Dr. Phil sat down with Kim Richards to discuss her long history with drug and alcohol abuse, her defensive, deflective behaviors, her relationship with Kyle Richards, and whether or not Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills is a healthy environment for her. True to form, Kim blamed everyone else for her arrest and issues – the Beverly Hills hotel for calling the cops, twitter, RHOBH viewers, her co-stars, blogs.
First of all, Kim sounds … off in the beginning; slurry and inarticulate with a glazed expression in her eyes as if she’s reciting from a teleprompter. I don’t think she was – I think it was rehearsed and she was desperate to stay “on message” of denial.
In classic Kim fashion, she was hours late for her sit-down with Dr. Phil leaving him waiting for the interview to start while she fussed over her appearance. Kim denies procrastinating and insists she was ready the whole time, apologizes insincerely. More classic Kim. Dr. Phil is prepared for Kim’s “controlling” behaviors and calls her out throughout the entire segment.
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Dr. Phil dives right in to ask about the arrest. “I’m a very strong person. I have been sober, but I haven’t been working a program,” states Kim as an excuse for her relapse. She then blames RHOBH viewers. Kim says the day of her arrest she finally decided to watch the show which she had been avoiding the last couple months because she didn’t “feel prepared and strong enough” to handle it.
“I’m beating myself up over this. I feel even worse for my kids – they’ve been through a lot with this,” Kim says tearfully.
“Living through this season on the show…it’s been hard enough just to get through it,” confesses Kim. She didn’t write blogs regularly because it’s just too hard for her to go back and re-watch episodes. She had planned to watch the final episodes at Kimberly’s and write her final blog, however she was derailed by the negative messages from viewers. “I went on twitter first just to see what people were saying and they were just horrible….”
Kim says the deluge of tweets calling her a “hoe” “a liar” and accusing her of drinking were deeply upsetting. She left Kimberly’s house to pick up Brooke, who was returning from Dubai, and spend the night there. Then she read Kyle’s blog. Kim clarifies, “It isn’t the blogs or the season that upset me, it was the relationship between my sister and my niece that’s been destroyed. And the mean comments back to me. It’s the overall outcome of where today is with my relationships with the people I love the most and that’s what really started getting me upset.”
At Brooke’s, Kim couldn’t sleep because she was “thinking about the blog” and she returned to her old coping mechanism: alcohol. “I poured a drink – vodka. A good size.” Kim gestures about 2 or 3 inches. “I have not had vodka in probably 10-years… and I thought ‘Oh my god – what have I done?’ I got in the car to leave and I started to drive home.”
Near the Beverly Hills Hotel Kim reports that she started to “feel it” (the effects of the vodka) and pulled over. “I’m comfortable there – I’ve been going there since I was a little girl; when I came out of treatment before I lived there for 6 months.” Kim said in the hotel she started socializing with people at a nearby table, when the maitre-d told her to return to her seat (even though the other patrons weren’t bothered). Kim insists she was “just talking” to someone she thought she knew, but admits, “I don’t remember” if she was loud or unruly. She also denies ordering a drink at the Polo Club, insisting the bar was closed and empty when she arrived. “
Kim doesn’t know why the waiter accused her of trespassing and asked her to leave. She is indignant about her personal behavior or responsibility. “This goes beyond normal behavior in a bar,” lectures Dr. Phil, who is extremely dubious about Kim’s account and calls her out on the discrepancies. Kim kept insisting it was ONE drink. Just like it was one pain pill (just one!) and she never ordered anything from the bar the night she was arrested. “I poured one drink [at Brooke’s], but maybe it was bigger than I thought,” Kim acknowledges.
“I remember bits and pieces. It’s a fog. Everything’s kind of in waves,” describes Kim, but she is adamant she never had more than one drink and she believes she wasn’t misbehaving at the hotel. “All I can remember from that point is they called the police. I went to use the ladies room and they all went into the bathroom like, ‘Come on out.'” She refused “for a few minutes,” then the police started banging on the door demanding she leave. “I didn’t lock myself in. When they first started banging on the door I got scared – and I was intoxicated, so everything’s magnified!” She eventually unlocked the door and the cops “grabbed” her.
“I was frightened and didn’t like the way they were treating me.” Kim doesn’t remember kicking the officer at the station and says she was flinching in reaction to the cop’s rough handling of her. The police report states Kim attempted to KICK THE OFFICER “IN THE GROIN” but missed and got him in the leg. “I was angry, I was frustrated…” says Kim in defense of her actions. She was cited for battery against a police officer. Dr. Phil reminds Kim she is “hours into” her “one drink” and should have sobered-up at least somewhat. “You had to be drinking a helluva a lot,” he observes.
