Whitney Port Explains Lauren Conrad's 'Hills' Exit

'She's put everybody else and the audience in front of her for the last eight years,' former co-star tells MTV News.

Most fans were shocked to hear this would be the last season of "The Hills" for star Lauren Conrad, putting the fate of the show up in the air. But it wasn't surprising news for Lauren's longtime BFF and former co-worker Whitney Port, who talked about the real reason Lauren walked away.

"I think at this point, she's put everybody else and the audience in front of her for the last eight years, so now she decided she needs to put herself first," the "City" star told MTV News. (Editor's note: Conrad actually debuted on "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" in 2004.) "I think she's not happy anymore."

Whitney said they discussed a possible exit and that Lauren was tired of having a camera in her face at all times. "We talked about that a lot. I know she was having a lot of difficulty with it as the season was wrapping," she said. "I think she needs to do what she wants to do. It's hard. She's had her life on tape since she was 16 years old."

Lauren's love life was another big reason she didn't want to come back to the show, Port explained. She's hoping she'll have more romantic success without the cameras trailing her. "She has no privacy. And she hasn't been able to have a real relationship until now," Whitney said about Lauren's current relationship with "My Boys" star Kyle Howard. "I give her credit."

Now that Lauren is singing her "Hills" swan song, can the show survive without her? "I don't know! I can't imagine that 'The Hills' would go on without her," Whitney said. "Lauren is the central character."

The new season of "The Hills" premieres Monday at 10 p.m. on MTV.