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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: BBQ

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 5 - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Glenn Rowley

real-housewives-of-dallas-tiffany-hendra

The explosive fight continues this week on The Real Housewives of Dallas, and all of the ladies are left to pick up the pieces in the feud's aftermath. Plus, one 'Wife celebrates her wedding anniversary in style, while another's husband disappoints during a family moment meant to be special. Read on for my full recap...

rhod-tiffany-hendra-leeanne-locken

This week picks up right in the middle of last week's brawl between some of the 'Wives at Marie Reyes's cocktail party. Once LeeAnne Locken throws her glass of champagne on the ground and tells Stephanie Hollman off for defending Brandi Redmond, the queen bee of Dallas exits the party stage left. It's a wise choice because, as LeeAnne says in her confessional, she's so upset that her only options are to either "kill the bitch or start crying." As she marches angrily down the street, Tiffany Hendra follows her in an attempt to diffuse the situation. However, LeeAnne is having none of it from her BFF of 25 years, and lashes out by accusing Tiffany of not having her back in the confrontation with Brandi. In fact, from LeeAnne's perspective, Tiffany was the one who put the entire ambush into motion by bringing her over to talk to the redhead.

real-housewives-of-dallas-leeanne-locken

Naturally, this accusation sends Tiffany into a rage as she shoves LeeAnne and gets in her face to scream about just how much she's taken up for her misunderstood bestie. Now LeeAnne is the one who doesn't want to talk, telling Tiffany to shut the escalating argument down since the cameras are filming them. Enraged, Tiffany couldn't care less about the cameras but LeeAnne is pushed to her limit as she screams at the cameras to stop filming. And then it happens. In possibly the most instantly iconic moment of the season, LeeAnne full-on attacks the Bravo camera, punching the lens and wildly swinging her purse at the poor cameraman. As a bewildered Tiffany looks on, LeeAnne then proceeds to remove her shoes and stomp across the street, making sure to slap a passing trolley with the flat of her hand as she does so. LeeAnne Locken is officially done with the drama for the night, leaving Tiffany to go back into the party and issue a blanket apology to the other 'Wives for the massive scene that was caused. 

real-housewives-cary-deuber

In spite of all the drama and hurt feelings, LeeAnne and Tiffany are forced to see each other the very next day, since they both committed to participating in a clothing drive for women with HIV. Talk about the worst timing possible. Since they're feuding, the BFFs spend the entire charity event avoiding each other and not speaking, even though they're literally right next to each other. Fellow Housewife Cary Deuber gets a front row ticket to the awkwardness, as she's donating clothes to the Legacy Counseling Center as well, and explains to Tiffany that the designer dress she wore to the cocktail party had to be sent to the cleaners because it ended the evening soaked in LeeAnne's champagne. As Tiffany drives away from the charity event, she finally caves and leaves a message for LeeAnne on her voicemail, acknowledging how uncomfortable it was for the two to avoid each other and saying that she's ready to talk things out whenever LeeAnne is. 

real-housewives-of-dallas-stephanie-hollman

Meanwhile, Stephanie and her husband Travis are celebrating their seventh anniversary and Travis has a special surprise planned to get his wife's mind off all the drama from the night before. The couple hits the town in their vintage Rolls Royce, dressed to the nines as they pull up to de Boulle Diamond and Jewelry, the most exclusive high-end jewelry store in all of Dallas. To her shock and awe, Travis informs Stephanie that for her anniversary gift, she's allowed to pick out any bracelet she wants. Owner Denis de Boulle has selected a few exclusive pieces for Stephanie to try on, and she ultimately selects a 23 karat white diamond bracelet to the tune of $75,000. Talk about having expensive taste! Then, as a teaser for their 10-year anniversary, Denis lets Stephanie try on a gigantic 20 karat diamond ring that comes with a $2.5 million price tag. Better start saving if you plan on buying that in three years, Travis!

rhod-brandi-redmond-grandpa

After talking to him for the first time in her life last week, Brandi's invited her estranged grandfather John to visit her in Dallas. As she and her mom anxiously await the arrival of her grandpa and his wife, Brandi laments that her husband Bryan isn't there to meet him for the first time since he's out of town on business. However, she's specifically planned a big family BBQ for the day between Bryan's business trips so he can actually be present for such an important moment in her life. When Brandi's grandpa arrives, she's stunned at just how large and intimidating the former NFL player is. Yet, they immediately begin bonding and she's also blown away by how much he resembles resembles her brothers, uncles and other family members. 

real-housewives-of-dallas-leeanne-locken

Following a quick, sweet scene of Cary's husband Mark surprising her with a Roberto Cavalli dress to make up for the one that got ruined at the cocktail party, LeeAnne and Tiffany finally meet at a restaurant to talk about their blow-up fight. Both 'Wives come to the meeting ready to put the clash behind them and immediately apologize for their respective parts of the feud. LeeAnne owns that she was pushed past the point of what she could handle and should have recognized her bestie actually had her back, while Tiffany points out that she went full Mr. Miyagi on her friend. Honestly, it's very nice to  see the BFFs make up so quickly and genuinely, and I agree with LeeAnne: you can only be Christian and kind so much until your inner carny comes out ready to bite someone's head off.

real-housewives-of-dallas-brandi-redmond

The next day, Brandi's family comes together for the BBQ to meet John, and by the time Stephanie arrives to support her friend, Bryan's still nowhere to be found. When Steph calls Travis to find out when he'll arrive at the party, she learns that Bryan's actually been golfing with her husband and now they're out at a bar. This is news to Brandi, who expected Bryan to be there to support her on such an important day, and by the time he finally shows up late and drunk, she is visibly unhappy. However, the second Bryan walks through the door, it's clear that he has some sort of wall up, and barely greets his wife before saying a few words to her grandpa and retreating to the backyard to play with one of the girls on the swings. Brandi is rightfully upset and disappointed by her husband's shockingly distant behavior, and points out in her confessional that all she can think about how he's being the "biggest douchebag in the world" and will be most definitely be sleeping on the couch tonight.

What did you think of this week's episode? Are you happy LeeAnne and Tiffany were able to make up? How would you have reacted if your husband showed up to an important family moment late and drunk? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 4 - BBQ, Brunch or Bust

Glenn Rowley

rhony-carole-radziwill

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, we're in the Hamptons for a weekend of BBQs, brunches and awkward confrontations. Whether it's Bethenny vs. John, Carole vs. Luann or a newly brewing feud between the Skinnygirl and newbie Jules, this wasn't exactly the relaxing celebration some of these 'Wives had in mind...

rhony-dorinda-medley-john-mahdessian

It's the weekend of Bethenny Frankel's tailgate-chic birthday BBQ and all the 'Wives are in the Hamptons to celebrate. Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John Mahdessian are staying with Jules Wainstein and her husband Michael at their Water Mill home, and Dorinda's still anxious about the residual fallout between her boyfriend and B. As they get ready for the party, Dorinda says point blank that John needs to apologize to Bethenny for his drunken assault at the bra party earlier in the week. However, Jules has perhaps the best solution for an conflict that may arise at the BBQ: just stuff your face with food.

rhony-bethenny-frankel

Meanwhile, Bethenny's prepping for the party at her gorgeous house in Bridgehampton. (For the record, the Skinnygirl mogul's house is literally my dream home. And Bethenny, if you're reading this, can I really come over any time I want?) In between setting up the giant mobile BBQ and the fire pits, Carole Radziwill arrives with her dog Baby. Sitting on the front porch, she and the birthday girl commiserate over their respective dramas with Luann de Lesseps and John.  Carole's plan is to maintain a friendly distance with her nemesis throughout the afternoon, but seeing as this is the first time Luann will be joining the rest of the Housewives at an event this season, things are bound to get interesting. 

rhony-john-mahdessian

The rest of the Housewives arrive and the party gets into full swing with an open bar of Moscow Mules and Spiked Hot Chocolate (featuring Skinnygirl liquor, of course.) Ramona Singer's in a cowboy hat and there's a whole lot of plaid going on, but when Dorinda and John arrive with Jules and Michael, it quickly becomes apparent that Bethenny is in no mood to have any kind of conversation with Dorinda's dry cleaner boyfriend at her party. In fact, she avoids him at all costs, telling some of the other partygoers that it feels like there's an obstruction in her home that she has to move around. With the hostess refusing to give him so much as a greeting, John is left to sulk in the corner with his Skinnygirl-branded cup, looking like an awkward, lonely puppy dog.

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

Always one to make an entrance, Luann arrives fashionably late and saunters into the party with a hula hoop on her arm. She's quick to bust out her hula-hooping skills and all I can wonder is "how has she not used this party trick before?!" Carole, however, is less than impressed with the Countess's ploy for attention and thinks she should've left the hula hoop at home. Carole immediately flees the scene and now this party has two low-speed chases going on: John's after Bethenny and Luann wants to force a conversation with Writer Girl. In fact, at one point the Countess's path crosses with the show's resident voice of reason like two ships passing awkwardly in the night, and point blank tells Carole she can't keep avoiding her forever. Hilariously, Carole's response is that actually...she can. 

rhony-luann-de-lesseps

Eventually, the two 'Wives come face-to-face over the fire pit, where everyone except Luann is roasting s'mores (the Countess does not eat marshmallows, darling). With Luann eyeing her from across the fire, Carole shoots out "I don't know what you're looking at, Lu," which finally opens the door for a confrontation between the two former friends. The Countess wants to have a conversation away from the group, but Carole insists that whatever she has to say can be said in front of everyone. When Luann tries to start by saying how nice it is to finally see Radzi after such a long time, the latter shoots back that of course it's been a long time - the last time they were together, they were screaming at each other at the Season 7 reunion. Luann claims that the pair said quite a few hurtful things to each other last year, but Carole immediately counters that there's no "we" in this situation. From her perspective, Luann was the one who had a lot of hurtful and nasty things to say about everything from her relationship with Adam to herself as a person. To prove her point, Carole challenges the Countess to come up with one single thing the writer said about her, and Luann dismisses the idea by insisting she doesn't want to rehash the past. 

rhony-carole-radziwill-luann-de-lesseps-feud

Switching gears, Luann brings up the lengthy social media war the two engaged in as their drama played out on TV, but again Carole points out that she was only trying to defend herself. After all, the Countess was the one who accused her of being a pedophile, made up stories about her relationship with Adam and claimed that the chef had still been dating her niece when Carole "broke them up." Luann insists she wants to move forward, but Carole simply has no intention of being friends with her erstwhile pal again. As the conversation continues to go in circles, the two Housewives refuse to see eye-to-eye and eventually just agree that they'll never be friends again, but to be polite when they see each other. I mean, they do have a show to film over the next several months right? They might as well get used to being forced into interacting once in a while...The big secret here is that if Luann had just given Carole a genuine apology and said "I'm sorry," I think their confrontation could have had a much more positive outcome. Maybe they can try again at Jules's brunch the next day?

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With the disastrous party winding down, Bethenny finally agrees to give John five minutes of her time for Dorinda's sake, but the conversation doesn't exactly go well either. John attempts to apologize for barging into his girlfriend's lingerie party and attacking Bethenny, but the Skinnygirl points out that he probably has very little recollection of what he actually did or said that night. She pointedly reminds him that he came into the party thinking he had a giant smoking gun to take her down by accusing her of stealing her brand's name from the founder of Skinny Cow. But here's the thing: when you attack Bethenny's business, the claws are going to come out. Not only were John's allegations incorrect, they were flat-out uneducated and ignorant. John defends himself by claiming that he was just trying to protect Dorinda after all the horrible things Bethenny had said to her about him, but the Skinnygirl once again puts him in his place by pointing out that he doesn't even know what she said to Dorinda. Was telling Dorinda to stop selling John so hard to the other ladies such an awful thing to say? However, John goes back to his excuse that he was just protecting the woman he loves and the discussion ends with a petulant apology. 

