The recession has affected most households in this country and even The Real Housewives of Orange County are not exempt.
This season has chronicled the housewives’ financial struggles whether small or major. Gretchen Rossi had a garage sale, Jeana Keough went shopping with her daughter at H&M, Tamra Barney is now doing her own housework, and coming up soon will be the eviction of Lynne Curtin. Off camera, Slade Smiley’s financial difficulty is also common knowledge since the publication of a report showing he owes over $80,000 in back child support.
All of the above is a drastic turn from what we’re used to seeing from the OC Housewives. Long gone are the days of buying yatches, diamond rolexes and harleys. A new article from the Huffington Post details the financial woes of the housewives. “All of them have been very much affected by the economic situation,” explains the show’s executive producer, Douglas Ross.
Ross discusses the upcoming episode that will show Lynne’s family being evicted. “We try to treat it as gently but as honestly as we can,” Ross says. “We happened to have been there with our cameras … as part of our normal schedule when they were served the eviction notice. It’s one of those great reality TV moments that happened to be caught because we were in the right place at the right time.”
And though money can be a sensitive issue, the OC housewives don’t seem to mind sharing their struggles with millions of viewers. “It helps people across the nation because they realize it’s not just them,” says Jeana. “I’m pretty open. … There’s not too much I’ll hide. It was difficult for my husband … but the world’s in this place right now and I think people are going to relate to it,” adds Tamra.
Though the housewives get paid to appear on the show, Jeana says the amount (rumored to be $100,000 per housewife) is not enough to support a family. “It’s so minimal. It’s not enough to make your house payments. It’s more like a location fee to keep your house clean.”
Vicky Gunvalson is however one of the luckier housewives as her insurance business is booming more than ever. “When I first started (on the show), I was working out of the house with two employees and now I have a huge office with 10 employees, 700 agents out in the field,” says Vicki, who plans to retire comfortably at age 55. Interestingly, the HuffingtonPost article quotes Vicki as saying she is 42 years old, which is false as she is 47.
Despite her very public eviction, Lynne says things are looking up for she and her family as she predicts they will be able to build a house next year. “My husband is a builder in Southern California. It’s not like he doesn’t try. He’s not sitting at home watching TV. He is going out and making an effort. … I’ve been married for 20 years. … We’ve had the high life we’ve had the low life. It’s just reality.”