In her first stretch of the returning Real Housewives of Orange County, which spanned from 2012 to 2016, Heather Dubrow would often be criticized by the other women for mistakenly believing she ran the show. As fans will remember, Dubrow in fact summarily tried to dismiss several castmates in heated moments, including the likes of Kelly Dodd and Shannon Beador. Apparently, the label of being the “boss” has followed her into her return season that’s currently airing, with rumors circulating on the outside that she’s even tried to have co-stars removed outright from the Bravo roster. The notorious alum is candidly addressing those rumors now.
One perception touted by viewers is that Heather Dubrow had something to do with Nicole James’ early exit from The Real Housewives of Orange County. (James was signed on as a “friend of the show” but stopped filming at some point and subsequently hasn’t been seen in any episodes for some weeks.) Supposedly, the early Season 16 revelation about James’ plastic surgery lawsuit against Dubrow’s husband, Terry, was the motive to oust her. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Dubrow flat-out denied having a role in James’ departure, saying:
Truth be told, the star appeared to fervently wish to squash the lawsuit issue with Nicole James on the show. If anything, her main beef was with Shannon Beador for bringing it up in the first place and threatened repercussions at a sit-down should she continue (or at least, Beador very much took it as a threat). So it would really only make sense to view the That’s Life alum as the deciding factor over Bravo itself if Beador suddenly/mysteriously exits.
Another rumor has it that the RHOC vet wanted newcomer Noella Bergener out very early on. To be sure, they’ve had some of their own problems too in Season 16, including Bergener calling Heather Dubrow a “bitch” and insinuating that she got physical with production. Again, Dubrow debunked the possibility to ET:
Heather Dubrow did, however, admit the real reason why she was asked to return in lieu of Kelly Dodd and Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s ousters. She said Bravo wanted to bring back more of the opulent O.C. “lifestyle” and showcase a “connected community.” Windham-Burke has lately called out her old castmates and Bravo itself for homophobia and wanting to sweep her difficult story under the rug when replacing her. (Although, Gina Kirschenheiter maintains her own perspective about her controversial former co-star.)
There’s a lot more drama in The Real Housewives of Orange County’s future, nevertheless. Heather Dubrow plans to figure out Noella Bergener’s true “agenda” against her at the upcoming reunion. But it’s still not entirely clear if Dubrow herself will return for another season, given how she views the initial lawsuit bombshell as a huge “betrayal” by the network. Time will tell. Check out the remaining episodes of Season 16 airing on Bravo on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST!
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.