Kim maintains it was “one good-sized” drink in a normal glass. “There’s no way I drank more than that! I did not order a drink.”
“Why would you go to a bar if you’re not going to order a drink!?” Dr. Phil wonders. “That’s a safe place for me,” Kim answers. “I’ve been going there sober for years. I was just going to sit down for a few minutes. And I sat in my booth where I always sit. My mother sat in that booth since I was 6-years-old.”
“You won’t hear anyone more proud to tell you about their sobriety than me. This is not just ‘I’m sorry’ to my kids, this is I’m sorry to all the people who follow my sobriety and look up to me. I feel horrible. That’s all I can do is just move on,” Kim sniffles.
Dr. Phil asks if Kim was drinking during filming and if she truly has been sober for the full 3 1/2 years since she left rehab. Kim then admits that she has drank “a couple of other times over the last few months. It was just wine.”
“I really felt like this season… I was just tired of being talked about,” says a tearful Kim. “I am an alcoholic – I’ve said that! I’m taking care of my ex-husband and my son, and I’ve got two little girls (HUH?!), and I’ve got a situation with my sister and my niece and my dog. And I’m angry at the comments; they don’t know me and they don’t know what goes on behind-the-scenes.”
Kim say she wanted to admit it at the reunion, but blames her co-stars. “I’m ashamed of saying things at the reunion; I’m embarrassed. I would have loved to have said to the girls, at the reunion, ‘You know you’re right,’ but the way they were coming at me, they didn’t make it very easy for me to tell them I screwed up.”
“I had been sober in over three years, so it really wasn’t a lie… ” Kim justifies. “I hadn’t even seen my sister in five months, so I was nervous enough to just see her.” Kim starts to bawl. “It’s been a bad year for us. It’s been hard for me, because when I took the pain pill Kyle took me to lunch and told me Lisa Rinna had been talking about me.” Yolanda and Brandi also told Kim this. Kyle told Kim she defended her to Lisa, but Kim doesn’t feel she did. “I’m confused… if I were my sister I would have said it with conviction. I’m hurt, but I don’t want to fight with her.”
Kim admits she resented Kyle for revealing to the world that she’s an alcoholic in season one of RHOBH. “I’ve tried really hard to just put that behind us,” Kim says. “But there’s a few things that still linger for Kyle and I.” Kim confesses that Kingsley isn’t really the root issue between the two of them. “There’s more,” she says simply. Kim reveals Kyle reached out after her arrest “for the first time in 5 months. She asked me if I was OK.”
“I’m sure some people are having a field day with this and I don’t really care,” Kim snips, seeming to imply some of her RHOBH co-stars.
Dr. Phil asks if Kim has been drunk on the show which she adamantly denies. “I have not drank one time this season on camera – not one time.” Dr. Phil then questions her about the infamous incidents in Amsterdam. “I felt very attacked by all the girls. I felt like they had been talking behind my back.” When Dr. Phil wonders if Kim had been in fact “living a lie” telling people she was sober when she [clearly] was not. Kim denies it. “At that point, I had not drank in over three-years. Everyone of them had come to me and told me that Lisa Rinna was talking about me behind-my-back. That is none of her business.” Dr. Phil suggests Kim is so defensive about everything because has something to hide? She doesn’t answer.
When Dr. Phil wonders about the pain pill she took, Kim insists because she had been sober she didn’t know how it would affect her. “I didn’t know I was acting funny until they told me.”
Dr. Phil then delves into why Kim started abusing alcohol in the first place and her “unfinished emotional business” including the murder of her former fiancé John Collett.
Kim sobs and they begin to discuss the amount of loss Kim has suffered in her life. Kim realized her drinking was out of hand when she was caring for her mom as she died from cancer. “It was hard to watch her struggle. I started drinking at night… alone.” It got worse when her mother passed. “I didn’t have anyone to communicate with and I realized I became a person I didn’t like anymore. I couldn’t stand the site of myself – I would put a towel over the shower because I didn’t want to see myself in the mirror. That was the first time I personally knew that I needed help and I wanted help.” Kim reveals she’s said she’s considered suicide but she doesn’t think she could “check out” on her kids.
That’s when Dr. Phil brings Kim’s children out. Brooke, Chad, and Kimberly were present, Whitney did not attend. Brooke reveals she had no idea Kim drank at her house until the next day when Kim called her and admitted she had spent the night in jail. “I love you and I’m really sorry,” Kim sniffles. Kim’s children all emphasize that they love and support her and want her to get the “professional help she needs.”
