“I felt very disrespected and I don’t deserve that,” Gunvalson, 57, told Us Weekly at BravoCon in New York City on Saturday, November 16. “I’m a cast member that created this franchise and I need that [to be] respected. If they don’t want me, I’m fine … but don’t disrespect me.”
Earlier this year, rumors spread that the longtime Bravo star had been “demoted” from full-time cast member to “friend of a Housewife” for season 14 of RHOC when she was notably missing from a promotional photo shoot. In July, Gunvalson confirmed via Instagram she would be taking a back seat in the upcoming season.
“For the past 14 years I’ve opened up my life, my loves, my ups and downs on The Real Housewives of Orange County and I am proud to be the ‘OG of the OC,’” the Coto Insurance founder wrote on social media. “I am back again this season right in the middle of the action in a different role.”
Gunvalson later told Us at OK! magazine’s New York Fashion Week Party in September that after processing the news of her reduced role, she was uncertain about where her future lay with the franchise.
“Obviously I pissed someone off at Bravo,” she said at the time. “I have no idea who, and no one can say what went wrong. I think they were just looking for some new blood.”
While speaking on the Bravo All Stars: OG Housewives Edition panel at BravoCon on Saturday, Gunvalson continued to open up about her reduced role, acknowledging that signing her new contract “was one of the hardest things [she’s] ever done.”
When asked by a fan whether she’d ever consider returning as a “friend of a Housewife,” the businesswoman’s answer could not have been more clear. “I’m never coming back reduced again. Let’s just say that. I’m either in all the way or out.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.