The Real Housewives of Orange County fan base was left in complete shock over the weekend when Tamra Judge, 52, announced on Saturday, January 25, that she was leaving the show after being apart of it for 12 seasons. “It’s been a wild 12 years,” she wrote on her Instagram next to a photo of her cozying up to husband Eddie Judge, 46. “But it’s time for me to move on. I’m sad to go but very excited about my future.”
Tamra did this one day after her fellow amiga Vicki Gunvalson, 57, revealed that she was exiting the franchise as well. The mother-of-two has been featured in some capacity (full-time for the first thirteen seasons, part-time for season 14) since the show premiered way back in 2006.
Suspicions about why the two suddenly decided to jump ship from the longtime Bravo series was felt throughout the interwebs. Network head Andy Cohen, 51, who has been with both ladies on their reality television journey for many years, spoke about Tamra’s departure on Monday’s episode of his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live.
“I’m hoping, and this is not lip service, that she will come back in some form, either this season or in the next couple,” he said. “Because I just feel like she is someone that I am always interested in, I always want to check in with her on.”
“She has been an incredible Housewife, she really has,” he continued. “She’s been dramatic, she’s vulnerable… she has been great.” The Watch What Happens Live host also said that they wanted “to give her a sendoff” but she turned that down.
“She would go from $900,000 a season to $20,000 an episode for just three show appearances, which would add up to $60,000 total,” a source revealed to Radar Online about the alleged details surrounding what she would make for her sendoff. “It was humiliating. So Tamra walked away.”
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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. My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on “Whoop it up with Vicki” . 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 have will never forget. #bravo #rhoc #whoopitipwithvicki @westwoodone @bravo @whoopitupwithvicki
It remains to be seen what will happen with the rest of the RHOC cast (Shannon Beador, Kelly Dodd, Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson, Braunwyn Windham-Burke) for the upcoming 15th season. Vicki and Tamra join a line of other Real Housewives OG’s or longtimers who have recently said goodbye on their respective franchises, one of which being Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel, 49, who left the show for a second time in 2019.