Us Weekly can exclusively reveal the reason for Judge’s decision: Bravo tried to demote her. “They offered her a part-time role and she declined,” a source tells Us exclusively. “She was on the fence anyhow.”
Judge, 52, confirmed her departure on Saturday, January 25, with an Instagram post that showed her and husband Eddie Judge.
“It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time to move on,” she captioned the pic. “Im sad to go but I’m very excited about my future. Love you guys.”
Housewives fans reacted to the news, with one commenting on the post that RHOC is “no longer worth watching without you and Vicki.” Another wrote that “there better be a dang tres amigas show in the works or something….”
RHOC executive producer Andy Cohen reacted to Judge’s news on Saturday, tweeting, “An unprecedented run from a woman who was always entertaining, surprising and dramatic – and never ever aged. And now she’s the queen of CBD!”
Judge, who joined Orange County in its third season in 2007, announced her departure one day after her fellow Tres Amigas member Gunvalson revealed that she would not be returning after season 14.
“I will always be the OG of the OC, but it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County,” the reality star, 57, wrote on Instagram Friday, January 24. “It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whooping it up’ with me along the way.”
Gunvalson told Us exclusively that she and Bravo were “unequally aligned,” which led to her departure but a source told Us that she was not asked to return to the show after she was demoted to a “friend” role for season 14.
“She made it very clear that she wouldn’t come back as a friend so they wouldn’t try to offer her that again,” the insider said.
Cohen reacted to Gunvalson’s departure, paying tribute to her on Instagram on Friday.
“I remember the first reunion I did with Vicki Gunvalson. Occasionally our eyes would meet as I grilled the other women, and she would wink at me optimistically and effervescently as both of her deep dimples shone,” the Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen host, 51, captioned a photo of himself and Gunvalson hugging, along with a solo shot of the star. “She kept winking at me Year after year, and it always made my heart smile. Vicki is an original, who remained her authentic self from her Family Van-freakout through her last reunion.”
“It’s so hard to remain exactly who you are after being on television for so long, but Vicki is one of a kind,” he added. “Thank you for everything, @vickigunvalson – what a ride. And it’s not over.”
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