LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: The cast of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" arrives at Bravo's 2nd annual A-List Awards held at the Orpheum Theater on April 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez)

Reality TV Divorce Curse: Real Housewives of Orange County Victims 

Real Housewives of Orange County was the first Real Housewives show. Over its many seasons, it has seen more than its fair share of wrecked marriages. The divorce curse came in hot! Let’s take a look at the RHOC divorces that had fans shook.

Vicki Gunvalson and Donn Gunvalson

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Vicki Gunvalson will always be the “OG of the OC.” And when we met her, she was married to Donn Gunvalson. The early seasons of the show focused on Vicki’s relentless workaholism and her family life.

Vicki and Donn’s marital strife became more evident. But the couple renewed their vows during Season 5 in Turks & Caicos. Which meant that their marriage was doomed. After 16 years of marriage, Vicki filed for divorce from Donn in 2010. At first, Vicki blamed the show for causing all the stress in her marriage. Their divorce was finalized in January 2014.

Vicki finally admitted that her relationship with Brooks Ayers overlapped with her marriage. “I divorced my husband for Brooks and it’s the biggest regret I ever had. I will never, ever cheat again. It destroyed my family,” Vicki admitted. Although Brooks was bad news, Vicki refused to read the memo. Or look closely at the medical paperwork that Brooks forged to boost his claim that he had cancer.

Lynne Curtin and Frank Curtin

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Lynne Curtin and Frank Curtin were unique in the history of Real Housewives. This is the first couple that was shown living way above their means. Lynne, who joined the show for seasons 4 and 5, had a business making cuffs.

In 2009, the Curtins were served with an eviction notice by the owner of their Laguna Beach rental house. And the notice was handed to one of the couple’s daughters on camera.

Frank didn’t pay a hefty security deposit to the landlord. Unbeknownst to Lynne and their daughters, the family had been living a champagne life on a zero budget. Did I mention that Lynne had a facelift the same year that the family was evicted? Frank finally revealed the extent of their money problems, and the family moved out of their rental.

Lynne filed for divorce from Frank in 2012 after more than 20 years of marriage. The couple continued to be plagued by financial woes.

Since neither Frank nor Lynne did anything about their divorce for five years, a judge dismissed the case. So, in 2019, Lynne once again filed for divorce after almost 30 years of marriage. If no one is motivated enough to find a pen, maybe this duo should stay married.

Alexis Bellino and Jim Bellino

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When Alexis Bellino joined the show in Season 5, she made no apologies for who she was. She was religious and embraced traditional marriage values. She called her husband, Jim Bellino, her “king.” Yes- it is still cringe.

The couple clashed over Alexis wanting to spend time outside of the home with her co-stars, and about having a co-hosting gig. Jim wanted her at home raising their three children. And Alexis often argued with her co-star Tamra Judge, who nicknamed her “Jesus Jugs.” Also, cringe.

In June 2018, Jim filed for divorce, listing “irreconcilable differences.” And, in a non-traditional move, he asked Alexis for spousal support.

Their divorce was finalized in August 2018. In the settlement, Jim ended up with two mansions and their SkyZone business. Alexis was awarded their new San Juan Capistrano home. The RHOC alum also received $16,000 per month in combined alimony and child support. And she was awarded a tidy $250,000 lump sum.

Jim was also well-known for filing a defamation lawsuit against Tamra and Shannon Beador for talking about him and his allegedly “shady” business practices. I do not miss seeing Jim on my TV screen. Alexis has moved on in the romance department. In December 2020, she announced that she was engaged to Andy Bohn.

Jeana Keough and Matt Keough

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Jeana Keough appeared in the first five seasons of RHOC. Her story was centered on her real estate business and her family. She had two sons, Shane Keough and Colton Keough, and a daughter, Kara Keough. One of Jeana’s most infamous moments was when Tamra threw a glass of wine in her face during a spat.

Jeana and her husband, Matt Keough, had an unusual marriage. They were separated while on the show, but still maintained a relationship.

Matt was a Major League Baseball player. In 1992, he was struck by a foul ball and suffered a severe head injury. Jeana revealed that the couple was separated for almost 22 out of their 32 years of marriage. In 2019, Jeana also shared at BravoCon that the couple was finally divorced.

Sadly, Matt passed away unexpectedly in May 2020. Jeana revealed that Matt “had a pulmonary embolism.” The former RHOC star added that “he wasn’t sick … So young and pretty reasonably healthy.”

Noella Bergener and James Bergener

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Noella Bergener burst onto the scene and tried to come for the returning RHOC legend Heather Dubrow. That was a tragic miscalculation. Don’t try and take the champs from Fancy Pants. Noella ended up another one-season wonder, but she left us with a season full of drama.

Noella discovered that her husband, attorney James Bergener, owed over $5 million in taxes to the IRS and the State of California. And Noella found out about the debt from the press, not her husband.

