It's official: Vicki Gunvalson is leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County for good. After weeks of rumors regarding the casting for Season 15 of RHOC, the OG of the OC took to her personal Instagram page to announce she is retiring from the franchise that made her famous. Her retirement was teased earlier this week when fiancé Steve Lodge mentioned her leaving the show in an Instagram comment. Vicki replied "pretty soon," and it looks like it was a lot sooner than fans expected.
In the announcement post, Vicki shared a photo of herself from the first season of RHOC which she paired with a lengthy caption.
"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 thank all of you for your support, for your love and for 'whooping it up' with me along the way. I've been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational," Vicki wrote.
The COTO Insurance founder went on to explain that her podcast, titled Whoop it Up with Vicki, will be debuting soon. Vicki has teamed up with Westwood One, a production company behind popular podcasts like Straight Talk with Ross Mathews, The Ben Shapiro Show, and 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff.Vicki then noted that she will speak more on her decision to leave RHOC on her new podcast.
"I hope you will join me with my new journey so please stay tuned. I love all my fans, and I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience which my family and I... will never forget," she continued.
Vicki also spoke with Us Weekly about her departure, saying she and Bravo were "unequally aligned," which prompted her to leave the franchise. The 57-year-old was famously demoted to a friend role on Season 14 of RHOC, and it was rumored that was the offer she was given for next season as well. During the Season 14 reunion, Vicki was caught on camera behind the scenes saying she was not just a "friend" and that RHOC was "her show." However, it looks like production didn't want to give her back the orange she held for 13 seasons.Vicki joined RHOC in 2006 for Season 1 and was the longest-tenured housewife on all of Bravo until she was demoted last year. Now that long-running honor lies with her friend and (former) co-star Tamra Judge.
Fans have had mixed emotions regarding Vicki's departure, with some happy she is on her way out after her bizarre behavior during the Season 14 reunion. Others are upset the OG will no longer grace Bravo screens, but there is always hope of a spinoff somewhere in the future!
The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 15 is currently filming and will debut on Bravo later this year.