UPDATE 7/23 at 1:41pm ET: Lisa Vanderpump tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY when asked about Billie Lee‘s essay, “It has been a pleasure getting to know and work with Billie Lee and I wish her only the best on her life journey as she continues to be a beacon of light for the LGBTQ community.”
ORIGINAL: It wasn’t just a poor storyline that caused Billie Lee to quit Vanderpump Rules. The former SUR employee and trans activist, 35, wrote a lengthy piece for her blog, titled “Two Week Notice”, in which she claims that she was bullied to the point of suicide while on the Bravo show. Billie said that she had beautiful experiences with some of her co-stars, including her “fairy godmother” Lisa Vanderpump. However, she wrote, “with good always comes evil.” Billie, who is a trans woman, claims that some of her coworkers were “threatened by my differences, going out of their way to exclude me.” One male co-star, whom she does not name, allegedly wanted Bravo to fire her!
“He didn’t feel comfortable working with me,” Billie alleges. His exact words were, ‘I’m not gonna loose [sic] all I have worked hard for for something stupid I may say or do to offend her. Are we all supposed to tip toe around her because she’s trans?'” She continued with a harrowing confession: “The bullying on and off camera brought my deep insecurities to the surface, this dark black mirror held up high for everyone in public to see and to judge. The reflection of fear and anger led me back to depression and suicidal thoughts. I honestly thought I was finished with this type of bullying after high school and college but once again I found myself 34, depressed, and fantasizing about taking my own life.”
While people tried to convince her to stay on the show, “honestly, I couldn’t do another year and I wasn’t strong enough. SUR will always be a place I cherish.” She thanked Lisa in the post, telling her that “your encouragement and blessing to move forward with this new chapter of mine means the world to me.”
Lisa completely supported Billie’s decision to leave the show, a source close to the SUR owner told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY after she quit. “Lisa truly understands what it’s like to be in Billie’s shoes as she just went through it herself on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” the source said. It’s unclear if Lisa knew about the bullying. Billie’s coworkers and friends from the show, Tom Sandoval and James Kennedy, are lending her support, too. “They just want Billie to be happy and agree it is probably what’s best for her,” the source added.
Billie’s decision to leave Vanderpump Rules was partially because of a disagreement she had with production about her storyline, a Bravo insider told us EXCLUSIVELY. They apparently wanted to say that Billie and her friend Tom slept together, which isn’t true. Apparently, “things got so bad that she refused to wear a mic at Sandoval’s recent birthday celebration” on July 9, the insider added.
HollywoodLife reached out to Bravo for comment on this story, but did not hear back as of press time.