Perhaps hindsight is 20/20 but that doesn't excuse repeated bad decisions! Vicki Gunvalson is the OG of the Housewives franchise and has seen the show through its evolution of affluent moms to totally contrived drama!
In a new interview she lets it all out on how she feels about the show and how it has affected her life. It's shockingly candid and a little unhinged – you know, very Vicki!
Vicki insists Real Housewives of Orange County features her "truth" except when that truth concerns toothless Greek "gods" and Brokes Ayers. "I don't script or fake my reality," she informs DigitalSpy. "My family's number one, my insurance business is number two, and the Housewives franchise is a close third. Beyond that, I try to fill in my life with what my truth is. My truth is, I work. I'm not going to give up my career for a reality TV show."
But she will give her marriage to Donn Gunvalson up for a TV show! Vicki blames the show for destroying their union. "I think the show had a lot to do with me getting divorced. I think it was too much pressure on a weak marriage," Vicki confesses.
When reality TV friendships fall apart, all the skeletons come out of the closet and start dancing on some graves. The age-old adage, ‘Keep your friends close and enemies closer’ has never been so true than when a reality show friendship goes belly-up.
Following a tumultuous season ofReal Housewives of Orange County where friendships turned wonky, Tamra Barney and Vicki Gunvalson have it quits. But they’re not just quietly walking away; oh no – they’re turning to the power of social media to disparage each other something awful. Twitter – ruining the lives of C-List Celebrities everywhere.
Among the mudslinging and the allegations they are both turning on each other’s significant others as well. I have to ask: Is every man in Orange County a sleaze ball loser? I’m starting to wonder based on what I see on TV!
Speaking candidly, Vicki admits that being the OG of the OC makes her “feel old” as each new cast member comes “a little younger and prettier.” Although she is happy with new Housewife on the block Heather Dubrow, who she describes as genuine and “very, very sweet,” Vicki also appreciates that at 41; Heather is “a little bit older,” instead of a “32-year-old that’s never had children.” (I wonder who that could be referring to, ahem… Gretchen Rossi!).
As for dealing with new Housewives Vicki, who describes the Housewives franchises as “like a sorority”, doesn’t hesitate to participate in a little OC Housewives Hazing! “It’s all the way they approach the seasoned cast members, which is Tamra [Barney]and I,” Vicki says of newbies joining the show. “We try to bring ‘em in with open arms and sometimes they come in with claws.”
“Sometimes you have to go ‘Really girl? Step back a little bit!’ and put them in their place and then everybody fights!” It’s nice to know Vicki and Tamra are still BFF. Apparently Heather got off on the right foot because Vicki reveals filming together is a “great experience.”
This season she says the ladies are a little older and a little wiser and there is less bickering (thank goodness!), but lots of “interesting things” happening, including a cast camping trip! “We don’t really know what our reality is from day to day. Every day is a new day,” she says of participating in a reality show.
Apparently Gretchen and Tamra are <gasp> actually getting along! “Gretchen is realizing there’s two sides to every story and I see Gretchen and Tamra trying to resolve some of their issues,” Vicki reveals.
“They are never going to be best friends, but we’re growing up and maturing on TV and nobody wants to see women fight. And if you do [fight], do so in a respectful manner. Not name calling, not hurt people,” she declares, perhaps sending Bravo a message! “I’m hopeful everyone can get along and be class acts. My goal is try to get everybody to help each other.”
When asked about last season focusing on her divorce from ex-husband, Donn Gunvalson, Vicki describes that having the end of her decades long marriage play out on camera was “obviously very, very difficult.”
“I never really wanted any of my marriage demise to be on camera,” Vicki explains, adding that she “pretended everything was fine” to the producers to avoid the drama being included in the show. Unfortunately, the production company “saw right through the film” and confronted her about the state of her relationship with Donn because otherwise her only storyline was insurance! Vicki shares that while pretending to be happy, she was actually filing for divorce and eventually confessed that her marriage was “done.”
Despite her protests, Vicki says the producers said “we have to film this” and she relented allowing it be included in the show. As for the accusations that her addiction to work contributed to her marriage falling apart, Vicki insists that’s not true. “They don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Donn and I are very private people,” she explains. “We will never disclose what happened.”
“It takes two to get divorced. If Donn wanted to still be married to me, we would still be married.” Although, Vicki assures us that despite rumors of infidelity none took place and the split was “amicable.” “I never cheated on Donn the entire time we’ve been married – absolutely not,” she states, insisting she’s never heard “that rumor,” because she doesn’t read the tabloids or blogs anymore.
“That’s the kinda stuff that really makes you throw up. It’s like really? Everyone can just sit there and say anything about you and you have to defend yourself all day long,” Vicki scoffs of tabloid gossip.
