The real reason these Bravo celebs completely disappeared
Bravolebrities have their own unique brand of drama, and that’s part of what makes the network so darn addicting. These reality stars throw drinks, snatch weaves, and yell their way through mansions, restaurants, and fancy vacations around the world, all while pretending to be friends with people they clearly cannot stand. Sometimes the drama gets to be way too much — or, if you’re Andy Cohen, not enough — and a Bravolebrity gets the boot. But if a Bravolebrity throws a drink and no one’s around to see it, does the drink actually get thrown?
Bravo has filtered through plenty of stars since the first Housewives series, The Real Housewives of Orange County, premiered in 2006 and established the network as a hub for explosive reality content. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of all the faces who have made their mark on Bravo only to swiftly disappear from the small screen. You may have forgotten these Bravo stars existed, but that might actually be exactly what they want.
Jenni Pulos was fired (and tired of Jeff Lewis flipping out)
You could say that Jeffrey Lewis flipping out is the reason Jenni Pulos removed herself from television entirely. The star exited Flipping Out in Season 11 after an explosive argument, which was sparked over her acting career and resulted in Lewis firing her on a whim. Pulos, who spoke to People in 2018, admitted she was blindsided by her termination, but what exactly was bad enough to end a nearly 20-year friendship and send the star running from reality TV?
In an episode of his SiriusXM radio show Jeff Lewis Live (via People), Lewis claimed that Pulos reported him to Bravo and the production company for “abuse,” “victimization,” and “wrongfully terminating her off her show” while claiming Flipping Out was a “hostile working environment.” The house flipper and designer revealed that her allegations put his entire career in jeopardy, even though he had been cleared of the former two “charges” following a lengthy investigation. Flipping Out never ended up airing another episode. The pair’s blow-up rounded out the 11th season finale, and Pulos has been laying low ever since, raising her two kids away from the limelight.
Three years after their argument, Lewis revealed on his radio show (again via People) that he hoped to reconcile with his former friend and sent her a New Year’s Day olive branch. From the sounds of it, Pulos had yet to reply.
Laura-Leigh tried to SURve looks on the big screen
Vanderpump Rules is one of the best shows on television if only for one reason: it shows the slow decay of the Hollywood dream. SUR is a sort of purgatory where struggling actors, models, and musicians don’t actually ever make it. It’s what happens when that 20-something bartender with a full plate of auditions and modeling side-gigs turns into a 40-something bartender who aspires to do little more than call his reiki healer and maybe not pick an argument with his waitress girlfriend for 20 minutes. Laura-Leigh Claire is one of the few who tried to make it out.
You might remember Laura-Leigh from Season 1. The former meth addict dated Jax back when he was the kind of person who’d break up with someone at a 12-step meeting (unlike today, where he’s spent at least a whole season without cheating on fiancée Brittany Cartwright). The Julliard-trained actress whose claim to fame was hooking up with Jax in a bathroom ultimately left SUR because she had landed her big shot — the reality star was cast in Jennifer Aniston’s 2013 flick We’re the Millers. That same year, she also appeared in 15 episodes of The Client List.
After leaving Vanderpump Rules, Laura-Leigh’s acting credits waned. She landed a role in the crime thriller Under the Silver Lake alongside Andrew Garfield and Topher Grace. She’s been in a couple shorts and even an episode of Blue Bloods. That’s about it.
The boob god and goddess don't need Bravo
Lisa Hochstein probably wasn’t sweating it when The Real Housewives of Miami was canceled after Season 3. The woman doesn’t need a job. For all it mattered, RHOM could’ve just been a lucrative side-gig or hobby. The reality star is married to Lenny Hochstein, a plastic surgeon who is famous enough to dub himself the “boob god” of Miami. The couple is so rich that Lenny frivolously sued former patients for giving him a bad Yelp review (or whatever social network it was), according to NBC News. Page Six reports that the couple even dropped $5,000 on a single brunch while the rest of us are scouring the menu wondering if we can afford $40 bottomless mimosas (we don’t know who needs to hear this, but back away — they’re always watered down).
Lisa hasn’t really been on screen since her series was DOA, but she’s pushing for Bravo to inject some life back into the project. Lord knows Lenny probably has enough Botox syringes lying around. In 2018, Lisa told Page Six that the Miami housewives have all stayed “super close like sisters” and raised the question, “Who wouldn’t be interested in a [RHOM] reboot?” Remember, in 2016, Andy Cohen did admit that he could “never say never” (via Radar Online). Perhaps Hochstein didn’t disappear for good, but she’s probably pretty busy raising her newborn right now.
Things got a little "too dark" for Lea Black
Unlike her co-star Lisa Hochstein, Lea Black tried to hang onto the Bravo train for as long as she could. After the series went bust, the star appeared on Bethenny (Bethenny Frankel’s short-lived talk show) and Watch What Happens Live. She even worked her way into the final season of Flipping Out as one of Jeff Lewis’ clients, but ultimately, she never scored another main role on a reality series again. Judging from an episode of her web series Lunch with Lea, it seems like RHOM left a bad taste in the star’s mouth, and she might not be into the idea of being on TV at all.
