Tamra Judge quit The Real Housewives of Orange County after being offered a salary pittance to continue in a demoted role next season, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.
“Bravo bosses wanted Tamra to be bridge from the old cast to the new in season 15 and she refused,” a source told Radar.
“Tamra got her pick up contract letter last, after the other ladies, and it had major conditions in it. She was even more than demoted to a friend role. She’d have very little camera time. And it meant she would earn next to nothing in reality TV terms.”
“She would go from $900,000 a season to $20,000 an episode for just three show appearances, which would add up to $60,000 total. It was humiliating.”
“So Tamra walked away,” the source said.
As Radar reported on Saturday, Tamra announced she’s leaving RHOC just hours after her longtime co-star Vicki Gunvalson did the same.
In a shocking end for the Bravo reality TV show’s most famous blondes, Tamra, 52, followed Vicki, 57, out the door.
In a brief caption to a January 25, Instagram photo of herself and husband Eddie, Tamra wrote, “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on. Im [sic] sad to go but I’m very excited about my future. Love you guys.”
Tamra also told PEOPLE, “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras. 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.”
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The blonde beauty joined RHOC in its third season in 2007.
Tamra also starred in a three-episode spinoff series, Tamra’s OC Wedding, which chronicled her June 2013 ceremony with Eddie Judge at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, California.
The CUT gym businesswoman told PEOPLE that her husband “Eddie and the kids are very excited” about moving on from RHOC.
She has four children — sons Ryan Vieth, 34, and Spencer Barney, 19, and daughter Sidney Barney, 21, and Sophia Barney, 14.
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“I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years. It’s meant a lot,” Tamra said.
Was age an issue for Tamra and Vicki, who also rejected returning in a friend role after she did that last season?
“The network wants to skew younger,” a source told Radar last year about the Bravo franchise.