The cast of Southern Charm went through a big cast shakeup in between Seasons 6 and 7. Three of the show's top stars, Cameran Eubanks, Naomie Olindo, and Chelsea Meissner, announced their departure from the show in the spring of 2020, with no return in sight.
Cameran's decision, in particular, has intrigued viewers, as it was overshadowed by a rumor concerning the demise of her marriage with anesthesiologist Dr. Jason Wimberly.
Though her exit was a major topic during Part 1 of the Southern Charm Season 7 reunion, Cameran never really spoke out about her decision at length. That is, until she published her book, One Day You'll Thank Me: Essays on Dating, Motherhood, and Everything In Between.
So, what happened? Why did Cam leave Southern Charm?
Why did Cam really leave 'Southern Charm'?
In the months since Cameran announced her shocking departure from the popular Bravo series, viewers (and her former co-stars) have been trying to figure out what exactly led her to leave.
While some thought that it had to do with her desire to spend more time with her daughter, Palmer, others were convinced it was because of a rumor that made its way around Charleston.
According to a vicious rumor, Cam left the reality show to protect her marriage and avoid having to broadcast her husband's affair with a makeup artist on national television. The theory was discussed on the show, specifically by Kathryn Dennis. (Craig Conover and Leva Bonaparte vehemently quashed it.) Though many originally thought that Kathryn started the rumor for a storyline, she shared on the reunion that she wasn't the one who started it.
Cam herself tried to refute the rumor, issuing an Instagram post explaining that her husband did not cheat on her with a makeup artist and that her departure from the show was decided long before the theory started to make the rounds.
"I was going to make a kind statement about why I decided to leave the show tomorrow however it has come to my attention that insidious rumors are now spreading and fake articles being written," reads a note Cam shared on Instagram on May 14, 2020.
"What upsets me most is that my husband, who is the most sincere and faithful human I know is being falsely dragged into this. It disgusts me. [...] I can't get too upset though because this is what you sign up for when you put your life on reality TV ... and why I'm getting out of it now," she added.
As for the woman involved in the speculation, she also vehemently denied having a relationship with Jason. In fact, Rebecca Leigh Wash stated that she had never met Jason before.
"I have never met Jason or Cameran Wimberly in my life. These hurtful accusations are blatant unfounded lies that have shaken me to my core," wrote the alleged mistress in an Instagram post.
As Cam explained, she wanted out of the reality TV show long before the rumors emerged.
She never divulged the exact details for her exit, until her book came out in February of 2021.
Cam said she left 'Southern Charm' because her "priorities had changed."
Though much of her book, One Day You'll Thank Me, is about the lessons she's learned as a mom, and even about her days on The Real World, Cameran did discuss what led her to say goodbye to reality TV.
After welcoming her daughter in 2017, Cameran shared that she slowly became less interested in filming. Per E! Online, she was dealing with social media hate and a realization that her life was very different from her castmates' after becoming a mom.
"My mantra with social media if you are on a reality show: You don't like the heat? Get out of the kitchen. Well, get out of the kitchen is exactly what I did after season six," she wrote. "At that point, I had a child and since becoming a mother, my priorities had changed. I also felt like I was at a different place in my life. It was time to move on."
She added that the idea of the show "felt a bit icky" when she learned that rumors about her marriage would be discussed for the sake of drama.
The reality star did have a positive experience for the years she was a part of Southern Charm.
"That said, all in all, Southern Charm was a very positive experience. I would go back and do it all over again," she wrote. But, she has no plans to return to reality TV again.
Naomie Olindo and Chelsea Meissner quit 'Southern Charm' roughly around the same time.
It's possible that Naomie and Chelsea left Southern Charm to protect their personal lives as well.
"To all those asking why Cameran, Chelsea, and I (and anyone with a life they want to protect), quit the show, it’s s--t like this," Naomie captioned a previous Instagram story.
"Shame on you Kathryn Dennis for this and many other things," she added shortly after.
"Naomi and Chelsea, like Cam, are just tired of the reality TV drama and don't want to live their lives this way," an insider close to the cast of Southern Charm told People.
Though many longtime fans were disappointed to see three genuine friends leave the series, there are few who can deny that Season 7 was one of the most dramatic ones to date.
Part 2 of the Southern Charm reunion airs on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.