Kicking off the messy RHOC divorce, Noella was served with divorce papers from James in August 2021. He filed them from Puerto Rico and claimed that he wasn’t living with Noella and their son. She was clueless that James was divorcing her, and all this drama played out in front of the Bravo cameras.

Noella claimed that James cut off her credit cards, and didn’t pay support for, or visit, their son. The newbie also claimed that their divorce was not valid because it was filed in Puerto Rico.

James fired back, and he had a slightly different version of events. Shocker! According to James, his divorce was finalized in Puerto Rico on December 8, 2021. Despite having not visited his son, James claimed that he gave Noella over $150k towards his care.

Tamra Barney and Simon Barney

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During Season 5, Tamra Barney and Simon Barney endured a memorable limo ride. “F**k you, I want a divorce,” Tamra told Simon. Obviously, she wasn’t happy with Simon’s controlling behavior.

But in a shocking move, Simon filed for divorce in January 2010. The accusations he made against Tamra were stunning. Simon stated that Tamra “has been verbally abusive and has committed acts of disloyalty and infidelity.”

He also filed the documents on the day that an episode of RHOC detailed their marital problems. The couple, who shared three children, had been married for 11 years.

In September 2010, Simon was arrested for allegedly throwing a retractable dog leash at Tamra and striking her. She was granted a temporary restraining order against him.

In October 2011, the dueling duo’s divorce was finalized. In 2013, Tamra found love again and wed Eddie Judge. And she nabbed that all-important wedding spinoff, Tamra’s OC Wedding. But her drama with her ex continued.

Simon filed court documents in 2014 claiming that Tamra “has been very neglectful in her care for the children.” Tamra responded, “He has no foundation to his allegations and in my opinion will do anything to destroy me.”

When Simon announced that he had stage 3 throat cancer in 2020, Tamra, Simon, and their children put their differences aside. Even Tamra’s son from a previous marriage, Ryan Vieth, made amends with Simon. And Simon’s diagnosis also brought Tamra and her daughter, Sidney Barney, closer together.

Gina Kirschenheiter and Matt Kirschenheiter

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/Santiago Felipe)

Gina Kirschenheiter joined RHOC during Season 13. Gina’s husband, Matt Kirschenheiter, was never seen on camera. Gina decided to file for divorce from her husband right out of the gate in April 2018.

The RHOC star requested joint legal custody of their children. She also asked for sole physical custody. Although marital issues were just part of Gina’s life.

On February 1, 2019, Gina was arrested for suspicion of DUI. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. Gina received three years probation, six months in an alcohol program, and community service.

In June 2019, Matt was arrested after he allegedly physically attacked Gina. She asked for, and received, a temporary restraining order.

In a court hearing on August 14, 2019, the couple was advised that their marriage would terminate on December 31, 2019. Matt and Gina continued to wrangle over child support. Finally, Gina took a payout of $230,000 in place of child and spousal support.

Gina also moved on with her new boyfriend, Travis Mullen. After dating for six months, the couple moved their blended family, with a total of six kids, into a three-bedroom home.

In April 2021, Matt pleaded guilty to one felony count each of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit and domestic battery with corporal injury of a spouse. He received a sentence of 180 days in county jail. Although, if he completed a series of conditions, he could avoid jail time.

Meghan King Edmonds and Jim Edmonds

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Meghan King Edmonds and Jim Edmonds’ break up was one of the nastiest and most contentious splits in Bravo history. First came the sexting scandal, when Jim was reaching out to someone other than his wife. Meghan was pregnant with the couple’s twins at the time. Jim filed for divorce in 2019, amid Meghan’s accusations that he allegedly cheated on her with the nanny. The couple share three children.

Jim and Meghan’s divorce was finalized in May 2021. The twosome just couldn’t quit slamming each other in the press, though. Jim finally confirmed that his girlfriend, Kortnie O’Connor, participated in a threesome with him and Meghan. He also accused Meghan of lying about him.

She claimed that Jim regularly subjected her to “verbal abuse.” Finally, the feuding exes moved on. Well, sort of. Jim said “I do” to Kortnie in Italy.

Meghan tied the knot with President Joe Biden’s nephew, Cuffe Owens, in October 2021. They dated for three weeks before their nuptials and headed right to splitsville after only two months of marriage.

Dr. Jen Armstrong and Ryne Holliday

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Dr. Jen Armstrong was driving the struggle bus during her freshman season of RHOC. Jen, who is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, had multiple lawsuits filed against her.

But Jen’s biggest struggle was her marriage to Ryne Holliday. Next up was her confusion over how to pronounce his name.

Jen confided her marriage woes to Heather. Naturally, Fancy Pants threw a dinner party with other couples with wonderfully successful marriages. That way, Ryne and Jen could see how horrible their union was. Jen drank a ton of wine and repeatedly spoke over her husband. It was awkward.

She shared that Ryne moved out after filming concluded. The time apart seemed to help the struggling couple, and so they reconciled. Briefly.