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Obviously, this wasn't how Dorinda envisioned the conversation going between her boyfriend and her friend, and comes close to breaking down in tears that the situation somehow just keeps getting worse. As Luann and Jules attempt to calm an emotional Dorinda down, Bethenny realizes that she has to put aside her feelings about John for the sake of her budding friendship with her cast mate. I personally love Bethenny and Dorinda together so I'm relieved that the Skinnygirl wants to make this difficult situation work so they can continue being friends. At some point a petty feud with a boyfriend isn't worth all the anguish and tears it's causing for poor Dorinda. As she states in her confessional, Bethenny has to find a way to wrap this giant problem up into some kind of bow so that her guests stop crying and don't spend the evening in a mental institution. So, she marches right up to John and pronounces that they can be completely fine from here on out for the sake of his girlfriend. The clean slate is all for Dorinda. And with that, the most awkward BBQ birthday party in the history of Bravo finally comes to an end.

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The next morning, Jules and Michael host a brunch at their expansive home in Water Mill for most of the other 'Wives except Ramona, who went back into the city for a date. Mario who? Needless to say, after all the awkward confrontations at the BBQ, Bethenny and Carole are less than thrilled to be there and vow to duck out as quickly as possible. Upon arrival, Bethenny doesn't make the most gracious impression on her hosts, offering her unsolicited opinions on the massive construction projects going on in their home. Getting a taste of B's know-it-all tendencies rubs Jules the wrong way, and the new 'Wife demands to know in her confessional who gave Bethenny the right to judge her house. Stay in your lane, B. However, Bethenny sees more than just the seven-year construction zone the Wainsteins seem to be living in. The Skinnygirl takes note that Jules doesn't seem to be eating anything at the schmear, opting instead to push copious amounts of food onto her guests. The new 'Wife's ultra-skinny stature has come up more than once already this season, and Bethenny sees this behavior as a textbook red flag that there might be a serious issue with Jules and an eating disorder. Yikes, I have a feeling we've heard far from the end of this subject and there is no way it can end well.

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Once Luann arrives with a date in tow, Carole is ready to hit the road and she and Bethenny plan a quick escape from the Wainsteins' schmear. Taking a quick tour of the room that will eventually house an indoor pool, B and Radzi make a beeline for the exit, avoiding nails, sawdust and dog poop on their way out. This mean girl escape doesn't sit well with Jules, who wonders openly to Dorinda why Bethenny had to be such a Debbie Downer during the whole meal. As Bethenny and Carole drive away giggling, it would appear that perhaps battle lines are being drawn between the new girl and the OG. Watch out Jules, the Skinnygirl is not a foe you want to mess with...

What did you think of the episode? Was that just the most awkward BBQ and brunch you've ever seen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below...

Revisiting #BookGate: RHONY's Season 6 Literary Feud

Glenn Rowley

rhony-bookgate

The Real Housewives of New York City have given us an endless number of memorable fights and feuds over the years. From Jill Zarin and Bethenny Frankel's iconic falling out and Kelly Bensimon's descent into madness on Scary Island during the show's third season to the battle between the blondes and brunettes that dominated much of Season 4, there are certainly plenty of confrontations viewers won't be forgetting any time soon. Since RHONY's eighth season premieres this Wednesday, I figured it would be fun to look back on one of my absolute favorite showdowns in the history of the series: Season 6's literary war between Aviva Drescher and Carole Radziwill that became known in the course of Housewives history as #BookGate. So let's go back a couple chapters and reexamine the epic battle between RHONY's one-legged villain and cool voice of reason.

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Our story begins at the start of Season 6, where Aviva has been offered a book deal between seasons to write a memoir and share her story as an amputee, appropriately titled Leggy Blonde. Now, this is a pretty standard branding opportunity for a Housewife: thanks to her role on the show, said 'Wife gets the chance to further establish her personal brand and cash in on her newfound celebrity status by publishing some type of book. We've seen it time and again, from Teresa Guidice's cookbook empire and Melissa Gorga's controversial "bible for marriage" to Taylor Armstrong's story as an abuse survivor following the suicide of her husband Russell in 2011. Earlier this year, we even got a peek into Tre's year-long stint in federal prison, thanks to the publication of her tell-all memoir mere weeks after her release date. Aviva's book, in particular, would tell the story of her life - from the farming accident that took her leg as a child to joining RHONY as part of the controversial Season 5 reboot.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

While book deals have become a dime a dozen in the Bravo universe, one 'Wife's literary accomplishments stand well about the rest. Coming into the franchise with a journalism career lasting more than two decades, a New York Times bestselling memoir and multiple awards under her belt, RHONY's Carole Radziwill is the real deal when it comes to putting pen to paper. In fact, Cool Carole's career as a writer was so well-known that Aviva gushed over her new co-star's first memoir, What Remains, upon meeting her in the Season 5 premiere. So naturally, when Aviva locked down her book deal, she called upon Carole for some advice and help. However, Aviva's bizarre and aggressive behavior throughout Season 5 hadn't exactly endeared her to her cast mates, and she found herself on the outs with Carole and the other ladies as Season 6 began. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

At Heather Thomson's birthday party in the Season 6 premiere, Aviva asked Carole for help editing Leggy Blonde, but the #BookGate feud officially kicked off when the pair went to lunch in the following episode. The meal started awkwardly enough when Aviva pulled out a pair of glasses nearly identical to the pair Carole had been rocking the previous season. Vivs pulled a full-blown Single White Female! Yikes. Off-putting to say the least. As Carole said in her confessional, imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery. Actual flattery is. As Aviva launched into telling Carole about how she'd spent the last few months under a rock writing her memoir, the conversation quickly took a strange turn. While Aviva had been working on her memoir, Carole was in the final editing stages of her first novel, A Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating. Comparing their different writing processes, Carole explained that she insisted her editor consult her on any changes that were over two letters, and asked how Aviva actually put her story on paper - did she end up hiring a ghostwriter?

