The Real Housewives of Orange County star Kelly Dodd, a.k.a. Kelly Leventhal, is weighing in on Positive Beverage ending its affiliation with her.
After posts went viral over the weekend featuring Kelly's remarks about COVID-19, the beverage company announced on Sunday, Jan. 31 that it is "no longer connected" to the TV personality, although she remains a minority shareholder.
"Kelly was an endorser of the brand," a Positive Beverage spokesperson tells E! News. "She will no longer endorse the brand. They are no longer connected to her, her likeness or her opinions. They do not align with those of the brand. Kelly remains an equity partner at this time."
After the news broke, Kelly took to Twitter to wish the company well and share that she is focused on new opportunities.
"I'm glad I could help put Positive Beverage on the map and wish them well," she wrote. "I'm also really excited about my next venture in the beauty industry, which is my real passion. Stay tuned!"
Positive Beverage Head of Brand Zach Muchnick stated that comments Kelly made over "the past few months" contributed to the decision to part ways with her.
"Our core values of wellness, community, diversity and inclusion should be reflected by our brand and anyone associated with it," the exec said in a statement shared to Instagram on Jan. 31. "It has become clear over the past few months that Kelly's controversial views and opinions have distracted from our primary objectives, so effective today, we are no longer affiliated with Kelly Dodd-Leventhal."
CEO Shannon Argyros also posted a statement to Instagram that day that read, "We welcome all people—however they are and whatever they are passionate about—to Positive Beverage. But there must always be an underlying layer of respect. Unfortunately, we feel Kelly's stance is no longer congruent with our core values. We appreciate her contributions during our affiliation, and she will always be a part of Positive Beverage's history, but we do not align with her opinions or global views while we uphold our own values."
On Saturday, Jan. 30, the 45-year-old reality star posted on her Instagram Story photos and videos of her and the group dining at two restaurants, including Billy's at the Beach in Newport Beach, Calif., where they had lunch and drinks.
"Nobody's wearing a mask!" an unidentified man yells in one video, as the group cheers. They then raise a toast, saying, "Super spreader!"
Following some public criticism, Kelly deleted that particular clip. She then said in another video showing her in a car with two women, "I'm not a super spreader because there's nothing to spread because we all got the vaccine and we don't have it, so there's nothing to spread about super spreaders." She added, "The sheeple are mad!"
On Sunday, Jan. 31, following more criticism, she tweeted, "My goal Sat was to promote the reopening of a local biz closed since March. The crowd was celebrating finally enjoying food & drink in a bar & I don't know the person who yelled 'super spreader.' There was never an intent to harm, only to appreciate a slice of normal."
Kelly has not specified whether she personally has been vaccinated, although a source close to Kelly tells E! News that she misspoke and has not received a COVID-19 vaccine. They are in limited supply, regulated by the government and, for the time being, mostly reserved for people over 65 and essential workers in most states, with the exception of rare cases in which doses must be distributed quickly to avoid expiring.
"I'm getting a lot of hate because we're at a restaurant we're allowed to be at," Kelly said in a social media video while at lunch, asking a friend, "We're allowed to be at a restaurant, right?"
The reality star later posted videos of herself having dinner with friends at another restaurant.
Last April, more than a month after the pandemic broke out, Kelly sparked controversy when she suggested on Instagram that COVID-19 was "Gods way of thinning the herd [sic]," adding, "If you are vulnerable or compromised stay inside if you don't protect others by wearing masks and gloves keep your distance and don't go out if you are ill!!"
She later said in an Instagram Stories video, "When I wrote that it was God's way of thinning the herd, that's not what I meant. What I meant was, do these pandemics happen because it's God way? I'm not God. I'm not insensitive."
"I feel bad for all of the families who have lost loved ones," she continued. "I do think we should all stay home and protect everybody. That's not what I meant, and I want to apologize to anyone who got offended. I'm sorry."
Then in December, she echoed her apologetic comments on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen and also revealed that her mother was recently hospitalized for COVID-19 and has since recovered.
"It was a stupid thing for me to say. It was insensitive and I apologize if I hurt or offended anybody, because that wasn't really my intention," said Kelly. "I got like, freaked out about it and in hindsight, it was the stupidest thing I've ever said."
She continued, "I didn't realize not wearing a mask- I hate it, I'm claustrophobic, I can't stand wearing a mask, and now I understand the science behind it and I am really, willing and able to wear a mask and I know that it's important because I don't want to get sick and I don't want to get others sick."
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