Lisa Rinna is opening up about stepping away from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after eight drama-packed seasons. Rinna, 59, joined season 5 of the Bravo show in 2014 and quickly divided fans with her willingness to jump into the fray with cast members such as Kim Richards and Denise Richards.
"Here's the thing. I love filming. Filming's fun. What is not so fun is the airing of the show," Rinna told Interview Magazine. Here's why she's saying goodbye to the franchise and how she feels about the notorious Bravo "editing process."
Rinna says she didn't enjoy certain aspects of reality show life. "Filming is one thing. But once you see it, once it goes out into the universe, that I don't love, because it takes on a life of its own. When filming, you have your drama, but it's contained in a sense. And once it goes out, you get opinions and all the stuff that goes on, that's the part I don't like. Here's the thing. We all know what we're doing. We all know that they have the power in the edit. You do not have power in the edit whatsoever. Of course, if you get a nicer edit, you're happier. Listen, if I could tell my story the way it really, really, really happens, that would be fabulous, wouldn't it?"
No One Gets Control
Rinna says no one gets control of their edit. "That doesn't happen for anybody. There's not one person on that cast that feels completely validated and says, 'Oh, yes, you're seeing me for exactly who I am.' It's just not part of what you're going to do with eight people. They're brilliant at what they do. Are there times that I have liked some years more than others? Yes. I hated this year. For a lot of reasons. My mom died, we all know that. But that's not the biggest reason. The story just didn't get told as two-sidedly as I would've liked. How about that?"
What Happened In Aspen?
There's been plenty of controversy about Kathy Hilton's alleged meltdown in Aspen, none of which was caught on camera. "It was unfortunate that there weren't cameras in Aspen," Rinna says. "It was something that happened so spontaneously. In the moment, I didn't think to turn on my voice memos. When somebody's having a nuclear breakdown, you don't think, 'Oh, I should be filming this.' That doesn't come across your mind. When you've actually tried to save somebody and get somebody out of a club because they were hurting themselves, you think, 'What the *** do I do? Do I call the police? I don't know what to do.' So yes, it was unfortunate that in this sprinter van, there were no cameras. Because we were done filming. We'd shut down."
Defending Erika Girardi
The Aspen scandal only became public after Rinna spoke about it. "That wasn't meant to be shown, but it happened," she says. "And if you're dealing with me or you're dealing with Erika [Girardi], we're going to tell the truth. All I ever did was tell the truth."
Rinna believes there was a smear campaign against her carried out by an insider. "I think it's pretty obvious. There's a smear campaign that went on online against me. It was all very calculated. And there was a person on payroll doing that… I survived it. It didn't ruin my career or cancel me."
"I Wasn't That Bad"
Rinna says her frankness may have led to her downfall. "I don't censor myself. I don't think, 'Oh man, if I do this, no one's going to like me and I'm just going to ruin everything.' I just do what the job requires. Some years, it's more successful than others. This year, if you really look at it, I was no more terrible than I've ever been. I raised my voice to Sutton Stracke twice. Big deal. Look at Erika's behavior. Our behavior is similar, but to single out my behavior this year as being horrific. I mean, did you see me in Amsterdam? I think it was just a conscious effort where people went, 'Okay, you know what? We're tired of her.' Because I wasn't that bad. I was no worse than I've always been."
Rinna blames production for her infamous fight with Kim Richards in Amsterdam. "They got in her ear and they basically said, 'We need you to do something,' that's my guess. 'We need you to set Rinna off.' And she knew exactly the trigger because I had said how protective I am of my family… You can't touch Amsterdam. That would never happen in real life. That will never happen again. I don't even know what happened in that moment, but I'm just glad I didn't strangle her, because I cross over that table and I remember thinking to myself, 'Don't touch her. You'll go to jail and you're in Amsterdam. You'll never get out.' That's what stopped me. And remember, I go for her neck."
Just Being Herself
"It's not a script. I'm not playing a character," Rinna says. "I mean, I'm playing a version of myself, because you don't get all of us. You get a certain amount of us, in the juxtaposition of throwing us all together. I don't have to react to that in real life because I don't get that in real life. So, it's putting yourself in a position where you have to react to what you're getting, and it's not normal circumstances. And at the end of the day, I've always been able to remember it's a TV show. We can love or hate each other, but we're still making a TV show together."