RHOBH: Lisa Vanderpump Says Brother's Suicide Was 'a Cry for Help That Went Horribly Wrong'
Mark Vanderpump, 59, was a prominent DJ and Lisa's only sibling
A tearful Lisa Vanderpump opened up about the loss of her brother Mark Vanderpump on Tuesday’s premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 9, telling audiences that she believed his death by suicide was unintentional.
“I know my brother well enough to know my brother didn’t mean to do this,” Lisa, 58, told audiences. “It was a cry for help that went horribly wrong.”
She added, “There’s a lot of people who say taking a life is selfish, [but] I’ve never felt that.”
Mark was found unresponsive at his home in Gloucestershire, England, on April 30, 2018, surrounded by tables and whiskey, an inquest into his death found in October, according to Gloucestershire Live. He was transported to the hospital but died in the early hours of May 1. The DJ was 59.
Drug toxicity was determined the cause of Mark’s death, according to Gloucestershire Live.
At the October inquest, the coroner classified Mark’s death as a suicide, Gloucestershire Live reported. She pointed to evidence of text messages sent from Mark saying goodbye, as well as pictures of pills he had taken. She also said Mark had previously attempted suicide at Christmas, and that a long length of blue rope (tied in a noose) and a ladder were found in his car.
“This was a tragic loss of a man facing numerous life circumstances and ending his life in that way,” the corner said, according to Gloucestershire Live.
Tuesday’s RHOBH premiere was filmed three months after Mark’s death, Lisa said, and well before that inquest.
“It’s still so fresh,” the restauranteur said. “My brother was kind of my partner in crime growing up, but we did use to torture each other all the time. Whatever happened, it was just the two of us.”
“I’m a strong woman. I can cope. But I was never prepared for this. And it’s been very difficult. Very difficult,” she said. Her husband, Ken Todd revealed it was Mark who introduced them. “I think you’ll always grieve for the rest of your life.”
She added: “I can’t ever bring him back.”
As she grieved, Lisa focused her efforts into her restaurants — including the development of her newest bar, Tom Tom. “I decided that two days after the funeral, I had to get back to work,” she said. “I had to be in our business.”
“[Work] is the best distraction. It’s just that every time someone brings it up, I feel more emotional,” she said. “I’ve managed to compartmentalize it and put it down to a horrible time in my life and moving on.”
Her RHOBH costars saw through that, however. “The death of Lisa’s brother, even if she says she’s strong or she’s coping, I know that it’s affecting her,” said Dorit Kemsley. “You can see it. It’s physical.”
“Grief is a real tricky thing,” Lisa Rinna said. “Vanderpump keeps that stiff upper lip, because I don’t thinks she ever wants to touch that deep pain and really feel that true, true feeling.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.