The Bravo personality, 55, confirmed via social media on Tuesday, August 25, that she was leaving the reality series after six seasons. While fans were shocked by the news, a source tells Us Weekly exclusively that the decision was a long time coming.
“Dorinda had a meeting with Bravo where they talked about possible shakeups in the cast, how Dorinda was feeling after this very hard season for her and they both agreed it would be best for her to step down,” the insider tells Us. “Friends around Dorinda are hoping she takes time to focus on herself and making herself happy in this next chapter of her life.”
After an emotional season on RHONY, Medley told her fans that “all things must come to an end.” The Massachusetts native made her first appearance on the fourth season of the show, which aired in 2011, and was later made a permanent cast member four years later.
“What a journey this has been. I have laughed and cried and tried to Make it Nice,” she wrote in a statement confirming her exit on Tuesday. “This was a great outlet for me to heal when my late husband Richard passed away. I have met so many interesting people and learned so much about myself, about life and about women along the way. Thank you to Bravo and NBC for the incredible ride and to my cast mates for constant stimulation and entertainment. I wish you all health, happiness and success.”
Though the show provided her a platform to express herself after the loss of her husband in November 2011, stepping down from the cast will let her put even more of her energy into healing. “Dorinda truly feels this is the next big step to getting over Richard and being her own woman,” the source adds.
Loyal Bravo viewers weren’t the only ones shocked by the major cast shakeup, as some of the network’s biggest names took to social media to share their love for Medley and applaud her impact on RHONY.
“Every woman in this world wears a little sparkle, some in their dress, and some in their eyes,” Bethenny Frankel, who left the series after season 11, wrote via Instagram. “Use each moment to make another’s eyes sparkle and to warm a heart. Don’t let anyone or anything dull your sparkle. Don’t let the insecurities of others dull your sparkle. You will be missed … let the next chapter begin. #RHONY.”
Andy Cohen, for his part, kept his tribute short and sweet. “What a ride. Unforgettable,” he commented on Medley’s announcement.Listen to Getting Real with the Housewives, your one-stop destination for Housewives news and exclusive interviews
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!