‘RHOC’: Is This the Real Reason Vicki Gunvalson Dropped Her Defamation Suit Against Kelly Dodd?

Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson shocked the Bravo world last week when she filed a defamation suit against her co-star, Kelly Dodd. Gunvalson was seeking damages because Dodd made defamatory statements that she says hurt her business. But now, Gunvalson has withdrawn the lawsuit and will not be pursuing legal action. Why did the OG of the OC back out of the defamation suit at this stage of the game?

RHOC Vicki Gunvalson Kelly Dodd
‘RHOC’ stars Kelly Dodd and Vicki Gunvalson | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Gunvalson launches lawsuit against Dodd

On the first of the month, Gunvalson filed a lawsuit against Dodd under the name, Jane Roe.

Court documents revealed that Vicki Gunvalson sought damages over statements Dodd made on the show, arguing that the comments were defamatory in nature and hurt her business reputation.

Some of the comments included things like saying Gunvalson “preys on older people,” is a “fraud,” and a “con woman.”

Gunvalson was seeking an unspecified amount in the suit and stated that the comments have ruined her various business ventures in the area. This includes her company, Coto Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., which Gunvalson says has always maintained a top rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The RHOC star also revealed that she asked Bravo to cut the comments from the show, but the network ignored her request and is reportedly planning to air the footage this season. We do not know if Gunvalson had a shot of winning the lawsuit, but there may have been a good reason why she dropped it.

Why did Vicki Gunvalson drop defamation suit

According to Lalate, every reality star that appears on Bravo as a full-time cast member signs a contract that prohibits them from suing each other over anything related to that respective franchise.

The contract covers any drama that sparks up during filming, which is one reason why there have not been more lawsuits in the past. If they were allowed to sue one another for spreading lies, nobody would agree to be a part of it.

That said, with Vicki Gunvalson appearing as a guest star this season, it is unclear if she signed the contract or not. More than likely, she signed an agreement very similar to the one full-time cast members sign, though we cannot say for sure.

We also do not know if Kelly Dodd’s comments were made while filming the current season of the show, or if they were made outside of production. If they originated outside of the set, then the contract would not have protected Dodd.

Inside Gunvalson and Dodd’s ongoing feud

Dodd started off as one of Gunvalson’s good friends when she joined the RHOC a few seasons back.

But their friendship quickly soured, and the women have been feuding for several years now. At the end of last season, their beef reached new levels when Gunvalson accused Dodd of using cocaine during the RHOC reunion.

The feud quickly spilled out onto social media, where Dodd vowed to quit the series if Gunvalson was not punished for the false accusations.

A few months after things cooled down, Bravo shockingly announced that Vicki Gunvalson would be returning as a friend in the new season — though her diminished role has hardly prevented her from drumming up drama.

What happens next?

An inside source just confirmed that Vicki Gunvalson has dropped her defamation case against Dodd. According to OK Magazine, Gunvalson decided to withdraw the case because she worked things out in a more amicable manner.

“She has spoken to the producers and has resolved the issues amicably,” the insider dished.

The source did not reveal exactly what transpired between Gunvalson and Dodd, but the RHOC star made it clear in a recent interview that she wants nothing to do with Dodd in the future.

“I have no desire to be around people that want to hurt me. Zero. If she [Kelly] wants to hurt me and call me names, call me a pig and all these terrible things — I’ve never called her names. I’ve never said she looks like x, y, z. I don’t do that. And I don’t deserve it. I’m not going to tolerate it,” Gunvalson shared.

While Gunvalson is not open to making amends with Dodd, she will have to tolerate her presence on the show. The reality star noted that she will continue to film with Dodd but has zero plans to hang out outside of the show.

Vicki Gunvalson has not commented on why she dropped her defamation case against Dodd, but we may learn more in the coming weeks.

New episodes of the Real Housewives of Orange County air Tuesday nights on Bravo.