While some ladies are billed as “friends” from the beginning of their time on the show, other women have been demoted over the years. The most notable jumps from full-time Housewife to “friend” include Vicki Gunvalson, Danielle Staub and Camille Grammer.
While it’s rare for a cast member to return to her full-time role after scaling back, Real Housewives of New York City OG Luann de Lesseps went from “friend” for season 6 back to full-time for season 7. Porsha Williams, who joined Real Housewives of Atlanta in season 5, had a similar situation, returning in a full-time role for season 8 after spending a season as a “friend.” Former peach-holder Shereé Whitfield did the same.
“I kind of love being the ‘friend’ to the show. It’s really the best of both worlds,” Tanya told fans in March 2020 via Instagram Live. “I have autonomy, no one can tell me like when you have to show up for what, I can still travel so I kind of like it.
In Beverly Hills, Kyle Richards’ bestie Faye Resnick has made several cameos over the years. While Faye was only billed as an official “friend” for season 3, she still makes guest appearances on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. During season 10, fans expected newbie Sutton Stracke to hold a diamond, but she was ultimately made a “friend,” revealing that she didn’t show enough of her home life on the show.
“That was kind of one of the parts that kept me from filming as much as I would have liked this season,” Sutton told Us in April 2020. “I mean I think I was full-time, we filmed a lot, but there was a chunk of my life that was missing. So hopefully next season we can see that.”
Scroll through for an update on “friends” of Housewives past: