In a print-only interview with the National Enquirer, Michael, 26, says this is another in a series of “weird” events that hit the Gunvalson household: “It has sort of been weird around here for the past year or so. Donn has been very sick, Brianaeloped to Las Vegas last fall, and my mom is dealing with a lot of different emotions. It’s a very stressful time right now in the Gunvalson household.”
Vicki was the one to break the news. Michael says, “My mom was upset when she told us. Since they are divorcing, we don’t see Donn as much as we used to. But we still care about him and are pulling for him.”
Her divorce is not yet finalized, and per the Enquirer report, things are getting down and dirty in their divorce proceedings. “Donn even hired a forensic accountant to determine the value of Vicki’s company, Coto Insuraance & Financial Services,” said a source.
But not to worry, another Enquirer source says, “Even though they are no longer together, Vicki is Donn’s biggest supporter. She’s praying for his complete recovery.”
Well wishes to Donn.
TELL US: THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST WITH DONN AND VICKI?
UPDATE – Vicki just tweeted: “Thank you everyone for your well wishes for Donn. He is doing very good considering his diagnosis. PSA levels have dropped to almost normal.” Great to know Donn is doing better!
After six seasons (and one on the way) of seeing their enhanced, tanned, Botoxed faces you would think we know all there is to know about the Real Housewives of Orange County. Apparently not! I guess they have gotten a newbie or two…
E! News recently did a little sit down with the first ladies of Bravo to dish about the show as the gals gear up for the new season, and they are giving us some new dirt on what’s to come.
First up, the ladies talk new arrival Heather Dubrow. They weren’t readily accepting of her entry into the club! “When I first met her I actually thought she was a little pretentious. I actually used the exact words that ‘I think she had a stick up her ass,’” Gretchen Rossi confesses.
“I was a little bit worried that she wasn’t going to fit in with the group, because she was so nice, so classy and yet so elegant. And with the girls on the show, we don’t always roll like that,” Tamra Barney laughs. Can I just say that is the most obvious statement that has ever come out of Bathtub Porn Tamra’s mouth!
Heather admits things got off to a rocky start with some of the ladies, “I would say out of everyone Alexis [Bellino]and I have had some friction, [but] I was pleasantly surprised how well we all got along.”
Gretchen also warns us that some serious tension arrives between her and matriarch Vicki Gunvalson over their mens’ respective child support issues. If you recall, it came out last year that Vicki’s new beau, Brooks Ayers, also had his own child support issues. In fact, he was once arrested for failure to pay over $40,000 in child support.
“Vicki had a lot to say about Slade [Smiley] and about his child support issues… I just feel like she was being a hypocrite — [her new boyfriend] had a similar situation as Slade yet she was still very judgmental towards Slade.” Yes, this show has TWO men with child support drama.
Speaking of Vicki’s man dramas, this season will tackle Vicki and Donn Gunvalson‘s impending divorce. “I don’t know if the show had anything to do with the collapse of [Vicki's] marriage,” Tamra reveals, “I know that it puts strain on your relationship, no doubt.”
“If the relationship is struggling, I think that the cameras might hone in on issues that you already have. The cameras don’t lie,” Gretchen added.
Oh, in case you hadn’t noticed, Tamra and Gretchen are doing this interview together, and there have been no reported screaming matches. The two have officially patched things up and now consider each other friends. Finally — after three seasons of petulance. “I knew that the only way to move forward was just to forgive and ask for forgiveness. It has become a very true and authentic friendship,” Gretchen shares.
“It was time to build a bridge and get over it. In the process of doing that we realized we really like each other,” Tamra readily admits. Good for you girls, bring the fun back!
The ladies also talked their best beauty tips and sum it up thusly as — GTD. Gym, Tan, Doctor. Speaking of doctor, Tamra discussed her recent downsizing. The mama of four, who will be shown getting the procedure done during the season finally wanted a classier look. Hopefully her behavior will follow suit!
“It’s been one of the best things I have ever done in my life,” Tamra gushes. “I feel a lot more confident without my implants. [With my implants] I felt like [my chest] was the first thing everybody looked at.” Tamra, who is 5’4, was previously sporting 34 DD’s. Eeks.
