In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, the reality star, 44, denies that she was pushed into an exit from the long-running Bravo series. She also confirms that after a brief break from filming the show’s upcoming 12th season, she will be returning to the Big Apple to film RHONY in the next few days.
“Scott and I have been celebrating our engagement in Chicago, where I will soon call home,” Mortimer says of her beau, who is founder and CEO of the popular money-saving site CouponCabin. “The last few weeks have been such a wonderful whirlwind of excitement, and we both wanted to spend this special time with each other and our families.”
“As with many relationships, life does not completely stop for love, which is why I will continue to honor my work commitments in NYC while Scott focuses on CouponCabin’s busy season in Chicago,” Mortimer continues.
She adds: “It’s important for me to set the record straight. Any reports saying that I had to decide between Scott or the show are 100 percent untrue. We are enjoying this incredibly happy time in our lives.”
Over the weekend, costar Luann de Lesseps performed at a New Jersey stop of her popular cabaret show and claimed that Mortimer was “not filming anymore.”
Mortimer was with de Lesseps and their costars Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Dorinda Medley and Leah McSweeney at BravoCon in early November, but she had not been seen filming with them since, even skipping the cast trip to Mexico earlier this month.
A source had told PEOPLE that Kluth urged Mortimer to leave the show, which she denies.
Another insider close to Mortimer tells PEOPLE that “while [Kluth] chooses not to participate on RHONY, he has been nothing but supportive with Tinsley’s career.”
“He’s an amazing, loving guy and wants nothing but her happiness,” the insider says,
The couple were off and on from there. They got engaged on Nov. 24, on the steps of the Chicago Water Tower in front of a group of Christmas carolers.
“I got engaged to the LOVE of my life!” Mortimer wrote on Instagram, sharing a video of the romantic and thoughtful proposal. “Thank you sooo much for all your excitement for us! Every time I watch this it makes me cry 🥰❤️💍”
“I always knew it was you!!!” she captioned her engagement post.
Mortimer has previously been open about her desire to start a family, revealing last season on RHONY that she had frozen her eggs.
De Lesseps told audiences during her Countess and Friends cabaret show at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in New Jersey on Saturday that she wishes Mortimer “all the best.”
“She seems very happy and I want her to be happy and get married. That’s what she wants to do. She’s very traditional,” the Countess said. “She wants to have a baby. It’s time.”