Kelly Dodd Speaks Out After Real Housewives of Orange County Exit: 'So Excited About the Future'

·3 min read

Kelly Dodd is looking ahead to the future beyond The Real Housewives of Orange County.

PEOPLE confirmed Tuesday that Dodd, 45, will not be returning to the upcoming season 16 of the Bravo series. Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas are also not returning, as alum Heather Dubrow, who exited in 2017 after five seasons, will be back to join current Housewives Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson.

Dodd, who joined RHOC in season 11 and since became a controversial figure on the show, spoke out on Twitter after the news broke, thanking fans for their support.

"The last five years have been an amazing experience. The next five years will be even better," she wrote. "I am so grateful for all the love and support and so excited about the future #RHOC."

Earlier this year, Dodd said during an Instagram Live that she "cannot film with" Windham-Burke, whom she clashed with throughout season 15. Dodd said at the time that if "she comes back then I'm out."

David Livingston/Getty Images Kelly Dodd

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Windham-Burke, 43, reflected on her "revolutionary" time on the show, saying that while she is "incredibly sad" to leave, she is looking forward to her "next chapter."

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Windham-Burke, who joined in season 14, said: "I'm incredibly sad to not be able to come back to The Real Housewives of Orange County next year. I loved every moment of being a Housewife, and am so proud of my time on the show - the good, the bad and the in-between. It feels revolutionary to say, but I was able to get sober and stay sober on reality TV. That's something for which I will forever be grateful. And I came out, becoming the first gay Housewife in the franchise's history. What an incredible honor to look back upon, especially during Pride Month."

"I know I may have been too much for some, and that's okay," she continued. "I am real, and I am happy being me. I'm so grateful to those who have stood by me. There is a lot more to my life, and I hope you'll stick with me on this journey as I move forward in my next chapter."

getty (4) Heather Dubrow, Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn-Vargas

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Lyn Vargas also shared a statement about leaving RHOC after one season among the cast.

"COVID 2020 was a very unfortunate and tough year for all of us during filming but we made it happen and I'm very proud of what we accomplished as a team," she wrote on Instagram. "Despite filming during COVID and not really getting to know all the ladies fully, this past year has been the most extraordinary, amazing and beautiful experience of my life. I am so proud of the work we have done and the friendships we were able to build."

"To the Fans …I can never ever thank you enough for the outpouring of love, support and the kindness you have shown to me," she added. "Thank you for a memorable season and helping me to launch my new Vargas Vodka in which a percentage of every bottle sold goes to help save the animals!"