If it were not for her, I would not be the woman I am.”
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