17 Popular Real Housewives Who Quit Franchise

Over the course of 14 years, plenty of “Real Housewives” have made a dramatic exit.

Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise started with just five women and quickly became an international hit, leading to the creation of 10 spinoffs around the US and even more around the world.

Throughout the course of the past 14 years, viewers have met over 100 Housewives, but not all of them have stuck with the show. Between dramatic fights, family issues and business matters, many of the ladies have decided to quit the show. Even longtime cast members like Vicki Gunvalson, who took part in “Real Housewives of Orange County” for 14 seasons, have decided it was time to part ways with the franchise.

Most recently, “Real Housewives of New York” cast member Dorinda Medley announced she was leaving after six seasons, paving the way for yet another Housewife to join the crew. While we don’t know who will be replacing Dorinda just yet, one former RHONY Housewife on this list says she wouldn’t be opposed to making a return!

Find out why Dorinda and 16 other housewives decided to leave the show…

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1. Dorinda Medley

Dorinda Medley, who starred on “Real Housewives of New York,” is the most recent cast member to leave the franchise. She joined the show during its seventh season in 2015, a few years after the passing of her husband Richard. Dorinda didn’t specify why she was departing the show, but thanked her castmates for entertaining times.

“What a journey this has been. I have laughed and cried and tried to Make it Nice…But all things must come to an end. 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,” Dorinda wrote on her Instagram.

She added, “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.”

2. Kim Richards

Kim Richards and her sister Kyle joined the cast of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” when it premiered in 2010. Throughout her time on RHOBH, Kim shared her battle with addiction and during the show’s fifth season, Kim chose to leave to focus on herself and her family.

“She’s with her grandchild almost every day. I see her with him and I’m like, “Okay you’re good. You’re so happy.’ There were a few times I asked her to film with me, but she didn’t want to. I miss my sister Kim being on the show. It feels weird to do the show without my sister, honestly,” Kyle told People.

Kim has since made guest appearances on the program.

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3. Brandi Glanville

Brandi Glanville officially joined the RHOBH full time cast in its third season but only stayed until its fifth as she wanted to pursue other ventures.

“After a lot of careful thought and deliberation I have decided not to return to RHOBH as a full time cast member this season. The past four years have been amazing, a complete roller coaster of a ride. I will always be thankful to Bravo for the opportunities that have come along with doing this pop culture phenomenon of a show,” Brandi said on her podcast “Brandi Glanville Unfiltered.”

She added, “In the meantime, I’m working hard on my podcast, my new wine business, and my clothing line. And keep an eye out for my next adventure that will show everyone a more well-rounded side of who I really am.”

Despite leaving RHOBH, Brandi has played a prominent role on the show’s tenth season due to her involvement in accusations she had an alleged affair with Denise Richards.

4. Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa Vanderpump was a part of the RHOBH cast for nine seasons but things reached a breaking point when she found herself in the middle of “puppygate” after Dorit Kemsley adopted a dog from Lisa’s Vanderpump Dogs. Dorit gave the dog away after it allegedly bit one of her children and in turn, it was given to a shelter. Lisa was upset about Dorit’s choice and was accused of leaking the story to the media. Things were never resolved between the women and Lisa didn’t even attend the season 9’s reunion taping.

“The last year was a very negative year for me. I feel like we’re moving forward. They have had their resolution. I just had a horrible time with the show and the women. It was a very sad time in my life and it wasn’t made any better. I just decided to walk away,” Lisa told Extra.

5. Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel chose to leave RHONY on two separate occasions, appearing on the show from season one through three and then again between seasons seven through eleven. The news, which was reportedly a surprise to her castmates, was due to Bethenny’s desire to focus on her family and entrepreneurial ventures.

“It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women,” Bethany told People.

She continued, “With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”

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6. Tinsley Mortimer

Tinsley Mortimer joined the cast of RHONY during season nine and departed in the middle of season twelve when she moved to Chicago with now-fiance Scott Kluth.

“With Scott, so much has happened so fast. But I know that if I don’t take this moment right now, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And I have to listen to myself and what I want and nobody else,” Tinsley said during her final episode on the show.

7. NeNe Leakes

NeNe Leakes took a temporary leave of absence from “Real Housewives of Atlanta” after eight seasons in order to focus on her acting career, including roles on “Glee” and “The New Normal.” Thankfully, NeNe made her return just one season later and has been with the show ever since.

Now there are rumors that NeNe won’t be coming back for the show’s 13th season. While she hasn’t given fans a definite answer yet, she did recently delete her Instagram account apparently in order to avoid the constant questioning.

8. Heather Dubrow

Heather Dubrow was a part of “Real Housewives of Orange County” from season seven through eleven, leaving the show to focus on her family and career.

“These past five years have been an incredible journey and I’m so proud to have been a part of such an iconic piece of pop culture. I am so grateful to Evolution Media, Bravo and the whole NBCU family for all of the incredible experiences and the opportunities RHOC has afforded me and my family. However, at this point in my life, I have decided to go in another direction and do what’s best for my family and career,” Heather told Bravo’s Daily Dish.

