The last time fans of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills saw Kim Richards, she was defending her sobriety on the show. With the exception of scarfing one of her ex-husband’s pain pills for digestive issues, Kim claimed there had been no other slips. That slip led to a nasty fall off the wagon on April 16 when Richards was arrested at the swanky Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills and charged with public intoxication, trespassing, resisting an officer and battery on a police officer. She is due to appear at the LAX Superior Court on June 10.
Richards sat down with Dr. Phil on his talk show for a country-fied intervention/interview. The good doctor had his game face on, and he was ready to get down to business. Put out that Richards was late for the interview, Dr. Phil questions if Kim was trying to delay the interview, an accusation she immediately dismisses.
The Last Straw
It appears that the stress of filming Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, watching the episodes, writing the Bravo blog and viewers’ reactions contributed to Kim’s relapse. She says that the morning of her arrest, she checked out Twitter and was inundated with negative tweets. People calling her a liar, a drunk and all-around mean girl.
Kim’s life, both on camera and off, has been tense. Between taking care of her ex, who has cancer, dealing with her kids, and her strained relationship with sister and RHOBH co-star, Kyle Richards, Kim was ready to implode. Here’s a tip, Kim, if you don’t want people to talk about you, don’t star in a reality TV show.
Kim breaks down and says her tipping point was the deterioration of her relationships with her sister and niece and how that situation has played out on social media. For someone who claimed to be content estranged from her sister during the reunion, Kim’s singing a different tune now.
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The Night of the Arrest
Kim, who was staying with one of her daughters the night of her arrest, took her first drink of vodka in 10 years and then decided to drive home. She stopped at the Beverly Hills Hotel because she considers the swanky hotel a home away from home.
Feeling buzzed and eager to get off the road, the former child star turned Bravolebrity, thought she’d give herself some time to sober up. But instead of getting a room, she headed straight to the bar. Dr. Phil questions the logic behind this decision. Richard states she sat in the same booth she’s been sitting in since childhood, and that she’s been to the Polo Lounge many, many times when she was sober.
Richards says she proceeded to approach another group of customers, whom she thought she knew, and was chastised by a member of the staff and told to return to her seat. She didn’t, and the situation escalated.
Richards goes back and forth on how clearly she remembers events unfolding after the police were called. She does recall going to the bathroom, and people banging on the door, but how long she was in there seems up for debate.
Dr. Phil is dubious about Kim’s claim that she only had one drink and didn’t order more once she got to the bar. He doesn’t believe the amount she claimed to have imbibed, a few fingers worth of vodka, could cause such erratic behavior, especially hours later when she was belligerent and confrontational with the police.
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Friends and Family
Kim swears she did not drink “on-camera” once during the past season of The Real Housewives. Dr. Phil shows a clip from the infamous dinner in Amsterdam when Kim and Lisa Rinna almost came to blows. The catalyst for the argument was Kim’s frustration with Rinna for questioning her sobriety, and according to Richards, at that point in filming, she had not relapsed. But she does admit that by the time the reunion aired, she had started drinking again, a few isolated incidences with wine.
Richards wishes she could have been more forthright with her co-stars and told them she was struggling but admits that the women made it difficult for her. When asked if her sister, Kyle, might now feel vindicated for not defending Kim more staunchly, Richards replies that she did receive a text from Kyle. All her younger sister wanted to know was if Kim was okay.
Dr. Phil brings Kim’s three of her four children: Brooke, Kimberly and Chad into the conversation. Kim apologizes to her children and tells them how much she loves them, and they tell her they are there to support her. Chad thinks his mother’s friendship with Brandi is toxic because Richards needs to be around people who embrace a sober lifestyle. Kim defends Brandi and says that unless they are working, Brandi never drinks around her. Her daughters don’t seem to have an issue with Brandi at all.
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Dr. Phil decides to dole out his singular brand of tough-love therapy. Kim says she would quit the RHOBH if she couldn’t handle the public criticism from the show, but when Dr. Phil points out that she’s proven she can’t take the scrutiny, Richards backpedals. She says she was particularly vulnerable at the time of the incident, partly because she hasn’t been actually working a program.
Dr. Phil points out that Kim’s got issues (No shit). She’s under stress (Who isn’t?), she’s anxious and depressed (Who isn’t?). He’s not exactly providing any brilliant insight into Richards’ problems. He does offer to pay to send her to a facility to undergo treatment.
Kim claims she wants to go “recharge” somewhere for thirty days, but she’s got a lot of stipulations. She wants to be close to home-her daughter is getting married in May-and she doesn’t want to stay for longer than a month. Richards can’t quite find a place to meed her needs.
Dr. Phil pushes the rehab issue, and Richards eventually walks out on the interview. Her kids plead with her mother to return, but Kim isn’t crazy about Dr. Phil’s “gotcha” tactics, and she decides she’s done. Still wearing her microphone, viewers hear snippets of conversations, and her son Chad reveals that in addition to pills and drinking, mom likes to smoke pot every now and again as well.
Twenty minutes later, Dr. Phil knocks on Kim’s hotel door to say his goodbyes. She’s calmed down and thanks him for his help and concern, but she politely tells him she needs time to digest the idea of going to rehab.
Dr. Phil tells viewers that the day after filming, Kim changed her mind and decided to take him up on his offer only to start wavering again soon after.
Kim Richards is currently in rehab in Malibu.
(Image courtesy of CBS)