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Much to Carole's surprise, Aviva balked at the suggestion she would have her book ghostwritten, and likened it to writing a long email. Never mind that hiring a ghostwriter for a celebrity memoir is a standard best practice in the publishing world or that Aviva had no previous writing experience, apparently sitting down to write your life story for a major publisher is just a breeze. Clearly bothered by the ghostwriter suggestion, Aviva somewhat inexplicably decided to go on the attack, turning the question around and asking whether Carole had either of her books ghostwritten. Now, let's just stop right here. This question is absolutely nonsensical, considering Carole's 20+ writing career. In her pre-Housewives life, the woman worked for Peter Jennings documentary unit at ABC News and won three Emmys and a Peabody Award. When she joined the show in 2012, Carole was still writing a monthly column for Glamour magazine. The insinuation that she would hire a ghostwriter for her memoir is not only bizarre and insulting, it's flat-out wrong.

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Naturally, this ghostwriter gossip quickly circulated among the other 'Wives, as both women rehashed the awkward lunch with the group. Carole rightfully felt that Aviva was trying to call both her career and personal integrity into question, while Aviva claimed that Carole was simultaneously one-upping her and putting her down. Further, Aviva started spreading rumors to the rest of the group that her publishing house had passed on Carole's new novel, and that "the word on the street" was that her first memoir was actually ghostwritten by legendary editor Bill Whitworth. These inflammatory accusations turned out to be the main topic of conversation at Aviva's housewarming party, prompting an infuriated Carole to pull the hostess aside mid-event for an impromptu confrontation.

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The conversation started out rather calmly, with Carole explaining that there wasn't any element of competition between the two 'Wives - she was happy Aviva got a book deal, but asked her not compare her singular memoir with Carole's entire journalism and writing career. It's like apples to insulting oranges. Not even remotely the same thing. However, once Aviva brought up the accusation about Bill Whitworth, Cool Carole went from voice of reason to rightfully enraged, calling Aviva a liar who had no idea what she was talking about. Aviva continued to run with her story that Widow's Guide had been turned down by her publisher, but Carole incredulously pointed out that her book had been the subject of an intense bidding war between six different publishing houses, which had been covered extensively in the press. Check your facts, Vivs. The argument continued to escalate, eventually spilling out into the stairwell in front of the other guests as Carole called Aviva a "mean, nasty, insulting bi***" and a soulless "psychopath." Storming out of the party, Carole declared her friendship with Aviva officially over, saying the other woman was "completely out of touch with reality." Aviva, of course, continued to vent to some of the other 'Wives, insisting that it "takes a village" to write a book and Carole couldn't possibly have done it herself.

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From that point on, the feud only intensified as the other 'Wives took sides and declared themselves either Team Carole or Team Aviva. As Carole's resident BFF on the show, Heather obviously took up for her alongside newcomer Kristen Taekman, while Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan were more supportive of Aviva. When Countess Luann de Lesseps hosted a BBQ for all the ladies at her home in the Hamptons, Carole and Aviva went for round 2 of their argument and Heather's protective side came out in full force to back up her bestie. Accusing Aviva of attempting to assassinate Carole's character with her gossip and rumors, the Yummie founder clashed with both Vivs and "image consultant" Amanda Sanders, whom the blonde villain had brought as backup. Ultimately, Heather jumping into the fight resulted in her gangsta side rearing its head as she unleashed "don't tell me anything, motherf***er!" on Aviva in the midst of the chaos. Don't mess with the Holla! queen, people.

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At Kristen's beachside clambake to celebrate the Fourth of July, the two women attempted to bury the #BookGate hatchet once and for all. Carole couldn't understand what she had said at their first lunch that was so offensive that it sparked Aviva's relentless campaign to slander her entire life's work. In just two years, Aviva had gone from Carole's superfan to maligning the very career she had so vocally admired in when they met. It was something akin to emotional whiplash. However, in yet another bizarre about-face, Aviva came to the beach ready to sing Carole's praises, admitting that she had read A Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating. Having somehow managed to get her hands on a pre-release copy meant for the press and people in the publishing industry, Aviva pulled Carole's book from her bag and claimed to have loved every page. With an outlandish "job well done," Aviva called a ceasefire on the episodes-long feud and the Housewives eventually moved on to other drama.

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While Carole spent the remainder of the season largely avoiding her frenemy, the #Bookgate drama was rehashed one final time during the Season 6 reunion. With Andy Cohen mediating, the two 'Wives simply couldn't see eye to eye. Despite maintaining that it "takes a village" to write a book, Aviva once again denied employing a ghostwriter for her memoir. (She also spouted off that Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird was supposedly ghostwritten by Truman Capote, but that's neither here nor there.) Carole justifiably pointed out that not all Housewives fights are created equal. This wasn't about ditching a trip or getting someone's blowout wet, this was Aviva attempting to discredit her entire life's work as a journalist and storyteller. Without any resolution in sight, Andy put a lid on the feud once and for all.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

To this day, Housewives fans have never gotten any definitive answers on who used a ghostwriter and who didn't. We may never know the full truth behind #BookGate. However, I think it's fairly safe to say that the evidence speaks for itself. Carole has an established, award-winning literary career, which she built over two decades as a journalist, author and now reality TV star. A Widow's Guide... was optioned as a TV show and she spent all of Season 7 working on her third book, which will be a collection of personal essays. In fact, her contract with her publisher even prevented her from blogging for Bravotv.com during the season. Aviva, on the other hand, was fired following Season 6 for refusing to take part in either of the cast's trips to the Berkshires and Montana and manufacturing the infamous leg throw at Le Circque during the season finale. I don't know about you, but in the epic battle for literary glory, I say Writer Girl comes out unequivocally on top.

