Though her future with Bravo is in doubt, Andy Cohen voiced his support for Richards on Friday
Though Bravo has yet to weigh in on Richards’s future on the popular franchise, at least one sobriety expert suggests that dismissing the 50-year-old former actress may be the best way to help her help herself.
“This is one of those moments when her painfully public problem can become a personally promising opportunity to turn her life around,” William C. Moyers of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation told PEOPLE. “But only if she takes seriously the reality of what’s happened, by stepping away from the limelight and instead putting her attention on the help she needs and deserves to get better.”
“There is nothing funny or appealing about the reality of Kim’s situation,” Moyers added. “She owes it to herself to step away from the limelight to get help. Her costars and Bravo should encourage Kim to take the first step or next step to recover.”
As of Friday, the encouragement at Bravo is starting at the top.
“I reached out to Kyle [Richards, Kim’s sister], and the family is obviously very concerned. I don’t know exactly what happened, but … I’m glad she wasn’t hurt, and I hope it leads to some peaceful resolution for her and her family.”
Cohen, 46, also Tweeted on Friday, “I hate it [when a Housewife gets in trouble]. I NEVER root against a RH. I only want the best for them.”
A show source confirmed Cohen’s stance and tells PEOPLE that Richards’s recovery is top-of-mind: “Everyone wishes her the best and cares about her a lot. They’ve been through a lot with her.”
Since the show just wrapped its fifth season, “they’re not in daily contact with her They’re not in negotiations yet even or even thinking of the next season yet. They’re not involved in any decision she may or may not make to go to rehab. But there’s nothing but the best sentiments for her. They hope she gets the help she needs.”
This isn’t the first time that Bravo has tackled a prickly situation on RHOBH. In 2011, the show’s future was in doubt after Taylor Armstrong‘s husband Russell killed himself. As Bravo faced criticism for not canceling the show, Armstrong stuck with it after Russell’s death.
Fans of RHOBH are well aware of Richards’s struggles with alcohol. After having spent time in a treatment facility in 2011, Richards has been filmed saying she remains on the wagon. She reiterated how she’s sober during the recent RHOBH reunion, despite having admittedly used a pain pill during the most recent season.
“It is not a slip, and it is not a relapse,” she said.
• Reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS