She was a model for many years who also dabbled in acting. If you go to her IMDB page, she has a good number of credits. Most are from 2000 on, but in season 1, we saw some of her modeling photos from the '80s and '90s. Remember that she met Tiffany at a photo shoot back in those days. I think it was mostly catalogue work, but still, she seems to have held legitimate modeling and acting jobs most of her life.
Per IMDB, she also produced two reality shows pre-Housewives. No surprise then, that she's been so good at figuring out what the RHOD producers have wanted in past seasons. She became the star of the show by using her past as a "carny kid" and her anger issues to carry a lot of the storylines. But because she became a quieter, gentler LeeAnne in season three (at least, storyline-wise) she knows she can't really lash out this season, especially when she's supposed to be playing the happy newlywed.
So instead she's tried crying a lot, pivoting into victim mode to see if that works. But the other women can see that it's calculated and have either stopped reacting to her or have actually called her out on how fake they think it is. That's why she's freaking out if you ask me. She thought she'd easily be the star again this season with her wedding and her D'Andra feud but she realized, by the Thailand trip, that it wasn't really working. So she became frustrated that the focus wasn't on her and decided to take her frustrations out in the worst way possible, through her terrible ranting about Kary and trying to passive-aggressively manipulate her one true ally, Kameron. Instead of turning things around, she's now rightly lost all of the goodwill she'd built up with the rest of the cast and the audience
I trust that she'll find some way to bounce back from this, because she's a very crafty woman. But she's totally lost me.