The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
It was inevitable. We all knew it was coming. And still, when you hear the allegations that Brandi Glanville (someone said her name three times again) makes against Denise Richards, it’s enough to make your jaw hang open like a Halloween skeleton on November 3.
Before I assess what I think is true and what is not, let’s just get Brandi’s tale into chronological order, shall we? It seems like Brandi and Denise were introduced by their mutual friend “Alec” and they had dinner together (possibly with Denise’s husband Aaron, but I’m unclear on this). They hit it off immediately, Denise told Brandi that she can fool around with other women and Aaron is cool with it, as long as it’s not another dude. Denise followed Brandi into the bathroom and they made out.
Then, some time later, Denise did Brandi’s podcast. The episode aired on May 3, 2019, which is after season 9 of the show aired but before season 10 started shooting. Brandi says that when she went up to a film set to meet Denise, she was supposed to sleep on the rollaway cot, but there was no cot. She shared a bed with Denise while one of Denise’s daughters and her friend slept downstairs. The next night they got wasted and hooked up. (“Like kissed?” Teddi naively asks. “Live everything,” Brandi says, as if she threw a whole stack of Cosmos at Teddi with her mouth.)
Brandi says she did it because she thought that everything between Denise and Aaron was cool and that he wouldn’t mind this, but she was still uncomfortable because the daughter was downstairs. Brandi says that in the morning, Denise said that Aaron could never find out, which made Brandi feel like a cheater, which she says is the last thing she ever wanted to be. She and Brandi didn’t talk for months. The hookup happened in April, according to Brandi, and the women went on their trip December 15 according to Instagrams the cast posted while there. That means they barely talked for eight months, or until Brandi ran into Denise at Kyle’s party.
Apparently, Denise was pretending that none of that happened but still kept texting Brandi to make sure her secret was safe. After she ran into Brandi at the party, she called her and told her some mean things about the cast. Denise said that she hated Teddi but that Teddi would do anything to stay on the show to get out of her father’s shadow. She said Erika was an “ice-cold bitch” and that she didn’t like Lisa Rinna either. Brandi, and the other women at this tea-spilling somewhat slumber party, think she did this in order to keep Brandi close and bond with her now that she saw she was hanging out with the ladies again. She also said to Brandi something like, “I keep my private life private and I’ll keep your secrets too,” which Brandi saw as a threat.
Okay, so this all comes out after the party where Brandi behaved like a complete fool. She seemed quite cozy with Denise, patting her bum behind the bar, but Brandi was wasted. She was so drunk that she was stumbling on the dance floor and quite hilariously biting it while holding a microphone on stage.
She also dropped a little bit of a truth bomb when talking to Adrienne, the Queen of the Maloofs, a race of mole people that live under the mountain. Back in the day, Brandi talked about how Adrienne used a surrogate to have her children, something that Adrienne wanted to keep off the show. Brandi finally apologized for doing that and making her business public, but then she said that someone else put her up to saying that. Does she mean Lisa Vanderpump? Is she saying she was manipulated into delivering that truth? Lisa seems to have tried to get her to do all sorts of things (remember that kerfuffle about her bringing tabloids on a group trip?), but Brandi wouldn’t say her name and the editors refused to even show a hint of Lisa or her faux-posh accent, so it’s like a weird sort of Lisa erasure.
The only reason that is relevant is because it speaks to Brandi’s character and whether we should believe her. If she was so easily manipulated by Lisa “Evil-Lyn” Vanderpump back in the day to stay on the show, could she be manipulated by someone else to say everything about Denise in order to get back on the show? Could she be making all of this up?
I am loath to believe Kyle, who says, “Brandi can be a lot of things. She can be mean, she can be a bitch. But I don’t believe she’s a liar.” However, that is very true. Brandi can definitely bring a nuclear bomb to a knife fight, but she has always been on the right side of history. She wasn’t lying about Adrienne’s surrogate. She was telling the truth about Lisa’s meddling ways. I believe that she isn’t making this up about Denise. The whole story reeks of plausibility. Brandi has such a detailed account of everything that went down, I can’t believe she would add so many details and have it be false. I will be interested to see her tell this story over and over again (and once again at the reunion) to see if it always matches up. I want to see if Brandi has her story straight, but I really believe that she does.
I’m still left with a heap of questions, though. If Denise really hates all of these women, why is she pretending like she’s their friend? What does Denise get out of being so two-faced? Is it so simple that she just wants fans to like her? They would love her just as much if she was like, “I fucking hate Teddi, she is the worst,” because, let’s face it, there are plenty of people out there who hate Teddi and think she is the worst. So what is Denise playing at? What does she gain by this? Is she really trying to clean up her reputation?
The other huge question is just how did this all come to be? The way it plays out on the show, Teddi is at Kyle’s house planning her baby shower. Kim comes by to drop off some dresses she borrowed from her sister. She just happens to be taking Brandi out for her birthday dinner that night. Kim tells Kyle that Brandi is in the car and Kyle is like, “Go get her, let’s say hi.” Then Brandi, camera-ready and coiffed for the gods, sits on Kyle’s bed and spills not just her guts but parts of herself that are usually only seen by her most intimate acquaintances.
So, how exactly did we get here? Did Brandi get an invite to the party along with Camille to add some spice to the season? (I love Garcelle, but, once again, she couldn’t be bothered to show up for Erika’s Shoedazzle party.) Did this really happy as we saw it? Did Brandi really tell Kim and Kim told Kyle and Kyle told the producers and they put this all together? Or did Brandi tell Kim and Kim told the producers and they made it happen, because Kyle did seem genuinely shocked about the news. (And I was terrified by Kyle in Watcher in the Woods as a child, so I know she’s not that good of an actress.) Did Brandi tell the producers in order to get back on the show? I think we are entitled to a little bit more transparency. I genuinely believe these shows are pretty darn real, a lot more real than a lot of fans give them credit for. However, the machinations behind this seem dot dot dot mysterious.
Do I believe what Brandi has to say? I sure do, but I have a lot of questions and I am intrigued to hear Denise’s side of the story. But so far this thing has been a boon. Just the look on Kyle and Teddi’s faces after Brandi lays this all down in front of them and they’re just sitting there, stunned and whispering as if not to disturb the ghost of the gossip that’s still inhabiting that room, trying to process about a million different truth bombs all at once. I also loved when Teddi tells Rinna about the conversation in the car after they arrive in Rome and tells them they hooked up and Lisa says, matter-of-factly, “So they fucked.” I mean, give me that as a nametag and send me to tea in Fire Island, because it would be true of every single boy holding a vodka soda that I say hi to.
Regardless of what goes down, this is going to be one of the all-time-great Real Housewives trips — machinations or no — and I can’t wait to see what happens. You know that they’re going to be saying Brandi’s name more than three times, so she’s going to be popping up like the Pope at the Swiss Guard’s pool party Fridays.