“I wish she had been there. What can I tell you? I really wish she would have been there and I think she would have done great,” the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host, 50, said during an episode of his SiriusXM radio show on Monday, June 10, of LVP’s decision to skip the reunion taping earlier this month. “And I think she actually could have left with some resolution.”
Shortly after the SUR owner, 58, exclusively confirmed to Us Weekly that she wasn’t going to be returning to the hit Bravo TV series, rumors began to swirl that the network was quickly looking to find someone to take her place.
“No one will ever replace her,” Cohen said firmly on Monday. “And no one can replace her. I mean, it has been well documented that when we were developing the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I was not totally sold on doing the show … But when I saw Lisa Vanderpump on that casting tape, man, she was the one who really sold me on doing the show.”
He continued: “She is iconic. And I am so glad that we will continue to see more of Lisa — in all of her glory — on Vanderpump Rules … she will always be the queen of diamonds in the Bravo universe.”
Cohen went on to note that “people come and go but the show remains” and that regardless of losing the restaurateur, someone else will come in wow viewers with their own story. “The door will always be open to Lisa,” he concluded.
As for Cohen’s pal Bruce Bozzi, who sparked speculation that Kathy Hilton would be replacing Vanderpump when he posted an Instagram picture of the Love Connection alum with the socialite, Cohen clarified the chatter. “Kathy was like, ‘Oh, we gotta take a pic,’” he said of running into her at a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
“Before we are out the door, I get in the car and look on Instagram, and there’s Bruce’s post that says, ‘Sign on the dotted line,’” Cohen continued. “I will say I was amazed at how overwhelmingly positive people’s reaction to this was.”
Cohen added: “There have been absolutely no conversations about this.”
Hilton, whose sisters Kyle and Kim Richards are on the show, debunked the speculation that she’d be joining the cast on Sunday, June 9, alongside a video of her giving a man a bad haircut. “Rumors of me joining the Beverly Hills Housewives would interfere with my real job of cutting hair,” the I Want to Be a Hilton alum joked.
Vanderpump opened up to Us on Thursday, June 6, about her reason for leaving the show. “I made the decision to leave. It was a very difficult year for me, personally and professionally,” she explained to Us. “I had wonderful things happen this year, opening up TomTom and the cocktail garden in Vegas. The Housewives, it’s just, it’s emotionally too difficult to deal with.”