ARE YOU SURPRISED OR RELIEVED TAMRA AND GRETCHEN ARE FINALLY FRIENDS? DO YOU THINK IT WILL LAST? DO YOU THINK HEATHER WILL BE A GOOD ADDITION TO THE CAST?
As for what is to come this season, the press release reads: “Reeling from the repercussions of last season’s drama, the series once again ventures behind the gates for a salacious look at the love and lives unfolding inside one of Southern California’s wealthiest communities. This season Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Barney, Gretchen Rossiand Alexis Bellinowelcome brunette bombshell Heather Dubrow.”
Andy Cohen also assures us this season will be one to watch! Andy tweeted yesterday, “Just watched two episodes of new season #RHOC – omg might be best season yet!!!”
In addition to newbie Heather, Bravo has also announced another new addition to the show — Sarah Winchester, who is being described as a “friend of the housewives” a la Brandi Glanville and Dana Wilkey of the RHOBH. A photo of Sarah is also below as well as her bio!
The new season premieres Tuesday, February 7 at 9pm ET/PT on Bravo.
Now that she is no longer the trophy wife type — swapping that moniker for “free bitch” — Tamra decided to lighten her load, apparently. Taking to her Facebook page the saucy Housewife explained why she is implanted no more!
“Lots of people have been asking me WHY I had my breast implants removed and here is my answer: I had them removed for several reasons, 1. I live a more active lifestyle now (working out and running) and they really got in the way. 2. I feel at 44 I am finally comfortable in my own skin and I don’t need big ta-ta’s to make me look better. 3. one of the biggest reasons, I had a scare with breast cancer and I thought it would be better to just have them removed,” Tamra explained.
I must say looking at a photo of Tamra from last year, all her hard work is paying off — she is looking great! She’s definitely lost weight, toned up and looks much healthier. Additionally, removing the implants has given her a much classier look. Now if only she could do something about that hair…
“I am so happy I did it and will share more about my journey on season 7 that airs Feb 7,” she added. No word on when she had them removed. Tamra also took to her Facebook to defend new BFFL Gretchen Rossi!” I know this comment is going to shock the shit out of you….. However, there was some Gretchen bashing on my page and I won’t have it. The video of her naked is NOT to sell purses its for breast cancer awareness,” Tamra seethed referring to some topless shots of Gretchie Poo that can be seen in the new OC trailer.
“I think she was very brave and looks amazing in the video. I think a lot of people will be surprised to see how things have changed between us… HELL WE EVEN ARE!” Ok, then…
In other RHOC news, Bravo released a new trailer for the upcoming season and Vicki Gunvalson is coming unhinged! Get it together girl! You can view the video below.
Real Housewives of Orange County premieres on Bravo February 7th (9/10c).
[Photos Credit: SPLASH, Facebook]
THOUGHTS ON TAMRA’S NEW BUSTLINE? CLASSIER OR STILL THE SAME OLD TAMMIE SUE? ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT THE NEW SEASON OF RHOC?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO WATCH THE NEW TRAILER!
I think it’s fair to say that the Real Housewives franchise has changed television. The intensely popular shows that prove to us that anyone can be a trashy trainwreck — regardless of marriage partner, pedigree or income bracket — have become one of the most discussed and hotly debated things on television. Indeed, the shows have become a must watch for millions of people worldwide captivating real housewives and celebrities alike. Even Oprah admits to watching!
The real question is — Why? Why are we so drawn to the dysfunction, the orchestrated drama and the opportunity to observe women embarrass themselves and ruin their lives on national television? The even bigger question is: How much of this is reality at all?
The Hollywood Reporter set out to answer just those questions in an in-depth investigation into “the guiltiest pleasure on television” which is worth an estimated half-billion dollars to the NBC-Universal network. Putting together a group of ladies they refer to as the Housewives All-Stars (their version – not mine), the legendary entertainment magazine interviewed producers, insiders, Andy Cohen and the ladies themselves to figure out just why we watch and why the women participate.
“People want to watch rich girls behaving badly,” explains Linda Ong, president of brand strategy adviser Truth Consulting. “The franchise started as a real-life Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous but became this cultural analysis after the economic breakdown. Every town became a sociological experiment, a very real-time reflection of what was happening to the 1 percent.”
