It's been a while since Vicki Gunvalson began a season of The Real Housewives of Orange County without Heather Dubrow by her side. Heather announced in January that she had decided not to return to RHOC for Season 12 after five seasons on the show.
So what was it like for the OG of the RHOC to begin a new season without her longtime castmate? "Heather left, obviously, this season. And for me it was fine," Vicki recently told The Daily Dish. "I didn't really appreciate what Heather did last year. She got on the bandwagon of Tamra [Judge] and Shannon [Beador]. Heather and I had always had a really great relationship. And I support and condone and appreciate her show with Terry [Dubrow] with Botched and all. But when she started getting into the mean girl sector, it really took me off guard because I had a really great relationship with Heather. So, for me, it was time to get the mean girl separated a little bit."
Vicki said that she hasn't really kept in touch with Heather since the podcaster notified her of her decision to step away from RHOC, but they do see each other "now and then." "Heather sent me a text the morning that she decided not to join this season, and that was the last I heard from her," Vicki shared. "So we never really kept in touch, anyway. We were very vanilla, we were very dear to each other, but I wouldn't call us close friends."
In spite of all of their drama, Vicki is supportive of Heather and all of her future endeavors. "I think it was good that she kind of took a step back and is focusing on her family and other things she's doing," Vicki said. "I wish her the best."
Heather explained her decision to not return to RHOC in a statement to The Daily Dish earlier this year. "After a lot of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided not to return to RHOC this season. These past 5 years have been an incredible journey and I'm so proud to have been a part of such an iconic piece of pop culture," she said. "I am so grateful to Evolution Media, Bravo and the whole NBCU family for all of the incredible experiences and the opportunities RHOC has afforded me and my family. However, at this point in my life, I have decided to go in another direction and do what’s best for my family and career. Should I change my mind, I thank Andy Cohen, Evolution and Bravo for telling me that the door is always open."
Relive Heather's most unforgettable RHOC moments, below.