On Saturday, the reality star — who was an original cast member on the franchise when it kicked off back in 2006 — told fans at BravoCon that she doesn’t plan on returning to the series again to “whoop it up” unless her Housewife status is returned.
“I’m never coming back reduced again,” Gunvalson said, while on a panel at the network’s first-ever fan convention with fellow “OG” Housewives Kyle Richards (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Teresa Giudice (Real Housewives of New Jersey) and Luann de Lesseps (Real Housewives of New York City).
Gunvalson, 57, was moved to a “Friend of” role during season 14, after 13 previous seasons on the show. She went on to explain that she had “signed the reduced role contract in January,” something she called, “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”
Later, when a fan asked the OG Housewives how they know if its time to walk away, Gunvalson said that she had just been discussing that backstage with Richards.
“As long as we’re having fun still,” Richards said, stressing, “I know there’s a lot of drama and a lot of conflict, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
Gunvalson’s comments were starkly different than what she said back in August, when she told Jerry O’Connell on his talk show that she doesn’t have any plans about walking away from the reality franchise she helped turn into pop culture phenomenon.
“Our producer, Scott Dunlop, said, ‘Unless they kick you off the horse, don’t voluntarily get off the horse.’ So, I’m still on the horse!” Gunvalson said. “I’m still riding the pony.”
“I don’t know what my future is, but I’m having fun and they’re my friends,” she added. “I have very much love for my franchise — a love for what I’ve created a lot of love for my cast, we’ve been through hell and back. But truthfully, it’s our reality. It’s what my life has gone through for the last 14 years. And it’s been some bumpiness.”
Since then, Gunvalson has had a rough road on RHOC — fighting this season with her costar Kelly Dodd, both on and off-screen.
BravoCon is running through Sunday across three venues in the Big Apple: The Manhattan Center (311 W. 34th St.), Skylight Modern (537 W. 27th St.) and Union West (535 W. 28th St.).
A total of 88 Bravolebrities are said to be in attendance from Bravo’s top series such as the Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing and Below Deck franchises, plus Southern Charm, Married to Medicine, Vanderpump Rules, Shahs of Sunset, and the Emmy-winning competition series Top Chef.
More than 50 live events are on the docket, including live performances, insider panels, live podcasts, dining experiences, photo opportunities, and a Bravo bazaar marketplace (a full list of events is available at BravoCon2019.com.)
And for those wanting to walk down memory lane, there will be a Real Housewives museum with more than a decade’s worth of behind-the-scenes photos, reunion dresses, and show memorabilia.
The fun will end on Sunday, with a live performance of Luann de Lesseps’ hit Countess and Friends cabaret show.