“We wanted something very authentic and they started to film something Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque,” Frances Berwick, president of Bravo and Style Media, explains of how Real Housewives of Orange Countywas developed. “It required a whole revision, so we came to a point where we had to decide whether to sink more money into it or just pull the plug.” Obviously money was sunk.
Housewives was originally supposed to be a film — a real documentary — of the gated community where RHOC is filmed. Entrepreneur Scott Dunlap set out to capture the lives of rich women in the affluent suburb of LA after observing his friends while attending a dinner party in the exclusive Coto community. “Everyone was sitting around the table, the ladies blinged-out, talking about family vacations to Tuscany and all bloviating the same thing: ‘Our life is perfect,’ ” he remembers.
The film never got made, but a decade later Scott eventually turned the idea into a reality show and it became a surprise hit in its very first season. Berwick, who had just green lit the surprisingly successful Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, was in good graces with the network and they decided to take a gamble on the Housewives show with her encouragement.
After reshooting the first few episodes and an “incredibly, incredibly long edit,” the show finally went on the air. “It was an experiment,” a network insider concedes. “They weren’t envisioning this huge franchise; the network was just trying to depict a lifestyle. They didn’t put a lot of advertising or money into it at first.” Shockingly, the show took off with the difficult to reach 30-something viewers the network coveted. Viewers who were still young, hip, and influential, but who had money, education, and technical know-how.
The network immediately signed on for a second season, but decided to hire drama based veteran reality producer Doug Ross who has helmed shows such as Fear Factor and Big Brother.“Scott did a great job at identifying killer cast members,” Ross explains “but the network thought with the help of some ‘grown-ups’ this thing could really blossom.”
Bravo had been working on a show called Manhattan Moms, which was the inception for Real Housewives of New York. The series was originally supposed to be about wealthy NYC moms trying to get their children into ultra elite private schools. With RHOC bringing in ratings Manhattan Moms quickly transformed into RHONY. It was at that point that Zalanick decided to turn Housewives into a franchise. Since most of the season had already been filmed the network and it’s production company, Shed Media, decided to simply go with the footage they had.
The network didn’t even tell the cast members (then Jill Zarin, LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, and Ramona Singer) about concept change. “We went to check out the artwork on the computer and it said Real Housewives of New York City,” Jill describes. “At first we were a little disappointed, to be honest.” How Bethenny Frankel was added I don’t know, but it was her vision to use the show to promote her business that changed the format completely. Thanks B — because of you we have the Bravo Home Shopping Network!
After the first season success of RHONY, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of New Jersey cropped up shortly thereafter. “Bravo unwittingly had stumbled upon television’s next guilty pleasure: a vehicle that showcased the lives of a handful of spoiled, consistently imperfect women whose only real distinction was the city in which they reside — and their unerring ability to behave badly.” With the premiere of RHONJ (now arguably the most hotly contested of the franchise) Bravo was able to capture more than just the 30-something audience and gained fans across all age ranges — including men and older viewers.
And casting is at the nexus of the franchise’s success. Bravo has shown a ruthless ability to let go of stars that no longer agree with their vision — hence the firing of four members of RHONY including original cast members Jill and Alex. They also seem to have an innate ability to locate women whose propensity for drama will result in big ratings. Teresa Giudice, anyone? And to keep the perspectives fresh, Bravo regularly adds new Housewives into the mix.
The real shocker (or perhaps not so real shocker to regular viewers) is the requirement for the women to craft their own storylines. “We started meeting with producers to discuss storylines,” former Housewife Peggy Tanous reveals. “I started getting anxiety thinking about all the forced drama that does happen on occasion.”
Peggy starred in one season of RHOC which featured a season finale argument with her former close friend (and the woman who got her scouted for the show) Alexis Bellino. Peggy has cited the end of this friendship and the contrived storylines as her reason for deciding not to sign on for a season two. While that may be the case, shortly after Peggy resigned (or was let go), news surfaced of her family’s financial distress.
