Onto the next! Kelly Dodd may not be returning for season 16 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, but she is still thankful to Bravo as she considers her future outside the network.
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“I had a great five years on RHOC. I will miss working with the ladies and the crews from Evolution and I want to thank Bravo for all the opportunities they gave me,” Dodd, 45, said in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, June 16. “If it weren’t for the show, I’d never have found my husband Rick, the greatest love of my life and for that I’m eternally grateful. I’m also so thankful for the many thousands of fans who’ve shown me love and support since the news broke.”
The reality star added: “Now it’s onward and upward! I’m super excited to be a free agent, not tied to a Bravo contract, and can’t wait to work with Rick on new projects. I wish the show nothing but success.”
Cast members Elizabeth Lyn Vargas and Braunwyn Windham-Burke have also exited the reality series. Heather Dubrow, who was originally on the show from 2012 to 2016, has confirmed her return.
After the news broke on Tuesday, June 15, Dubrow, 52, revealed to Andy Cohen why she changed her mind about coming back to the franchise.
“Honestly, a year ago or two years ago, I might’ve said no ‘cause [of] what you’re talking about. Timing is a big deal, but at the time that I left, the culture of the show had changed a bit since when I joined the show. I think we could agree on that. I wasn’t happy, and I think it was a good mutual decision that maybe my time on the show was done,” she clarified during the Wednesday episode of the “Heather Dubrow’s World” podcast.
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The That’s Life in 2000 alum continued: “Now, things are a little bit different, right? My family’s in a different place, my kids are a little bit older, the [coronavirus] pandemic has sort of given me a different perspective on things. Then I started thinking about, ‘OK, how many times do you get to go back and try something again?’”
Dodd, for her part, previously claimed she would quit the Bravo series if costar Windham-Burke, 43, returned.
“I know I cannot film with Braunwyn,” Dodd said in an Instagram Live in January. “I know for a fact that I cannot film with her. There’s just no way, and if she comes back then I’m out because I know for a fact that I cannot. She’s dangerous and calling people racists and homophobic.”
Dodd explained that working alongside Windham-Burke would be the ultimate dealbreaker for her.
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“If I’m coming back next year, I just can’t come back next year filming with somebody so reckless,” she shared at the time. “I just can’t. If she’s on, I’m probably out. So, that’s probably the way it goes. And by the way, she says she couldn’t film with me, so there you go.”
One month later, Dodd teased that she was planning to return to the next season of RHOC, after rumors spread that she had been fired.
“It’s actually kinda funny … I’ve heard these rumors every year for the last five years,” she wrote via Twitter in February. “Looking forward to my sixth season #RHOC 16!”
Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson will be returning for the upcoming season.
With reporting by Diana Cooper
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