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"I did not know her brother had committed suicide — I had no idea," Lisa Rinna said

By Natalie Stone
February 20, 2019 06:54 PM
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Lisa Rinna is setting the record straight on her pill-related birthday post to Lisa Vanderpump.

During Andy Cohen‘s Watch What Happens Live on Tuesday, Rinna, 55, addressed the “pill-covered cupcake birthday tweet” she sent to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costar Vanderpump.

“Let’s be really clear about this,” Rinna began. “Lisa Vanderpump and I have a pill joke. She was part of the whole pill bag situation.

“We jab each other. We give each other s—, basically,” Rinna said.

She continued, “But here’s the thing. I did not know her brother had committed suicide — I had no idea. So the fact that a day after her birthday, nobody had wished her a happy birthday on Twitter, I actually felt bad and I thought,” said Rinna, who clarified, “none of the other women, nobody had, and I thought, Well, that’s not cool. I’m going to wish her a happy birthday. That’s my cheeky — you know, we have pill humor!”

After Rinna posted the tweet in honor of Vanderpump’s birthday in September, she said she got “eviscerated for it.”

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Credit: Barry King/FilmMagic; Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Rinna said she then “reached out to Lisa” and clarified her post.

“She knows I meant no harm,” Rinna said. “I would never ever do that. Ever.”

Rinna explained that “the pill bag has become something that if you drag me, I’m going to make it iconic. Do you know what I mean? So I did.”

(In 2017, Rinna was accused of having a pill problem by her RHOBH castmate Dorit Kemsley. Despite the Ziploc bag of pills she carries in her purse and her admission that she has popped a Xanax into a smoothie in the past, Rinna denied having a problem with drugs during an episode of the hit Bravo series. “I’ve heard some things that maybe you took it as a problem,” Rinna told Kemsley, recalling the pills — which first appeared while the two visited Eden Sassoon‘s home. “I want to make sure you’re very clear that that was a joke.”)

On Wednesday, Rinna further clarified that she never meant to offend Vanderpump with the birthday post.

“I did not know her brother died of suicide. She never told me. I would never have tweet d the cupcakes if I had known,” she tweeted.

“My own sister died of a drug overdose when I was 6,” she continued, referencing her sister who died by an overdose decades ago.

On the season 9 premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a tearful Vanderpump opened up about the loss of her brother Mark Vanderpump, telling audiences that she believed his death by suicide was unintentional.

“I know my brother well enough to know my brother didn’t mean to do this,” Vanderpump, 58, told audiences. “It was a cry for help that went horribly wrong.”

She added, “There’s a lot of people who say taking a life is selfish, [but] I’ve never felt that.”

Mark was found unresponsive at his home in Gloucestershire, England, on April 30, 2018, surrounded by tables and whiskey, an inquest into his death found in October, according to Gloucestershire Live. He was transported to the hospital but died in the early hours of May 1. The DJ was 59.

Drug toxicity was determined the cause of Mark’s death, according to Gloucestershire Live.

At the October inquest, the coroner classified Mark’s death as a suicide, Gloucestershire Live reported. She pointed to evidence of text messages sent from Mark saying goodbye, as well as pictures of pills he had taken. She also said Mark had previously attempted suicide at Christmas, and that a long length of blue rope (tied in a noose) and a ladder were found in his car.

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Credit: Mark Vanderpump/Twitter

“This was a tragic loss of a man facing numerous life circumstances and ending his life in that way,” the corner said, according to Gloucestershire Live.

The RHOBH premiere was filmed three months after Mark’s death, Vanderpump said, and well before that inquest.

“It’s still so fresh,” the restauranteur said on the episode. “My brother was kind of my partner in crime growing up, but we did use to torture each other all the time. Whatever happened, it was just the two of us.”

“I’m a strong woman. I can cope. But I was never prepared for this. And it’s been very difficult. Very difficult,” she said. Her husband, Ken Todd revealed it was Mark who introduced them. “I think you’ll always grieve for the rest of your life.”

She added: “I can’t ever bring him back.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.