Doug Ross contends that the producers in no way stage scenes or fabricate drama, “The audience could sniff that a mile away, so why even bother?” Although he does admit that the women are expected to plan events expressly for filming purposes.
Shed Media’s Maureen O’Connell agrees, “Honestly, sometimes I wish they would do what I tell them. I wish I had that kind of puppeteering power. But it’s the women who ultimately drive the train.” The responsibility of keeping the drama alive is an important one because drama = popularity with fans (sometimes) = ratings = maintaining their position in the cast roster and well, their paycheck.
But are they taking it too far? Since the franchise’s inception it’s bared witness to countless financial crisis (foreclosures, bankruptcy, tax evasion, etc), the destruction of friendships, arrest, divorce, murder (Kandi Burruss‘ fiance was in a fight, resulting in his death, outside an Atlanta strip club in 2009), alcoholism, family strife and now domestic abuse and suicide. Yet — the women and the viewers keep coming back.
On the converse, the cameras have also captured the good: friendships, marriage, love, pregnancy, incredible financial gains and business opportunity. Andy thinks the network is more than conscientious of the colorful cast of characters that pay his bills and garnered him his own TV fame in the form of Watch What Happens Live. “I have a deep responsibility to the women,” Andy insists. “And I take that very seriously.”
Some disagree. It was the suicide of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast mate Taylor Armstrong‘s estranged husband Russell Armstrong this past summer that caused fans, viewers and the media to question just what the reality of filming the show entailed. Particularly after reports surfaced that Bravo and NBC may have encouraged Taylor to file for divorce from Russell to remain on the show.
Bravo and Andy had questioned whether or not to air the footage from this past season featuring Russell and there was news of re-editing to present a softer storyline. Obviously that did not happen. “We talked endlessly,” Andy acknowledges. “In the end, we decided to capture what happened as sensitively as we could.” It seems that ultimately the network has decided not to feature Russell’s death in the storyline. The season ends Jan 23rd and no mention of it has been made.
Defending his position — and the network’s — Andy reminds viewers that the women agree to participate and the producers are not responsible for the issues that arise during filming. “Look, this franchise is a documentation of a period in these people’s lives. All of these women have stories to tell and some are dealing with some really serious issues.”
Despite the bad taste such episodes have left in viewers mouths the ratings continue to grow (the season premiere episode of RHOBH was up 42% from the series first season premiere) and show no signs of slowing down. It is Bravo’s ability to bring the constant and unexpected drama — a White House crashing, a huge family blow out at a Christening — that keeps viewers unable to look away, not knowing what there is to expect next.
Additionally, it is the women themselves that keep the drama happening and their decisions to return season after season, year after year. The reason is likely money. Jill even recently admitted that she was sad to be off the show because of the paycheck it generated.
And just how much money do the women make to expose their lives to the non-stop drama? A Lot. A lot, a lot. Particularly given the opportunity to develop their own brands — which is encouraged — and have the ability and support to promote these brands on the show which reaches huge audiences. All earnings from which the network takes a percentage of.
“Combined, the Housewives have published more than a dozen books; received product deals from makeup and jewelry to sex toys and alcohol; average well over 100,000 Twitter followers (Atlanta‘s Leakes has nearly 600,000); and receive an approximate six-figure salary each season (the New York cast is drawing a $250,000 payday for season five) — not movie-star money, but steady income for people arguably of limited talent.”
The desire for that success and the monetary wealth that comes with it is sometimes all-consuming. At this particular behind the scenes shoot, Housewives All Star Pinot Singer spent the whole afternoon hawking her pinot grigio line, advertising it to anyone who would listen and scaring off her fellow Housewives. I think it’s fair to say Ramona has a one-track mind.
Ramona was brought to the attention of producers by her then friend Jill, but she wasn’t interested. “By age 39, I already had $1 million cash in the bank,” Ramona dishes, grabbing a bottle of what else? – Pinot! “I said, ‘I’m sorry, but no thank you. I don’t have time. I don’t need to be famous.’ ” She gave it a second thought after the producers convinced her it would be a good platform for her business, True Faith Jewelry. And after five years on the successful series and the development of her own Pinot, Ramona is hoping to follow in Bethenny’s footsteps and nab her own spin off. Seriously? No.