Dr. Phil asks about Kim’s friendship with Brandi Glanville. Chad immediately says “toxic” and a shocked Kim (literally mouth open) replies, “What?!”
“She’s been a good friend to you,” Chad clarifies, “but you gotta be hanging around people who are supporting your sobriety.” Kim insists Brandi only drinks around her when they’re filming. Kimberly and Whitney agree Brandi has supported Kim on the show, but worry that Brandi’s behavior makes their mom look bad. It’s implied that Kim can’t handle RHOBH and her preoccupation with what others think – both her castmates and the viewers – have led her to a dark place, which spiraled into drinking. Dr. Phil calls Kim out on admitting she’s drank “home, alone” a few times, but she quickly insists, “never on the show.” Dr. Phil does not believe this.
“I know I’ve put a huge dent in what I’ve worked so hard to build over the last few years and it’s going to take time. I just want to do the right thing. I know that sober I can handle almost anything,” Kim says. Brooke says of Kim’s arrest, “It’s probably the best thing that could have happened. To be honest, it’s probably a great wake-up call.”
Dr. Phil asks if Kim would walk away from RHOBH if she can’t stay sober. She says yes. Kim clarifies it wasn’t only the tweets and blogs that pushed her to drink the night she got arrested. “I was already in a vulnerable state and I haven’t been working a program. I have to go to a meeting. I have to exercise.” Dr. Phil likens it to putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Dr. Phil then tells Kim she needs rehab and refers to the last few months as “red flags.” He cites Kim’s inability to report things accurately, her issues with memory, denial and deflection as serious indicators of how precarious the situation is. Dr. Phil turns his attentions to Kim’s children and let’s them know how out of control Kim’s behavior has grown but that everyone is perpetuating her denial. Dr. Phil says Kim’s anxiety and depression, in addition to problems with Kyle and the show have led to self-medicating. “This is meltdown! You need help! You need treatment!” Dr. Phil yells. He offers Kim rehab, 60-days in a beach-side program. “I don’t know if this is what’s right for me. I have to digest this,” she wavers.
Kim insists she’s already confessed to the kids that she needs help, but she has conditions, like she’s only attending a 30-day program and she won’t miss Brooke’s wedding. Brooke tells Kim she wants her to 60-days but Kim argues that it doesn’t “fit her needs.”
Kimberly tells Kim, “I don’t want you to go back home.” Chad encourages her to accept treatment and let go of worry. “Is this an intervention?!” Kim snaps. “It’s starting to feel like one. I don’t want to do this anymore.” She flees the interview claiming she has “a lot of anxiety.”
“You can forget this whole thing.” Kim yells to the producers walking off stage, “F–k him! I’m leaving. He just totally put me on the spot in front of all those people. ”
Dr. Phil encourages Kim’s children not to let her get away with running from her issues. Brooke tries to persuade Kim to return to the interview. “What’s the big deal?!” Brooke wonders. She begs her mother to do the rehab. “I’m done with you! Stop it, you’re giving me tons of anxiety,” Kim yells at her daughter. She accuses her kids of conspiring with Dr. Phil. “I don’t like secrets. Get out!” she bellows.
Kim accuses Dr. Phil of setting her up, which Kimberly denies. “You have to do this, mom,” Kimberly is overheard pleading. “I can’t. I won’t,” Kim replies. “He needs to get out of my way.” Kim insists her children have only seen things “a few times” but the people that see her everyday know she’s fine. “You haven’t been sober,” answers Chad. “I live with you.”
“I’m not drinking everyday,” insists Kim. “I’m not saying you’re drinking everyday, but you take pills,” reveals Chad. “You do this every once in a while – you smoke pot.” Kim agrees, that “every once in a while” she does. With Kim refusing to return to the interview Dr. Phil comes to her room to say goodbye. Kim is very polite and acts like her outburst never happened. Kim says she “needs more time” to decide if the rehab is right for her. Dr. Phil counsels Kim’s children not to let her get away with this.
A day after the interview wrapped Dr. Phil says Kim changed her mind and decided to accept his offer for treatment, but then changed her mind again, issuing him a list of demands: she wanted to choose the program, wanted a private room, the location, “the list goes on and on.” Finally Kim checked into a treatment program not arranged by Dr. Phil.
TELL US – WILL KIM FINALLY GET SOBER? CAN SHE HANDLE RHOBH?