Why Did Heather Rae El Moussa Leave 'Selling Sunset'?

The original cast member has announced her departure from the show.

Heather Rae in season 7 of Selling Sunset.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Heather Rae El Moussa (née Young) has been a member of Selling Sunset's all-star cast since day one, but it looks like her tenure on the docu-soap has come to an end. After months of speculation, the realty star announced the day of season 7's premiere that she has left the fan-favorite series after four years. Even though the news just dropped, Heather's status on the show has been in question since last spring, when she first hinted that she and the reality hit's creative team weren't on the same page in regards to filming. Read on for everything we know about Heather's exit so far, including when she makes an appearance on season 7, and whether she could return to the franchise in the future.

What happened in season 7 of 'Selling Sunset'?

A very pregnant Heather appears in a handful of scenes early in the season, including a memorable showing where she and Bre Tiesi show a mansion to a 21-year-old TikTok star, and a sweet moment where Bre brings her infant son to visit Heather at her home. The next time Heather's mentioned, Bre is telling the office that the new mom has given birth, which is followed by a short scene where Heather holds her newborn in a hospital bed while husband Tarek El Moussa stands next to her.

Heather and Tarek welcomed baby boy Tristan Jay on January 31, 2023. In a February Instagram post, Heather revealed she’d experienced a difficult birth, with doctors rushing her to the hospital to induce labor after seeing that the baby wasn't moving as much as he should have been. "It all happened really fast," she wrote. "Tristan’s heart rate was dropping very low every time I’d push & was staying low. Which was terrifying." Luckily, her baby was born safe and well, and she wrote that she and Tarek spent time in their "own private bubble" following the birth.

A post shared by Heather Rae El Moussa

A photo posted by theheatherraeelmoussa on

What has Heather said about leaving 'Selling Sunset'?

In a March 2023 interview with E! News, Heather revealed that she had yet to hear back from the Selling Sunset crew about resuming filming following her maternity leave.

"Season 7 is filming right now, but I’ve been off maternity leave and I’ve been excited to get back to work. And so far, I’ve not been called back," she told the outlet. "It’s been a little frustrating. So [I’m] not sure what’s been going on."

Though Heather had confirmed on Instagram that she had filmed scenes for season 7 ahead of her birth, the realtor was missing from the promotional poster, which featured the rest of the show's main cast standing on the edge of a pool. Soon after the image was released in October 2023, Heather responded on Instagram.

"Looks like I got pushed in the water," she wrote, adding, “its a good thing I can swim! Congrats to my girls on S7! 💗 You may see me in a few episodes….. 💁🏼‍♀️”

A synopsis for the new 11-episode season—airing on Netflix Nov. 3, 2023— states, “They work hard and play harder, as they compete with the cutthroat LA market...and each other.” 

A post shared by Heather Rae El Moussa

A photo posted by theheatherraeelmoussa on

On November 3, Heather finally dropped the news that she wouldn't be returning to Sunset. She posted an Instagram update alongside a mirror selfie taken during her house showing with Bre and TikToker Josh Richards.

The caption read: "Everything happens how it’s meant to 🤍….. And we all have a plan.It’s bittersweet to not be a part of SS anymore. But I do know that good or bad I wouldn’t change the experiences I had. Let the drama begin 😳 I’ll be no part of it ✌🏻Thank you -> next 🙏🏻"

A post shared by Heather Rae El Moussa

A photo posted by theheatherraeelmoussa on

Did Heather leave the Oppenheim Group?

As of season 7's release on November 3, the Selling Sunset's creative team has not addressed Heather's exit from the show. For any viewers hoping that Heather could still pop up on the show in a lesser capacity like Maya did before her exit last year, Heather does still come up on the Oppenheim Group's website as a member of the brokerage. We'll likely learn more about the whole situation during the upcoming reunion special, which hits Netflix on Wednesday, November 15.

Meanwhile, viewers will still be able to watch Heather, albeit on a different show. She and Tarek launched their own reality show on HGTV, The Flipping El Moussas, in March 2023. (Tarek is a longtime HGTV personality, having starred on his previous show Flip or Flop alongside ex-wife Christina Hall.) The entire first season is available to stream on Max, and it's already been renewed for a second season.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.