Whose side were you on in the #BookGate drama? Do you miss Aviva's antics on the show? Comment below and don't forget to tune in to Season 8 of The Real Housewives of New York City, premiering Wednesday, April 6 only on Bravo!

Faye Resnick: Morally Corrupt or Misunderstood?

Glenn Rowley

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For the past six seasons of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Faye Resnick has been a lightning rod of criticism and controversy nearly every time she's appeared onscreen. After a couple of seasons away from the cameras, the sometimes-Friend of the Housewives has returned in the current sixth season and ignited a firestorm amongst 'Wives and viewers alike. However, after all her time on the show, the question needs to be asked: does Faye deserve the bad rap she's received or is she simply being misrepresented? For this week's feature, I'm looking back on Faye's intermittent appearances on RHOBH to figure out the answer.

Season 1

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Faye's first appearance on RHOBH was during Season 1's now-iconic Dinner Party From Hell. Three quarters of the way through the season, Camille Grammer hosted the meal at her palatial Malibu estate that would set the precedent for all subsequent dinner parties in every city of the Housewives franchise. Besides the 'Wives, Camille invited her best friend Dedra Whitt as well as psychic medium Allison DuBois to the dinner party and Kyle Richards brought along Faye for support. All season long, Kyle and Camille had been butting heads over an off-hand comment Kyle had supposedly made off-camera questioning why anyone would be interested in Camille without her (soon-to-be ex-)husband Kelsey. Kyle denied making the comment, calling Camille "insecure" and "such a f***ing liar," which escalated the feud between the two. Needless to say, by the time the infamous dinner party rolled around, the two weren't exactly on the friendliest terms.

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All in all, the Dinner Party from Hell started civilly until Camille requested an explanation of who exactly Faye was. At the far end of the table, Kyle began explaining that Faye was a longtime friend of her family's, but Camille cut her off to declare that she knew where she'd seen Faye before: posing in Playboy after the O.J. Simpson trial. (A little background: in the 90s, Faye was Nicole Brown Simpson's best friend and was even living with her up until a few days before her gruesome murder. She became a key player in the subsequent media frenzy and trial, turning her into something of a household name at the time.) In her confessional, Camille dubbed her "the morally corrupt Faye Resnick" and the nickname stuck like glue. I mean sure, Camille had posed for Playboy at one point too, but it was for the Book of Lingerie and she wasn't coming off the murder trial of the century, OK? From there the dinner party descended into chaos, filled with contagious fighting and cruel, alcohol-fueled "readings" from an e-cigarette puffing medium we'll never forget. Know that.

Season 3

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After a few appearances in Season 2 (she was there when we met Brandi Glanville at the "wedge but no bra party"), Faye's presence on RHOBH increased in the third season. The primary source of drama that year surrounded the feud between Brandi Glanville and Adrienne Maloof involving secrets Brandi had made public about Adrienne's family. (In fact, the information was so private that Bravo was legally barred from sharing it on camera, though we later learned through the media that the secret involved the surrogacy of Adrienne and Paul Nassif's children.) As a friend of Kyle's, Faye was present at numerous group events at the time and when Kyle threw a small dinner to break in her newly-renovated dining room, Faye was on the guest list. Adrienne, however, was not at the party. Following her massive blow-up with Brandi in the episode prior, the tension was at an all-time high and she chose not to attend. Naturally, the explosive drama was the night's topic of conversation and Faye took it upon herself to go head-to-head with Brandi and defend the absent Adrienne. 

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What Faye said made perfect sense as she called Brandi out for her history of hitting below the belt and turning on her cast mates for seemingly no reason. However, going on the attack made Brandi look like the victim in the situation and as the blonde bad girl excused herself from the table and left the party in a flurry of tears and "poor me" platitudes, Faye was left looking like the bad guy. Sensing they had a potential pot-stirrer on their hands, Bravo promptly promoted Faye to official Friend of the Housewives status - adding her to an already gigantic cast. However, and this I will never understand, viewers responded overwhelmingly negatively to Faye on the show, inexplicably siding with Brandi even though Adrienne and her family were the real victims. In fact, when Faye wrote her first (and only) blog for Bravotv.com to tell her side of the story and again defend Adrienne, it was so unanimously reviled by fans and inundated with negative comments that the blog post was taken down, never to be read again - and with it, Faye's role as an unintentional villain was cemented in the Housewives lexicon.

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Due to her upgraded role on the show, Faye continued to appear at major events throughout the remainder of the season. She took an absent Kim's place at the tea party thrown by Lisa Vanderpump which devolved into a screaming match between Adrienne and Brandi over who was suing who, and had a front-row seat to their next confrontation at Kyle's annual White Party. While Faye wasn't invited on the cast trip to Paris, she helped Kyle celebrate the opening of her store, Kyle by Alene Too (which Faye designed) and reveled in filling the ladies in at the launch party for Adrienne's new vodka line on some of Brandi's naughty behavior at the White Party. (Apparently, the bad girl of Beverly Hills had a little less-than-fully-clothed sexy time with a stranger in Kyle's daughter's room in the middle of the party...) She even got her own confessional look by season's end! If a Friend of the Housewives' job was to show up to events and stir the pot, Faye was certainly doing a good job of it. 