Jen filed for legal separation in May 2022. She requested physical and legal custody of their three children. Jen asked that Ryne, who took care of the kids as a stay-at-home father, be given visitation rights.

The following month, Jen filed for divorce. The couple was married for almost nine years. She asked that Ryne not be given any spousal support, and included a big list of what she didn’t want to share with him. Hopefully she gave him some shirts, because Ryne was sans shirt almost all season.

In the end, all their marital discord wasn’t enough to save Jen’s orange. She admitted that she was fired after her first season.

Shannon Beador and David Beador

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/David A. Walega/)

Shannon Beador’s marriage to David Beador was, at best, a dumpster fire of misery. David cheated on Shannon, which caused her to feel inadequate. They went to a couple’s retreat, where Shannon pretended to be deceased, so David could share his heartfelt thoughts.

David even planned a surprise birthday party and wedding vow renewal. Well, we know that a Bravo vow renewal is the kiss of death for a marriage.

The couple separated after 17 years of marriage, and Shannon filed for divorce in December 2017. The RHOC divorce turned nasty, with the former couple arguing over custody of their three daughters and spousal support. David tried to wiggle out of paying Shannon spousal support, while she alleged that he was hiding assets.

In 2019, Shannon and David finalized the terms of their divorce. The exact details about the settlement weren’t revealed, but I’m sure Shannon tossed nine lemons in a bowl to celebrate. This divorce was one of the worst in Bravo’s history.

David remarried but recently filed for divorce from Lesley Beador. And Shannon, who was in a three-year relationship with John Janssen, was blindsided when he broke up with her after Season 17 wrapped.

Lizzie Rovsek and Christian Rovsek

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/David Livingston)

Lizzie Rovsek only held an orange during Season 9. She returned as a friend the following season. I give Lizzie a round of applause for holding Tamra’s feet to the fire during the infamous dinner in Bali.

Lizzie and Tamra argued over Tamra lying and talking behind people’s backs. You know—the prerequisites for being a housewife. When Tamra was confronted by her other co-stars, she ran away.

But Lizzie didn’t just have trouble with Tamra. She was having marital issues with her husband of eight years, Christian Rovsek. On October 19, 2017, Lizzie filed for divorce. The couple share two sons.

The following year, Lizzie posted a photo of herself with Christian in Paris. In the snap, she was kissing Christian on the cheek.

But the couple’s divorce still isn’t finalized. According to Bravo’s The Daily Dish, in 2018, the twosome finalized a deal for child support, alimony, and custody of their sons. Since the matter of a family business hasn’t been settled yet, their divorce is stalled.

Kelly Dodd and Michael Dodd

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/ David Livingston)

Kelly Dodd made her grand entrance during Season 11. And from the jump, she made no bones about the fact that she wasn’t happily married to her husband, Michael Dodd. Kelly tried to divorce her husband, but he wouldn’t agree to it. She became engaged to another man during their separation but ended up back with Michael.

So, she stayed married to Michael because it was an easier option. And they say romance is dead! And she had no qualms about sharing that her husband was allegedly diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Someone should introduce Kelly to the concept of privacy.

But there was also a disturbing past between Kelly and Michael. In 2014, after an alleged domestic violence incident, Michael took out a restraining order against Kelly.

Kelly often explained how much better her daughter’s life would be if she was divorced. Kelly and Michael pulled the trigger and finally divorced in March 2018.

And Kelly, who doesn’t possess a filter, continued to display problematic behavior on the show. But she did find love again with Rick Leventhal. They tied the knot on October 10, 2020.

Kelly was fired after Season 15 but refused to gracefully fade away. She still sounds off regularly about the Bravoverse.

Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Sean Burke

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When Braunwyn Windham-Burke signed on for Season 14, she was a wife and mom of seven kids. She and her husband, Sean Burke, rendezvoused at their private love shack.

But as Braunwyn began a journey of self-discovery, she struggled with some difficult issues. She shared that she was an alcoholic and began her sobriety journey. She also came out as a lesbian.

Shortly before that announcement, Sean and Braunwyn renewed their wedding vows while bravo cameras rolled. While the couple initially claimed that they wouldn’t ever divorce, the situation changed.

Braunwyn filed for divorce from Sean, and his collection of statement necklaces, in October 2022. She claimed that she was forced to file for divorce because Sean allegedly cleaned out their joint bank accounts.

And on Christmas Eve 2022, Braunwyn bemoaned her status as a single mom and knocked her ex as “controlling” and “toxic.” Earlier in December, Braunwyn shared that she cannot support her children because Sean decided not to pay any assistance. Oh, and she can’t support the lifestyle that she formerly had. Please hand me a tissue.

Meanwhile, Braunwyn has moved on with Jennifer Spinner, with whom she had a fake wedding in Las Vegas. While Sean and Braunwyn couldn’t master the art of the “modern marriage,” it would be nice if they could practice the art of a civil divorce.

It seems like RHOC is in the running for the franchise with the most divorces. This is bad news for our housewives, but great news if you are a divorce attorney in Orange County!