ET's Brice Sander spoke with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star at the 3rd Annual Vanderpump Dog Foundation Gala in Los Angeles on Thursday, where she addressed rumors that she had left the show.
"I haven't said anything for two months. Now, everybody's been talking about this. I've just been going about my business and doing my things," Vanderpump said, before answering the question on everyone's minds. "I am in the show. I have not quit, and if I did quit, it wouldn't just be a leaked story. I would be upfront, and I have a lot of loyalty to the production company and the network."
"But it has been a difficult season... But it's been a difficult year for me personally, and the season was very challenging. So I'm in a lot of it, but there are some parts I skip, and I think people have seen that," she added.
Fans first started to speculate about Vanderpump's involvement in the Bravo series in October, when she wasn't present with other Housewives stars at Camille Grammer's wedding. Things intensified the following week when Lisa Rinna claimed on Instagram that Vanderpump had not "shown up for work" in six weeks. However, sources have since told ET that Vanderpump was filming the show -- just not with her co-stars.
One source told ET last month that Vanderpump was missing out on group events because of her focus on philanthropy, which has been especially strong since the death of her brother, Mark, in May. "Anytime you lose a family member you reflect on the important things in life. Her brother's passing drove her to be even more passionate about her philanthropic endeavors and appreciate every day with her family," the source shared.
During an interview with ET last week, Kyle Richards shared her love for Vanderpump, but revealed that the last time they spoke was, "not that recently."
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"You're going to have to watch the show... I think that's what's fascinating about the show, because you see the buildup, you see the story, you go on the journey, and for me to say, 'Well, this happened,' it would be kind of cheating you, really," Vanderpump told ET in response to Richards' comments. "You need to go on the journey."
As for whether this season of Housewives will be Vanderpump's last, she said it "remains to be seen."
"I'm just concentrating on this season. I'm concentrating on this party tonight, which is all about raising as much money for these poor creatures, and we're also in China now, we've opened a sanctuary there. It's about celebrating this week because we're opening a restaurant in Vegas, so that's been announced. And it's about, again, Vanderpump Rules is coming out, and it's a lot of fun."
It was important for Vanderpump to make sure Thursday's gala still went on, despite the devastating fires in the area. As she told ET, it's all about paying it forward, and focusing on the positive. "This week has been very, very sad," she shared.
"I think we're a nation of dog lovers, and I think everybody knows our cause is really, truly authentic. It comes from a place of love. I think it's got a feel good factor to it, you have immediate gratification, you see all these dogs that are being rescued and I think it's time to feel a little bit good about something," she added.