Real Housewives of Dallas' LeeAnne Locken Explains Those Shocking 'I'm Going to Kill You' Threats: 'My Mouth Takes Over, My Brain Shuts Down'
"When you hurt me, I hurt back 100 times harder," Locken tells PEOPLE of the incident
It started with something quite silly: a story about Locken pooping in a car – yes, really – but it escalated into a full-blown burst of rage and death threats from Locken to her friend Marie Reyes, who was the one that leaked the now-infamous fecal news.
Locken’s outburst took place late at night, during a girls trip to Austin and was caught on Cary Deuber‘s iPhone camera for all to hear. The rest of the episode centered around Locken and her threats of violence, with the other women voicing that they feared for their safety. Now, Locken tells PEOPLE exactly what she meant – and what sparked the confrontation.
“People for over a year up to that point had been coming to me and telling me things that Marie was saying about me, and these were all negative things that were lies about me,” says Locken, 49. “And I kept defending her for a year. But once you realize, you’re like, ‘Damn this hurts.’ It hurt to a level of bringing up all of that other hurt – and to hurt me that deeply is how deeply I was hurt as a child.”
Locken, who grew up on the carnival circuit, has previously spoken about the abuse she suffered as a child on the show, opening up about being molested by her best friend’s father on an earlier episode.
“I think what people don’t understand is that just because I’m a survivor and I’m not sitting in the corner crying, it doesn’t mean that the hurt from my childhood isn’t still there,” Locken says. “As a matter of fact, it’s this deep, deep well in me that normally never even really comes to the surface because I don’t spend my time around people who can hurt me like that. But to have this betrayal happen by Marie – it cracked open all that hurt.”
“When someone taps into that hurt, it all comes back out. The anger of not saying: ‘No, don’t touch me.’ Pretending for eight years that I was sound asleep and just rolling over in my bed on the nights when I didn’t want to take it,” Locken continues, detailing the abuse she suffered growing up. “Sleeping on the refrigerator, under the trampoline, in the doghouse, on the washer and dryer. Anywhere we could that we thought we could hide.”
Locken maintains she didn’t get a chance to tell her full story on the show.
“My life, what I’ve actually been through, is bigger than what anyone could imagine,” she says. “That’s why I am so passionate about charity. It’s why I bend over backwards and would injure myself to help someone else. But it’s also why when you hurt me, I hurt back 100 times harder. Because I’m just so tired of being tortured and hurt.”
Which is why the incident with Marie escalated in the way that it did, she adds.
“It brought it all back up and what happens is I become so angry – because that’s how I express hurt – that basically my mouth takes over, my brain shuts down,” she adds. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
Further fueling Locken’s anger was how far her relationship with Reyes goes back: “I mean, this is a 20-year friendship – this friendship with Marie is longer than any marriage on our show!” she says.
“How do you think any one of those women would react if their husband’s betrayed them like that?” she adds.
According to the Bravo star, though, when she threatened to “kill” Reyes, she certainly didn’t mean it literally.
“When I say things like, ‘I’m going to kill you’ – how many times have you heard a parent, even characters on sitcoms say that? It’s slang to me,” she says. “At any point, Marie could have walked away from this argument. She could have gone upstairs. I wasn’t holding her in a corner, I didn’t have a weapon in my hand, all I had was my mouth.”
“But she stayed to listen to everything I had to say because a part of her knew how guilty she was. Honestly, I think she stayed because she felt remorseful for the crap that she’d been doing to me,” Locken adds. “It’s either that or she was in cahoots with Cary to stay long enough to Cary to record it like a coward.”
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As for Deuber? Well, it’s safe to say there’s not a whole lot of love lost between the two costars.
“Cary wants to destroy my reputation,” Locken says. “This is a goal she’s had since way before we started shooting, way before the cast was put together. This is a woman who has issues with me. This is a woman who constantly wants to say that I’m jealous of her.”
“I don’t know if you’ve seen what our husbands look like, but yeah, no. Not so much. Mine’s got a headful of hair, a body chiseled like a saint and, by the way, he truly and authentically loves me, which is why I don’t have to talk about having sex all the time with him, because when you do it, you don’t have to talk about it,” Locken adds. “I think Cary is so desperate for someone to be jealous of her life, but it’s not going to happen with me.”
At the end of the day, though, Locken says she’s doing her best to focus on working through her issues.
“I’m in therapy learning how to control it better,” she says. “You learn how to manage it, and you learn how to focus on the other stuff.”
But that being said, Locken maintains the pain she suffered from her childhood is something she lives with every day.
“I’ve lived the abuse, I’ve lived a life of self-destruction and by God’s grace I have found a way to make purpose in my life of it all,” she says. “I’m a winner because of that. But I’m not saying that that doesn’t hurt. Therapy doesn’t make the hurt go away – it just helps you learn how to deal with the hurt, day by day.”
The Real Housewives of Dallas season finale airs Monday (10 p.m. ET) on Bravo.