Finally, Vicki talked about her new relationship with OC deadbeat dad 2.0 boyfriend Brooks, who she revealed via Twitter will be making an appearance on Housewives this season! As for their relationship, they are taking it slow since she is a “damaged soldier.”
“I’m a hopeless romantic and Brooks and I have a wonderful relationship, but I’m taking it slow,” she reveals. “I’m gonna be 50 this year. I deserve to be loved and he loves me, I deserve to be happy and I am happy with him, but I am also not rushing into anything.”
Refusing to answer any questions about Brooks’ arrest for not paying child support, Vicki became very defensive snapping “You know, what I thought we were talking about Cilea today? Brooks’ business is Brooks’ business;” insisting he has no troubles with the law!
“I am not on the radio to defend my boyfriend. He’s a great guy or I wouldn’t be with him. Period. I really, really don’t want to discuss Brooks’ personal stuff,” she added. “He fell behind on child support and it’s all cleared up now. We all have a past and that’s past.” And there you have it. Slade Smiley’s child support woes are free game and Brooks Ayers’ are not! #Hypocritemuch?
As for what’s next for the insurance hawker, besides planning daughter Briana Wolfsmith’s upcoming nuptials, Vicki reveals she is “slowing the train down a little bit”, but has hopes of writing a finance book about saving for retirement.
She is also undecided about whether or not a season 8 of RHOC’s in store for her just in case Bravo fires her. “From year to year I have to evaluate it. Have to take it day by day and year by year. It’s so hard to predict,” she says of returning next season. “At the end of the day I still have my job, I still have my family” which is more important to her than Housewives. As well it should be!
[Photo credit: Vicki Gunvalson]
THOUGHTS ON VICKI’S INTERVIEWS AND HER COMMENTS ABOUT THE PRODUCERS BASICALLY INSISTING SHE FILM THE DEMISE OF HER MARRIAGE? DO YOU THINK THIS SEASON OF RHOC WILL BE BETTER? ARE YOU SURPRISED VICKI IS STILL DATING BROOKS?
Vicki lets it all out in the interview with E! but perhaps the most shocking part of the interview is when she reveals she is still open to a reconciliation with soon to be ex-husband Donn Gunvalson, despite being the one who filed for divorce back in October. This is all the more shocking as Vicki was reported to be in a new relationship with Brooks Ayers just weeks ago.
“I hurt Donn a lot by exposing all of the things that I did,” Vicki tells E! Online. “I want the best for Donn. If I’m it, then we’ll stay together. If I’m not it, then we won’t.”
Vicki also reveals she is cordial with Donn when asked about the status of their relationship today. “We’re very cordial. We hope we’re making the right decision. We’re not legally divorced yet. We’re in the process, we’re doing mediation,” says Vicki. “I love Don, I respect Don, I want the best for Don… Right now we’re just proceeding with the separation and that’s where we’re at right now.”
She goes on to elaborate on how the show contributed to her martial issues with Donn. “I hurt Donn a lot by exposing all of the things that I did, which I never meant to do. The unfortunate part is I started talking to Tamra [Barney] in confidence, and you tend to forget that there’s a microphone on and she’s like, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with you? You’re not yourself. And I just started unloading. And the cameras caught it…Tamra and I don’t see each other that often…I really kind of felt it was a therapeutic thing to discuss it.”
And when it comes to the criticism that she put work before Donn, Vicki takes offense to that. “The misconception is that I’m putting work in front of family. The answer to that is no…I get a lot of heat for that. [People say], ‘If you would contribute your time to your family as much as you do your work, your family wouldn’t be dissolving.’ The answer to that is, ‘Wrong.’ It’s ‘no.’ You’re just seeing me saying I have to go to work because that’s when I’m filming, so that’s just a big misconception.”
She adds, “My family is my everything. If you don’t have your family intact, nothing else matters. There’s a lot of pressure doing a reality-TV show and being married and having a career and all of that. You’ve got to balance it, and some days I do better than others.”
This isn’t the first time Vicki has alluded to wanting to stay with Donn. Back in March, she stated that Donn wasn’t fighting for her. “It’s very hard — but the reality is, he’s not fighting for me, he’s not saying, ‘Babe I want you back.’ He’s saying ‘Babe, I wish you well,’” said Vicki back then.
While Vicki might be open to a reconciliation, it’s a mystery if Donn is as well. What is known is that the couple put their shared home on the market earlier this year. The home remains on the market today as the price was just slashed $200,000 a few days ago. The new asking price on the 5-bedroom, 5.25-bath, 5,400 square feet home is now $2,495,000. You can click here to see the home photos.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON VICKI’S NEW INTERVIEW? SURPRISED SHE’S OPEN TO A RECONCILIATION? DO YOU THINK DONN WANTS THE SAME?
