‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ is an American reality television series that premiered on Bravo in October 2010. Similar to the other series of ‘The Real Housewives’ franchise, it follows the daily lives of selected rich or famous women, with the exception that most of the cast lives in or near Beverly Hills, California. It’s the sixth instalment in the franchise, but unlike the other series, the cast featured in ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ includes a greater selection of celebrities.
The current cast includes ‘Days of Our Lives’ star Lisa Rina, famous socialite Kyle Richards, singer Erika Girardi, and the famous model, Garcelle Beauvais, but the original cast also once included Denise Richards, Yolanda Hadid, and Lisa Vanderpump. Despite featuring more stars, the popularity of the Beverly Hills series pales in comparison to the original Orange County and Atlanta versions, yet has gathered enough of a following to keep the production going.
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Currently in its tenth season, the housewives of Beverly Hills have entertained viewers by flaunting their style, class, money and, of course, lavish lifestyles filled with drama highlighted by sometimes wine-fueled conflict, for more than two hundred episodes.
Regardless of unstable ratings, it is most apparent that fans simply can’t get enough of all the intrigue, drama, and cat-fights supplied by some of Hollywood’s most eccentric housewives. The show has been on the air now for nearly eleven years, during which viewers bid farewell to some of their most adored cast members, but also welcomed new stars. Unsurprisingly, the new housewives have kept the audience as intrigued as the original cast, bringing along their own drama, conflict, and controversial antics to entertain the viewers.
Among all the housewives of the entire ‘Real Housewives’ collection, the ladies of Beverly Hills apparently enjoy creating scandals and causing controversy the most, as it is by far the most scandalous series in the bunch.
From once playing host to child actress Kim Richards, and her sister’s addiction drama, to restaurant owner Lisa Vanderpump, who gained her own show that became famous for providing controversial entertainment, a former star who seemed addicted to profanity, and now an exhibitionist who can’t seem to keep her dress on for too long, the show has seen it all. Yet, if you think you know everything about the ladies from Beverly Hills, then we might just have a few surprises for you.
Aside from what appears on camera, it seems a few more secrets hide behind the scenes, and, of course, a couple of scandals no one wants to mention.
Home Away From The Hills
With so many reality shows producing lies and deceitful content, viewers simply can’t help but question their favourite programs, wondering if everything is as it seems. Unfortunately, ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ has not been entirely honest with their audience.
While the show’s drama might be realistic, digging up all the hidden lies, one will discover that the show contradicts its title, and this is a secret that many fanatics and viewers might not know.
After all, it is only a minor flaw and an easily disguised lie that viewers would not easily observe, nonetheless, fans and viewers might feel hoodwinked, especially since this lie existed right from the start. Unlike its counterpart series, the stars of Beverly Hills don’t actually live in the neighbourhood suggested by the title. With a little digging, one will discover that the stars live in parts of Los Angeles far removed from Beverly Hills, and this includes even the original cast, as well as the most recently featured housewives.
However, do not be fooled – the neighbourhoods where some of the families reside are still exclusive and very expensive, staying true to the concept of portraying the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The original stars Lisa Vanderpump and Adrienne Maloof lived in the Beverly Park community, a secluded, high-security complex found in the Hollywood Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
Kyle Richards and Taylor Armstrong resided in Bel-Air, and, as everyone might know, Camille Grammer made it very clear that she lived in Malibu. Kyle’s sister, Kim, stayed in Westlake Village, while Brandi Glanville lives in Encino. As one can see, the stars never reside strictly in the 90210 neighbourhood, but then keep in mind that most of them have or had multiple residences, even estates, and throughout the series, the stars moved plenty of times.
Taylor’s Many Identities
Taylor Armstrong made her name on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’, but Taylor’s name and identity are as deceiving as the stars’ actual addresses. Today, she might be renowned by through name Taylor, but long before she appeared on the show, she had a completely different identity.
— OMFGRealityTV (@OMFGRealityTV) February 5, 2021
Many would even have considered the rich housewife an average Jane with a fairly common background. Over several years, Taylor continuously changed her name, assuming a total of four different identities. The exact reasons why seem to be a mystery that no one could uncover as of yet, however, a few inquisitive and resourceful sleuths discovered her birth name and hometown.
