The Real Housewives of Orange County are using their fifth season to really open up to us about their pasts. First Gretchen Rossi spoke out on her battle with Bulimia, and now Vicki Gunvalson is opening up about her past abusive marriage to her first husband.
Before meeting Donn Gunvalson, her husband for the past 15 years, Vicki says her first marriage was fraught with emotional and verbal abuse, nearly getting physical at one point.
In an interview with Life & Style magazine, Vicki reveals she was just 21 when she married her first husband, Michael J. Wolfsmith. By the time she was 23, she had already given birth to a son, Michael, now 23, and was pregnant with her second child, daughter Briana, now 22. According to Vicki, Michael “was an alcoholic. He abused me verbally. He had many affairs during our marriage.” She recalls one horrifying incident while she was holding her baby Michael on her lap, “he went to hit me,” Vicki says. While he didn’t end up striking her, she was consumed with fear. “I was 23 years old and pregnant for the second time,” Vicki recalls. “I was really scared.
Vicki divorced him when she was 29. Vicki explains those six years, “were filled with screaming. I had to be his mother. I’d throw cold water on him to wake him up for work. It was a very hard life.” Vicki had a revelation as she approached age 30. “It was a pivotal point in my life,” she explains. “I didn’t want to live my 30s the way I’d lived my 20s. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t loved.”
Vicki’s ex husband denied the allegations when contacted by Life & Style magazine. “I had bouts with alcohol, but it was not a problem,” he says. He also says he never cheated on Vicki or abused her emotionally or physically.