10 of the Most Dramatic Divorces in 'Real Housewives' History

From New York to Beverly Hills, heartache and heartbreak have defined some of the most shocking splits the franchise has ever seen

01 of 10

Erika & Tom Girardi

Erika Jayne, Tom Girardi
Erika and Tom Girardi. Steve Eichner/AP

Erika shocked friends and fans alike when she filed for divorce from her husband of more than 20 years in November 2020. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star alleged infidelity, amid a lawsuit claiming the couple is using their split to embezzle money.

Tom, since diagnosed with Alzheimer's, has voiced dissonance with being put under a conservatorship amid multiple lawsuits filed against him.

02 of 10

Teresa & Joe Giudice

Manny Carabel/Getty Images

After 20 years of marriage, parents of four Teresa and Joe separated in December 2019 and announced their divorce was finalized in September of the following year. The Real Housewives of New Jersey couple was indicted on federal fraud charges in July 2013, later pleading guilty to mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud.

Teresa served 11 months in federal prison, and Joe spent three years behind bars for the same crimes. Before his sentence was up, however, a court ordered his deportation, as he was born in Italy and never obtained American citizenship despite living in the U.S. since childhood.

Appealing the decision, Joe moved into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement until October 2019, and moved to Italy in an effort to make money for his family. To date, two deportation appeals against the ruling have been denied, and the father of four remains overseas as the third appeal pends.

03 of 10

Meghan King & Jim Edmonds

Meghan King Edmonds and Jim Edmonds
Jim Edmonds and Meghan King. Meghan King Edmonds/Instagram

Trouble in paradise began for the Real Housewives of Orange County alumna and the former professional baseball player after sexual text messages between Edmonds and another woman surfaced in June 2019. Though the parents of three, who wed in 2014, initially weathered the storm, she filed for divorce in October after rumors flew that he had an affair with their former nanny. Both parties have denied the allegations.

In January 2021, King said that "COVID courts" were delaying the divorce amid the ongoing pandemic, leaving her "married as ever."

04 of 10

Kenya Moore & Marc Daly

Kenya Moore and Marc Daly. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Jaws dropped when The Real Housewives of Atlanta stars split in September 2019 after two years of marriage, and less than one year after Moore gave birth to their daughter Brooklyn. In exclusive statements to PEOPLE, the exes asked for privacy and said coparenting would remain their priority.

In April 2020, Moore said that she and Daly were in a great place emotionally as they quarantined apart during the ongoing pandemic.

"We're actually getting along better than we've gotten along probably [since] shortly after we got married," she said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

In 2023, Moore shared that the two were still finalizing their divorce, as they hadn't signed a prenuptial agreement.

05 of 10

NeNe & Gregg Leakes

Gregg and NeNe Leakes. Nene Leakes/Instagram

Love conquers all for the Leakes. The Real Housewives of Atlanta alumna and her husband separated in 2010 after 13 years of marriage and divorced the next year, before remarrying in 2013 in a ceremony filmed for her Bravo spinoff, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.

Six years later, fans were heartbroken for the couple when Gregg battled stage 3 colon cancer and it seemed he and his wife were headed for divorce once again due to differences. However, the couple pushed through on Gregg's road to recovery.

NeNe, who shares son Brentt with Gregg, went on the record in March 2019 to stand by her man and deny the split, writing on Instagram that "#nomatterwhathappens #wearetheleakes."

06 of 10

Shannon & David Beador

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

As seen on The Real Housewives of Orange County, the end of the couple's 17-year marriage had many ups and downs. Shannon revealed in season 10 David was unfaithful to her, prompting the parents of three to refocus their relationship through therapy and open dialogue with their family.

Though they renewed their vows and things seemed to be moving forward, Shannon claimed David became distant soon thereafter and struggled after costar Vicki Gunvalson falsely alleged that David "beat the s—" out of his spouse.

Shannon filed for divorce in December 2017 and was ultimately awarded $1.4 million and a total of $10,000 monthly support in their 2019 divorce settlement. The exes agreed to joint legal and physical custody of their daughters.

07 of 10

Ramona & Mario Singer

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The original Real Housewives of New York cast member called it quits after reportedly catching her husband with his mistress at their Hamptons home in 2014. Though Ramona gave Mario "many chances" to redeem himself following transgressions earlier that year, she filed for divorce soon after the alleged summer fling, ending their 22-year union.

"I tried to make my marriage work because I have strong values and I believe that people make mistakes," the mother of one told PEOPLE at the time. "But you reach a point where you realize the other person isn't putting in as much effort as you are. And I reached my breaking point."

08 of 10

Porsha Williams & Kordell Stewart

Porsha Williams; Kordell Stewart
Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Prince Williams/FilmMagic

The Real Housewives of Atlanta mainstay and the NFL alumnus went separate ways after nearly two years of marriage, with Stewart filing for divorce in March 2013. At the time, Williams said she was "totally blindsided" by the move and found out her estranged husband started the divorce process by reading an article online.

On the show, the couple's relationship was often criticized by Williams' costars, who found Stewart to be too controlling of his then-wife.

Later, Williams was briefly engaged to Dennis McKinley, with whom she shares a daughter. The former couple called the wedding off and split in June 2019.

In May 2021, she announced her engagement to Simon Guobadia — the ex of RHOA costar Falynn Guobadia — after one month of dating.

09 of 10

Phaedra Parks & Apollo Nida

Prince Williams/FilmMagic

The Real Housewives of Atlanta couple split in 2014, the same year Nida pled guilty to bank fraud and identity theft, resulting in an eight-year prison sentence.

Though the shocking split got the whole cast talking, Parks pledged to stay mum on the divorce for the sake of their young sons.

"I never wanted to negatively speak about Apollo," she exclusively told PEOPLE. "At the end of the day, Apollo is [our] children's father. And so I want them to be able to make their own opinions about who he is as a father."

10 of 10

Bethenny Frankel & Jason Hoppy

Noel Vasquez/Getty. Noel Vasquez/Getty

In one of the most contentious splits the franchise has ever seen, the RHONY alumna filed for divorce in January 2013, sparking an eight-year custody battle over their daughter Bryn, now 11.

At the worst of their relationship, Frankel likened their time at home together to "a torture chamber" and said she feared for her safety while living with Hoppy after they separated.

Though the former couple reached a financial settlement in July 2016, a judge didn't sign off on the divorce until January of this year.

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