The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills entered its 12th season this year, and all season long fans have been teased with the oncoming train wreck that would be a major meltdown from Kathy Hilton. The meltdown would supposedly have major ramifications going forward, and Bravo finally peeled back the curtains yesterday. Fans did not see the meltdown in question, as it happened off camera, but they were filled in on the alarming things Kathy said. Her behavior, while understandably concerning, was not what fans took issue with, though; it was her co-star Lisa Rinna.
In the Sept. 28 episode titled “Silence Is Golden,” viewers watched as the housewives — mainly Rinna — rehashed and explained the wild night that occurred in the previous episode, as it happened outside of the camera’s line of sight. According to Rinna, Kathy trash talked every single one of the housewives to the point of beratement, especially her sister Kyle, and even went on a rampage that involved shouting, hitting walls, and stomping on her sunglasses.
In her private confessional, Rinna claimed Kathy called Sutton Stracke and Crystal Minkoff “pieces of sh**” who “should be fired.”
“What she said about Dorit was that she is a stupid useless idiot. [It was a] barrage of, ‘I can’t f***ing believe I have to be around you f***ing peons. I don’t like them. Why do I have to be with them? They need to go away. They’re idiots. I have to do everything around here. This is my show by the way. I have big deals over at NBC. Everyone is protecting me and I will f***ing ruin Kyle.’
She takes her glasses off, she throws them on the ground, she’s jumping up and down, breaking her glasses. She’s pounding the walls and she’s screaming [that] she made Kyle, Kathy’s responsible for Kyle…And she said, ‘I will destroy Kyle and her family if it’s the last thing I ever do.’”
RHOBH fans did not immediately tear Kathy apart as one might expect. Instead, they turned their attention to Rinna, who spent a good portion of the episode calling Kathy out and even inviting her to an intervention with Kyle Richards, her sister, where she then claimed Kathy “needed help” and said she had a “black heart.” Kathy apologized and the fans accepted that, but Rinna’s portrayal of the white knight rubbed them the wrong way; Rinna, who is no stranger to using her tongue as a whip and taking less than satisfactory ownership of it.
So, why are RHOBH fans angry at Lisa Rinna and not Kathy Hilton?
At the end of the day it comes down to accusations of gaslighting and hypocrisy. Lisa Rinna has been at the center of some of RHOBH’s most controversial moments. She’s angrily smashed a wine glass on the dinner table after former co-star Kim Richards brought up her husband; she’s accused Kim of abusing her alcoholism and being close to death; she blew things out of proportion with former co-star Denise Richards, quite literally throwing her under the bus and being the reason Denise left the show; she’s accused former co-star Yolanda Hadid of faking her Lyme disease with Munchausen’s syndrome. And that’s not even the half of it.
The fans are expressing their exasperation at Rinna’s attempt to tear Kathy Hilton down after just one night of uncharacteristic behavior. Kathy, who, to her credit, has said she was dealing with the illness of a close friend at the time of her meltdown and who has never had an outburst like that in the past. Rinna, on the other hand, who has trouble “owning it baby!” as she tells everyone else to do, is furthering her reputation as a tongue-whipping instigator.
Season 12’s biggest build-up has played out unexpectedly, painting Kathy Hilton not as the villian everyone assumed her to be, but the victim of Lisa Rinna’s antics. Rina has long been rumored to be on the precipice of exile from the show, so perhaps this is her going out with a bang.