The Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson announced on Instagram Friday she will be leaving the Bravo series to focus on other projects. Gunvalson has been the one constant on the series, appearing in all 14 seasons. She was demoted to a friend role for Season 14, which wrapped up in December.
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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," Gunvalson, 57, wrote on Instagram. "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."
Gunvalson went on to describe what she has planned for the future.
"I've been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational," she explained. "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."
Gunvalson later told Us Weekly that she and Bravo are "unequally aligned," which led to her decision.
"She made it very clear that she wouldn't come back as a friend so they wouldn't try to offer her that again," an insider told the magazine, adding that Bravo did not approach her about coming back for Season 15.
Gunvalson had been on the show since it launched in March 2016. Before Season 14 aired, she was demoted to "friend."
The decision also came weeks after Gunvalson sparked a controversy after she complained about co-stars Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Tamra Judge kissing in the RHOC reunion show. On Dec. 27, Gunvalson posted an Instagram video insisting she is not homophobic.
"I've been seeing some things on social media that people are portraying me as homophobic. I'm gonna hit it right on, head on — I am not homophobic," she said in the video. "I've got family members that are gay and lesbian and I've got obviously Bravo fans, personal friends. I'm not [homophobic]."
The December reunion show began with the Coto Insurance CEO complaining about being demoted to "friend" for Seaon 14 because it meant she could not sit on the couch with the rest of the RHOC cast.
During BravoCon in November, Gunvalson told Us Weekly she felt "very disrespected" and did not "deserve" the demotion.
"I'm a cast member that created this franchise, and I need that [to be] respected," Gunvalson said at the time. "If they don't want me, I'm fine... but don't disrespect me."
Gunvalson announced she was launching a podcast in November.
Photo credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images