RHOBH Season 10: Why Everyone Is Mad at Denise Richards, Explained
"Denise, you lie, lie, lie," Lisa Rinna tells Denise Richards during part one of the explosive season 10 reunion of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
As fans know, this season has largely centered on drama surrounding Denise: including her being upset that the topic of threesomes was brought up by her fellow Housewives at her family barbecue — where her children were present — and her alleged affair with Brandi Glanville, which Denise has adamantly denied.
Early on in the season, the Housewives accused Denise of "mom-shaming" after she admitted she didn't feel comfortable bringing her daughters around the group after they brought up threesomes in front of her children and their friends during a party she hosted at her Malibu home. The women felt Denise's outrage was a bit hypocritical — considering Denise has been open about sex, even saying on season 9 that she took her husband Aaron Phypers to get a happy ending massage.
Brandi later alleged this season that Denise had been gossiping about the other women, claiming the Wild Things actress said that Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave is "pathetic" and that Erika Girardi is a "cold-hearted bitch."
Although the season has come to an end, it appears the tension will continue at the reunion, during which Lisa Rinna accused her longtime friend of being a liar.
Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of why the Housewives are mad at Denise.
Things between Kyle Richards and Denise grew tense early on in the season following the Wild Thing star's pizza party. During the May 6 and May 13 episodes of the Bravo reality series, Kyle, 51, was recorded calling Denise, 49, a "ragamuffin," which she later apologized for.
It was during this party that Denise grew upset with the women for talking about threesomes in front of her children. Denise's daughter, Sami, later brought up that she heard the conversation, which Denise was regretful about. At Kyle's outdoor family barbecue later in the season, Denise expressed that she didn't feel comfortable bringing her kids around anymore.
"It feels like a passive-aggressive, like mom-shaming," Kyle said of the comment.
Their issues only intensified after Brandi revealed their alleged affair to Kyle and Teddi. After Teddi exposed the alleged hookup in Rome, Denise said it never happened. The actress also claimed to not even really know Brandi. However, at Teddi's baby shower back in Los Angeles, Brandi presented text messages in an attempt to prove that she and Denise were more than just acquaintances. (Denise suggested that Brandi's texts are fake on the RHOBH finale, which Brandi has denied.)
RELATED: Kyle Richards on All the 'RHOBH' Drama This Season: 'It Gets to Be Too Much Sometimes'
While Kyle admitted that the affair is none of the women's business, she felt Denise should have just been more honest about the nature of her friendship in general.
"They're communicating. So the denial of knowing her at all just made no sense," Kyle said on a RHOBH after-show alongside Dorit Kemsley and Erika. "We were getting this censored version of Denise, this presenting to you what she wants to see Denise. Instead of being genuine and open and being able to have an authentic friendship," Kyle added.
Lisa's rift with Denise was most shocking, considering the women have been friends for years. Things between Lisa, 57, and Denise began to get rocky after Teddi revealed Brandi's claim about the affair.
After denying the affair during dinner in Rome, Denise later said that Brandi has slept with other women in their group. "I don't think Brandi Glanville has ever said she's had sex with me," Lisa said to Denise at the dinner table. "Don't say that!" Lisa continued, sternly pointing at Denise. "Don't even put that out there."
It seemed the women were going to be able to work out their issues after Lisa admitted she should have "warned" Denise about the Brandi affair claim. However, Lisa shared in a different episode that she felt Denise "weaponized" their friendship after Brandi showed the women text messages between her and The Bold and the Beautiful actress.
"I want to stick up for my friend. I want to be able to say, 'You know what, Brandi, I don't believe you.' And guess what? I can't do that," Lisa said to Kyle on the episode.
"I was really upset in Rome. I thought, you know, you're right. I've not been a good friend. I haven't been there for you like I should be. And I had a full breakdown," Lisa recalled to Kyle. But thinking back over their emotional sit-down in Italy, Lisa questioned if Denise was being manipulative all along.
In a confessional, Lisa shared, "It feels like Denise has weaponized our friendship and used everything she can to make me feel guilty. 'Lisa, you know better. You know what my poor kids have been through.' "
"What if she's manipulating me? What if I'm being manipulated in all of this too?" Lisa asked herself in her conversation with Kyle. "I mean, I don't know. I feel duped. Maybe I'm a big, fat fool. I don't like that feeling."
