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The Emmy-winning ladies of The Real decided to open up to ESSENCE about Tamar Braxton’s 2016 departure during their New York City press run earlier this month.

“That’s embarrassing when you get let go of a show. That’s embarrassing so sometimes it’s better to just not say nothing and let the process play out,” Love said of why the co-hosts remained silent. “Timing is everything.”

Mai added, “And we couldn’t say anything either because we have a job to uphold, and we also didn’t know what was going on because it’s just our job.”

Houghton said it’s also the reason why The Real hasn’t replaced Braxton.

“The same way we can’t get rid of people on the show, we also can’t stop them from adding one,” Houghton said, noting that the co-hosts prefer the slot to remain unfilled.

Tamar’s absence allowed the ladies to grow closer and form a sisterly bond.

“In all honesty, there was a moment in time when we said, ‘Why is this happening to us?’” Houghton recalled. “But because of going through that, we more than ever value this…and what we went through has made our bond so much stronger. And we’re grateful for that so we value this; its precious to us; and we don’t allow anything to infiltrate this.”

Mowry-Housley chimed in, finishing her sentence, “You can’t force this.”

Meanwhile, the ladies have been getting quite candid about their personal lives during their popular “Girl Chat” segment.

“Now, we’ve gotten so close and intimate with our fans, it’s a lot of ‘Girl Chat’ because we have a lot to talk about.”

“When you’re vulnerable, that’s when people start relating…and that is a powerful and beautiful thing,” Mowry-Housley added.

“There was a time when we were flooded with talk shows and they were just chopping them after the second season,” Loni Love continued. “We are continuing because…you have this chemistry of women who are discovering themselves, and opening themselves up and people are relating all across the world.”

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