Lydia McLaughlin Opens Up About Leaving ‘RHOC’: ‘I Think Everyone Will Miss My Sparkle’

‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ star Lydia McLaughlin
‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ star Lydia McLaughlin Charles Sykes/Bravo

Signing off! Lydia McLaughlin opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about leaving the Real Housewives of Orange County.

“The decision to film and sign on for season 13, like my husband and I were talking a lot and so we included our kids in the conversation and we did a family vote and I was kind of on the fence … obviously they would support me if I really decided to do it again, but I just felt like that was a really good indicator of maybe just the stress it puts on them,” McLaughlin, who has three children —Stirling, 8, Maverick, 6, and Roman, 2 — with her husband Doug, explained on Friday, February 9.

Real Housewives of Orange County
Lydia McLaughlin, Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, Meghan King Edmonds, Vicki Gunvalson, Peggy Sulahian and Kelly Dodd of ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ Season 12 cast Tommy Garcia/Bravo

As previously reported, McLaughlin announced on Friday that she was leaving RHOC after returning to the series last year. “RHOC has given me a great platform and I’m grateful for that. However, I feel like I can only handle this show one season at a time,” McLaughlin wrote in a blog post. “I need a break! 

As for the future of the OG Real Housewives franchise, McLaughlin hopes they will cast a woman who is the “voice of reason.” 

“I’m assuming… they have to have five to seven girls, so I’m hoping that they can have someone that is grounded and levelheaded and a voice of reason and a peace maker,” the former Bravo star explained. “Hopefully I was those things and you know, I think everyone will miss my sparkle.” 

McLaughlin also gave Us an update on her friendship with the fellow OC women, including Shannon Beador, whom she did not get along with on the show.

“I think people would be surprised to know, but Shannon and I made up at the end. Off camera she looked at me and was like, ‘Are we good?’ And I said, ‘We’re good.’ And we gave each other a hug,” the Beyond Orange County: A Housewives Guide to Faith & Happiness author said. “That’s the last time I’ve ever seen her, but after that Tamra [Judge] and her both blocked me on social media, which I think is super weird.”

She added, “I’m friends with Peggy [Sulahian]. We have like a genuine friendship and I’m friends with Gretchen [Rossi] and Alexis [Bellino] and Heather [Dubrow], but I guess I’m not really friends with any of the current cast which is also a huge factor. For me to film a show where you’re supposed to be friends with them… we’re just too different. We’re in different stages of our lives.” 

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