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Heather Dubrow will return to The Real Housewives of Orange County for Season 16. Shannon Storms Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter, and Emily Simpson will also return to the next season of RHOC. Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke, and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas are confirmed to exit.
Heather first joined the franchise in Season 7 and exited several seasons later following Season 11. During her time on the show, she shared with fans her friendships, her love of couture and champagne, as well as let fans into her home to see her life as a mom to four kids and wife to Dr. Terry Dubrow (who also stars on E!'s Botched).
"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," Heather said in an exclusive statement to The Daily Dish at the time of her departure in 2017. She added in her statement at that time: "Should I change my mind, I thank Andy Cohen, Evolution and Bravo for telling me that the door is always open."
The cast news was first reported by PEOPLE and Variety on June 15. As for the departing cast members: Kelly joined the series in Season 11, Braunwyn joined RHOC in Season 14, and Elizabeth appeared on Season 15.
Kelly said in a statement on Twitter: "The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better. I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future."
Braunwyn said in a statement to PEOPLE: "I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show - the good, the bad, and the in-between. It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV. That is something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise's history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month."
Elizabeth said in a separate statement on Instagram: "I would like to thank NBCUniversal and Evolution Media as well as all of the producers, film crew, staff & my manager for the opportunity to participate in season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County." She added, "To the Fans …I can never ever thank you enough for the outpouring of love, support and the kindness you have shown to me. Thank you for a memorable season and helping me to launch my new Vargas Vodka in which a percentage of every bottle sold goes to help save the animals!"
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