How Emily Simpson Really Feels About "Shocking" RHOC Cast Shakeup & Heather Dubrow's Return

The Real Housewives of Orange County star Emily Simpson explains why she was "shocked" to learn of Kelly Dodd's departure, and teases what's in store for Heather Dubrow.

By Mike Vulpo, Samantha Bergeson Jun 30, 2021 4:24 PMTags

Not everyone thought it was time for a The Real Housewives of Orange County cast shakeup.

RHOC star Emily Simpson didn't expect Kelly DoddBraunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas to be axed ahead of season 16 of the Bravo reality series. Even though Kelly was "expecting to be fired" for a quite a while due to her controversial comments, Emily exclusively told E! News that the June 15 announcement left her "shocked." 

"I had no idea that they were going to make that many changes," Emily told E! News exclusively on Tuesday, June 29 at the Veganic Nail Spa Grand Opening in Costa Mesa, Calif. "There are a lot of times where people or even Andy [Cohen] will say something like a reboot. First of all, I don't even know what reboot means. Do you mean recast or reboot? So I really, honestly, didn't think there would be that big of changes. I mean it was a shock, like shocking, shocking. I was shocked so many times in one day. I was traumatized." 

Emily even joked "I didn't think I was going to make it" when discussing the "cutthroat" recasting.

Every Real Housewives Spinoff We'd Love To See

"It bothers me when fans become really critical of the last season because I feel like people aren't understanding the obstacles that we had to deal with," Emily explained. "I felt like it was a very odd season. It was short, but it was weird. We don't normally film for two weeks and then shut down for six months and then have to self-film. That was bizarre...The fact that we even got 14 episodes and that you even got us on camera, it really was a huge feat." 

Emily will even miss Kelly, who slammed former co-star Braunwyn on social media following the news of their dual firing. "Kelly and I got close over the last three years and we were really good friends, so it's hard to see someone all the time in like a work situation and then that person isn't there. That'll be an adjustment," Emily admitted.

Tommy Garcia/Bravo, Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

However, the attorney is eager to film season 16 with new stars, including returning cast member Heather Dubrow. "I'm excited about meeting Heather because we have some mutual friends and the only thing I've heard about her were good things," Emily gushed. "I'm excited about their being new girls because I really feel like we need some fresh Orange County faces that have fabulous lives, husbands and careers."

She's also looking forward to becoming closer to co-star Gina Kirschenheiter. "We have such a fun, solid friendship," she beamed. "When we get together, we just have a good time."

Shannon Beador is also returning for another season.

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Emily is putting her new face forward after receiving a lower facelift ("I just have one chin now") and an improved jawline.

"When I get all those comments from women that are like, ‘Oh my gosh. You didn't need plastic surgery. You must have insecurity issues. You really need to work on your inside.' It's like, no, I don't need to work on my inside," Emily clapped back. "I need to work on my outside because I'm 45 years old, I gained 40 pounds, lost it, and now I have three chins and it bothers me so I did it for myself." 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Latest News