“I like women and it's beautiful,” the Real Housewives of Orange County star said

By Ally Mauch
January 13, 2021 10:00 PM
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After publicly coming out as a lesbian, Braunwyn Windham-Burke is opening up about her sexuality on The Real Housewives of Orange County

During a confessional on Wednesday's season 15 finale of the reality series, Braunwyn shared that she is currently "finding herself" after a whirlwind year that included her separating from and reuniting with husband Sean Burke, as well as revealing her battle with alcoholism and becoming sober. 

"I am on a journey of sobriety, I am redefining my marriage, I am finding myself," she began, before a producer asked: "Who is Braunwyn?" 

"Braunwyn is an amazing mom, a good friend and she is a big ol' lesbian," she responded. "I like women and it's beautiful. This is the real me." 

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Earlier in the episode, Braunwyn, 43, told her fellow cast members that she and Sean were trying to figure out their marriage, noting that her best friend Shari had moved into their home and was causing problems in their relationship. 

"What's going on with your girlfriend that you're hanging out with all the time and what's going on with your husband?" Kelly Dodd asked while the group enjoyed a beachside dinner. 

"Are you in love with him?" Gina Kirschenheiter then added, while Emily Simpson asked, "Are you in love with Shari?"

Braunwyn replied saying that she loved them both, but clarified that her relationship with Shari was not sexual. "She doesn't sleep in my bed," she said. "We're not having sex."

"But Shari's definitely causing problems with you and Sean, right?" Emily prompted. 

The Real Housewives of Orange County

"There's a lot going on, and I have to figure it out myself and I haven't, so it's not that I'm not telling you. There's some big s--- going on in my life and I don't have an answer," Braunwyn said. "Sean and I talked about what was happening and we made a commitment that we're going to fight for our marriage. And that was the commitment we made and that is what we're currently doing." 

When asked what that commitment means, Braunwyn explained that Sean had started going to therapy and Al-Anon, a program for families and friends of alcoholics. She added that she also needed him "to be off his phone more." 

"But what is it that he needs from you?" Emily, 44, asked. "I'm sure it has to do with Shari not living there."

RELATED VIDEO: RHOC's Emily Simpson Thinks Braunwyn & Sean 'Had a Great Marriage' Before She Came Out

"Yeah, but I need her right now," Braunwyn said, to which Emily shared that it seemed "selfish." 

"I kind of need to be selfish right now," Braunwyn said. 

"I think every decision that Braunwyn makes in life is to better Braunwyn," Emily added in a confessional, before referencing Braunwyn and Sean's vow renewal earlier this year. 

"I guess by vow renewal you meant 'Continue to pay the bill, Sean, so I can live the same lifestyle, but I'm just going to be with my girlfriend now,'" she said. "And that's beyond putting your needs first, that's just doing whatever you want. You don't care what anybody else thinks."

At the close of the episode, the Bravo show revealed that Braunwyn recently celebrated one year of sobriety with her new 29-year-old girlfriend, Kris, adding that while she and Shari no longer speak, "Sean is standing by his wife's side." 

RHOC also gave updates on each of the other cast members in the finale, sharing that Gina, 36, has set three goals for herself in 2021: giving a victim's impact statement at her ex-husband's upcoming trial, celebrating her one-year anniversary with boyfriend Travis Mullen and "not going overboard with new hairstyles."  

Emily's update noted that throughout the past season, she had a hip replacement, removed her breast implants and lost 20 pounds — gaining "a whole lot of fun Emily in the process." 

Newcomer Elizabeth Lyn Vargas began working through her past with a therapist and finalized her divorce, and Shannon Beador strengthened her relationship with boyfriend John Janssen after struggling through quarantine together. 

As for Kelly, 45, she wed Rick Leventhal on her "ideal date" of 10/10/2020, with none of her costars in attendance.