Don’t believe the rumors you’ve heard. Lisa Vanderpump recently opened up to the Daily Express about the tragic reason she decided to quit The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Puppy Gate is just a blip on her radar.
Lisa is one of the original cast members of the RHOBH, and she had a starring role for all nine seasons of the show. She shocked fans when she announced this week that she wouldn’t be coming back after filming ended, and she refused to appear for the final wrap-up reunion.
While there has been lots of conjecture about why the 58-year-old left the show, the most common opinion is that she was too tired of the drama surrounding “Puppy Gate,” a series of events involving a rescue dog from Vanderpump Dogs and the rest of the cast of women from the show.
However, that isn’t what caused her to leave the show behind. Lisa told the Daily Express that it was the fallout after her brother Mark committed suicide last year that ultimately proved to be too much for her.
“I was emotionally depleted. I started filming two days after my brother’s funeral, which was challenging at best. I wanted to take the year off, and didn’t want to be in the emotionally combative situation that Housewives often entails,” she said. “But I owed them my loyalty, and commitment.”
Back to filming, she says that the cast lined up against her and she was too exhausted to deal with it.
“I was tearful most days filming Housewives last season,” she said. “The whole cast ganged up on me, and I was just weary.”
“I didn’t have time for the petty bulls**t, really,” she added. “People are screaming at you. They were arguing about who said what about a dog! I’ve had enough. It just became too much.”
Lisa says that she had a hard time after her brother passed away, wondering whether she had done something wrong or if she could have done something differently to help. She said that she had never harmed herself, but that she went through a serious period of depression after he died. She took antidepressants and attended grief counseling to help.
That’s part of the reason she wanted to take a break from the show, she says, because she worried about the emotional toll filming would take on her already-drained mental state.
She also spoke out about suicide, calling on people to seek help if they are having difficult thoughts, because there is no shame in asking for help.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.