July 25, 2018 03:19 PM

Carole Radziwill is saying goodbye to Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City.

The 54-year-old award-winning journalist and best-selling author will depart the hit reality series, which she joined in season 5, she revealed exclusively to PEOPLE.

“After six seasons on Bravo’s RHONY, I have decided to return to what I do best —  journalism and producing,” Radziwill told PEOPLE in a statement.

“I am sure this does not come as a surprise to any of the viewers, all of whom have been supportive, encouraging, and kind,” she added. “My original curiosity about reality television has waned over the years and I am focusing on TV and writing projects that better suit my more steady temperament.”

She ended her statement with sincerity and wit. “I have worked with amazing producers, made great friends, and I’m thrilled to leave frenemies behind,” Radziwill wrote. “I will remember this entire experience with delight, humor, and a veracious accuracy. Next.”

Carole Radziwill
Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Radziwill’s run on RHONY began amid a major shakeup. Original cast membersBethenny FrankelJill Zarin and Alex McCord had departed, as had Kelly Killoren Bensimon.

Frankel left to focus on her then-husband Jason Hoppy, their new daughter Bryn, and her self-titled talk show but returned in season 7. She forged a quick friendship with Radziwill — who at that point had proved herself as a loyal friend and fierce foe, bonding with Housewives like Heather Thomson while taking on critics like Aviva Drescher and de Lesseps.

In RHONY‘s tenth season, airing now, Radziwill has had a pretty epic fallout with Frankel, though she’s remained on good terms with Tinsley Mortimer, Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, Sonja Morgan and de Lesseps. She’s also in an on-again, off-again relationship with chef and filmmaker Adam Kenworthy.

Radziwill and the Real Housewives of New York City cast
Patrick Ecclesine/Bravo

RELATED VIDEO: The Real Housewives of New York City Go Makeup-Free For PEOPLE’s Beautiful Issue

She alluded to her departure Wednesday on Instagram, writing, “Didn’t change, just learned.”

Of course, off the show, Radziwill has had a noteworthy life.

She began her career in journalism as an intern at ABC News’ 20/20. Radziwill would eventually work with Peter Jennings, producing segments on gun control, abortion, and foreign policy.

Trips around the world to places like India, Cambodia and Haiti followed. She spent weeks stationed in Iraq, covering the SUD missile attacks during the 1991 Gulf War, and in Kandahar, embedded with an infantry unit of the 101st Airborne Division during the war on Afghanistan.

For her work, Radziwill has won three Emmys and a Peabody.

Anthony and Carole Radziwill
Carole Radziwill/Instagram

Most tragically, though, there was the death of Radziwill’s husband Anthony, who died in 1999 after a five-year battle with cancer.

The only son of Prince Stanislas Radziwill and Caroline Lee Bouvier, Anthony had a close relationship with his cousin John F. Kennedy, Jr. In turn, Carole bonded closely with him and JFK, Jr.’s wife Carolyn Kennedy before their untimely death in a plane crash off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in 1999. Anthony would die four weeks later.

In the wake of the loss, Radziwill turned to her writing. She penned the best-selling memoir What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love, published in 2005.

Most recently, Radziwill wrote a novel in 2014, The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating.

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

You May Like

EDIT POST