It seems that Taylor hails from Independence, Kansas, and people once knew her as Shana Lynette Hughes until 1993, when she legally changed her name to Shana Taylor. Then in 2005, after moving to Beverly Hills and starting an e-commerce business, she once again changed her name, this time assuming the moniker, Taylor Ford. Not long afterwards, Taylor met her now former husband, Russel Armstrong, and after tying the knot with him, she of course accepted his family name.
Thus she became the Taylor Armstrong fans of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ have come to know and adore.
In 2014, Taylor married again, this time to a Los Angeles attorney, John Bluher, but it appears that she’s grown tired of changing names, as she’s maintained her public image and identity of Taylor Armstrong.
The Armstrong Struggle
Of the scandals that occurred on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ perhaps the darkest yet happened to the Armstrong Family. In 2005, Taylor met Russel, a charming venture capitalist who would soon become her husband, while waiting for a table at a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
The two fell in love, got hitched, and in 2006 Taylor gave birth to their only child, daughter Kennedy Caroline Russel. Unfortunately, Taylor’s fairytale romance became a dark story, as the man she once adored showed a side of himself few could love. The once loving husband started abusing Taylor, but for years Taylor would keep quiet about their broken marriage and the torture she endured.
Then, in 2010, Taylor joined the original cast of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’. During her appearance on the show, rumours of a bad marriage and financial problems plagued Taylor.
The rumours eventually resulted in an altercation with her fellow cast members, and the ensuing fight became a popular internet meme known as ‘the lady yelling at a cat’. The abuse became so bad that Taylor had to undergo surgery for an orbital fracture, which required a titanium mesh implant to hold up her eye.
However, in the following year 2011, Taylor confessed to the truth, and took the courage to file for divorce. Sadly, though, shortly after their divorce was finalised, Taylor discovered that her ex-husband had committed suicide at his rented home in Mulholland Drive on 15 August. After some investigation, people learned that his failed marriage was not the only motive behind his dark and untimely passing.
As it turns out, Russel embezzled money from several clients, and was on the verge of bankruptcy. As a result, not only was the Armstrong family robbed of their sole provider, but Russel left his wife and daughter without any financial support – in fact, his amassed debt became the responsibility of his ex-wife.
To settle the debts, Taylor sold most of her assets, which included her wedding band. Undoubtedly, the years Taylor Armstrong spent on the show were a true struggle, but to many people’s surprise, she eventually seemed to get out of it all just fine.
The one thing that viewers love to see in ‘The Real Housewives’ series will always be drama. When it comes to creating such excitement, the Beverly Hills housewives would be in the lead to receive the crown as the queens, considered perhaps only second to the ladies of Atlanta. Only too bad, though, that the viewer ratings don’t always reflect their prestigious ability of dramatic flare.
Nonetheless, of all the series in the franchise, no other has played host to as many dramatic departures as Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, of course this meant that fans have had to bid farewell to more than a few of their favourite housewives who, very likely, have been dearly missed by their adoring public. Some of the departures even turned out to be as shocking as the drama that led the stars to their decision, surprising everyone with the final result.
The most noteworthy departure, as many fans would recall, was the sad day fans bid Yolanda Hadid farewell.
Throughout her appearances, Yolanda stole the hearts of viewers with her mild temperament, always appearing sweet and kind, and hardly involved with any drama. Thus, when the show’s most adored member left the screen, it sent shockwaves through the entire fan community. What made things even worse was the drama she endured during her final season as a ‘Real Housewife’.
After battling Lyme disease for years, it simply became too much of a burden, and the sad fact that her fellow stars drew her suffering into doubt, only made things all the worse. To top that, her marriage to David Foster crumbled in front of the cameras, and sadly ended in divorce.
Hadid’s departure preceded two more dramatic exits, as Brandi and Adrienne also left the show under dramatic circumstances. Fans would forever associate Brandi’s departure with her dramatic altercations with Vanderpump and Eileen Davidson, which ended with spilt wine and a memorable slap in the face.
