'RHOC' Is Back! Season 16 Premiere Features Heather Dubrow's Return, Sex Dungeons, Secrets and More

The new RHOC cast includes Heather Dubrow, Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson as well as newcomers Noella Bergener and Jennifer Armstrong

Photo: Nicole Weingart/Bravo

The Real Housewives of Orange County is back with a whole new look.

After the departures of Kelly Dodd, Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas earlier this year, season 16 of the Bravo show got a casting shake-up with the additions of former Housewife Heather Dubrow as well as newcomers Noella Bergener and Jennifer Armstrong.

Returning stars Shannon Beador, Gina Kirschenheiter and Emily Simpson are also part of the latest season.

During Wednesday's premiere episode, Heather, 52, had lunch with her friend Nicole James, who brought along Noella, 36. While Heather discussed her relationship with her husband Terry, Noella revealed that she isn't shy when it comes to talking about her own marriage.

"We just celebrated 22 years of marriage but December will be 25 years from our blind date. I'm very lucky, super grateful," Heather said.

Noella added, "And you've got a cute backend, that helps marriage, I'm just saying."

Noella Bergener and Nicole James. Nicole Weingart/Bravo

"Well no one wants to hear about married people's sex lives," Heather teased as Noella then shared, "We have a sex dungeon in our house. You will love it. It's very chic."

"I'm not going to your sex dungeon but I'm happy for you that you love it," Heather said.

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Things were less lighthearted later on in the episode, though, when Heather reconnected with former (and now current) costar Shannon, 57. As they were talking on the phone, Heather said that Shannon may know Nicole from when their kids were in preschool together.

Though at first she wasn't sure if it was the same Nicole, Shannon ultimately realized that she did know Nicole — but had a secret about her. Then, Shannon made Gina, 37, and Emily, 45, swear they wouldn't tell anyone about it.

When asked about it in her confessional, Gina revealed: "Okay, I'll spill the tea. I'm gonna spill the tea, it's piping hot. Just last night, Shannon told Emily and I saw that she had this secret about Nicole, that Nicole sued Terry Dubrow."

Shannon Beador and Heather Dubrow
Shannon Beador and Heather Dubrow. bravo

While at lunch later with Heather and Shannon, Gina suggested that Shannon tell Heather about the past drama. However, Shannon instructed Gina to "stop" and reminded her that she swore not to tell the night prior.

"I made a pact with Gina and Emily the night before saying if for some reason this is the same person, we keep our mouths closed," Shannon told the cameras.

"I don't fully understand why Shannon is doing this but there is something going on that Shannon is doing because she's Shannon," Gina said in her own confessional.

As Gina and Emily were on their way to a party at Heather's house that both Shannon and Nicole were also attending, Gina shared that the secret was making her "uncomfortable."

"It's one of those things where it's like I'm stressed when Shannon's calling us all the time," she said on FaceTime with Emily. "Everything's a problem."

"She called me last night, she kept saying 'Emily, you're an attorney. You need to find this information about this Nicole.' What am I supposed to do with this information? Bring it up at a dinner party?" she replied.

Emily Simpson, Gina Kirschenheiter. Nicole Weingart/Bravo

"It's typical Shannon behavior where she likes to stir up trouble on the down-low so that not everybody is privy to it," Emily said in her confessional. "That way, if it comes back, she can play the innocent victim like 'I don't know what you're talking about.' "

"The whole thing is so absurd. Like I'm honestly just so over it," Gina then said. "I just feel bad, I'm at lunch with Heather Dubrow, getting to know Heather for the first time — she's really nice — and I felt like this stuff that Shannon was saying, she should just tell her, just tell her, it's not a big deal."

"She was upset with you because you brought it up and she said that we all agreed not to say anything," Emily said, and Gina replied, "I encouraged Shannon to do the right thing when Heather was not at the table."

"Yeah, I agree," Emily said. "Well, here's the issue though. When we get there, if anything's going on it's going to look like it was our fault."

"I don't understand what her endgame is here. Like I'm not gonna go out of my way to say anything, but if the situation arises or anything is being discussed, I have no problem just like telling Heather what's going on," Gina concluded.

Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Once at the party, it seemed that Gina wasn't able to keep the secret to herself.

"Shannon is just not self-aware. She was very eager to share her juicy gossip about this girl Nicole. And the right thing to do is to tell Heather because I don't think I'm capable of pretending that this is okay," she said in her confessional, before the cameras showed Gina whispering to Heather: "Shannon, she said that Nicole sued your husband."

"Are you kidding me right now Gina?" Shannon later yelled, and Gina was heard saying, "I'm done."

Something appeared to anger Emily as well, as she screamed at someone, "You're f----- trash," before Gina pulled her away and declared, "This is a disaster."

Heather then told producers to stop filming, even putting her hand over the camera.

"No, no, no, there's no filming. No, no. I'm kicking everyone out of my house," she said, as an ominous "To Be Continued…" banner appeared on the screen.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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