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At Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd's 30th anniversary vow renewal, which served as the Season 3 finale, Faye did a quick job of inserting herself squarely in the middle of the drama. In the wake of Adrienne and Paul's announcement that they were separating, she faced off once again with Brandi over the self-proclaimed truth cannon's role in the demise of the marriage. Further, she warned Yolanda Foster that she was being manipulated by the former model, and when Brandi demanded she "be a lady" and leave the conversation, Faye delivered her most quotable moment of the season: "No matter how many Chanels you borrow, you will never, ever be a lady." She followed that barb up by asking Brandi how she felt about breaking up a family, thereby placing blame squarely on Brandi's shoulders for adding undue stress to Adrienne and Paul's relationship. Later, Faye took aim at Lisa Vanderpump, accusing the queen bee of getting Brandi's mouth to do most of the dirty work for her in her season-long vendetta against Adrienne. Obviously, Lisa was insulted by this suggestion and turned around to accuse Faye of being Kyle's mouthpiece when she happened to use a chess analogy to describe Lisa's behind-the-scenes machinations. Inevitably, the entire cast joined the conversation, arguing over who fights whose battles and whether Brandi was playing tiddlywinks in Portia's room at 1 a.m. the night of the White Party. Tiddlywinks? Talk about a random reference for the season to go out on...

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Faye wasn't invited to attend the Season 3 reunion, likely because of the negative response from viewers about her, but that doesn't mean she wasn't a hot topic of conversation at the sit-down. In a segment from the Secrets Revealed episode, Brandi, Lisa and Kyle went at it over whether Faye really was her friend's mouthpiece during the season. Lisa insisted that Faye must have been on Kyle's payroll, but Kyle fired back that Faye was her own person with her own opinions. And further, Kyle swore up and down that she had never needed a mouthpiece in her life - clearly evidenced by the past three seasons - so why would she start now? Without Faye there to defend herself, however, I suppose we'll never know the full story. Then, following the overwhelming backlash she received from fans, Faye all but disappeared for the next two seasons of the show. 

Season 6

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Cut to Season 6, where things start to get reeeeeally interesting. After a couple years away, Faye returned to the show this season - not in any official capacity, but as Kyle's friend - redesigning Kyle's new closet and coming to events. Somewhat serendipitously, a new wave of public interest has brought the O.J. Simpson trial back into the forefront of pop culture, likely fueled by the murder trial's 20th anniversary at the end of 2015. Just as Faye starts popping back up on the show, new Housewife Kathryn Edwards joins the cast. It turns out that at the time of Nicole Simpson Brown's murder, Kathryn was married to Marcus Allen, who was one of O.J.'s best friends. During the year-long trial, Faye capitalized on her first 15 minutes of fame by partnering with Mike Walker, a gossip columnist for The National Enquirer, to write Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted. In the scandalous book, Faye alleged that Nicole had an affair with Marcus Allen and that Kathryn turned a blind eye to the dalliance. Both Marcus and Kathryn denied the accusation, but it became a part of the media's narrative as the nation followed along on the edge of its seat. Tell me that all of these moving pieces coming together is just a coincidence...

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When Kathryn was introduced on the show part-way through this season and her connection with O.J. Simpson was discovered, one of Kyle's first questions was, obviously, whether she knew Faye. Kathryn vehemently denied ever meeting her and explained that 20 years of bad blood remain between the women over what Faye wrote about Kathryn in her book. According to the new 'Wife, neither her name nor her ex-husband was ever mentioned in any connection to the tragedy until Faye's book dragged them into the frenzy. Needless to say, she didn't view Faye in the most positive of lights. Yet, with Kathryn starting to hang around Kyle and the other women, it was only a matter of time before she came face-to-face with the nemesis she had never met. Little did she know that opportunity would come sooner rather than later. 

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In just the next episode, Kyle invited all the ladies - including both Kathryn and Faye - to a small BBQ at her house. Upon learning that Kathryn was on the guest list, Faye insisted to Kyle that she held no ill will toward the other woman, but had no desire to bring up the past and force such a sensitive conversation. Kathryn, on the other hand, was ready for a fight. After building a war up in her head between herself and Faye, she confronted her enemy at the BBQ over what she saw as the giant, 20-year-old elephant in the room. However, as I broke down in my episode recap, Faye was having none of it and politely refused to engage in the confrontation, saying there wasn't much left to talk about at this point and issuing a blanket apology at the table to anyone she had offended or hurt. This effectively took the air out of Kathryn's fired up sails, though it didn't stop her from contending with Kyle the next week over whether Faye was a good person.

Who is Faye Resnick? 

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So, is Faye Resnick the "morally corrupt" villain she's been made out to be or is she a casualty of editing and viewer misperception? This may not be a popular opinion, but I'd say that based on what we've actually seen on the show, I'm leaning towards the latter. Hear me out, though. The biggest thing that makes me stop and consider is the number of Housewives who have spoken up in Faye's defense. It's well-known that Kyle is my all-time favorite Housewife, so I may be a little biased but I'm confident in saying that she is a good judge of character. As she stated at the end of the BBQ, Faye is the friend Kyle knows she can count on at 3 in the morning and has been through thick and thin with her. On top of that, numerous other 'Wives including Kim Richards, Eileen Davidson and Camille Grammer have all defended Faye in the media. Camille even publicly apologized for the "morally corrupt" moniker, saying in a recent interview with Bravo's Daily Dish that she wishes people would stop using the insult to describe Faye, whom she's gotten to know and developed a friendship with in the intervening years. The list of 'Wives who don't like Faye include the following: Brandi Glanville and Lisa Vanderpump. Does that tell you anything?

