Heather Dubrow Rejoins Real Housewives of Orange County as Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke Exit

E! News has learned Heather Dubrow is returning to Real Housewives of Orange County following her 2017 exit, while Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas won't be back.

By Ryan Gajewski Jun 16, 2021 3:43 AMTags
Watch: Heather Dubrow Spills on "Brutal" "RHOC" Reunion

A major shakeup is afoot for The Real Housewives of Orange County

A Bravo representative confirms to E! News that Heather Dubrow, who left the unscripted series in 2017 after five seasons, is set to return for the forthcoming season 16. Heather is an actress and shares four children with husband Terry Dubrow, the star of E!'s Botched.

Additionally, Bravo confirms that Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas did not receive contracts for season 16 and will not return to the show. E! News has also learned from a source that Noella Bergener will be part of the new batch of episodes. 

Kelly, who departs after five seasons on the show, tells E! News in a statement, "The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better."

Braunwyn said in a statement released to People that she's "incredibly sad" to be leaving the long-running reality TV program after two seasons. Her exit follows the star confirming that she's a lesbian during a December 2020 interview with GLAAD.

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Real Housewives of Orange County: Where Are They Now?

"I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show—the good, the bad, and the in-between. It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV," Braunwyn shared in her new statement. "That something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise's history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month."

Elizabeth posted a lengthy message on Instagram to thank the show's team and her fans for the experience of her single season.

Steve Rogers Photography/Getty Images for SXSW

"Despite filming during COVID and not really getting to know all the ladies fully, this past year has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my life," she wrote in part. "I am so proud of the work we have done and the friendships we were able to build."

Back in February, E! News had exclusively reported that Kelly was "expecting to be fired," according to a source. This followed the star receiving flak for controversial comments, including remarks about the coronavirus pandemic.

"Although she would love to stay on the show, she has come to terms with it," the insider shared about Kelly at the time. 

Meanwhile, Noella made her debut as Braunwyn's friend during the most recent season.

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

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