During the episode in question, Black addressed the frequent fan question of whatever happened with Real Housewives of Miami. “It wasn’t the ratings, because the ratings were equal to many of the other shows on the air at the time,” she explained, going on to say, “I always felt like Miami didn’t have it’s own identity … I do think that 30 episodes doesn’t really give you a lot of traction, and I felt … that it got too dark. I don’t think people are interested or entertained by haters, and plotters, and viciousness.”
According to her Facebook page, Black is focusing her efforts on skincare. She’s still working on Sudden Youth Skincare, the line she launched in 1985, but she also debuted a CBD skincare collection through Lea Black Beauty.
Every reality show needs a villain, but it's not going to be Catherine Ommanney
Long before Washington became its own reality show by literally putting a reality star in the White House, The Real Housewives of D.C. reigned supreme. Unfortunately, they were also the first housewives to get the boot. According to a report from People, the series was cancelled after Michaele Salahni quit. She claims her fellow housewives wouldn’t do another season with her, but Andy Cohen wouldn’t do another season without her.
Salahni wasn’t the only D.C. housewife to leave Bravo — it doesn’t seem like Catherine Ommanney ever made it back to the small screen, either. According to the New York Times, after filming wrapped in November 2009, Ommanney’s marriage to her British photojournalist husband Charles, who wasn’t very fond of appearing on the series, fell apart. As she told The Daily Beast, she was “not in a very happy place.” Her portrayal on RHODC made things even worse. “I think there’s always got to be a villain in any show,” she told The Daily Beast. “But I didn’t imagine myself to be set up to be the villain.”
Ommanney made the decision to step away from the Real Housewives for good. In her Daily Beast interview, she admitted she had no interest in doing another season, and that her memoir was on hold because she was “not in a mentally great place to be super creative.”
Rocky Dakota jumped overboard (or maybe she was pushed)
Rocky Dakota may have spent the majority of her time on Bravo below deck, but she’s lucky she didn’t get thrown overboard. Instead, she jumped overboard in her underwear, scandalizing the professional yachties in her presence. Flatly put: everyone loves a good TV villain. At the very least, it was intriguing to watch Dakota play the role of the other woman with Eddie Lucas, but it doesn’t seem like the rest of her Below Deck cast mates agree. That actually might be the reason she left the series in the first place.
In an interview with the Watch What Crappens podcast (via Bustle), longtime crew member Kate Chastain claimed Dakota’s exit was likely “bad karma,” which hints that she was possibly fired. Captain Lee also conspicuously tweeted, “I see now I was right about you,” which all but confirms it.
Regardless, the reality star didn’t seem to be missing Bravo very much. After Below Deck, Dakota traveled the world, dealt with the gut-wrenching death of her sister, and might have even found a boyfriend (who, as far as we can tell, isn’t seeing anyone else, so that’s an improvement). The star did take a one-time detour back to Bravo for Below Deck’s 100th episode celebration on Watch What Happens Live, where she duked it out with Chastain and revealed that at one point, she thought she was going to quit — so she did probably get fired, didn’t she?
Sorry, Jaqueline Laurita! There's no "Real Housewives of Nevada"
Jaqueline Laurita didn’t just leave The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the star moved to Nevada amidst whispers of financial problems and virtually disappeared from the public eye. Laurita’s eventual spiral away from the RHONJ universe was a burn so slow that Danielle Staub could have been engaged six times to six different men by the time Laurita finally packed her Winnebago and left.
Finances have been a problem for the Lauritas for years, especially because they’re taking care of a special needs son. In 2016, the housewife penned a blog post revealing that they’d been financially struggling as her husband built his new business, and they weren’t prepared for the cost of raising a child with autism. According to Radar Online, Laurita still owed about $340,000 on a tax lien from 2013, but could no longer rely on her Bravo salary because, as she told Entertainment Tonight, she quit after Season 7 when she was allegedly downgraded to a part-time cast member. By 2019, they were reportedly on the brink of foreclosure, according to NJ.com, and moved back home to Laurita’s family in Nevada.
We haven’t heard much from Laurita since her move. After all, she’s literally on the opposite side of the country from Teresa Giudice’s drama, one of the main draws of the series. That doesn’t mean she’s going to stay gone forever — the mother of two is currently filming a documentary called Warrior Moms.
Asa Soltan Rahmati didn't want to raise her son around cameras
It’s not surprising that Asa Soltan Rahmati managed to swiftly disappear from Bravo. It’s likely she had a master of disguise leading the way. The Shahs of Sunset star’s partner, Jermaine Jackson Jr. (a member of one of the most famous families on the planet), somehow managed to completely hide from a TV show that was literally following his long-term girlfriend’s every move. That’s not easy.
