EXCLUSIVE: Heather Dubrow announces she's leaving 'The Real Housewives of Orange County'


It's the end of a Real Housewives era. Heather Dubrow is leaving The Real Housewives of Orange County after five seasons.

The star makes the announcement on the latest episode of her PodcastOne show, Heather Dubrow's World, and ET has your exclusive first listen.

"If you're wondering why I've decided to not come back, it wasn't an easy decision," Heather explains. "You know, it's hard to walk away from something, first of all, that's been successful for five years, and truly has given us so much. But I just feel like, right at this particular point in time, a couple of things [changed my mind]."

WATCH: Inside Heather Dubrow's Department Store-Inspired Closet

"First of all, my kids," she continues. "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. I don't know where they're going to go, but I want the opportunity to explore them."

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Phaedra Parks, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Seasons 3-9)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Michaele Salahi, "Real Housewives of D.C." (Season 1)

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Bud Light)

Jeana Keough, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 1-5)

(Credit: Alamy)

Lauri Waring Peterson, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 1-4)

(Photo by Isabella Vosmikova/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jo De La Rosa, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 1-2)

(Credit: Alamy)

Kimberly Bryant, "Real Housewives Orange County" (Season 1)

(Photo by Chris McPherson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Tammy Knickerbocker, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 2-3)

(Credit: Alamy)

Quinn Fry, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Season 3)

(Photo by Kelsey McNeal/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Gretchen Rossi, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 4-8)

(Credit: TLeopold/Globe Photos/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News)

Lynne Curtin, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 4-5)

(Credit Image: é Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

Alexis Bellino, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 5-8)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News)

Peggy Tanous, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Season 6)

(Credit Image: é TLeopold/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Lydia McLaughlin, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Season 8)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News)

Lizzie Rovsek, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Season 9)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Heather Dubrow, "Real Housewives of Orange County" (Seasons 7-11)

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

Alec McCord, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 1-4)

(Credit Image: é Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

Jill Zarin, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 1-4)

(Credit Image: é Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

Kelly Bensimon, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 2-4)

(Credit Image: é Scott Kirkland/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Cindy Barshop, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Season 4)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Aviva Drescher, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 5-6)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Kristen Taekman, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 6-7)

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Big City Moms, Inc.)

Heather Thompson, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Seasons 5-7)

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Jules Wainstein, "Real Housewives of New York City" (Season 8)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

DeShawn Snow, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Season 1)

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Kim Zolciak-Biermann, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Seasons 1-5)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

Lisa Wu-Hartwell, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Seasons 1-2)

(Credit Image: é Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

NeNe Leakes, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Seasons 1-7)

(Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Claudia Jordon, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" (Season 7)

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Jacqueline Laurita, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Seasons 1-5, 7)

(Credit Image: é Rick Mackler/Globe Photos/ZUMApress.com)

Caroline Manzo, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Seasons 1-5)

(Credit Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMApress.com)

Danielle Staub, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Seasons 1-2)

(Credit Image: é Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press)

Teresa Aprea, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Season 6)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Amber Marchese, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Season 6)

(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Dina Manzo, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Seasons 1-2, 6)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Nicole Napolitano, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Season 6)

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Kathy Wakile, "Real Housewives of New Jersey"(Seasons 3-5)

(Credit Image: é Mitchell Levy/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Taylor Armstrong, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 1-3)

(Credit Image: é Scott Kirkland/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Adrienne Maloof, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 1-3)

(Credit Image: © Brian Dowling/ZUMApress.com)

Camille Grammer, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 1-2)

(Credit Image: © Brian Dowling/ZUMApress.com)

Carlton Gebbia, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Season 4)

(Credit: TLeopold/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News)

Joyce Giraud, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Season 4)

(Credit: D. Long/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News)

Kim Richards, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 1-5)

(Credit Image: © D. Long/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News)

Kathryn Edwards, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Season 6)

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

Yolanda Hadid, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 3-6)

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

Brandi Glanville, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (Seasons 3-5)

(Credit Image: © TLeopold/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Larsa Pippen, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Season 1)

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Cristy Rice, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Season 1)

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Lea Black, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Seasons 1-3)

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Adriana de Moura, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Seasons 1-3)

(Photo by John Parra/WireImage)

Alexia Echevarria, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Seasons 1 & 3)

(Photo by Larry Marano/FilmMagic)

Marysol Patton, "Real Housewives of Miami (Seasons 1-2)

(Photo by John Parra/WireImage)

Lisa Hochstein, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Seasons 2-3)

(Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

Joanna Krupa, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Seasons 2-3)

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Ana Quincoces, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Season 2)

(Photo by John Parra/WireImage)

Karent Sierra, "Real Housewives of Miami" (Season 2)

(Credit Image: © Javier Rojas/Prensa Internacional/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Cat Ommanney, "Real Housewives of D.C." (Season 1)

(Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)

Stacie Scott Turner, "Real Housewives of D.C." (Season 1)

(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Katie Rost, "Real Housewives of Potomac" (Season 1)

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Mary Amons, "Real Housewives of D.C." (Season 1)

(Photo by James Lemke Jr/WireImage)

Lynda Erkiletian, "Real Housewives of D.C." (Season 1)

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"I felt like I was at a tipping point, and just... it was time," she says. "But, it's all positive and I wish them all the best."

Heather credits the show with making her a more adventurous person, taking her out of her comfort zone and affording her many "cool experiences."

"I will miss the girls," she adds.

WATCH: Heather Dubrow Admits It Will Be 'Hard to Recover' From Season 11 Reunion

Heather also released a statement to ET about the decision.

"After a lot of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided not to return to RHOC this season," Heather writes, in part. "These past five years have been an incredible journey and I'm so proud to have been a part of such an iconic piece of pop culture ... However, at this point in my life, I have decided to go in another direction and do what's best for my family and career."

The mom of four notes that "the door is always open" for a return, possibly even as a guest in season 12.

ET recently sat down with the Consult Beaute founder at her Newport Beach home to discuss her future with the series following its explosive 11th season, which ended with half of the cast not speaking to RHOC "O.G." Vicki Gunvalson.

"I'm really grateful for everything that Housewives has given me," Heather told ET. "But I have to say, given the climate of what's going on with the cast, I would probably have to think about it a little bit. My knee-jerk reaction [is] I want to come back, yes. I would absolutely love to come back for season 12."

No other casting decisions about season 12 have been announced by Bravo. But, in December, Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen did address Vicki's future with the network with ET.


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