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The fact also remains that - when you actually break it down - Faye has never actually done anything on the show to warrant such a negative backlash. The Dinner Party from Hell was the very first impression that viewers got of her, and let's face it, no one came out of that night unscathed. When it comes to Faye's involvement in Season 3, I have to say that I largely agree with her. No, she didn't always handle things as properly as she could have (i.e. the Chanel bags low blow), but I side with her for sticking up for Adrienne in the feud with Brandi. I was on Team Adrienne from the beginning and I think it's safe to say that with hindsight, a lot of fans would now agree with me that Brandi was in the wrong. Whether we'll see more of Faye this season is something we'll have to wait to find out, but until then we can be sure to watch Connie Britton's riveting portrayal of her on FX's The People vs. O.J. Simpson...or just binge from The Dinner Party from Hell all the way through to the Moulin Rouge party. Who's up for a marathon? 

What do you think of Faye's time on RHOBH? Let me know in the comments!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 9 - Busted BBQ

Glenn Rowley

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We're at episode nine and the gang is finally all here! That's right, we finally have a full cast and updated intro, and it only took a little over two months. I was so excited to finally see Kathryn in the opening credits, but there's one thing I'm confused about. Prior to the season, Bravo revealed that her tagline would be "My advice: always speak your mind and carry a good handbag." (Which, as of this writing, is still her reported tagline on Bravotv.com...) However, when her moment finally came, sandwiched between Yolanda and Lisa Vanderpump, we heard something completely new: "Don't hate the game, just marry a player." It's amusing and is clearly supposed to reference her marriage with former NFL linebacker Donnie Edwards, but I don't understand the reason for the switch. I'm just happy she's finally here and that gaping spot behind Yolanda in the main title is finally filled.

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The episode starts with Lisa V. and Ken taking a casual trip down to the local sex shop. Before you jump to any conclusions, no this isn't for anything to do with the couple's twice yearly roll in the hay. Apparently, Ken has taken out the lease on the space with hopes of turning it into an English tavern and restaurant. Lisa isn't pleased that Ken made the decision without consulting her, but she's so distracted by the various whips, toys and vibrating rubber duckies that she doesn't know where to direct her frustration. Ken tries to use the excuse that in five to ten years, they can gift the restaurant to Max, but Lisa's still not budging. It'll take much more than a shot at her motherly soft spot to get her to change her mind.

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After last week's teaser, we finally get a proper introduction to Kathryn. Can I just start by pointing out how stunning with a capital S Kathryn is? Like I mentioned, the newest Housewife is married to Donnie Edwards, a retired NFL star who played 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. He also happens to be nearly nine years her junior. That's a touchdown for sure. Right after high school, Kathryn moved to Paris, became a professional model, and eventually moved back to LA in 1984. Due to their successful careers and some smart investment decisions, the Edwards' are rolling in dough and apparently don't have to work for the rest of their lives, splitting their time instead between Brentwood and San Diego. Rather than have children, the couple live a rather nomadic life of traveling the world and shopping for 3.8 million dollar diamond necklaces. Small change, right? My first impression of Kathryn so far has been great - I'm digging this girl. 

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Following a quick montage of Kyle inviting all the ladies to a BBQ at her house (as she hopes in her interview that Faye and Kathryn can start fresh upon meeting for the first time) and Eileen and her family packing up for a trip to Italy, old acquaintances Lisa Rinna and Kathryn meet for breakfast at LA eatery Sweet Butter. These two go way back to the early 90s, though I can't quite get a read on how close they really were back then. However, Kathryn points out that she knew Lisa Rinna before her famous lips, so you know that was quite a long time ago. Incidentally, we learn that Kathryn's lips (and boobs) are real - beyond Botox and fillers, she's never ventured into plastic surgery territory. This is virtually unheard of in the Hills of Beverly, which Lisa Rinna's lips are all to quick to point out.

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Next, Kyle meets Faye Resnick at home decorating store Modshop to go over some ideas for her brand new dressing room. Having decorated Kyle's home, her store and Paris and Nicky Hilton's abodes, this is Faye's area of expertise. While they shop, Kyle brings up how she met Kathryn and gives Faye a heads up that she'll be at the BBQ that weekend. Despite both women being connected to Nicole Brown Simpson and the murder trial of the century, Faye expresses that she's not ready to have a conversation with Kathryn - or anyone for that matter - about such a painful time in her life that's now 20+ years in the past. As a refresher for those of you who don't know, Faye was Nicole Brown Simpon's best friend at the time of her death, and had actually been living at Nicole's house with her prior to the murder. (Just a few days before, Nicole actually held an intervention for Faye - who was dealing with drug addiction - coincidentally putting her in a rehab center the night of the crime.) 

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In the most touching moment of the episode, we see Eileen arrive in Sant'Angnello, Italy to spread some of her sister Connie's ashes. The country was one of Connie's favorite places, so it feels appropriate that it should be the final resting place for a piece of her. Via confessional, Eileen tearfully explains that her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, but chose not to tell her family that it was in fact terminal. In doing so, Eileen and the rest of her family were blindsided by Connie's death, left behind with pain, guilt and questions about what they could have done had they known the gravity of her illness. Looking out over the Mediterranean from the balcony of her villa, Eileen says a few emotional words before spreading Connie's ashes over the water. It's an incredibly vulnerable moment to share with cameras filming, but Eileen must have felt it was an important part of her journey to share on the show.

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Back in Beverly Hills, Saturday rolls around quickly and while Kyle is putting her last minute touches on the dinner party, Kathryn stops by Villa Rosa on her way to the BBQ to make friends with Lisa V. and her swans. The two women sit down for a cup of tea before heading to Kyle's, and Lisa is immediately on the offensive - asking pointed questions about the newbie's life while offering virtually nothing about herself. It's the exact same thing she's done this season to both Eileen and Erika, and before Kathryn can even finish a sentence, Lisa is already on to the next question. "You're married to someone younger, right?" "How much younger?" "What's that like?" "Do you feel the age difference in your relationship?" The questions come rapid-fire one after another, leaving Kathryn feeling vaguely as if she's been interrogated. Welcome to LVP's world, Kath...

