Has Kim Richards Relapsed? RHOBH's Lisa Rinna Suggests Recovering Addict Is 'Mostly Sober'
Lisa Rinna may have apologized to her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills rival Kim Richards for the hurtful things she said about her in the past — but that doesn’t mean the 53-year-old actress’ lips are sealed.
On Tuesday’s all-new episode of the hit Bravo franchise, Rinna went on the attack again, suggesting that Richards — a recovering addict — might be in the middle of a relapse.
“I would say she’s probably mostly sober right now,” Rinna told friend Eden Sassoon during a shopping trip. “I don’t think she’s completely.”
Rinna didn’t stop there. She also went on to blame Kim’s sister Kyle Richards for encouraging Kim’s self-destructive behavior. “An enabler is someone that continues to support — where it’s through love or financially — an addict,” Rinna said. “Kyle’s her enabler, I will say that.”
The situation is so bad, Rinna said, that Kyle fears Kim will die from the substance. “That’s what Kyle’s afraid of,” she explained. “She’s afraid to turn her back on her sister because of that. She’s afraid she’s going to die. I know it, you know it. To me, this is what’s going to happen next. They’re this close to Kim dying.”
The words were harsh to hear, especially since Kim’s battle with alcohol addiction has long been documented on RHOBH. The 52-year-old actress entered rehab in 2011, and then again in April 2015 following her arrest for public intoxication. She left the Malibu treatment facility for her daughter’s nuptials in May 2015, but checked herself back in two weeks later. She claims she’s been sober since.
“I’m just so grateful to be where I am today,” she told PEOPLE in December. “To be this happy and have life this good and have the relationships that I have — I feel so blessed. I feel powerful. I feel so grateful. Honestly. Life is so amazing today. I wake up happy, I go to sleep happy.”
But although Rinna speculated Kim might not be telling the truth about her sobriety, she insisted she wasn’t saying that to hurt Kim. “She’s standing there saying, ‘I’m sober three months,’ ” Rinna said. “She thinks we’re all attacking her — which we’re only trying to help her.”
“I think a lot of the women have voiced that they think I don’t want her to do well. It’s the exact opposite,” she added. “I only want her to do well. But it looks like I’m being a mean f—ing bitch.”
Sassoon understood, having had a history with addiction, addicts and Kim herself.
The daughter of legendary beauty icon Vidal Sassoon, Eden’s sister Catya Sassoon died of an overdose in 2002. She was just 34. “For a long time, I was numb — very numb to it,” Sassoon, 43, previously told Rinna. “And completely shut off.”
“Kim would come over with Robert Downey — and Robert would play the piano like crazy,” Sassoon recalled. “Sure enough, they all sort of had their stuff. I think on this set was the beginning of everybody’s drug and alcohol abuse, if you really look at it. It was kind of pre-f—ed up days.”
Now sober for four years herself, Eden understood why Rinna struggled so much to connect with Kim. “If she was open, loving, and kind — and came to you and said, ‘You know what, there’s something about you I want to talk to you,’ — then great, you would,” Sassoon said. “But she’s not doing that.”
She had tried to reconnect with the Richards sisters at last week’s game night, but she didn’t get the warm, welcoming flag from Kyle that she hoped she would.
“For some reason, I had no connection,” Sassoon told Rinna. “I got no love, I got no — I brought a gift, I got [nothing]. It was really, really strange. And you know I’m big on energy. I left the house and said goodbye to both of them, and [Kyle] was still … [head down].”
That didn’t stop Sassoon from wanting to try and help Kim, though, and dose out some of her “tough love.”
“I almost feel like — I don’t know, can I help?” she asked Rinna. “What can I do to help you? How can I help you, Kim? How can I, as another sober woman, understanding … seeing what you … how can I [help]?”
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“I’m hearing from Rinna that Kim’s close to death. Kyle’s an enabler,” Sassoon confessed to fans. “This disease impacts the entire family. Kyle’s her sister. I want to get to know her —I want to understand her. And by doing that, I can then maybe help Kim more. More than Kyle can.”
The idea sounded promising to Rinna. “You’re the only person I think she would even let in to discuss it because you come from a place of understanding and being a sober woman,” she said. “When we get together, all I see is smoke coming out of [Kim’s] ears. And I’m like, ‘Okay, no — I’m not going there.’ ”
The two ladies eventually met up with Kyle to discuss the situation, where Sassoon bluntly asked the youngest Richards sister if Kim’s drinking came from their mother and what treatment options she was seeking out.
“[Kim] reminds me more of my sister,” Sassoon said. “She reminds me of my sister that was in the thick of it and just sort of sitting in the clouds. She’s sad. Her energy’s heavy … I felt her sadness and then obviously I saw her anger.”
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“There’s so much in here that just hits deep for me,” she continued. “I feel sad. I get it, I feel pain. It’s hard — it’s hard for me to watch. I’ve worked so hard to be where I am and who I am today. And then I see this? My sister didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And everyone tried to cover up and make it okay. Is Kyle doing that for Kim? And in one day, you don’t see it and they’re gone?”
Kyle remained quiet on the situation — denying that her mother was an alcoholic or that her sister was using again and claiming not to know how Kim was being treated beyond simply being in a program. “We don’t really talk about it,” she said.
And Kyle seemed determined to keep it that way. As Lisa Vanderpump pointed out, “The two sisters have a very complex relationship. It’s been a very tumultuous relationship — we’ve all seen it. Kyle is very supportive of her sister’s sobriety. End of story — won’t say otherwise.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.