Camille Grammer’s marriage to Kelsey Grammer fell apart as the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘s cameras rolled over the summer while her husband was in New York, starring in Broadway’s La Cage aux Folles and beginning a relationship with flight attendant Kayte Walsh, 29.
Now the newly minted reality star is speaking out about her heartbreak.
“This is my chance to tell my story and move on,” Camille, 42, who has two children, Mason, 9, and Jude, 6, with Kelsey, 55, tells PEOPLE in an extensive interview. “Maybe it will be cathartic. Maybe this is part of my process.”
When did you find out your marriage was over?
In June I got a phone call from a mutual friend in New York who was upset by behavior of his that she’d seen. I asked, “Is he leaving me?” and she said, “Yes.” I called him but couldn’t get through, so I texted him and asked him to please call me. Nothing. An hour later, I texted him again and he wrote: “I don’t want to talk.” I wrote, “We’ve been together for 14 years; I deserve an explanation.” Finally, three hours later, he called me. He basically said, “I don’t want to be married anymore.”
How did you react?
I asked him if there was anything we could work on. I offered to go to therapy. Having children, I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel. But his mind was already made up. I started crying and he said, “Oh, grow up.” I said, “What about our children?” and he said, “They’ll get over it.” It was harsh.
How do you feel today?
I feel completely abandoned. I feel dismissed. This all happened very quickly for me. We don’t even speak. He doesn’t want to. For me, having two children together, it’s very important that the two of us communicate. He only wants to communicate via e-mail, through our lawyers or a therapist who acts as a mediator.
How are your children reacting to the divorce?
They still don’t realize he’s not coming back. They think their daddy is busy doing a play. I’m trying to work with them on the concept that he’s not going to come home the way they think he is. For my son, who is only 6, that’s hard to understand. They’ve heard about his girlfriend, but the girlfriend to them is not real. How do you explain that to a 6-year-old and a 9-year-old? You can’t lie. You have to be as truthful as possible, but you also have to be responsible.
How do you feel about your future?
I was scared at first, and there’s still fear. But I’m excited about my future. That sounds weird, I know. But Kelsey was a very difficult man to have a relationship with. I miss him, but I don’t want to look back anymore. Everything is new. I’m excited about rediscovering myself and becoming independent again.
For more on Camille Grammer, including why she wanted to go on TV and what she thinks of Kelsey’s new girlfriend, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now