“I’m already thinking ahead,” Ramona reveals. “Initially I thought I wanted to do something like [advertising executive and TV host] Donnie Deutsch and actually visit companies looking for help. I can’t just sit on a couch.” I’m guessing that means she wants to try a Tabatha Coffeyapproach…
Not all the drama is caught on camera – backstage at THR’s exclusive photoshoot with the RHOBH’s Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards were overheard talking. “One of the girls asked me what I think of Brandi [Glanville],” Lisa whispers loudly to Kyle, while Brandi sits alone pretending to ignore them. “And I said, ‘Who?’ ” Then the two friends burst into laughter. Yeah, Brandi doesn’t fit in – that’s obvious, but why so mean ladies? I expect more from Lisa.
Andy insists the show has no malicious intent, and after all the characters drive the storyline. And the viewers are obviously liking what they see since they return season after season. “It’s good, clean fun,” he asserts. “Its like eating a bowl of no-cal popcorn; guilt-free gossip. You can watch it, you can talk about it with your friends and, at the end of the day, you can feel better about yourself and your life.” Right… I’m not sure I agree.
In a new TalkFusion video Vicki talks insurance and Housewives; warning fans this season is not for the faint of heart! “Just want to give you a little insight. February 7th our show is going to launch. And holy balls is all I have to say! I thought it was going to be a pretty quiet season for me, I thought I was going to slide in and slide out. No.”
“I guess that’s why I’m on a reality show for seven years. You never know what is going to happen,” Vicki continues. “I have to say it’s going there, there is going to be a lot of things that you learn that happens in my life, personally, this season.”
Don’t forget to watch the finale,” Vicki encourages. “That was a pretty emotional finale for me as well.” Vicki has been tweeting a lot lately about how things are going and recently presented fans insight into the crazy filming schedule that is required to produce a small amount of usable footage.
In her tweets Vicki seemed to take issue with fans questioning her choices and being “fake” nice on camera. Vicki also reminded fans to remember that editing really shapes the story. “30 hours of filming per week for 7 minutes of air time per episode. You do the math. #havenoclue,” Vicki tweeted to fans bashing her on-screen behavior.
When those same detractors called Vicki out for choosing to appear on a reality show, Vicki reminded them she signed her life away is under contract!
Vicki also responded to questions about her ex-husband, Donn Gunvalson, and Vicki seemed to imply infidelity took place! “Yes, he was family. Too bad he didn’t value family as much as I did. #2sidestoeverystory,” Vicki wrote about Donn. “Donn is up for dating many women at once. Give him a try. #beentheredonethat,” she added. Yikes!
Luckily, Vicki is still happily together with Donn lookalike, Brooks Ayers. She tweeted a photo of them celebrating New Years together. The photos are below.
Tamra Barney has also been promoting the new season on the Twitters and seems to be very excited about the changes to come. Tamra Tweeted: “Boy have things changed since season 6!”
She definitely seems to have made amends with Gretchen Rossi because Tamra defended the lease of Slade Smiley on the Tweets! Telling a fan: “then call her a fool! Cuz we are BFF’s now and you better get use to it!” I wonder if things are still rosy between Vicki and Tamra?
Tamra also posted a vintage HW photo on Facebook. This one features the now-fired Lynne Curtin. The ladies are dressed up in traditional 50′s housewife garb and look fantastic! That photo is below!
And since we just celebrated New Years Eve, below are some photos of the OC ladies celebrating in style! Including Tamra making out with Andy Cohen last year! Oh dear.
Tamra rang in the New Year at the Circo Vodka Party in LA with Alexis Bellino. PopstopTV posted a video of the bash, which you can view below! Meanwhile, Gretchen and Slade celebrated at the Ciroc party in Houston, Texas! Photos are below!
Real Housewives of Orange County premieres February 7th at 9/10c on Bravo.
THOUGHTS ON VICKI’S INTERVIEW? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE NEW SEASON? DO YOU THINK DONN CHEATED ON VICKI? ARE TAMRA AND VICKI STILL BFFLS?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE VICKI & GRETCHEN CELEBRATING NEW YEARS EVE!