Heather hasn’t completely cut ties with reality TV though as fans can watch her husband Terry on “Botched.”

9. Caroline Manzo

Caroline Manzo served as one of the original cast members of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She left after season five, explaining that she was not happy about the direction of the show.

“Over the past few years my outlook on the show has changed from something I couldn’t wait to show my future grandchildren to something I hope my future grandchildren never see…I’ve always prided myself on being a good example for my children and my decision to leave is based on advice I’ve always given them: ‘Be true to yourself and be proud of who you are, you are born with a name and you die with a name, don’t dirty it up,'” Caroline told Bravo.

She was offered the chance to return for season 10, but says Bravo did not offer her reasonable compensation.

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10. Adrienne Maloof

Adrienne Maloof took part in the first three seasons of RHOBH before calling it quits but there are conflicting reports about her departure. On her blog, Adrienne thanked fans and wrote that the show “served as a wonderful platform for all the amazing projects” she had in the works.

She also reportedly told Us Weekly, that Brandi Granville was a major reason behind her decision, explaining, “The final straw was Brandi bringing up my children. She got kicks out of trying to humiliate me. I made it very clear [to producers] from episode one that I wouldn’t do the series if my children were involved in any way.”

Adrienne has since returned to the show as a guest, telling TooFab, “I think I’m better equipped with what to expect from ‘Housewives.’ I really wanted to come full circle and have some closure with the women.”

11. Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson was a part of RHOC for an impressive 14 seasons, but in early 2020, decided that she no longer wanted to be involved with the show. In an Instagram announcement, Vicki thanked her fans and explained that she will continue to share her life on her podcast.

“I will always be the OG of the OC, but it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County. It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want [to] thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whooping it up’ with me along the way,” Vicki wrote.

She continued, “I’ve been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational. My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on ‘Whoop it up with Vicki.’ I hope you will join me with my new journey so please stay tuned.”

12. Yolanda Hadid

Model mom Yolanda Hadid was a cast member on RHOBH from season three to season six. Following her Lyme disease diagnosis and her split with David Foster, Yolanda decided to focus on her recovery and her family.

“I would have loved a more graceful exit then ‘Season 6’ but sometimes we don’t get to control the ending of the chapters in our life…I am leaving what’s over without denying its past importance in my life. I believe that every exit is a new entry and with that in mind I say goodbye to my @Bravotv Family as I continue to focus on my recovery, my children and bring back the privacy within our Home,” Yolanda wrote on her Instagram.

13. Dina Manzo

Dina Manzo was one of the first members of RHONJ but left halfway through the second season, citing differences with co-star Danielle Staub.

“The only way I can truly get Danielle out my life is to not be in contact filming with her. That way I don’t have to talk about her, and I don’t have to be around her,” Dina told E! News.

Dina then returned for season six, but following her divorce and move to LA, she felt she was no longer suitable for a role on the show.

14. Camille Grammer

Camille Grammer was an official cast member on RHOBH for the show’s first two seasons, which chronicled her split with ex Kelsey Grammer, before taking a step back.

“I was not fired. I didn’t want to expose my personal life so much anymore. I had done that and was over that. I care very much for my family and children and that show tends to take me away from them. I really want to focus on them right now,” Camille told E! News at the time.

Despite leaving the show, Camille has made guest appearances on almost all 10 seasons of the show.

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15. Danielle Staub

Danielle Staub was an official cast member on RHONJ during season one and two, taking on the role as the resident villain. She returned as a recurring member for the most recent three seasons but is calling it quits for good this time.

“I will be never returning as a Housewife again with the Jersey girls. I have, over the past 12 years and 10 seasons, been a part of this whole franchise and I’ve been very happy to rally and stand on a platform and be here with all of you. But it is time for me to leave and do something that I want to do that makes my heart happy every day,” Danielle told Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live.”

16. Tamra Judge

Tamra Judge joined RHOC during season three and spent 12 seasons with her castmates before saying farewell. Tamra says she decided it was time to live her life without the cameras and even denied the opportunity to close out her storyline in a recurring role.

“It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras. I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms,” Tamra told People.

17. Jill Zarin

Jill Zarin took part in seasons one through four of RHONY but was not asked to return for season five. Years later, Jill revealed that an email she sent may have been part of the reason she wasn’t asked back.

“One night… I think I took a sleeping pill, and I typed out an email to my producer and three out of the five Housewives. And I said, ‘I’m leaving the show. I want to leave on a high. I’m in a good place right now.’ I kind of got cold feet the next day, and I said, ‘Ah, that was stupid, I shouldn’t have sent that email out.’ So, when I got the phone call from my production company, I knew,” Jill said on an episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”

Jill has since made guest appearances on the show and says she wouldn’t rule out a full time return.


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