Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield were all in attendance at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas
Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield were all in attendance at the Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, where the third annual Bravo fan convention is taking place. But Lyons — easily the biggest star of the franchise — was not among them.
“Jenna’s at an event tonight. She apologizes that she could not be here," Whitfield said on the panel, later adding that Jenna was "in bed with her girlfriend." Teased Whitfield, "I got a selfie this morning, she's very happy,"
“I talked to Jenna last night," Taank echoed. "She’s very happy.”
Her absence comes as questions rise about whether Lyons will returns to RHONY next year for what would be her second season (and the franchise’s 15th).
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The Loveseen lashes founder and former J.Crew president had made no secret about her discomfort with he show, even telling RHONY executive producer Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last month that her “thorn” of the season was “the whole show.”
“I really thought I was going to have an easier time,” she said. “It was hard! It’s shocking how, when the camera’s actually on you… I thought I could handle it and, you know, I couldn’t.”
Similar anxieties were expressed even before the show premiered. “I am literally terrified,” she said in March during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, when recalling her experience filming the reality series.
"I thought I was going to do better," she admitted on The View in July, explaining that the show didn't help her get more comfortable with female friendships. "I had this idea, 'Oh, I've been at the helm of a very large company. I've worked with a lot of people.' But what I realized is, I paid all those people. [That's] really different. Everyone listens to you and likes what you say when you pay them!"
"This has been a different experience for me," she added. "And I'm not good in groups. Like, I'm good one-on-one and I will tell you everything and I want to hear everything about you. [In groups], I sit in a corner and then I look aloof."
That can lead to criticisms from costars and fans alike, which Lyons certainly experienced this season, many calling out her unwillingness to share her then-girlfriend on the show. The two have since split, but it's unclear if her new partner, Cass Bird, would be open to participating.
Cohen was asked in October by a caller into his SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live if he thought Lyons would be coming back for another season. “I hope so, I hope so,” he said. “She, you know, I think her girlfriend is a little camera shy, so that’s a challenge. But I do. I really hope she does.”
He went on to praise Lyons on the show, agreeing with the caller that he’d like to see, moving forward, more of her interactions with her 17-year-old son, Beckett Mazeau, whom she shares with ex-husband Vincent Mazeau.
Bravo typically does not announce any casting decisions, and had no official comment about Lyons' potential return when reached by PEOPLE.
Lyons joined RHONY amid a reboot of the franchise installment. Former Housewives Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Leah McSweeny and Eboni K. Williams were all axed from the series so that Bravo could build a cast that better reflects the diversity of the Big Apple.
Mission was accomplished, with Lyons especially being RHONY's first openly gay Housewife. The show previously featured a Friend of the Housewives, Barbara Kavovit, who identified as bisexual. The Real Housewives of Miami currently stars Julia Lemigova, who is married to tennis legend Martina Navratilova. Braunwyn Windham-Burke came out as lesbian during her final season on The Real Housewives of Orange County, while Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Taylor Armstrong — who joined RHOC last season as a Friend — has also recently said she is bisexual.
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Meanwhile, though Lyons was absent from BravoCon, the panel still featured plenty of fire with De Silva, Hassan, Lichy, Taank and Whitfield reminiscing on the fun and drama of the season.
Coincidentally, Lyons and her costars were first announced as Housewives at BravoCon 2022.
BravoCon 2023 is continuing through Sunday, Nov. 5 as Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.
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