According to a new report by Us Weekly, “Heather’s popular history with the old cast and the excitement about new cast member, Eboni Williams, prompted production to maneuver her return,” a source told the outlet.
Ramona Singer reportedly invited Heather to join the group during a cast trip to the Hamptons.
“Shortly after she arrived, Leah [McSweeney] and Heather butted heads. Their exchanges got messy and included some name-calling,” dished the snitch.
The insider said that Heather was “stunned,” as her interaction with the “Married to the Mob” designer had been “minimal.” The ladies crossed paths last season at Dorinda Medley’s dinner party in the Berkshires, but the source described their exchange as “uneventful.”
“Heather could see Leah was acting up for the cameras and using behavior she considered demeaning and exploitative and frankly, crossed a line,” the source continued. “Heather wanted no part of Leah so after she left that weekend Heather had no interest in continuing the season at all and stopped filming.”
The Season 13 RHONY trailer, which was released earlier this month, teased the cast feud when it featured Leah calling Heather a ‘Karen.”
Heather was a main cast member of the Real Housewives of New York City from Season 5-7, exiting the franchise in 2015. The former Bravo star has made occasional appearances on the show, due her close ties with RHONY alum, Carole Radziwill and departed cast member, Dorinda Medley. Season 13 will be the first season that Heather returns in an official role since she left the series.
“I really feel lucky that when I had to make the decision to leave the franchise, that everybody got it,” Heather said on “RealiTea with Derek Z,” in November 2020. “[I left] an open door to make cameos and continue to show my true relationships on the show. I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I can dip my toe in the water, but I don’t really need to stay in the kitchen.”
Heather’s decision to exit the show made headlines in 2015, when Star Magazine reported that the Yummie Tummie founder’s departure was due to ongoing relationship problems with her husband, Jonathan Schindler.
“He hates the way Heather behaves on “Housewives.” She comes across as shrill and unlikable,” the mag reported, at the time.
“Things have been so tense between Heather and Jonathan,” the insider added. “She is deliberately staying out of the spotlight.”
The Real Housewives of New York City returns to Bravo on Tuesday, May 4, at 9 pm, ET.