Lisa Rinna had a rough final season on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” but her exit was not over her feud with Kathy Hilton following that explosive cast trip to Aspen — at least according to her husband.
In January 2023, Rinna’s husband, Harry Hamlin, claimed that Rinna made the decision to leave the Bravo reality show after viewers took Sutton Stracke’s side over her story about an invitation to Elton John’s annual charity gala, according to a source for Page Six.
The outlet reported that Hamlin was heard telling a friend that Rinna “had all the receipts from that night” and had planned to show them at the RHOBH season 12 reunion, but her proof was never shown on air. Hamlin claimed that it was IMDb, not Stracke, who provided him and Rinna with the tickets to the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Viewing Party in 2019.
“She might still be on the show had Sutton not said that,” Hamlin said, per Page Six’s source. “She might still be on the show, but the audience believed Sutton.”
According to BravoTV.com, Cohen did confirm that Rinna brought an envelope carrying her “proof” to the RHOBH reunion, but that he didn’t have time to get into it with her.
“We talked about them, and she whipped the receipts out, and we wound up cutting the whole thing because we were done talking about the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Like enough is enough,” Cohen said on his Siriux XM show “Andy Cohen Live. “There were a lot of decisions made in the edit to cut down many conversations.”
Sutton Stracke Accused Lisa Rinna of Failing to Thank Her For Seats at Elton John’s Gala
The drama between Rinna and Stracke started after the Sutton boutique owner was a guest on “Watch What Happens Live” in 2021 and claimed that she purchased pricey charity gala tickets for Rinna and her husband, Harry Hamlin.
“A few years ago Harry and Lisa both came, I invited them, to the Elton John gala,” Stracke claimed on the Bravo late-night show. “And they came with me as my guests. I never got a thank you.”
As the live WWHL episode aired, Rinna responded on her Instagram story to dispute Stracke’s claim over the $10,000 per seat charity gala. “We didn’t come as your guests @SuttonStracke. @EltonJohn invited us to his event, you asked us to sit at your table. So we did. Let’s just make that clear,” Rinna wrote. “We’ve gone to the fabulous Elton John Oscars party for years,” she added.
After Cohen told Stracke that Rinna posted that she did not attend the event as her guest, Stracke said they would “have words” about it, then insisted, “I purchased them for them. Perhaps they did not know that I actually bought those tickets for them. So maybe there was a miscommunication.”
Rinna also posted a photo of her and Hamlin dressed in black tie attire at the gala, according to Bravo TV. “Guests of Elton, not Sutton,” she captioned the pic. “But I love that Sutton bought a table, and all of the money went to the @eltonjohn aids foundation. That’s a good thing!”
Stracke later told Us Weekly that she didn’t expect the story about the tickets to “blow up” as it did. “It’s no big deal,” Stracke added. “I’m not mad at her for not sending me a thank you note. I sent her a text just, like, you know, ‘It’s not a big deal.’ But [it] seems [like] maybe it’s a bigger deal for her.”
Lisa Rinna Revealed When She Knew She Had to Quit RHOBH
In January 2023, Hamlin told People that Rinna’s exit from RHOBH was a mutual decision between her and Bravo. The actor added that it was the “correct decision” for his wife. “I think she took it as far as she could take it, and she elevated the show,” Hamlin said.
Rinna told Interview magazine that he “knew” it was time to leave after she filmed the season 12 reunion with Cohen and her co-stars.
“I always know when I need to do something,” she said. “What happened was I left, really, right after the reunion. People don’t know that. But I let everybody know right after the reunion that I was going to move on, that was going to be it.
The Rinna Beauty founder added that the Housewives world has gotten “unhealthy” in recent years. “It wasn’t working for me,” she explained. “It wasn’t right for me.”