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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Orange County

Inside Gretchen Rossi’s Life Since We Last Saw Her on RHOC

Gretchen is set to join The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip nearly 10 years after leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County.

By Allison Crist

After leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County in 2013, Gretchen Rossi is making her reality TV return on The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip Season 4. 

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on  Peacock and the Bravo App.

“Ok who’s ready?” she wrote on Instagram in response to the casting news announced on January 9. “Gunna be a crazy ride! Looking forward to this Epic Trip with an incredible cast!”

Until it comes time to watch Gretchen and the rest of the RHUGT Season 4 cast — which also includes RHOC'Vicki GunvalsonThe Real Housewives of New York City’s Alex McCordThe Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Caroline ManzoThe Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Camille Grammer MeyerThe Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks and Eva Marcille, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Brandi Glanville — find out what Gretchen has been up to since her four-season stint on RHOC.

Gretchen and Slade Smiley’s Relationship

Fans watched Gretchen stage an elaborate proposal to her then-boyfriend Slade Smiley on RHOC Season 8, and though the couple has yet to marry, their relationship is still going strong to this day. 

The couple celebrated their 10th anniversary in February 2019, and Gretchen marked the special occasion with a heartfelt Instagram tribute. “I cannot believe how fast time flies by! But I have to say it has truly been the best and most magical ten years of my life!” she wrote alongside a photo of her and Slade. “When I look back at how many people said we wouldn’t make it, or our ‘love’ was just made up for TV (or whatever other crapoly they have made up about us), it actually just makes me giggle now.” 

The Couple’s Marriage Plans

In that same anniversary post, Gretchen addressed the fact that she and Slade have yet to tie the knot. “Some will also always ask why we haven’t gotten married ([and] maybe one day we still will), but the truth is I’m so proud of the fact that we are together because we want to be, not because we feel we have to be,” she said. “We are committed [and] loyal to one another whether or not we have a marriage license! And sometimes I think that speaks more volumes.”

Gretchen Proposes

Gretchen shared a similar sentiment on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in 2021. “You know, we really are very content in our current arrangement,” she explained. “The way I look at it, look at Goldie [Hawn] and Kurt [Russell] or Oprah [Winfrey] and Stedman [Graham], they’ve lasted forever. So, you know, we might just go that path.”

Gretchen’s IVF Journey

Gretchen and Slade (who had a vasectomy years earlier) decided to pursue in vitro fertilization (IVF) in late 2013, and the RHOC alum made it a point to remain open about the process over the years. As she told People in 2018, “Many celebrities in Hollywood glamorize the ability to have babies way up into your late 40s and the truth is that some of them are not telling the full story. A lot of women in their 40s are getting pregnant using an egg donor and not disclosing this. This is why we find it important to encourage women who are either career-focused or think they can just get pregnant way into their 40s to consider freezing their eggs while they are younger.”

The first round was unfortunately unsuccessful, and Gretchen “really went into a depression” as a result. So, in 2016, Slade underwent a vasectomy reversal. “It was so sweet, it was so kind,” Gretchen said of the decision, which Slade had announced on her 38th birthday. “He had already done one surgery for us, but now he’s going in for a second surgery.”

Sadly, that route didn’t work for the couple, so they decided to give IVF another try. The process was painstaking and challenging, but in December 2018, Gretchen announced the news she’d been hoping to hear for years: They were expecting!

Becoming Parents

The couple shared their pregnancy news with a Christmas-themed photo shoot featuring sonogram photos of their little one. “We are beyond ecstatic to finally announce that we are expecting a little bundle of joy!!!!!! Our hearts are so full right now!!” Gretchen wrote on Instagram, going on to acknowledge that it had been “a very arduous long four years of trying with plenty of heartache along the way, but we remained hopeful and faithful, and thankfully God answered our prayers!”

They later found out they were having a girl, and on July 10, 2019, Skylar Gray Smiley was born. Gretchen described her as “our perfect little miracle.” 

Living as a Family of Three

Gretchen has documented Skylar’s many milestones over the years on social media, from her first word (mama!) to her first birthday, which they rang in with an extravagant mermaid party. Skylar is now 3, and as Gretchen put it on her daughter’s most recent birthday, “It has been the most amazing time of my life getting to raise this precious little soul.” 

Gretchen’s Career

After eight years of running her fashion and beauty business, Gretchen Christine, it was acquired by Dastmalchi, a “large, global portfolio of luxury brands,” in 2017, Gretchen told Lioness Magazine at the time. 

In 2020, she and Slade launched their own podcast, Knot Too Taboo. On it, they welcomed a variety of guests all while discussing sex, parenting, money, and more.

Today, Gretchen is a “Mommy Entrepreneur who loves sharing fashion, beauty, health [and] wellness tips,” according to her website, where she also states that she has a passion for “design and decor [and] also creating memorable events and experiences.” 

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on Peacock and the Bravo app.

Watch The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip on Peacock.

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