The end of the road. Vanderpump Rules star Billie Lee has quit the Bravo reality series and her job at Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR Restaurant & Lounge.
“I realized that SUR was no longer right for me!” the 35-year-old announced in a blog post titled “Two Week Notice” on Monday, July 22. “I had many people try to convince me to stay, ‘Billie do another year! You are stronger than this.’ But honestly, I couldn’t do another year and I wasn’t strong enough.”
Billie wrote that she “met some of the most wonderful people” while working at SUR, a few of whom she now considers to be family. “They saw me in a way I never saw myself – they saw beauty, light and love. They saw a powerful activist who was unstoppable. These beautiful souls put a mirror in front of me, they showed me how far I’ve come and how far I can go,” she continued.
However, the transgender activist claimed that other unnamed coworkers “were threatened by my differences, going out of their way to exclude me, one demanding I be fired from the show because he didn’t feel comfortable working with me.”
“His exact words were, ‘I’m not gonna loose 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?’” Billie alleged. “Like most men during the #MeToo movement he was so afraid of saying the wrong thing that he just wanted me gone. 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 reality star wrote that her negative experience with the unnamed coworkers brought back the “depression and suicidal thoughts” she experienced years before her transition.
“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,” she wrote. “Like any other time I’ve been bullied or rejected I started journaling, and I attached myself to anything and everything positive that would pull me out of this dark funk.”
That said, Billie called Lisa, 58, her “fairy godmother” and SUR “a place I cherish.” She also expressed her gratitude to SUR co-owners Guillermo and Nathalie Zapata “for always having my back.”
“If you ask me, my journey has only just begun,” the Los Angeles-based blogger concluded her post. “I now have the opportunity to educate and inspire others with my activism work and new projects taking off. Every day is an opportunity to take back your dream, to embrace your journey and live the life you’ve always wanted. You are never too old or ‘too gay’ and it’s never too late to start over.”
Billie feuded with several of her costars during season 7, most notably Lala Kent. In an episode that aired in January, Billie implied that Lala, 28, did not include her in a girls’ night because she is trans. Lala rebutted the claims, saying she didn’t invite Billie because they are not friends and that Billie’s gender identity had nothing to do with it.
Us Weekly has reached out to Bravo for comment.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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