It looks like “The Real Housewives of Orange County” is cleaning house for next season, and Braunwyn Windham-Burke is out.
In a June 15, 2021, statement to PEOPLE, Burke admitted that she is “incredibly sad” to be leaving the franchise. “I’m incredibly sad to not be able to come back to ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ next year,” Burke told the outlet. “I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show – the good, the bad, and the in-between.”
Burke continued, “It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV. That is something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise’s history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month.”
The former star also added that while she understands why some fans may have thought that she was “too much” on the show, she appreciates her supporters. “I know I may have been too much for some, and that’s okay. I am real, and I am happy being me. I’m so grateful to those who have stood by me,” Burke told PEOPLE. “There is a lot more to my life, and I hope you’ll stick with me on this journey as I move forward in my next chapter.”
Windham-Burke Wasn’t the Only ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ Member Who Was Fired
Burke isn’t the only cast member on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” who has been let go ahead of season 16. Both Kelly Dodd and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas have also been fired.
On June 16, 2021, Dodd released a statement about her departure on Twitter, writing, “The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better. I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future #RHOC.“
Vargas, who only appeared for one season, also released a lengthy statement on her Instagram page.
“COVID 2020 was a very unfortunate and tough year for all of us during filming but we made it happen and I’m very proud of what we accomplished as a team,” Vargas wrote in part on Instagram. “Despite filming during COVID and not really getting to know all the ladies fully, this past year has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my life. I am so proud of the work we have done and the friendships we were able to build.”
Viewers Can Expect to See a Familiar Face on the Upcoming Season of ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’
With Burke, Dodd, and Vargas out of the picture, that leaves three remaining cast members: Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter, and Emily Simpson. However, fans will also be seeing another familiar face on their screens next season, as former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Heather Dubrow will be added to the mix.
Dubrow was a member of the cast during seasons seven through 11 and will be returning again for the upcoming season 16. Per Variety, “Dubrow was known for her sharp wit, her confrontational style, her huge house and her bickery, bantery marriage to Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon.”