The pandemic may have given us a bit of an abbreviated season of The Real Housewives of Orange County, but the final part of the reunion dropped enough bombshells to hold us over. Chief among those is Shannon Beador’s accusation that Braunwyn Windham-Burke offered her then-14-year-old daughter Stella drugs in 2019. According to Shannon, Braunwyn said, “Stella, there’s a lot of bad drugs out there. If you want the good stuff, text me.” Braunwyn gave Shannon a tearful apology at the reunion, saying she didn’t remember the event because she was drinking at the time. “I would never do that sober,” said Braunwyn, whose sobriety has been a major story line this season. (Shannon first brought up the drugs allegation after Braunwyn said Shannon could have a drinking problem, too.) “I think of all the things I’ve done that might be the worst,” Braunwyn added. Shannon replied, “It was a long time ago.” Speaking about the incident to Bustle, Braunwyn added that her husband, Sean, remembered the incident differently when she talked to him after taping the reunion. According to him, she said, “Don’t do drugs in California, they’re laced with things and you’ll die. Call me first,” Braunwyn claimed.
After Braunwyn also made waves this season for coming out as the first lesbian housewife on any franchise, the reunion also saw another coming out. Braunwyn claimed she had no one in the cast to “talk to about LGBTQIA rights,” before new housewife Elizabeth Lyn Vargas replied, “Have you ever asked me?” Elizabeth then said she was bisexual, “but whatever.” “I don’t practice it,” she added, which confused host Andy Cohen. “I just don’t have any interest in meeting a new woman right now,” Elizabeth added, after Andy asked if she was referring to her current boyfriend, Jimmy.
Elizabeth also revealed during the reunion that she was going to therapy for her “severe” PTSD from being in a religious cult. Toward the end of the season, she talked to her younger brother about the experience, telling him she was going to see a therapist about it. When she previously told Braunwyn, and later some of the other housewives, about her experiences with abuse in the cult, she said she had never told people about it before.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a RHOC reunion without some antics from Kelly Dodd. This time, it took the form of Kelly claiming she was Black. Andy challenged the notably conservative housewife for wearing a “Drunk Wives Matter” hat at her bridal shower, which Kelly defended at the time. She continued to defend the hat on the reunion, before eventually yelling, “I’m Black! How am I racist?” The comment turned heads, given that Kelly had previously spoken about being Mexican American. “But you don’t identify as an African American?” Andy asked her. “I don’t,” she replied. “You have not walked through life as an African American,” he added. Kelly further explained the comment in an Instagram post, saying that a DNA test told her she was 4 percent Black.