Before that, there was Adrienne Maloof’s lawsuit against Brandi, which caused such a great upset that Maloof refused to attend that season’s reunion. The hills certainly came alive with the sound of drama, not music!
Child Star Turned Bad
Kim Richards might possibly be the most interesting cast member featured on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’. Not only is she a child star who rose to prominence in the seventies, enjoying a successful career all through to the nineties, but she is also the second aunt of socialite personalities Nicky and Paris Hilton.
Kim appears on the show with her full-blood sister, Kyle Richards, joining the original cast when the show started in 2010. Unfortunately, due to personal struggles, she left the show after completing the fifth season, and only appears every so often as a guest on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’.
As many fans might know, Kim has wrestled for years with alcoholism, as viewers would witness time after time how Kim attended rehabilitation only to relapse again and again.
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— jagger kemsley stan (@lohanity20) February 4, 2021
Yet, the child star hides a few details about her past that only the most dedicated viewers would know, including a white sheet offence of shoplifting. In the summer of 2016, Kim spent a night in the local Los Angeles holding cells after a citizen placed her under arrest for lifting a shopping cart filled with goods and toys valued at $1000 from a Target store.
No one knows what motivated or caused the said incident, but it clearly seems that she could have afforded to pay for the goods, since she posted her bail of $5000 the following morning. It is possible that she may not have been sober at the time, especially considering that earlier the previous year, police arrested Kim for public intoxication, or that she’s simply a hopeless kleptomaniac, but unlikely.
A Formal Decline
Back in 2013, when both Camille Grammer and Adrienne Maloof departed from the show, ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ faced the roughest time in its history.
In March, the show reported that it suffered a great loss in viewer interest as the ratings dropped by a massive 32%, which would be maintained for two more seasons.
At the time, the finale of the fourth season was rated as the least viewed of the entire series, and it became clear to the producers that they’d lost the fan’s favourite housewives. As a means to recover viewer interest, the producers began searching for suitable replacements who would once again capture the interest of the audience.
Among their considerations, rumour had it that Rod Stewart’s wife, Penny Lancaster, was in the running, however, Rod adamantly decided that his wife would never appear on the show. Rod went on record saying that she had no interest in doing that sort of thing, and that she’s most happy simply being a mother.
Around this time, Yolanda Hadid joined the cast, allowing the producers to recover at least some viewer interest. Yet the stars that really saved the show’s ratings were Lisa Rina and Eileen Davidson.
When they joined the show’s fifth season, the ratings once again improved.
The Grammer Scandal
When the first season of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ aired, viewers got a peek into Camille Grammer’s seemingly happy marriage, but as time passed, fans learned that things fell apart in a rather dramatic manner. As many might know, Grammer’s husband, Kelsey, worked in New York while Camille stayed in California as the homemaker.
Unbeknown to Camille, her husband’s support for her appearance on the show was a ploy to keep her busy in California while he could spend time with his mistress. Kelsey’s scheme, however, fell apart when Camille one day decided to visit their home in New York, and upon her arrival, the staff informed her that she wasn’t the real Mrs Grammer.
So Camille learned that Kelsey had met a flight attendant during his travels, and as a result of their affair, the young woman expected his child. Instead of trying his best to cover up the scandal, Kelsey simply sought a means to keep his wife distracted.
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Shortly after the discovery, Kelsey and Camille filed for divorce, and upon its completion, Kelsey went ahead to marry his young flight attendant girlfriend.
Needless to say, after living through a traumatic event filmed for the whole world to see, Camille refused to return to the show as a full-time cast member. These days, she only appears as a guest and friend of the main cast members.
Although Bravo is yet to announce the release of the eleventh season, fans can rest assured that the next season will take place. As of yet, no news of its air date has reached anyone, and because of the global pandemic it’s been delayed indefinitely, but dedicated viewers are hopeful that it will air sometime later in 2021.
If you can’t get enough of housewife drama, keep your ears to the ground and eyes peeled, because the word is, the next season will be just as dramatic and intriguing as the previous. Fans can look forward to the return of familiar faces, although sadly some have also left the building.