Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion: Vicki Gunvalson Addresses Brooks Ayers Breakup as Daughter Briana Says He Hit on Her
Did Ayers really proposition Gunvalson's daughter when she was pregnant?
The Real Housewives of Orange County, now officially just one hour from the end of its 10th season, finally answered such pressing questions as:
What does Jim Edmonds think about how mean he seemed to be to his wife?
Has Shannon Beador run into the woman with whom her husband had an affair?
What are all of the things that Vicki Gunvalson does and does not know, such as if horses are mammals and what “circle jerks” are?
Why did she break up with Brooks Ayers? Why did she believe him for so long before that?
…And did Ayers really offer to show Gunvalson’s daughter his penis?
It was a candid hour, in contrast to last week’s to the first installment of the three-part reunion. Gunvalson said of her ex-husband Donn, with a smile, “He was a good man to divorce … because he doesn’t want to hurt me.”
In another moment, she said she had been confused earlier this season when she’d heard that Edmonds was complaining about how two of his then four months being married had been “challenging.”
Other revelations included that Gunvalson joked during Tamra Judge‘s sex toy party about Judge’s raunchy behavior potentially causing her custody issues – which Heather Dubrow referenced during the reunion as a seemingly unconscionable and callous thing to say, given Judge’s real-life parenting troubles.
“Sorry about that,” Gunvalson said.
Edmonds’ wife, Meghan, also said they have a pre-nup agreement, at her suggestion.
Meghan didn’t want Jim to ever feel their marriage was about money, and she also wanted her step-children and their mother not to feel as though Meghan was a predatory presence, out to take something from them.
But much of Monday’s episode focused on three of the biggest talking points from this season: the Edmonds’ sometimes openly antagonistic relationship, Beador’s marriage and Gunvalson’s eternally controversial relationship with Ayers and his eternally controversial treatment of Gunvalson’s daughter, Briana Culberson.
As to the issue of the Edmonds, both Jim and Meghan admitted that it was uncomfortable to relive a highlights reel of their spats, which included several scenes of Jim snapping at and apparently condescending to his wife, including telling her to “zip it” during one fight.
“I wasn’t really ready for TV to catch everything,” Jim said.
Meghan defended him and their relationship, which was strained by Jim’s career with the St. Louis Cardinals and the requirement that he be away from Orange County 50 percent of the time, she said.
(Dubrow, a longtime friend of Jim’s also defended him as a “cool” guy.)
Meghan said she doesn’t let her husband get away with treating her like a child, and though she said they were both not proud of how they sometimes appeared on the series, that was “not our marriage.”
Shannon, by contrast, stood behind her the decision to let her own marital troubles, following her husband’s affair, play out on camera.
She said she and David are in a good place now and that she never would have expected she’d be the kind of person to stay in a relationship after the other person cheated.
But she said someone can’t predict how they will react in that situation – and as she has said before, she will do anything to keep her family together.
The “other woman” is still in their social circles. Shannon said she and David saw her at a recent event, but that Shannon had “no emotion.”
“‘David, look at her and compare, look what you got here,’ ” she said she told him then. (But a more recent encounter between them was heated, Beador told PEOPLE Monday.)
And then, of course, there was Gunvalson, who seemed unusually subdued after seasons spent defending her relationship with Ayers.
(The two announced their split in August.)
Why did they break up? Gunvalson said it started during a trip to Miami and snowballed, but that she knew it wasn’t ever going to be long-term.
There were too many conflicts, she said – including Culberson’s disapproval, which Gunvalson said she could never get over.
Culberson joined the reunion then to offer her own perspective, and recounted the story of when Ayers hit on her at Gunvalson’s birthday party, when Culberson was pregnant.
Ayers offered to show Culberson his penis, she said, and said he was nicknamed “Girth Brooks.”
Back then, Gunvalson didn’t believe her, Culberson said – the mother accusing her daughter of lying, telling her that Ayers would never want her, because that is what Ayers told Gunvalson.
At the reunion, Gunvalson said she believed her daughter about the birthday incident. She did not offer an explanation about why she didn’t believe her before.
Brooks, who appeared in a separate interview with host Andy Cohen (a staple tactic of RH reunions), accused Briana of manipulating her mom, and relying on her for financial support.
It was too much for Culberson. Over Gunvalson’s objections (“don’t swear”), she was visibly upset watching footage of Ayers’ interview.
“This guy is a filthy piece of s—” Culberson said.
All this talk about Ayers and there is still lots that wasn’t discussed (two words: cancer controversy), and will surely anchor the reunion’s conclusion next week.
Dubrow had a word for it, according to a preview: “Noncologists.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.