People broke the news late Tuesday night that the new cast will not include Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke or Elizabeth Lyn-Vargas. Instead, former star and fan favorite Heather Dubrow will return to the series, joining current cast members Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson.
Dodd tweeted about her departure shortly after the news broke on Tuesday, June 14, 2021, tweeting, “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”
The mom-of-one first joined RHOC as a friend of Meghan King on season 11 in 2016. Over the years, she has become a controversial cast member. Dodd previously shut down rumors that she got the ax via Twitter in February 2021, writing in a since-deleted tweet, “It’s actually kinda funny… I’ve heard these rumors every year for the last five years. Looking forward to my sixth season #RHOC 16 !”
Dodd addressed the question again in May in an Instagram comment responding to a fan who asked if Dodd would be back for the next season of the show.
“I don’t know and don’t care!!” Dodd responded.
In another comment, Dodd said that, at that point, nobody had been offered a contract for the next season.
A RHOC Cast Member Expressed Sadness Over Dodd’s Departure
Shannon Beador and Dodd sparked an unlikely friendship. The two definitely didn’t get off on the right foot, constantly throwing daggers at one another on Dodd’s first season. Over the years, they got over their arguments and eventually became friends.
Within an hour of Dodd’s firing announcement, she took to Instagram to share that Beador was sad to see her go. Dodd posted a video on her Instagram Story of Beador and her boyfriend, John Janssen, giving Dodd and her husband, Rick Leventhal, a bottle of expensive tequila.
“Thank you, thank you Shannon Beador, thank you, thank you for giving me my parting gift my love,” Dodd said on her Instagram Story while showing the video of Beador and Janssen. “It’s okay it’s already out there, we’re going to drink this tonight, and Shannon I love you so much, thank you for coming over, you’re the best.”
Andy Cohen Previously Defended Dodd
Over the last few seasons, Dodd has faced her share of backlash, but Andy Cohen has stood by Dodd’s side. Cohen recently went on the record that while some Housewives have “troublesome” behavior, they are on television for entertainment only.
Dodd has faced backlash and criticism from Bravo fans due to her actions during the coronavirus pandemic. In April, Dodd said that the coronavirus was “God’s way of thinning out the herd,” and that “no one was dying in Orange County.” Dodd also posted a picture to Instagram of herself wearing a hat that read, “Drunk Wives Matter,” during her bachelorette party last October. Many found this insensitive and offensive toward the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It’s troublesome to me,” Cohen told Vulture on April 14. “I disagree with her point of view about COVID, but there are a lot of people who share her opinion. And by the way, she is in Orange County, where her opinion is probably the prevailing opinion.”
He added, “The line between celebrating someone’s outspokenness and not liking someone’s outspokenness is really blurring these days. Bravo is meant to be escapism, and I don’t personally think that the people on Bravo should be on trial for their political and cultural views. That doesn’t seem that fun to me!”