Bravo fans woke up to surprising news on Aug. 25, 2020 when longtime cast member Dorinda Medley announced she was leaving The Real Housewives of New York City. Although it seems like she’s been there since the beginning of time, Dorinda has only been on the show since 2015, joining in Season 7. Still, she’s one of the most beloved RHONY cast members and many fans have been left wondering what caused her to leave.
The past two seasons have not been the absolute best for Dorinda. Not only did she break up with longtime BF John Mahdessian, these days the women have also been questioning her drinking habits, a conversation which almost always devolves into a screaming match between her and her castmates, most notably with Ramona Singer.
Still, Dorinda doesn’t seem to hold any grudges. She wrote on Instagram, “What a journey this has been. I have laughed and cried and tried to Make it Nice… But all things must come to an end. This was a great outlet for me to heal when my late husband Richard passed away. I have met so many interesting people and learned so much about myself, about life and about women along the way.” She thanked the network and the production company and then her castmates for “constant stimulation and entertainment. I wish you all health, happiness and success.”
So there doesn’t appear to be any bad blood… but is there? Of course, there is!
Dorinda Medley has had some rough 'RHONY' seasons lately
We’ll likely never know the exact conversations Dorinda Medley and execs at Bravo had about her role on the show. But any fan can tell you — over the course of the past few seasons, Dorinda has become the villain on the show, but at least it used to come off as brash and funny. Now, it’s something different. In fact, most of Season 12 has centered on the other women’s opinions about her drinking and her supposed “anger issues.” While these conversations are staples of most Real Housewives franchises, it’s all starting to get a bit, well, boring. Dorinda seems to be, as she said herself in Season 9, “not well, b***h.” It’s been rough for her, and it might just have to be the end of an era.
Of course, Dorinda is beloved and her antics are precisely what drive the show. She’s the one who “makes it nice” for her castmates by throwing parties and hosting them at her house in the Berkshires. In fact, the Blue Stone Manor trip (dubbed the “Berzerkshires” by true fans) is a staple of each season, and often involves a two to three episode arc of the women drinking way too much in a house and going at each other. Dorinda’s one-liners and inspirational musings will be greatly missed by fans. But anyone who pays attention to the inner-workings of Bravo casting could have probably seen this coming. Keep reading to see why.
Bravo could be trying to diversify the 'RHONY' cast
Although it appears that Dorinda Medley’s Real Housewives of New York City departure was her choice, there have been rumors that Bravo was going to “shake things up,” per Us Weekly. In the wake of 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests and the firing of Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, and other Bravolebs for past racist behavior, other Bravo stars have called for more diversity on the network’s shows.
Leah McSweeney, the newest RHONY star, told Page Six in August 2020, “I hope that there’s not only diversity of race, but an even deeper diversity of where someone lives or what their interests are. I hope that there’s just more diversity all across the board because New Yorkers are not a monolith, obviously. I think that it is gonna head in that direction.”
That’s not to say that Dorinda did anything wrong or anything close to what, say, Stassi and Kristen did to get fired, before leaving the show. But it was time to make up some space in the RHONY cast for new faces anyway, so Dorinda might have just seen the writing on the wall and left, or decided it was time to leave (as opposed to negotiate further) when approached by the network about her future on the show. She’s also possibly the wealthiest of all the women on the show, so she’ll be just fine.
Other 'RHONY' cast members might be leaving, too
It’s likely that Bravo’s desire to “shake things up” had something to do with Dorinda Medley’s departure from Real Housewives of New York, even tangentially. If the RHONY cast needs a shake-up, it makes sense to start looking at who’s been on the show for ages and check in to see if they can deliver for a 2020 audience.
Based on a few hints, it seems entirely possible that more cast members could be resigning in the days to come — fans noticed Ramona Singer took “RHONY” out of her social media bios the same day Dorinda announced she was leaving — to leave more open space for some fresh personalities. Just weeks ahead of the announcement that Dorinda was leaving, Luann de Lesseps teased to Extra, “There’s definitely gonna be some new Housewives. Maybe, I don’t know. You didn’t hear it from me.”
So, change may be on the horizon, even though it’s a shame that the network could clean house in order to bring in new, more inclusive stars. If anything, Dorinda went out on a high note, which is more than you can say for some other former Housewives.
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