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As the women arrive at Kyle's, they are surprised by three things: Kyle's gorgeous purple dress, the lack on any actual barbecued food and the fact that Yolanda showed up for the party. Just 10 days out from her surgery, Yo is nevertheless there, bandaged up, in flip-flops, sans-makeup. However, no one is more shocked to see the Dutch beauty than Lisa Rinna, who looks like a deer in headlights as the comments she's made about Yolanda possibly having Munchausen syndrome flash through her mind. A backyard BBQ certainly isn't the time to bring up that drama, so Yolanda educates the girls about why she's stopped using nail polish, hair dye, makeup and basically anything artificial. (Apparently the toxins in these products aren't worth the potential risk to Yo's health.)

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Kathryn and Lisa V. are the last to arrive, and are both visibly taken aback by the sight of Faye at the party. I understand why Kathryn might be wary, but I have a really difficult time seeing why Lisa would be the least bit surprised that Faye would be at an event thrown by Kyle. Ever the hostess, Kyle tries to facilitate a friendly introduction between Faye and Kathryn, but it quickly awkward as Kathryn turns her attention abruptly to Erika's neon pink stilettos. Pulling Lisa Rinna aside, LVP explains that she's still holding onto Faye's perceived attack at her 30th anniversary party in the Season 3 finale, and she hasn't seen the recurring cast member since then. With near-perfect timing, Faye walks right by the gossiping pair, and Lisa Rinna stops her, putting it all out on the table by asking what the deal is between her and Lisa V. Faye rather graciously explains that both she and Lisa were merely being protective friends of Kyle and Brandi, respectively, at the time, and expresses that she doesn't harbor any hard feelings about the issue anymore. Granted, it has been three years now - you'd think it would be time for Lisa to just let it go.

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Once Camille(!!!) arrives and the ladies take their seats - with Kathryn conveniently seated directly across from Faye - conversation turns to Yolanda and her recovery. The women remind Lisa R. that she needs to come clean to Yolanda eventually about what she said, and the M-word gets thrown out again. Overhearing the conversation, Erika finds the accusation alarming and points out in her confessional that Yolanda has a really wonderful life. Why would she choose to be in bed all day with a bathrobe on? Kyle asks aloud what's going on with Bella and Anwar's Lyme disease and Lisa V. chimes in that Yolanda maintains the two kids have it, but her ex-husband Mohamed says they are just fine. Obviously confused, Kyle questions what that means, with Yolanda saying one thing and Mohamed saying the complete opposite, but Lisa quickly tries to shut the conversation down. This Lyme disease subject simply refuses to die, no matter how hard any of the women attempt to quiet the gossip. 

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Changing the subject, Erika asks Lisa Rinna about the Playboy cover she shot while pregnant, which leads to an informal survey of how many women at the table have appeared in the famous magazine. The answer is three: Lisa Rinna (twice!), Camille and Faye. Almost immediately, Faye excuses herself from the table, followed by Kyle, giving Lisa R. the perfect opportunity to ask Kathryn what the deal is between them. Kathryn fills the two Lisas and Erika in on the book Faye wrote about Nicole, in which she alleged that Kathryn's husband at the time, Marcus Allen (who was O.J. Simpson's best friend), was having an affair with Nicole, and that Kathryn turned a blind eye to the indiscretion. However, Kathryn maintains that she never actually read what Faye wrote about her, only ever hearing from other sources and the tabloids that she was being dragged into the O.J story. Nevertheless, she's planned out a confrontation with Faye for the past 20 years, saying that Kyle's friend is someone she's always "held a dagger for." Ever the pragmatist, Erika finds it a tiny bit ridiculous that Kathryn is so worked up over something she never actually read. If you're hellbent on confronting someone over something they wrote about you in a book, shouldn't you read it first?

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When Faye and Kyle return to the table, Kathryn is fired up and decides now is the time to bring up the giant elephant she's been waiting 20 years to confront. Kathryn point blank tells Faye that she doesn't appreciate being brought into the story of O.J. and Nicole, which only happened because of what Faye alleged in her book. Faye had never met Kathryn and didn't know her and the newbie insists that if Faye had anything to say to her, she should've said it to her face. However, Faye counters that she doesn't have anything to say to anyone about that time in their lives - sometimes the past is best left in the past. This clearly isn't the conversation Kathryn was hoping to have, but Faye effectively shuts it down by simply smiling and refusing to engage in an argument. To Faye, there isn't much left to discuss at this point, which all but takes the wind out of Kathryn's sails. The new 'Wife presses the issue for a second round by specifically bringing up the book, but Faye calmly insists that there was nothing pejorative or slanderous in what she wrote about her. Kathryn agrees that there wouldn't be anything disparaging to write about in the first place, and Faye asks if she feels better having gotten it off her chest. The only thing Kathryn can really do at this point is say yes.

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Addressing the table, Faye explains that she isn't looking to have a merry-go-round of conversations about O.J. or Nicole, and issues a blanket apology for anything she's done to offend anyone in the group. In her interview, Kathryn admits that she feels slightly cheated out of her big moment because she was ready to destroy Faye with a verbal smackdown. But clearly, Faye had the upper hand in the situation. Feeling the need to defend her BFF, Kyle voices that besides any issue Kathryn has with her, Faye has always been a loyal and dedicated friend during their 20+ years of friendship. She's the person Kyle knows she can count on at 3 in the morning - if she needs her, Faye will be there. Now, Faye has been villanized quite a bit over the course of the show's history, but I have to say that being this type of friend to not only Kyle, but her entire family, definitely counts for something and has to speak volumes to her true character. There's more to Faye Resnick than what we see in her sporadic and memorable appearances on the show. In her final confessional sound byte, Kathryn says it's fine if Faye wants to move on from the past, but vows she'll never be her friend. Based on the previews for next week, it appears that this elephant named O.J. is far from being put to bed.