Can you say “major cast shakeup?” On the upcoming Season 16 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas will not be part of the production. TMZ is the first to report the exit.
While it is currently unknown if the three ladies were let go by the network or the decision was mutual, Kelly confirmed her exit on Twitter. “The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better. I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future #RHOC,” so she penned.
Windham-Burke, meanwhile, talked about her “revolutionary” time on the show in a statement to PEOPLE.
“I’m incredibly sad to not be able to come back to The Real Housewives of Orange County next year. I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show – the good, the bad, and the in-between. It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV,” she shared.
“That something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise’s history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month,” she added.
“I know I may have been too much for some, and that’s okay. I am real, and I am happy being me. I’m so grateful to those who have stood by me. There is a lot more to my life, and I hope you’ll stick with me on this journey as I move forward in my next chapter.”
Vargas opened up about her departure on Instagram on Tuesday night, writing in part, “Despite filming during COVID and not really getting to know all the ladies fully, this past year has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my life.”
Among those whose will be joining the show again for Season 16 are Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson.
Meanwhile, former cast member Heather Dubrow will return, and one or two more women will also join the cast.
Dubrow will discuss her decision to return with Andy Cohen on her podcast, Heather Dubrow’s World from PodcastOne, out at midnight.