Real Housewives of Orange County star Eddie Judge is advising audiences not to believe everything they see on TV — his show included.
In response to backlash he received from viewers following his comments from last week’s RHOC episode, Eddie posted a lengthy statement to Instagram on Monday, trying to set the record straight.
“Time to move on… just because you see it on TV doesn’t mean it’s real! I’m happy most of you understand this and those that do not, you need to learn how it works. Reality TV is not Reality. These shows are designed to get maximum reaction from the viewers,” Eddie began.
“Has anyone reached out to a villain on a TV show and messaged him/her what a piece of s— he/she is because of what they saw that person do or say to someone else on that show? Oh yeah, no. Because someone wrote that script,” he continued. “Well, someone writes the script on reality TV. Just not exactly the same way a scripted show is produced.”
During the Nov. 13 episode of RHOC, Eddie’s wife Tamra Judge broke down while attending a group therapy session with her eldest son Ryan Vieth, who is battling depression, and his therapist, Dr. Mcayla Sarno.
While processing with Vieth, 33, and the therapist, Tamra, 52, admitted her worry “that one day Ryan might commit suicide. That’s my biggest fear.”
Tamra reflected on the therapy session during a conversation with Eddie.
“When you’re struggling with childhood issues as a man, you’re not a man,” Eddie reportedly said in a confessional in reference to Vieth.
While Eddie’s words were met with criticism from fans, he defended his outlook and clarified his views on mental illness in the Instagram statement.
“I stand behind what I said and never did I say that people with a mental illness need to man up. I understand mental illness. I also understand when someone uses mental illness as an scapegoat,” Eddie continued the post.
“Ryan is not mentally ill and he is not using it as an scapegoat. He is struggling with life. And, you don’t have to be mentally ill to feel depressed,” he said.
Concluding the post, Eddie said that production will edit “a touching moment” as a way to get a “max reaction” from audiences.
“However, the TV show will figure out how to get max reaction by editing a touching moment in such a way to get you to watch for more,” he added. “If they do not, then we have no show. Get it? The end!“
On her BravoCon panel on Sunday, Tamra addressed Eddie’s frustrations, explaining that his comment was taken out of context. PEOPLE is out to Bravo for comment.
RHOC viewers have seen Vieth struggle throughout the years, butting heads with Tamra’s ex-husband Simon Barney and leaving Orange Country before eventually moving back to work with his mother a few seasons ago.
Tamra had encouraged her son to seek out a professional earlier in the season, after he admitted to feeling stuck and unable to pull himself out of a rut. Following a few one-on-one sessions, Dr. Sarno invited Tamra to join in on the conversation.
In the end, Dr. Sarno urged Vieth to stick with therapy, no matter how hard it is, promising him that the process would help him resolve some of this trauma.
The good news in all of this was Vieth’s close relationship with his 4-year-old daughter. He broke down in tears when discussing Ava, explaining how unconditionally loved by her he feels.
“You are a good dad,” Tamra said.
She only hoped that he wouldn’t ignore himself as he poured energy into Ava.
“I can look in my son’s eyes and see that he is not himself,” Tamra said. “He is so troubled by his past that he doesn’t want her to have that life. He just wants to protect that little girl so much, just smother her, that he doesn’t let other people in. He isolates himself and it concerns me.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.