In a new interview with CNN, Vicki, 48, actually feels that the Bravo hit show definitely contributed to her separation from husband of 16 years Donn Gunvalson.
“Six years ago when Donn and I started, we didn’t have 90 percent of the problems that we have now and I truly believe it is the show,” says Vicki who filed for divorce back in October. Vicki and Donn, who were still living together following the filing, have since listed their OC home for sale last month.
Along with the show, Vicki also blames her busy career for her split from Donn. “[W]e had a good foundation. We really felt like we could battle it and the reality was I got too busy for him. My business in itself – I have 400 agents and 12 employees and I’m at the office a lot because I was trying to film TV in there and then he felt deflated… the center of my universe was not my husband,” she says. “I didn’t have anything left for him and we grew distant. If I didn’t have the show I would have had more time for him. That’s the reality.”
Vicki goes on to add that while being on TV played a role in the failure of her marriage, it’s also a matter of life playing out in front of the camera.
“Look there’s gonna be divorces and there is gonna be deaths like when Lou Knickerbocker died. We didn’t expect that,” says Vicki. “[T]his is the reality and if you are throwing your life on a reality TV show, you have to be prepared for the consequences.”
While no one will ever fully know all that went wrong with this marriage, I can’t help but wonder if Tamra Barney’s divorce had an impact on Vicki’s decision to leave Donn. Perhaps Vicki is feeling the grass is greener on the other side and that she will find her own ‘Eddie’ though she might come to realize there aren’t a lot of men who will put up with her shenanigans Donns out there. Plus back in March, Vicki insinuated to UsWeekly that she wanted Donn to fight for her which makes me wonder if she really thought the whole divorce thing through or if this was a failed attempt to get Donn’s attention. Whatever the case, the couple is moving forward with their divorce.
Once again, below is a preview clip of the upcoming episode of the OC Housewives, which sheds some light on Vicki & Donn’s marital issues.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON VICKI’S COMMENTS? DO YOU THINK REALITY TV CAUSES MARRIAGES TO FAIL?
Speaking exclusively to UsWeekly magazine, Vicki, 48, sheds a little light on why she filed for divorce fromDonn Gunvalson, her husband of 16 years.
“We tried,” said Vicki. “It’s just too hard on both of us.” She added: “It is amicable and we want to keep this as private as possible.”
Vicki also posted the following on her facebook page – “Donn has been an important part of my life and he will continue to be,” she wrote. “I would like to thank all of you for the outpouring of love and support that we have received.”
Also speaking out on Vicki’s divorce filing are her co-stars and her son. Tamra, Alexis and Michael had the following to say to RadarOnline -
Alexis Bellino – “This is totally unexpected, I really didn’t see it coming,” Alexis told Radar.“I’ve spent a great deal of time with them and they seemed very content with one another.” Alexis added – “Reality TV is hard on any marriage, and I will be praying for their family during this trying time.”
Tamra Barney – “I can’t speak for Vicki, but I spent some time with her in the past week or so and she’s a little stressed out and…clearly upset. But only she knows what’s best for her… It’s a difficult decision. I’m just beside myself because I love Donn and I love Vicki,” Tamra said. “My heart breaks for both of them and I truly wish them the best. I only wish they get through this without it being a giant circus. And only they know what’s going on.”
Michael Wolfsmith – “I think it’s for the best and they don’t really enjoy spending time with each other anymore and my mom’s always gone and traveling and Donn deserves someone who’s going to be at home and she deserves someone that’s going to support what she does,” said Michael. “My mom’s always gone… He’s home alone a lot, he’s just not happy and she’s not happy so whatever my mom wants to do I support.”
As we reported yesterday, the 6th season of the OC Housewives is currently filming so this divorce news will likely be on the show.
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VICKI, TAMRA, ALEXIS & MICHAEL’S COMMENTS?
According to the divorce documents, Vicki, 48, married Donn in 1994. The two have no children together while Vicki’s has two children from a previous marriage — Michael, 23, and Briana, 22.
This news doesn’t come as the biggest surprise as the Gunvalsons have been shown experiencing marital problems on the Bravo hit show, though they attempted to make things work by renewing their vows back in July of 2009.
Vicki was also photographed kissing a college student earlier this year, something she described as just fun and not cheating. Vicki’s co-star and BFF on the show, Tamra Barney, also left her husbandSimon Barneyback in January.
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS NEWS? ARE YOU SURPRISED?
UPDATE – The 6th season of the Real Housewives of OC is currently filming so this will likely be on the show.
UPDATE #2 – Castmate Alexis Bellino spoke to RadarOnline stating she is surprised by the divorce news. “This is totally unexpected, I really didn’t see it coming,” Alexis told Radar.“I’ve spent a great deal of time with them and they seemed very content with one another.” Alexis added – “Reality TV is hard on any marriage, and I will be praying for their family during this trying time.”