Tamra Judge Is Leaving RHOC After 12 Seasons: 'I'd Prefer to Walk Away on My Own Terms'
"It's been a wild ride, and after all these years, I'm looking forward to life away from the cameras," Tamra Judge tells PEOPLE
Another longtime cast member of The Real Housewives of Orange County is saying goodbye.
After 12 seasons on the show, Tamra Judge is departing the series ahead of its upcoming 15th season.
Judge has been on the long-running Bravo franchise since it’s third season in 2007. She’s currently the longest-running full-time cast member in Housewives history.
“It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge tells PEOPLE. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.”
A source tells PEOPLE “[Tamra] was asked back for three episodes, so producers could close out her storyline.”
Throughout the years on the show, she’s given RHOC some of its most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss. She also led a three-episode spinoff series, Tamra’s OC Wedding, which chronicled her June 2013 wedding to husband Eddie Judge at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California.
“Eddie and the kids are very excited,” Judge adds of her husband and her four children — sons Ryan Vieth, 34, and Spencer Barney 19, and daughter Sydney Barney, 21, and Sophia Barney, 14.
“I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she continues. “It’s meant a lot.”
The reality star — who owns and operates Vena Wellness, a popular CBD company, and CUT Fitness, a gym — posted about her departure on Instagram as well.
“I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future,” she wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Eddie.
News of Judge’s departure comes hot on the heels of another RHOC exit: Vicki Gunvalson.
The “OG of the OC” announced she was leaving the show on Friday, Jan. 24. She had been with the series since it began in 2006, but was demoted last season to a Friend of the Housewives role.
“I will always be the OG of the OC, but it’s time to say goodbye to The Real Housewives of Orange County,” the 57-year-old Coto insurance saleswoman wrote on Instagram, before referencing her famous party catchphrase. “It’s been an incredible ride for 14 years and I want to thank all of you for your support, for your love and for ‘whooping it up!’”
Gunvalson went on to share that she’s embarking on a new chapter filled with “new projects that will be exciting, empowering and inspirational.”
“My podcast with Westwood One will be launching soon and I will have much more to say about this on Whoop It Up with Vicki,” she wrote. “I hope you will join me with my new journey so please stay tuned.”
She concluded the post by thanking her fans, as well as RHOC‘s network and production company. “I love all my fans, and I want to thank Bravo and Evolution for this incredible experience, which my family and I have will never forget,” she wrote.
Gunvalson commented on Judge’s Instagram announcement on Saturday, writing, “We have shared so many great and not so great times together and it has been the ride of our lives. Thelma and Louise …. now where do you want to go?!”
Bravo had no official comment on Gunvalson or Judge’s exits.
Previously, RHOC executive producer Andy Cohen had revealed on his SiriusXM radio show that there was possibility of new blood on the original Housewives franchise.
“The casting for next season is some of the best casting we’ve had,” Cohen said, adding that he “[has] not been this excited about casting” in a long time.
He released a statement about Judge’s exit on Twitter, Saturday.
“An unprecedented run from a woman who was always entertaining, surprising and dramatic — and never ever aged,” Cohen wrote. “And now she’s the queen of CBD!”