When a Real Housewife flies the coop, the rumor mill starts buzzing. Viewers can often spot an evident firing. But Bravo is generous in the way it allows cast members to exit. When someone is terminated or downgraded to “friend of,” Bravo frequently offers the opportunity for the star to narrate her own departure.
This keeps the lines of communication open and affords the former Housewife an opportunity to return in a future capacity. Unless, of course, you go full bridge-burning like Real Housewives of Atlanta alum NeNe Leakes. New shows like Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip can be an easy way back into Bravo.
It can be difficult to tell whether a Housewife quit or was fired, but a few of them have been open about wanting to grow in other ways outside of Bravo and have declined the chance to return for various reasons. Let’s look at a few who were reportedly NOT pink-slipped, but showed themselves out the door.
Real Housewives Of New York / Bethenny Frankel
Real Housewives of New York wouldn’t have been the force it is without Bethenny Frankel. Some might not like that statement, but a fact is a fact. It’s impossible to think about RHONY without Bethenny. She was a pioneering Housewife who started out with very little and gradually expanded her empire based on the concept of a diet margarita. Bethenny also blessed us with some of the most memorable quotes in Bravo history. She enjoyed genuine friendships within the group, but legal issues and trying to co-parent with an uncooperative ex didn’t make Beth a happy camper on television.
Bethenny briefly left to concentrate on other ventures but returned when those didn’t work out. After Season 11, she departed for good. At the time she told Entertainment Tonight, “It no longer became this platform to promote my business, because I had done that, and there was more promoting sort of new and questionable businesses than the legitimate ones at this point, if that makes any sense.” Currently, Bethenny has a podcast where she discusses the Real Housewives franchise.
Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills / Lisa Vanderpump
Despite what Brandi Glanville believes, Lisa Vanderpump was probably not on the cusp of being fired from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. For all intents and purposes, Lisa was Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The show hasn’t been the same since she left and even LVP haters know this to be a fact. She has chameleon-like qualities, making fans unsure of her intentions and it intimidated the hell out of her co-stars. After years of accusations and disputes with “friends”, Lisa was exhausted. Repeatedly defending herself against the “selling stories to the media” narrative wasn’t exactly fun. When Lisa lost her brother to suicide and her mother passed away, she had enough of the early Fox Force Five prototype clan breathing down her neck.
Ultimately Lisa felt the show was too negative. When Kyle Richards visited Lisa’s home in an attempt to have Lisa confess her sins, Kyle was asked to leave. Ken Todd provided viewers with a moment that lives in infamy. The now legendary “GOODBYE KYLE!” became its own meme. Lisa skipped the Season 9 reunion but knows the pink carpet would roll out if she wanted to return. She can be seen on Vanderpump Rules, which has more action this season than RHOBH in the past 3 years combined.
Real Housewives Of New Jersey / Caroline Manzo
Caroline Manzo left Real Housewives of New Jersey only to be welcomed back to RHUGT and immediately have a crisis. Some days it just doesn’t pay to sign a contract and pack your bags. Many viewers were looking forward to seeing Caroline again, but they’ll probably have to be satisfied with clips of her leaving production in the middle of the night.
But before showing up in Morocco, she had to leave New Jersey. Caroline was an OG and played right into the whole pseudo-mafia thing Bravo clearly had for RHONJ. Caroline was stern and no-nonsense and she demanded respect. She also didn’t mind incorporating a little strategy to get what she wanted. After five seasons of dealing with Teresa Giudice and her family, Caroline left the show and didn’t look back.
On leaving she said, “You can’t work with something that doesn’t reflect your beliefs. The show became something that just didn’t reflect my beliefs or who I was as a person.” I’m not sure the constant fighting on RHONJ has changed since her last appearance on the show. She briefly had a spinoff with her family and presently has a cooking show on YouTube. Caroline remains very close to Dolores Catania, which might explain why Dolores won’t utter Dina Manzo’s name.
Real Housewives Of Potomac / Monique Samuels
This one was strange. By the laws of decency and humanity, technically Monique Samuels should have been fired from Real Housewives of Potomac after using Candiace Dillard as a Swiffer Wet Mop. In an epic physical altercation fans have only recently recovered from, I recall being shocked she wasn’t immediately removed from filming. The claim of being provoked by Candiace taunting her was valid to a lot of folks, but it was a nasty brawl. Monique was not suspended from filming, and she also went to the reunion. She also allegedly received a contract for the next season. Candy and Monique also tried to take their physical dispute to court, but the court wasn’t interested and Monique cried to her pastor instead.
That said, Monique chose to sit the next season out and she hasn’t been back since. She did pop over to another network though. On an Instagram Live Monique said, “I appreciate everything that people have done for me, everybody that’s been Team Monique – I love y’all, I thank y’all – but when you cross certain lines there’s no going back.” Monique said Andy Cohen “held [her] to a different standard” after the Season 5 reunion when Andy found her apology to Candiace suspect.
Real Housewives Of Atlanta / Kim Zolciak-Biermann
Oh look, it’s everyone’s favorite! It’s not a popular opinion but there are plenty of Kim Zolciak-Biermann fans who are either in witness protection or hiding their true feelings. She was popular on Real Housewives of Atlanta and that popularity spawned a spinoff that ran for 8 seasons. We know the fans exist but we also know you don’t want us to know you exist.
In Kim’s defense, she is a hilarious character, and her relationship with NeNe in the early seasons of RHOA was a reason to watch the show. When Kim left, she did so quickly and without haste. After marrying Kroy Biermann and spitting out 19 kids, Kim quit after 5 seasons on the show. She said, “The fighting. The stress. The gossip. The drama. I reached my boiling point.”
Thankfully Kim had Don’t Be Tardy, which featured her family life and navigating a big group with many young children. DBT was canceled three years ago in 2020 and recently Kim’s home allegedly went into foreclosure. She and Kroy deny any financial woes and Kim is appearing in RHOA Season 15, presumably as a guest. Kim has yet to be tapped for RHUGT, but it’s highly probable she won’t go anywhere unless Kroy is paid to travel as her emotional support husband.
TELL US- WHAT REAL HOUSEWIVES SAY THEY’VE QUIT BUT WERE ACTUALLY FIRED? WHICH HOUSEWIFE DO YOU WANT BACK FULL-TIME? WHO WOULD YOU ADD TO THE LIST?
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