Gretchen Rossi Would Return To Real Housewives On One Condition

Former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Gretchen Rossi's stint on the hit series began when she debuted in the fourth season. She made a significant impact with her glamorous lifestyle and business ventures, including Rossi's real estate career. However, it was the reality star's engagement to wealthy businessman Jeff Beitzel that caused the biggest stir. Some believed Rossi was a gold digger trying to secure his money as he battled cancer. Sadly, Beitzel died in November 2008, and she was reportedly awarded $2.5 million per TMZ

Adding to the controversy, Rossi began seeing her current partner, Slade Smiley, just months later, in February 2009, which was documented in Season 5 of "RHOC." While the ensuing drama made for great entertainment, Rossi exited the show in 2013, following its eighth season, though she is not entirely closed off to the idea of making a comeback.

During her reign on the "Real Housewives" franchise, Rossi also clashed with several castmates, such as Alexis Bellino and Vicki Gunvalson. However, the reality star appeared at BravoCon in November 2023, to help present Gunvalson with a lifetime achievement award for her service on the show. Fans were hopeful that Rossi might return as a result, but she has made it clear that it would require a significant gesture to lure her back in.

Rossi's paycheck would have to be huge for her to agree

Gretchen Rossi has made it very clear that the only way that she would return to "RHOC" is if Bravo cut her a massive paycheck. This revelation came about during a 2023 chat with The Messenger, with Rossi quipping, "They'd have to pay me, like, millions of dollars." According to the Bravo alum, "Heather [Dubrow] keeps asking me to and I'm like, 'Okay, have them call me!'" Rossi may be demanding such a large sum due to her past financial problems. 

In 2019, she was close to having her home foreclosed on. Legal documents obtained by The Blast detailed how Rossi fell behind on the mortgage payments for her condo. At the time, she owed $26,000. Thankfully, the home was ultimately spared from auction. During a March 2020 episode of her and her partner, Slade Smiley's, podcast, "Knot Too Taboo," Rossi shared that after leaving "RHOC," she saw a drastic dip in her income. 

"That was a very big paycheck for us, and one day that light was switched off, and we were like, 'Holy hell, that is a lot of money that we don't have coming in anymore,'" the reality star explained, adding, "When you have that large of a paycheck coming in and that's gone, you want to replace that." While she has managed to recover in the years since Rossi is beyond accepting small paychecks for her return to reality TV.

She wouldn't want to film with Tamra Judge either way

For Gretchen Rossi, another major roadblock hindering her "RHOC" return is Tamra Judge. She previously accused Rossi of cheating on her now-deceased fiance, Jeff Beitzel. In the 2021 book, "Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives From the People Who Lived It," Judge claimed the infidelity took place in Season 4 which Rossi strongly denied. Instances such as these are why Rossi has no desire to film with Judge ever again. 

"I made it pretty clear that the one person that I wouldn't really enjoy being around anymore is Tamra. I mean, I think everyone knows that about me and her relationship. For me, personally, she just was too much of a pot stirrer. And she just made up lies and manipulated things. And I just don't like that," Rossi told "Access Hollywood" in 2021. In a December 2023 episode of her podcast, "Two Ts In A Pod," Judge confirmed that the feeling was mutual. 

She told co-host Teddi Mellencamp simply, "Who I wouldn't work with that's been fired from my show would obviously be Gretchen." With both women unwilling to share the screen, fans may not see Rossi back anytime soon. However, she took part in the "Real Housewives" all-star special, "Ultimate Girls Trip," alongside Vicki Gunvalson. Either way, with her social media influence, LTK online storefront, and other initiatives, Rossi is clearly busy enough as it is.