Sometimes reality television doesn’t seem very real. A popular show will start out brand new and refreshing, then slowly turn into an over-produced, “loosely-scripted” soap opera. Then you find yourself losing the plot and wondering where all of the flying cheese is coming from.
During the course of the Real Housewives shows, cameras have captured weddings and birthdays, vacations and glamorous parties – but painful moments are out there too. Sometimes sharing that pain can help other people and bring certain things to light. Let’s reflect on Housewives who have let down their guard and used their tough subject matter for a positive reason.
Tinsley Mortimer / The Real Housewives of New York
Tinsley Mortimer might not have been on the Real Housewives of New York for very long, but she made quite an impression during her tenure. It might be easy to look at Tinsley and say she has everything. She’s gorgeous, has a ton of money, cute dogs, what more could she want? As viewers found out, she very much wants children. Life didn’t turn out the way Tinsley thought it would. Her first marriage ended in divorce, she had a couple of horrible relationships afterwards, so she made the decision to freeze her eggs. In Season 10, Tinsley’s dream of having kids and her regret from not being a mother yet are a heavy subject the show tackled. It was refreshing to see Tinsley being so open and raw about her struggles.
Luann de Lesseps / The Real Housewives of New York
Countess Luann de Lesseps is a true warrior and I say that because she has dealt with Ramona Singer since Real Housewives of New York’s first season. Over the years Lu has been extremely generous with what she shares and when she doesn’t want to share, she will speak French! Fans watched Luann and first husband Alex de Lesseps divorce in 2009 due to alleged infidelities and then we watched again when… it was about Tom. Bethenny Frankel had the dirt and she was ready to give it all to Luann, right on camera, in front of all of us. How could she do this to us? Tom D’Agostino wined and dined Lu, he also cheated on her at The Regency Hotel for god’s sake. Allegedly. Bethenny whipped out some photos and what did Luann do? She married him anyway. Even though Luann made an enormous mistake by going through with the (7 month) marriage, she didn’t try to hide her poor decisions.
Teresa Giudice / The Real Housewives of New Jersey
It doesn’t get more real than going to the slammer and that’s exactly what happened to Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her ex-husband. This was something we hadn’t actually seen before– a Housewife on trial for a crime. She’s famous, so she’ll totally get a pass. On July 29, 2013, Teresa and Juicy Joe Giudice were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud in a 39-count indictment. And that got both of them jail time. GASP! It was big news at the time and watching Teresa’s kids go through it was not pleasant. In December 2015, she was released from prison after serving 11 months of a 15-month sentence for fraud. Tre immediately went back to filming RHONJ and is probably more famous now as a result of serving time.
Taylor Armstrong / The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
You will soon see Taylor Armstrong again, but it won’t be on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where she cut her teeth. Tay Tay is taking a turn on the Real Housewives of Orange County crazy train. All I can say to that is, GOOD LUCK. The first season of RHOBH, you could tell something was off with Taylor and her husband’s relationship. By Season 2 it was even worse and impacting Taylor’s quality of life. She went out of her way to urge her husband to attend marriage counseling. She allowed cameras to hear Russell Armstrong’s carefully-worded replies to the therapist. But something much darker was happening. In 2011, Taylor admitted to suffering from physical and verbal abuse and wanted to seek a divorce. Shortly after, Russell ended his own life. Taylor has since been open about working with domestic abuse survivors and sharing her experience.
Elizabeth Lyn Vargas / The Real Housewives of Orange County
Elizabeth Vargas’ time on Real Housewives of Orange County was only for one season, but she opened up to her co-stars on a cast vacation. It was clear Elizabeth was struggling and she allowed herself to be vulnerable and explain exactly what happened. On a trip to Lake Arrowhead, Elizabeth said she had grown up in a religious cult and that she was abused at the Faith Bible Tabernacle in Missouri, which her own grandmother founded. Elizabeth stated the church was based around money and greed. When Elizabeth confided in neighbors about the abuse, the FBI investigated and eventually shut down the cult. Elizabeth also said she hoped sharing her story on RHOC would help others.
TELL US- WHAT SERIOUS ISSUES DO YOU REMEMBER BEING ADDRESSED ON REAL HOUSEWIVES? HAS A HOUSEWIFE’S STORY ENCOURAGED YOU? WHAT HOUSEWIFE HAS BEEN THE MOST REAL?
[Photo by: Heidi Gutman/Bravo]