Real Housewives Who Are Refreshingly Honest About Their Sobriety

(Photo by Greg Doherty/Bravo via Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Doherty/Bravo via Getty Images)
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The Real Housewives franchise has a drinking problem on its hands. Case in point: Shannon Beador got behind her wheel drunk in September. Her car wrecked, she fled the scene, and shortly after, Shannon was sentenced to three years of probation. This wasn’t shocking, sadly, as Shannon actually now joins a long line of alcohol-related legal issues on Bravo.

To recap, Gina Kirschenheiter was also arrested for a DUI, while Kim Richards was arrested for disorderly conduct. Likewise, Luann de Lesseps was arrested for disorderly intoxication and battery of an officer. Her Welcome to Crappie Lake co-star Sonja Morgan also received a DUI back in 2010. In addition to these arrests, let’s not forget the dozens of lost memories, Heather Gay‘s mysterious black eye, and Brandi Glanville‘s drunken behaviors on Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip, which saw sexual assault allegations arise.

Clearly, alcohol is a problem. We aren’t the only ones who think this to be true, thankfully. In fact, several of the Housewives have caught on to the pitfalls that just a few shots can bring, and therefore, many of them have now gone sober. As we know that liquor helps to loosen these stars for filming, this cannot be an easy lifestyle change for the ladies to partake in.

But, partake they are—and they have all admitted that it’s been hard. As we are impressed with their vulnerability, we’d like to give them credit. After all, sometimes, spilled tea should be positive. With that in mind, these are the Real Housewives who have been refreshingly honest about their sobriety journeys.

Gina Kirschenheiter

During the RHOC Season 14 premiere, viewers watched as Gina dealt with the fallout from her DUI. Here, Gina picked up her phone, engaging in an emotional FaceTime call with her dad. “I know I disappointed you,” she tearfully began, adding, “I just hope that the kids don’t think bad of me, too,” she sobbed, and as a mother, this hit. Parents are supposed to set examples for their children, so Gina’s honesty in this moment felt genuine.

Thankfully, this Real Housewives star is now sober, but the journey wasn’t easy. Speaking to People, Gina got real, explaining, “I would say to myself, I think I’m drinking too much. Next week, I’m not going to drink at all, but then next week would come and it’d be hard and I’d say, ‘f*ck it, I’m going to have a drink, I can’t do this,’ and that scared me. I wasn’t even able to have a short spurt of success not drinking, and that really raised a red flag, like, ‘Oh, this is serious.'”

It wasn’t until RHOC Season 17, however, however, that Gina won her battle over booze. After, Gina continued to keep it real when noting how this affected friendships. “It’s strange, when you stop drinking, you really see all these things you didn’t notice prior, like how alcohol is very normalized in mommy culture. And it’s scary because you don’t want to be judged,” she said.

Moving forward, Gina ordered mocktails while still bringing the drama on Real Housewives of Orange County. In fact, Gina stated that she was “more present” without drinking. This proves that alcohol doesn’t need to be a job requirement for reality television stars. For her refreshingly honest candor when it comes to multiple aspects of sobriety, we applaud Gina.

Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills passed one year of sobriety in July. When an equally sober reporter caught up with her on BravoCon‘s red carpet, Kyle discussed her decision to cut out liquor. “I’m not an alcoholic,” she began, explaining instead that she “gave it up for fitness and health reasons.” With vanity accusations likely in the back of her mind, this admittance was pretty honest, if you ask us.

As for a positive aspect that this has since brought, Kyle also stated, “I wasn’t expecting to have all this clarity. I feel so different, in the best possible way.” She also stressed that her anxiety has been minimized, saying, “I don’t even take Lexapro anymore.” The fact that Kyle has maintained an alcohol-free lifestyle with lessened anxiety while her world literally implodes, well, it’s impressive.

You see, Kyle’s 27-year-long marriage to Mauricio Umansky has gone downhill, and the two have entered into a separation. On this, Kyle admitted that sobriety affected her marriage to Mauricio, as his social obligations see him attending booze-fueled parties often. Nevertheless, Kyle is sticking to her guns and remaining sober. For her honesty over her mental health journey and her efforts taken in remaining sober, we say, well done, Kyle.

Leah McSweeney

Leah McSweeney was sober for almost ten years before joining Real Housewives of New York. Once hired, the pressures of filming saw her drinking habits return. She’s since resumed a sober lifestyle, and in every interview that Leah’s given, she’s presented as raw and genuine, admitting that it was way more than just alcohol that she struggled to kick. Now, Leah wants to create change, not only with those who similarly struggle, but within the network as well.

To explain, Leah is suing Bravo, citing a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During filming, Leah claimed that her sobriety wasn’t handled well. Likewise, Leah said that her fellow cast members pressured her to drink, despite her history of substance abuse. On this, Leah was afraid to speak out, fearing retaliation from the network, as one of the producers allegedly told her that the viewers didn’t like her when she wasn’t drinking.

For her efforts made in helping those who come behind her, both on-air and off, we applaud Leah’s bravery and refreshingly honest takes on sobriety.


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