Family over reality television!
Tamra Judge talked about the real reason for her Real Housewives of Orange County exit and it all comes down to priorities!
“It made me reevaluate my life,” Tamra, 52, told PEOPLE. “Simon had told me about his health back in November and I was completely destroyed. I was a mess!”
“This is the father of my children,” she continued. “Any ill will between the two us just vanished. My first thought was, ‘I don’t want to take my kids to their dad’s funeral.’ And my second was, ‘I don’t want to go back to the show.’”
Readers know Tamra’s husband Eddie Judge also has his own health issues as he suffers from a heart condition. With both men to worry about, she decided to prioritize her life and focus on the important things.
“It’s just very hard for me to want to go on a show where people are screaming and yelling and arguing about things that don’t even matter,” she told the outlet. “They’ve taught me that life is precious, and you don’t get that time back.”
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Tamra shocked fans when she took to Instagram on January 25 and announced she was leaving the show.
Though she had been filming up to that point, she revealed she actually wanted to drop the bombshell news sooner, but was advised not to. She admitted she was “very subdued” during the reunion which helped her realize she “wouldn’t come back.”
When production approached her about filming season 15, Tamra told them she was unsure of how much of a commitment she could make, but failed to disclose why since Simon, 55, asked her to keep quiet. She was reluctant to make her exit then because she “wasn’t strong enough to just walk away.”
While she continued to work with Bravo, she turned to prayer to help her find a solution to her uncertainty.
“For three weeks, I was a f—ing mess. I cried every single day. And then they called and scheduled a production meeting for a few weeks before filming, and I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be able to go back to this show and keep this a secret,” she told PEOPLE. “There’s no way I could just film as if nothing’s wrong.’ So I just prayed and prayed and prayed for divine intervention. I was like, ‘God, please make this decision for me.’”
Then, as Radar previously reported, Tamra was eventually offered a demoted role that she declined.
“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,” a source exclusively told Radar.
“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.”
Now, the reality diva confirmed she refused to take the three episode offer.
“Those three episodes wouldn’t make any sense to me because I am very much a person who is very honest on the show,” Tamra said to PEOPLE. “At the time, Simon did not want to come forward with it, so I could not talk about it. It didn’t make any sense for me to be like, ‘I’m sorry, I’ve been very busy now, gotta go,’ because it would be a lie. I just knew there would be no way to get around it. I couldn’t go back and be myself. I couldn’t be honest. I couldn’t be real.“