Fredrik Eklund on Why It Was “The Right Moment” to Exit ‘Million Dollar Listing’ Franchise (Exclusive) – Hollywood Reporter

January 27, 2022
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The real-estate agent/reality TV staple, who says recent comments by his co-stars “had nothing to do with” his departure after 11 years, discusses what’s next and recalls his favorite moments from the Bravo franchise.
By Hadley Meares
On Monday, Fredrik Eklund of Douglas Elliman announced on Instagram that he was leaving Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York and Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles after 11 seasons. “I let Andy [Cohen], the producers and executives know last week how grateful I am,” Eklund wrote. “Eternally grateful, I mean what an incredible run we had together.”
While Bravo’s Andy Cohen replied with an affectionate, “Oh Mousey! What a ride!” — and Million Dollar Listing New York star Tyler Whitman told Page Six that “Fredrik is an inspiration. He definitely paved the way for quirky folks like me to show you can be yourself and still have a very successful business” — Eklund’s decision to leave came in the wake of public criticism from some of his co-stars. Josh Flagg has claimed that Eklund — whom he called a “complete phony” on a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live — leaked the news that Flagg was moving to Douglas Elliman in December 2021.

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Co-star Josh Altman took Flagg’s side. “I’ll just respond to what you see on the show,” Altman told People magazine. “I just thought it was a real, real, horrible thing to do, what he did to Flagg, and we’ll just leave it at that.”
Eklund, who denies the claim, says his exit from the popular Million Dollar Listing franchise has nothing to do with his co-stars’ accusations. Despite the acrimony, Eklund is eager to make it clear that he wishes his castmates — including Flagg and Altman — nothing but the best. “I’m grateful to the cast,” he says. “I do wish all of them well. I think they did an awesome job.”
The upbeat Eklund seems firmly focused on the future — the Fredrik Eklund Team at Douglas Elliman cleared $4.5 billion in sales in 2021 — and his growing empire. However, fans of Eklund’s antics take heart: One gets the sense viewers haven’t seen the last of him on television. When asked about returning to the screen in the future, he teased, “You know, Freddie moved to Hollywood for a reason.”
So, Fredrik, why did you decide to leave Million Dollar Listing after such a successful run?
Well, 11 years is a long time. It feels like the right moment. I want it to end on a high note. Like I wrote in my post, there are some personal issues, as in family, kids, traveling, et cetera. And then there are a lot of professional reasons. I have this incredible machinery, this big team, that has exploded just in the last couple of years. And it’s very exciting, and it’s pulling me in all sorts of directions. So yeah, it’s the decision I made.

What were your most memorable or favorite moments being on the show?
Oh my God, they’re endless. You know, 129 episodes. I think probably having the twins [4-year-olds Milla and Freddy with husband Derek Kaplan]. The cameras were not allowed to be in the delivery room with our surrogate, but we filmed it ourselves and it made the show. It was very emotional for a lot of people, most importantly, for me, to be able to share that, as gay dads having twins, and something that I wanted to try for so many years. That was very memorable.
I think our wedding episode, which was, I think, in the second season. It was a long time ago now. It aired right before gay marriage became legal on a federal level. So, it was a big moment in, I feel like, society, and I’m very proud. I mean, we were really the first gay wedding to be aired on national television. It was so beautifully done and cut. I loved that.
And the last one I’ll give you is what I referenced in my post. Larry Silverstein is a legend in the real estate world. He rebuilt the World Trade Center. When he toured me around the Freedom Tower and all these buildings which were just about to open, and New York was coming back, and we were standing there looking over all of New York, and I screamed, “I love you, New York,” and Larry was laughing. That’s iconic.
Is there anything you won’t miss about doing the show?
Well, I mean, it’s time-consuming. We filmed a season for nine months. I don’t want to complain because I loved it. Like I wrote about in my post, I get a high from filming, so I loved every moment of it. But my life is bigger now, and there are so many new projects, and there are so many new businesses, and my kids, and the world feels more accessible to me, and that’s just the decision I made.
Do you have any comment in response to the recent drama with Josh Altman saying to people he cut you out of his life, and Flagg alleging you leaked a story about him switching agencies?
Oh, God. I think it’s really unfortunate that they still see it like that because it’s not true, number one. Number two, my decision to leave has nothing to do with that 6-month-old situation. It’s not even on my radar.

 
 
A post shared by Fredrik Eklund (@fredrikeklundny)

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