EXCLUSIVE: Heather Dubrow Announces She's Leaving 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'

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It’s the end of a Real Housewives era. Heather Dubrow is leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County after five seasons.
The star makes the announcement on the latest episode of her PodcastOne show, Heather Dubrow’s World, and ET has your exclusive first listen. 
“If you’re wondering why I’ve decided to not come back, it wasn’t an easy decision,” Heather explains. “You know, it’s hard to walk away from something, first of all, that’s been successful for five years, and truly has given us so much. But I just feel like, right at this particular point in time, a couple of things [changed my mind].”
“First of all, my kids,” she continues. “My oldest kids are now teenagers, and I just felt like they need to make their own decision about being on television and exposing their lives, and for me personally, I have some really cool, interesting opportunities that I want to explore. I don’t know where they’re going to go, but I want the opportunity to explore them.”
“I felt like I was at a tipping point, and just… it was time,” she says. “But, it’s all positive and I wish them all the best.”
Heather credits the show with making her a more adventurous person, taking her out of her comfort zone and affording her many “cool experiences.”
“I will miss the girls,” she adds.
Heather also released a statement exclusively to BravoTV.com about the decision.
“After a lot of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided not to return to RHOC this season,” Heather writes, in part. “These past five years have been an incredible journey and I'm so proud to have been a part of such an iconic piece of pop culture … 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.”
The mom of four notes that “the door is always open” for a return, possibly even as a guest in season 12.
ET recently sat down with the Consult Beaute founder at her Newport Beach home to discuss her future with the series following its explosive 11th season, which ended with half of the cast not speaking to RHOC “O.G.” Vicki Gunvalson.
“I’m really grateful for everything that Housewives has given me,” Heather told ET. “But I have to say, given the climate of what’s going on with the cast, I would probably have to think about it a little bit. My knee-jerk reaction [is] I want to come back, yes. I would absolutely love to come back for season 12.”
No other casting decisions about season 12 have been announced by Bravo. But, in December, Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen did address Vicki’s future with the network with ET. Hear what he said in the video below.