There have been conflicting claims about why the mother of three — whose exit follows months of drama surrounding former "RHOBH" castmate Brandi Glanville's claim that she and Denise, who's married to Aaron Phypers, had a brief affair (which Denise has denied) — is really leaving.
As Page Six reports, some Bravo insiders believe Denise wanted too much money to re-sign. However, sources close to Denise say she was over it and didn't even give Bravo a real opportunity to give her a new contract.
So which is it? A Sept. 14 report from Page Six cites a source who insists that the real reason Denise isn't returning is because she demanded an "excessive" amount of money to re-sign and Bravo wasn't prepared to pay her what she wanted.
"People think that she didn't want to come back and that it's because she got 'mean-girled' [by other cast members]. The truth is she did want to come back. But [Bravo] didn't want to pay her what she asked for. It was way out of her pay grade," a source told the New York Post's gossip column.
A source close to Denise, on the other hand, told Page Six that despite a rough second season, "Bravo called her last week to ask her if she wanted to return, and she took a couple of days to think about it." By Sept. 9, that source explained, Denise's agent had told Bravo Denise was done and it was over.
But the money-angle source says that's not the case: "She would happily have come back, but for a huge price." Execs, that source added, "negotiated a lot" with Denise's camp but the money discrepancy was too big to overcome.
According to Bravo exec Andy Cohen, "I'm just upset that we couldn't reach an agreement for next season, I'm kind of living in that sadness," he said on People TV's "Reality Check" segment posted on Sept. 11. "We were negotiating a deal with her and we couldn't reach an agreement on the deal."
Andy added: "She has a family and kids so I mean, whatever happened or didn't happen, I would imagine that it's something that maybe she didn't really care to discuss on a television show."