The 47-year-old actress confirmed her participation in the hit Bravo show’s upcoming ninth season exclusively to PEOPLE, saying “I am so excited to join the cast of [RHOBH] as I am a huge fan of the show.”
“I am looking forward to spending time with all the ladies… and hopefully meeting Boy George!!” Richards added to PEOPLE, referencing Kemsley’s close friendship with the ’80s pop icon. (Her husband, Paul, is Boy George’s manager.)
PEOPLE first reported back in June that Richards was in talks to join the reality TV franchise; a source said at the time that the deal was “not final yet” but “very close.”
“Everyone is really excited about the possibility of having her on board!” said the insider.
The Wild Things star had been rumored to be in discussions with producers for years, but “the timing was never right,” a second source close to the show told PEOPLE.
“Denise has been wanting to join the show for a long time,” the source explained. “She’s a huge Housewives fan and watches all of the shows. And she has close relationships with many of the women in real life, including Kyle and Lisa Rinna.”
“The timing was never right for her in the past, but the producers needed to shake the dynamic of the show up after a season without much conflict,” the source continued. “She’s going to be a great fit. She’s not afraid of the drama. And she lives a glamorous, Hollywood life — which the show looks for.”
Richards is a mother of three daughters: Sam, 14, Lola, 13 and Eloise, 7. (Sam and Lola’s dad is Richards’ ex-husband Charlie Sheen.)
She’s also no stranger to reality television. Her show Denise Richards: It’s Complicated, ran for two seasons on E! before ending in 2009.
RHOBH premiered on Bravo in 2010. It was the sixth installment of Housewives franchise the network developed, following Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey and the now-cancelled D.C.
Season 9 of the show is expected to premiere later this year.