RadarOnline has just uncovered that Heather’s husband, Terry Dubrow, a renowned plastic surgeon who is no stranger to reality TV in his own right has been sued at least twice by two different patients! See, you go on a reality show and ALLLL your skeletons come dancing out of the closet!
One former patient, Leah Goodman, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Terry and the Newport Heights Medical Center where she was treated. Documents obtained pertaining to the suit, which was filed in March 2011, show Leah claiming she has suffered from “wage loss” along with “loss of earning capacity,” among other financial set-backs because of the injuries she suffered at the hands of Dr. Dubrow’s medical negligence and malpractice!
In the lawsuit filed directly against Dr. Dubrow, Leah is seeking $25,000 in damages as well as unspecified damages for the medical malpractice and general negligence she is alleging took place. Copies of the court documents are below.
Sadly this is not an isolated incident for Dr. Dubrow! Last year, former patient June Hofherr filed a suit against the doctor and the Newport Bluffs Surgery Center claiming that she suffered from complications related to a procedure Dr. Dubrow performed on her.
According to the court documents, “Defendants failed to disclose material risks of the procedure to the plaintiff and thereby failed to fully describe the procedures that were proposed and/or exceeded the scope of the disclosure and thereby failed to obtain informed consent from the plaintiff for said course of care, treatment and/or surgery. Had plaintiff been adequately informed of all the risks of the procedure, plaintiff would not have consented to said procedure.”
Mark Hofherr, who is also filing suit, claims June has been ” unable to perform the duties of a spouse and the work and services usually performed in the care, maintenance and management of the family home,” following the surgeries, adding that she “will be unable to perform such work, services and duties in the future.”
Pretty serious stuff for Dr. Dubrow who I am sure will be performing many day of beauty events on the ladies of RHOC. That’s probably the real reason Alexis Bellino isn’t a fan — she likes to pimp her plastic surgeon on the show!
THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUITS AGAINST DR. DUBROW?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE COURT DOCUMENTS!
Frankly, I’m surprised Vicki and Gretchen haven’t bonded over their woes. Apparently, Vicki’s children are less than thrilled with her new beau and some of the other women are concerned about how fast the relationship is moving hot on the heals of her split from Donn Gunvalson!
Tamra Barney and her soulmate/bathtub porno partner Eddie Judge are still together but there are some hurdles as “free bitch” Tamra has difficulty settling down and apparently lets another man touch her boob! Hey, she is the hottest Housewife! And taking a cue from the totally believable and awesome Real Housewives of New York storyline, there appears to be some sort of Tamra-related pregnancy scare. Oh, please…
Finally it seems that Gretchen and Tamra are able to put the past behind them and mend fences as we see Tamra apologize to her former nemesis, but will Gretchen and Tamra’s new-found closeness interfere in her relationship with Vicki? The brief preview clip is below!
In other RHOC news, the new girl in the gated community recently introduced herself with a “Five Things You Don’t Know…” segment in Us Weekly! Heather, a former beauty queen, is originally from NYC and majored in Theater at Syracuse University where she aspired to be a Broadway actress! When an audition sent her to LA she “never looked back.”
She has since appeared in several TV roles on shows such as Married With Children! And despite being a full-time mom, she tries to fit in acting, joking that she “still [does] a pilot every year that doesn’t get picked up.”
Heather met her husband Terry Dubrow, a plastic surgeon, on a blind date. Terry is also a Reality TV veteran that appeared on such gems as The Swan and Bridalplasty. Of her family life Heather says, “My husband and I are very down to earth people. We’re not defined by where we live or what we have. We’re just normal people and we’re incredibly grateful for what we have and each other.” We’ll see about that! A photo of Heather, Terry and their four children, below.
Finally, it seems that Vicki and Jesus Barbie, original flavor, Alexis Bellino have made up! Alexis recently posted a photo of Vicki, Brooks, herself, and her king husband, Jim Bellino on her Facebook page under the caption: “It’s gonna be a great season!” The photo is below.
Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7 premiers on Bravo, February 7th at 9/8c.
THOUGHTS ON THE PREVIEW CLIP? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE NEW SEASON? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF NEW HOUSEWIFE HEATHER?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS!