“I don’t know him,” the 46-year-old pop singer told castmates Lisa Vanderpump, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Lisa Rinna, and Camille Grammer. “I didn’t grow up with my father. We don’t speak.”
Girardi went on to explain that her mother, Renée Chahoy, gave birth to her at just 18 and that her father left “for good” when she was only 9-months-old.
“The first time I met my father was when I was 25. I was visiting here in Los Angeles, I had not moved here yet. And he came down to meet me,” Girardi said. “It wasn’t emotional, it was like meeting a stranger.”
Asked by Vanderpump what it was like, Girardi explained she shook her father’s hand and said “‘ Hi, hello. Nice to meet you.’ “
“It wasn’t like this long-lost s— in the movies where you run towards one another. ‘Oh my God, dad, where have you been?’ ” the mother of one joked. “And I didn’t expect him to sweep me up in his arms and go, ‘Oh my God, what have I done.’ It wasn’t like that.”
Though it took Girardi 25 years to meet her father, the Dancing with the Stars alum did admit there were times she wished he was in her life.
“Sure you wish you had a dad,” she recalled. “Of course, when everyone talks about their dads, you go, ‘Oh I missed out at having a dad.’ … I think a little girl always wants her dad.”
That doesn’t mean she has any regrets. “At the same time, I don’t feel like I’m missing something in my life,” Girardi said. “It’s okay in hindsight because everything turned out good…I don’t have this relationship but I have a lot of other fabulous relationships. I have a great marriage, great son, great family.”
Still, there was one thing Girardi wanted to make clear: the lack of relationship she has with her father has nothing to do with her decision to marry an older man.
“It’s all too easy to say, ‘You didn’t have a dad, therefore, you married an older man,’ ” Girardi said of her 78-year-old husband, Thomas. “Listen, I didn’t marry my dad. My dad is much younger than my husband. So f— you!”
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Hearing about Girardi’s relationship with her father really touched Girardi’s fellow Beverly Hills Housewives.
“You have such empathy,” Rinna said. “And you go, ‘Okay, another piece of the puzzle.’ I don’t know how that really affects someone but I imagine that makes you want to protect yourself. Because I think she’s smart and she’s got boundaries. I look at it and go, ‘God I wish I was more like that.’ “
Girardi’s childhood will be explored more in her upcoming memoir Pretty Mess, out March 20.
“There was this moment in my father’s house where he said, ‘My wife, she never had any kids and I never had any kids.’ Yeah…” Girardi tells co-author Brian Moylan in the previews for next week’s episode. “He had never acknowledged my existence.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.