The Real Divorces Of The “Real Housewives”
I was going to write a post this morning about “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Reunion Special that aired last night. But honestly, I can’t donate any more brain space to those women and their inane fighting. (Exception: I love Adrienne Maloof, even if she is apparently friendly with Charlie Sheen.) And so, I am going to turn my attention to their husbands. While there are definitely marriages that seem happy on the show—how cute are Kyle and Mauricio?—what the “Real Housewives” franchise is famous for is showing highly dysfunctional relationships. Over the years, we’ve seen the dissolution of seven “Real Housewives” marriages, plus a broken engagement. Oh, and NeNe and Gregg Leakes’ weird alienation.
The Daily Beast has a great story that looks at the show’s divorce track record and talks to several of the House Husbands about the experience of being on the show. Shari Levine, Bravo’s senior vice president of production, says she doesn’t think being on the show leads to divorce. “We do not have a 50 percent divorce rate,” she says. “There have been a couple families where people divorced, so you could say we’re doing better than the national average.”
And in one Beverly Hills castmember case, it might have saved a marriage. It was kind of creepy watching Taylor Armstrong and her weird husband Russell. He always seemed completely disinterested in whatever she was saying or doing. More than once, Taylor made a joke about some younger, hotter thing coming in and snatching up her husband—a cringeworthy statement considering that Russell came off as such a geeky, awkward, work-obsessed tool.
But Russell says that he changed his tune after watching himself on air. “The one thing the show has done, it’s made us refocus our marriage,” he said. “And it’s been wonderful.”
He promises to be more fun to watch if his wife does the show again. “I’m going to be more engaging next season. I didn’t really understand what we were getting into. I don’t really watch reality television and so we decided early on that this was Taylor’s project; that I was going to be supportive, but just stay in the background. And that backfired.”