When it comes to marriage and divorce on reality TV, no one has more experience than the OG of the OC.
Last week on the Watch What Happens Live After Show, Vicki Gunvalson spoke out about her Real Housewives of Orange County castmate Emily Simpson‘s rocky relationship with husband Shane Simpson, and offered her take on how the clashing couple can get back on track.
“Personally, I just really feel bad,” Vicki said of Emily‘s marital strife this season. “Because I think that they were fine before they started filming. At least she told me they were. And now they’re having issues. And I just kind of feel like the pressure of having marriage problems with cameras on, everything gets exaggerated.”
The RHOC star is no stranger to going through the ups and downs of marriage in front of Bravo’s cameras. When Vicki helped launch the Housewives franchise way back in 2005, she had been married to husband Donn Gunvalson for more than a decade.
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However, the Coto Insurance maven’s workaholic lifestyle combined with the demands of filming a reality show put a noticeable strain on the couple’s marriage. Their on-camera bickering got worse as the show grew from reality prototype to pop culture phenomenon.
Despite a last-ditch attempt to recommit save her marriage with a (filmed) Turks and Caicos-set vow renewal during Season 5, Vicki and Donn split the following year. The couple finalized their divorce in December 2014.
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Though she’s now engaged to longtime boyfriend Steve Lodge, the freshly-demoted Friend of the Housewives has been candid in the past about how much she regrets divorcing her ex-husband, and offered advice during the WWHL After Show for what Emily should do to avoid going down a similar path.
“I feel that I could’ve done things way differently when I was married to Donn,” she told Andy Cohen. “I feel like you need to go back to your roots of your family and keep that…keep that sacred.”
RELATED: Emily Simpson Feels “Nauseous” Watching Marriage On Real Housewives; Says Shane Simpson Didn’t Realize He Was “Dismissive” & “Cold”
TELL US – ARE EMILY AND SHANE HEADED FOR DIVORCE? SHOULD EMILY LISTEN TO VICKI’S ADVICE?
[Photo Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo]