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RHOC exclusive: Gretchen Rossi talks Real Housewives return, reacts to Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge exit

Gretchen Rossi weighs in on Vicki Gunvalson exiting RHOC.
Gretchen Rossi weighs in on Vicki Gunvalson exiting RHOC. Pic credit: Bravo TV

Gretchen Rossi joined the Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC) cast during season four.

Her co-stars included Vicki Gunvalson, Jeana Keough, Lauri Peterson, Tamra Judge, and Lynne Curtin.

In the years since leaving RHOC, Rossi has stayed busy, including a romance with Slade Smiley. Gretchen recently became a mom, welcoming her daughter Skylar into the world in July 2019.

In an exclusive interview, Rossi talked about topics ranging from whether wedding bells will ring for her and Slade to her plans, if any, to return to the Real Housewives of Orange County.

She also weighed in on the news that Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge had exited RHOC.

Gretchen Rossi reveals whether wedding bells will ring for her and boyfriend Slade Smiley

Gretchen shared that she and Slade “just celebrated 11 years together.” The couple is still engaged and even planned their wedding date.

“Slade got booked for a History Channel mini-series which was shooting in Mexico,” recalled Rossi in describing why they didn’t follow through with their plans.

“He was gone for several weeks, so we missed our own wedding date…. lol.”

Although Gretchen and Slade could have rescheduled the wedding, the couple decided to focus their resources on having a baby.

“Five years later and after a very long and arduous journey with IVF, we were blessed last year on July 10 with our baby girl Skylar Gray,” gushed Rossi. “She is truly a dream come true for the both of us.”

As for whether Gretchen and her boyfriend might reschedule that wedding date now that the baby has arrived, Rossi pointed out that, “Our current relationship structure has been working great for us over the last 11 years, so as the saying goes, if it’s not broke, why fix it?

“I mean it’s worked for Oprah [Winfrey] and Steadman [Graham], and Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn for years!”

Gretchen Rossi weighs in on ‘harsh’ Vicki Gunvalson exit from RHOC

Gretchen knew Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge from her starring role on the Real Housewives of Orange County with the two RHOC alum.

Rossi revealed her reaction when she learned that both Vicki and Tamra had exited the show.

“I was surprised to hear Andy [Cohen] confirm that Bravo fired them, because it seemed like that would never happen,” admitted Gretchen.

However, Rossi noted she had seen fans on social media during the past two years “make comments, and in particular about Tamra, saying ‘she is fake, two-faced, and predictable,’ and I think the audience was just exhausted with her antics anymore.”

Additionally, Gretchen said that she had “read that Andy Cohen said something to the extent that their stories were played out and it was necessary to make a change in order for the show to thrive and grow and go in a different direction.”

As for her relationship with Gunvalson today, Rossi revealed that she and Vicki “made up a few years back, and I think she made good TV, I actually feel bad for her and the way they exited her, it was harsh.”

Gretchen Rossi blames Tamra Judge for RHOC getting ‘headed in such a dark direction’

Gretchen revealed that she still has some friends on the Real Housewives of Orange County. She is “actually excited” for them in the wake of Tamra Judge’s exit.

“I feel Tamra was a huge reason the show headed in such a dark direction,” explained Rossi. “I am actually excited for my friends who are still on the show, as they have voiced that they no longer feel this cloud of anxiety over them because of having to film or work with Tamra.”

Gretchen also revealed that in addition to the current RHOC cast members, “many former housewives felt that way working with [Judge.] Rossi described Tamra as “just vicious and manipulative, and she made it incredibly difficult for some to want to film with her.”

Rossi recalled what happened when she left RHOC.

“When I left the show, they were out doing press celebrating my exit. Whenever Tamra was asked about me leaving the show, her comment always was ‘Who?’… she would then go on to say how irrelevant I was……I guess now it’s her turn to be “irrelevant” right? LOL….It was such a narcissistic and ignorant comment to make.”

Gretchen takes a philosophical approach to the constant changes on the Real Housewives.

She pointed out that, “We all move on and evolve so, in my opinion, it’s always good to stay humble and not think you are better or more ‘relevant’ than anyone else.”

Moreover, “despite how I was treated during my exit from RHOC, I wish [Vicki and Tamra] all the best in their next endeavors.”

Would Gretchen Rossi consider returning to RHOC?

Gretchen has a “big list” of RHOC and Bravo TV stars with whom she remains in touch, from Kelly Dodd to Bethenny Frankel.

Others with whom Rossi is in contact include Countess Luann, NeNe Leakes, and Cynthia Bailey. She and Slade also are close to several members of the Vanderpump Rules cast and Shahs of Sunset.

With all those Bravo TV connections, would Gretchen return to RHOC if offered the opportunity?

“Now that certain cast members are gone, it would be a lot easier for me to say yes knowing I no longer have a person who is out to destroy me and make up lies about me and my family just so she can keep her paycheck,” said Rossi.

“However, I also know it can be very negative and toxic at times, so they would have to make me an offer I couldn’t refuse for me to return.”

Gretchen also admitted that after she exited RHOC, she and Slade never again watched it regularly. The two tune in occasionally if she learns ahead of time that she is mentioned on RHOC.

Gretchen Rossi reveals she and Slade are hoping to help others through their podcast

Rossi is staying busy with her podcast.

Gretchen and Slade wanted to “create a space where we are able to openly discuss topics of interest that can help uplift and enrich our listeners’ lives.”

Some of the topics, added the former RHOC star, are subjects about which it was once “taboo” to discuss openly.

The following link to the couple’s “coming soon” audio clip provides a description of what the duo wants for the podcast.

Knot Too Taboo podcast

Rossi explained that although she will talk about Real Housewives topics if listeners request it, the show focuses on “the real and raw experiences that we have been through in our own lives, along with having amazing and talented guests with incredible stories to share and life lessons we can all learn from.”

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