Credit: Bravo Photo: Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes, Phaedra Parks and Cynthia Bailey

Sunday night’s Before They Were Housewives special showed us different sides of Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Kim Zolciak, and NeNe Leakes. Viewers learned that all of the ladies worked hard to achieve their fame, and were faced with many tragedies and hardships along the way.

Cynthia Bailey is a gorgeous model now, but before she was strutting her stuff down the runway and earning big bucks, Cynthia was raised by a single mother and emotionally abusive step-father. While working her way up in New York, Cynthia slept in a basement.

Kandi Burruss and her older brother were also raised by a single mother, and before she was writing hit songs and winning Grammys, Kandi mourned her brother’s sudden death when she was still in high school.

Kim Zolciak had children and got married very young, meaning that her Hollywood dreams were pushed aside. Kim’s husband (and father to daughters Brielle and Arianna) cheated on her when she was seven and a half months pregnant with Arianna, and the couple divorced after just 90 days of marriage.

NeNe Leakes was also a young mother, who was physically and verbally abused by her oldest son’s father. Their troubled relationship ended for good after Bryson’s dad took NeNe from a friends house at gunpoint. NeNe worked in a strip club to support herself and young son, before meeting Gregg Leakes.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at them now, but each of the ATL ladies have struggled to get to where they are today. Which housewife has the most shocking past?

Vote in our poll below!