Rahmati’s exit from Bravo seems to have two triggers. First, her focus simply shifted from the ever-dramatic series to her first child, who was born in January 2017 after a battle with infertility. “We want to provide Soltan with the best possible upbringing, and we believe that is not being raised around cameras,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter. Second, the whole in vitro fertilization thing ended up burning some bridges with the cast. Both Mercedes “MJ” Javid and Mike Shouhed were upset that the star kept her fertility struggles a secret, especially because Javid was going through the same thing. Shouhed even admitted during an episode of Watch What Happens Live that he no longer wanted to have a relationship with his former co-star.
Based on Rahmati’s IMDb credits, the star hasn’t appeared on television since 2017, and it’s probably going to stay that way while she’s raising her son.
The Manzo Brothers were all business
The Manzo brothers, Chris and Albie, were two of the most unlikely fan favorites to pop out of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. A housewife’s kids don’t typically steal the show, unless they’re the type of people who’ve mastered the fine art of weave snatching, but the brothers were relatively drama-free. Honestly, they were just all around likable, but when the RHONJ spinoff Manzo’d With Children ended after Season 3, the pair completely disappeared from the public eye.
Since the end of their series, Chris and Albie have tilted away from the reality TV limelight to focus on their individual careers. In a 2019 interview with The Daily Dish, Albie revealed he was busy launching his new business Bloom & Birch, which sells flowers that can last a year without water or sunlight. He also has partnerships that send him traveling away from the Garden State. Chris, on the other hand, is still in the restaurant business and living in Hoboken. He’s running the Mile Square City-based pizza shop Tenth Street Pizza, and it sounds like that’s his true calling.
“I just always found myself coming back to the restaurant business because I grew up in it with my dad,” he told The Daily Dish.
Heather Dubrow left the network for her kids
The reason you don’t see Heather Dubrow on the Real Housewives of Orange County is drama, drama, drama. Honestly, what else could fans expect? According to Entertainment Tonight, the star was contemplating leaving after a volatile Season 11. By the finale, none of the cast was speaking to longtime housewife Vicki Gunvalson, but that wasn’t the only reason Dubrow walked away. Her kids were a major motivator.
“My oldest kids are now teenagers, and I just felt like they need to make their own decision about being on television and exposing their lives, and for me personally, I have some really cool, interesting opportunities that I want to explore,” she said during an episode of her podcast Heather Dubrow’s World (via Entertainment Tonight, which had the exclusive first listen). “I don’t know where they’re going to go, but I want the opportunity to explore them.”
That’s not to say Dubrow completely disappeared from television altogether — it’s pretty much the family side-gig. Her husband, Terry Dubrow, is one of the doctors on Botched, and Heather has made cameos on series like The Doctors, Entertainment Tonight, Live with Kelly, and Hollywood Madness. Mostly, it seems like the star is focusing on her skincare line Consult Beaute, along with a number of other creative projects like her lifestyle YouTube Channel, web series, and career as an author.
Sophie Stanbury is back in the design business
It doesn’t seem like Bravo ever made a statement about the fate of Ladies of London, but the Housewives-adjacent series hasn’t aired new episodes since 2017. Per an Entertainment Tonight interview with cast member Caroline Fleming, it seems like the series is unlikely to return.
“I think that Ladies of London, for now, is parked on a really beautiful bookshelf, with a lot of other magnificent pieces of work,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I can’t tell you if [or] when someone’s gonna reach for that book again … you know, there are also books that lie on shelves for generations and generations without anybody reading them. So, who knows?”
Out of all the women on Ladies of London, Sophie Stanbury was the cast member who appeared in the most episodes, but she hasn’t been on TV since the series was shelved. For a while, it looked like reality star was focused on her YouTube channel, but at the time of this writing, she hasn’t uploaded a new video since 2018. Instead, it’s way more likely that Stanbury is busy with her interior design business, which she’s been running for about a decade. In 2019, she even posted on Instagram about an “exciting interior design project.”
Annabelle Neilson's tragic heart attack
There’s a tragic reason Annabelle Neilson hasn’t been around since leaving Ladies of London in 2014. The star, who appeared on the series to launch her career as a children’s author, according to the New York Times, died from a heart attack in 2018 at the age of 49. In a statement to People, Neilson’s sister Camila revealed that her passing came “as a complete shock, as she had many plans having recently returned from Spain.” Her family was “devastated.”
Neilson didn’t have the easiest life, including her childhood struggle with dyslexia, which the New York Times reports inspired her series of children’s books. In 2015, she told The Daily Mail that she managed to overcome an addiction to heroin. She reportedly began to use the drug to cope with depression after she was horrifically attacked when she was just 16 years old. The model was reportedly tied to a tree and continuously beaten for two hours, and the man who attacked her went on to murder three women. The star also had to deal with the devastating 2010 suicide of her best friend, designer Alexander McQueen.
Despite the tragedy that peppered Neilson’s life, the model left behind a legacy as McQueen’s muse. According to People, her London funeral was an A-list affair with stars like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Liv Tyler, and Orlando Bloom all paying their respects.
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