This has been a major year of change for Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson– and, today, Gunvalson has exclusively come to us to reveal that there is another major change that is going to hit the press tomorrow and she wanted her words to be out there first. Specifically, Gunvalson has revealed to us that she has had to make and tough decision and she is officially moving on. What does she mean?
The OG Leaves OC
As fans of the show remember, last season on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gunvalson was reduced to a “friend of” The Real Housewives. Viewers watching were dumbfounded, as a lot of the season still surrounded Gunvalson. Furthermore, Gunvalson had been the longest-standing Real Housewives out of any franchise having begun The Real Housewives of Orange County (the first iteration of The Real Housewives) back in 2006, and had been a regular on the show for 13 seasons.
At last season’s reunion, Gunvalson was not treated as someone who had been with the series- and the franchise- since its inception, as she was not out on the couch for the entire reunion and only filmed for part of it, which was understandably aggravating for her, not to mention completely unappreciative of all she had given to the show.
While fans hoped Gunvalson would return for season 15 in a full-time role, she shocked fans in January of this year when Vicki announced she was done with the show.
“I will always be the OG of the OC,” Gunvalson shared on Instagram on January 24th, “but it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County.”
“It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whooping it up’ with me along the way,” Gunvalson continued. “I’ve been working on new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational. My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on ‘Whoop it up with Vicki.’ I hope you will join me with my new journey so please stay tuned.”
“I love all my fans,” Gunvalson wrapped with saying, “and I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience which my family and I have will never forget.”
Vicki And Steve Are Engaged!
Prior to announcing her departure from the series, Gunvalson had revealed in April of last year that she had gotten engaged to boyfriend Steve Lodge.
“I said ‘YES,’” Gunvalson emphatically shared at the time on her Instagram, noting that she was engaged to her love.
At the time of her engagement, Gunvalson spoke to People to share that “We’re so happy. He’s an amazing guy and the proposal was perfect. I can’t wait.”
On The Real Housewives of Orange County, Gunvalson detailed how Lodge proposed, explaining that “He said, ‘You know what? I just want to be with you and I want to ask you from the bottom of my heart if you’ll marry me. And then I started crying and he started crying!”
Gunvalson added at the time that “He said, ‘Well, it’s been three years almost to the day. And my family loves you, and I love you, everybody blessed us and I want you to be my wife.’ And I said, ‘Absolutely, yes yes yes!’”
Gunvalson had revealed at the time that Lodge asked her to marry him while they were home alone eating dinner.
This year, there has understandably been a lot of major changes in the world with the coronavirus pandemic.
In April of this year, Gunvalson shared with People that her wedding to Lodge was on hold due to the pandemic.
“I’m not in the right mindset,” Gunvalson shared at the time. Gunvalson went on to note that “We’re doing nothing,” explaining that she and Lodge were not “rushing to get down the aisle right now.”
However, the pair have remained happy together and engaged thus far, even amidst the “not rushing” approach to their wedding, which makes sense given the state of the world.
A New Gunvalson Abode
Last month, Gunvalson exclusively shared with us that she had purchased a new home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, one of her favorite spots in the entire world.
At the time, Gunvalson shared with us that “As my fans know, I’ve been a huge fan of Puerto Vallarta for the longest time I’ve always dreamed of owning a place here, and decided there was no time like the present to finally establish a place there.”
“This place has always been my home away from home, and now I’m so excited to ACTUALLY be able to say I’m home,” Gunvalson added.
Gunvalson also revealed that she would be splitting her time between California (where she owns a home in Coto de Caza), North Carolina (where her daughter, Briana, lives, and her new home, adding that Lodge would be doing the same.
So what’s going on now?
Vicki’s Moving On
As we mentioned earlier, Gunvalson came to us today to share some major, life-changing news, detailing that she is moving on- and she wanted her fans to hear it from her first, before it hits news everywhere tomorrow.
“Tomorrow is going to be a big day for me and before my fans find out from someone else, I wanted them to find out from me first,” Gunvalson began with sharing.
“As those who have followed my journey for a long time know, I have lived in Coto de Caza in Orange County for over 26 years,” Gunvalson continued. “The Real Housewives of Orange County began with its first scene in my house working selling insurance from my home office. My children, Michael and Briana, were raised in this house and my 1st grandson Troy came home from the hospital here after being born, and lived here while Ryan [Briana’s husband] was deployed.”
“I went through a marriage in the house,” Gunvalson elaborated. “I went through a divorce while in this house. I went through another relationship and a breakup in this house. Finally, I got into a new relationship that has resulted in me being engaged to Steve living with me in this house. Wow, what a journey.”
So what’s changing?
“Unfortunately,” Gunvalson revealed, “it is time for me to move on. My kids are both grown up now and rarely come over. Briana is expecting baby boy number three and lives in North Carolina. Michael is in a happy relationship and lives on his own in San Diego and, due to their busy work schedules, I rarely see him as well.”
“Also, as I recently shared, I purchased a new home in Puerto Vallarta which I love,” Gunvalson added. “That home is my serenity, as it’s so peaceful, quiet, and relaxing and is now equipped with a fully-functional remote office. I will be able to do my ‘Whoop It Up Podcast’ from there as well as my new radio show which will be about women, money, and retirement planning.”
Gunvalson had more to state, sharing that “My business is in a great place (despite COVID) and lots of exciting things are happening with Coto Insurance too.”
If Gunvalson sells her home, though, could she return to The Real Housewives ever int he future?
Gunvalson detailed that “As fans know, my journey on The Real Housewives of Orange County has officially come to an end with Season 14. And, while I’m open to doing more reality TV- especially with my very close girlfriend Tamra Judge- I don’t see me in the future where I would return to The Real Housewives of Orange County.”
“I am not friends with any of the women currently on this show and, quite frankly, I am finally over it at this point,” Gunvalson added. “I also find the class level to be quite different than when the show began and that does not fit in my life any longer. The torch has been officially passed on.”
“It is for all these reasons- and more, and after lots of prayers that I have ultimately decided to sell my house and it will officially hit the MLS market tomorrow,” Gunvalson went on to note. “As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision to make, as I do have so many memories in this home and I love it so much.”
“I am lucky, though,” Gunvalson lamented, “as many of these memories were captured on The Real Housewives and I will always be able to look back at them. My house is over 5000 square feet and will be priced at $3.35 million dollars. At this point in my life, I don’t need to maintain that much space for just myself and Steve.”
So what will the future hold in terms of where Gunvalson and Lodge will reside?
“As far as where the future will take us once my home sells,” Gunvalson began by explaining, “we are considering many options. Perhaps we will get a place in North Carolina, to be closer to Briana and her family, as I can now run my businesses remotely. I envision splitting time between Puerto Vallarta, North Carolina, and California.”
“Steve’s family is all here in California,” Gunvalson added, “so I’m sure we will always maintain a home here, but it doesn’t have to be as large as this one is. I’m looking for something with less space and less maintenance, so we can ‘lock and go.’”
Gunvalson wrapped with telling us that “I will forever be grateful for all of the memories I have made here and, while this certainly was not an easy decision to make, I am confident that it is the right one at this point in my life. I have always appreciated all the support and love from my fans, and I look forward to taking you on this next part of my journey with Steve and me.”
“Thank you in advance for all the support and love,” Gunvalson added.
While this was understandably a tough decision for Gunvalson to make, we look forward to seeing where her journey takes her next- and, hopefully, seeing her back on our TV screens sooner than later.
Here are a few more pictures of her stunning home, which will officially be for sale tomorrow: