Kyle Richards Opens Up About Tension with Sister Kathy Hilton Over Her New Show

As Kyle Richards prepares for the June 7 premiere of American Woman, the new drama series she’s co-executive producing, there is at least one specific person she’s hoping will tune in.

“I hope when Kathy sees the show, she’ll understand,” Richards, 49, tells PEOPLE exclusively of a rift with her older sister, Kathy Hilton, 59, with whom tensions arose when Hilton got the impression that the show, which is inspired by her childhood in the ’70s, would be too personal.

“I would never tell anyone else’s stories,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star explains. “And I felt bad because she thought it was something that it wasn’t. I was inspired by my mom [Kathleen Richards], being a single mom in the ’70s. It was a crazy, fun, reckless time. But it’s not based on my actual life.”

Continues Richards, who notes that sister Kim Richards, 53, has been supportive and “excited” about the show: “I love my sisters and I would never do anything to disrespect or embarrass them. I’m looking forward to the show coming out so Kathy can see it and realize. That’s my hope.”

Kyle By Alene Too Holiday Shopping Event Featuring Bullets For Peace Benefiting Safe Passage Charity
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The mom to four daughters says she feels positive about the future. “Every family has their moments, but we’ll be fine,” says Richards. “I love my sisters and that’s all that matters.”

At the end of the day, Richards just hopes to celebrate the inspiration of her new venture: her beloved late mother, known as “Big Kathy,” who died in 2002 after battling breast cancer.

“My mom was a strong woman, opinionated and outspoken,” says Richards. “The way that she raised us was very unconventional. Our house was open and our conversations were open. I started driving to work when I was 13 years old because I was always very responsible. And my mom instilled in us a lot of confidence and trust.”

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Ultimately, says Richards, who has been wed to Mauricio Umansky, 47, for 22 years, “everything I have now is because of what my mom did for me. She was our biggest cheerleader. And she made me feel like I was the greatest thing in the world.”

American Woman premieres June 7 at 10 p.m. ET on Paramount Network.

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