After hinting that she wouldn’t return to The Real Housewives of Orange County if Kelly Dodd was part of the cast, Heather Dubrow is clarifying assumptions that Bravo axed Kelly to ensure Heather’s season 16 return.
“I think you would know that anyone that thinks they have that kind of power on a show like this is really very misguided. Having said that, when I left the show, I felt like the culture of the show was changing and it wasn’t really in line with who I am or something that I felt comfortable in,” the 52-year-old “Heather Dubrow’s World” podcast host said on E! News’ Daily Pop on Friday, July 23.
Heather continued, ”And I definitely wanted to make sure that the show was going to be moving into a direction … because they said they wanted to reboot it. That’s no secret. So I wanted to make sure that it was moving in a direction that I could thrive in, that would be successful and would be beneficial to my family. Helpful, not harmful.”
News broke last month that the former actress was returning to RHOC after leaving the show during season 11. Bravo subsequently confirmed that the network didn’t renew Kelly, 45, Braunwyn Windham-Burke or Elizabeth Lyn Vargas’ contracts.
“They called me in December, and I laughed like, ‘Stop!’ And then we started talking about it and we had a family meeting about it,” Heather, who initially appeared on RHOC from 2012 to 2016, said on Friday. “It just seemed like the universe was telling me it’s time.”
Kelly, for her part, told Jeff Lewis that she was “blindsided” by her firing, which came after she made headlines for her controversial comments about the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“You want somebody to love to hate you, or you want people to really love you, but I have a million followers and they are diehard, like, fans, and they love me. And then I have this little group of people that are the cancel culture that hate me,” Kelly said on SiriusXM’s Jeff Lewis Live on June 28. “And so they’re the loud ones. They’re actually the ones that can’t afford to — the woke, broke people. They love to hate me.”
Kelly and Heather only appeared on the reality series for one season before the latter’s exit. During season 11, they argued after the Positive Beverage cofounder used the c-word during a heated cast dinner. Earlier this year, the That’s Life alum threw shade at Kelly after she came under fire for her remarks about COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Cancel culture is such a tricky thing because when there’s gray area it’s hard ’cause [it] can ruin people’s lives and careers and whatnot. Having said that, and having not seen exactly what was said, I’ll tell you this: a leopard doesn’t change its spots, right?,” Heather told Us in January. “People show you who they are. And at some point, you have to listen.”
More recently, Heather’s family threatened to take legal action against Kelly, who previously alleged that she caught COVID-19 from her former costar and her husband Terry Dubrow’s 17-year-old son, Nicholas.
“I got this letter from an attorney for the Dubrow family reminding me I made a statement that may sound like truth, when in fact it was a joke and for that, I am offering my sincere apology,” Kelly said on July 6 via Instagram Stories. “I’m going on the record right now to be very clear: [my husband] Rick [Leventhal] and I don’t know how we caught the virus, and we’re both very very sorry for any trouble we caused the Dubrow family.”