Though Richards, 50, spent time in a treatment facility in 2011 for alcohol abuse and has insisted on episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that she had stayed clean since, a source tells PEOPLE that the situation may be much more complicated.
Family members don’t believe she has been able to stay on the wagon, a source close to the Richards family tells PEOPLE. “It will never get better. [Richards] has been acting increasingly out of it. She’s been a mess, showing up late to events and social gatherings and acting bizarre or belligerent or both.”
The whole situation is “heartbreaking” for the family, explains the source. “They of course love [Richards] and want to help, but no one can talk any sense into her because she is so out of it.”
A rep for Richards did not respond to a call for comment on the arrest or clarification of her sobriety.
“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs I don’t have anything to hide,” said Kim in reply, though she did admit that she had taken a pill prescribed by her doctor to help deal with the anxiety and pain surrounding her ex-husband’s cancer battle.
Indeed, Kyle called out her sister at the RHOBH reunion: “The way you act is just mean. You’re so f—ing mean!”
Richards was arrested at the Beverly Hills Hotel after officers responded to “a report of a possible fight,” according to a statement from the Beverly Hills Police Department. The RHOBH star “was displaying symptoms of alcohol intoxication including slurred speech and belligerent insolent behavior, cursing at the officers and passively resist[ing] arrest.”
For her part, Richards has long been clear that she has struggled with alcoholism – and that she was committed to staying sober for the sake of her children.
“I am still sober and strong mentally and physically,” Richards wrote on her Bravo blog in February. “I wish people would just stop trying to intrude in my life and ‘fix’ a problem that doesn’t exist.”
• Reporting by AILI NAHAS