In a sneak peak at the reunion, Lisa lashes out at Denise after the actress tells her costars: "You guys are so vicious."
"Oh f------ shut up," Lisa fires back. "Denise, you lie, lie, lie."
Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave
Teddi, 39, found herself hurt by Denise after Brandi told her and Kyle that Denise had been talking about them behind their backs.
Teddi ended up confronting Denise during dinner in Rome, saying: "Denise, somebody told me some terrible things that you've said about me."
"You've said things like, I am pathetic, you can't stand me and that I'm desperate to fit in with this friend group because I've been living in my father's shadow my entire life," Teddi said.
While Denise denied ever saying those things, the tension between the women continued off camera. Teddi tweeted a screengrab of a texting conversation with her father, John Mellencamp, during which the famous musician joked about not knowing who Denise is.
"I know you are busy living in my shadow but ... Dennis Richards — never heard of him," John wrote.
In response to her father's joke, Teddi wrote, "You know who DENISE is dad. She is the girl who mentions Charlie Sheen every episode," referencing Denise's ex-husband. Denise slammed Teddi for repeating Brandi's claims, writing on Instagram: "Grown ass woman stooping to that level... sorry..."
Denise asserted that she "never said you live in your dad's shadow. Ever. I don't care what you were told." However, Denise said she was hurt that Teddi spread Brandi's claim.
"I was hurt you felt the need to share a salacious untrue rumor about my marriage, especially given you are the daughter of a famous father & know what the potential impact could've been with my kids & family," Denise wrote alongside a screenshot of Teddi's tweet.
Teddi later responded: "You're Denise F------ Richards but you sure can't take a joke."
"But since we are back doing this, you brought Brandi back in by sharing personal information with her. Not me. You also confirmed you said way worse things about me than living in my Dad's shadow. Enough with this victim routine Denise," Teddi's comment read.
Garcelle, 53, has remained team Denise throughout the season and has constantly defended her against the other women.
"My thing with the whole Brandi of it all is that ... why is everybody taking Brandi's side? If Denise is truly your friend ... I felt like no one stood up for her other than me and Dorit," Garcelle said on the B---- Sesh podcast.
"It just doesn't make sense to me. If you've been friends with someone — and she's in our circle — that if somebody was coming from the outside, you would at least give Denise the benefit of the doubt and I felt like they just believed Brandi right out of the gate. And that's what I had a problem with," Garcelle said.
Although Garcelle has supported Denise throughout the drama, she found herself hurt by the actress on the season finale. Despite their plans to ride together to Dorit's housewarming party, Garcelle ultimately went alone after waiting outside of Denise's hotel in vain.
"I was supposed to meet up with Denise, and she's a no-show," Garcelle, 53, told her costars at the party. "I've been calling her. Her phone goes straight to voicemail. Nothing."
Later that night, Garcelle spoke with a producer about Denise as she left the party. The producer disclosed that Denise's husband, Aaron Phypers, had texted production to say there was a "family emergency."
"That's not cool," Garcelle said, feeling stood-up by her friend. "You're the one defending her and now she bails on you," the producer said. "It's ridiculous."
Like Garcelle, Dorit, 44, was not quick to believe Brandi's claims.
"I don't know Brandi," Dorit said on the episode that Teddi revealed the alleged affair to the women in Rome. "The first and only time I've met her she told me that my tits were f----- up. Clearly she ain't credible, because they are perfect." Dorit also questioned Brandi's ability to tell the truth at Teddi's baby shower.
However, after Brandi presented the text messages between herself and Denise, it seemed as though the fashion designer felt differently.
"There was too many [text messages to read them all] but it definitely showed that they had known each other for a while and had a lot of correspondence, which was different to what Denise said in Rome," Dorit said on the RHOBH after-show.
Erika and Denise had a brief falling out after the singer felt frustrated with Denise's husband's involvement in their drama.
"It's hard when husbands get involved because it adds another layer," Erika told Denise on an episode. "Men communicate differently than women and maybe he has a different perspective and maybe he was protecting his wife and I can respect that and understand that but there's a time and a place and a tone for everything."
"I didn't hear how he spoke, but I apologize on his behalf. I know that he would never want to do anything that's hurtful or condescending," said Denise. "He'll have to apologize to you guys directly and I can only do so much, but I would love to just move past it."
"We can talk to Aaron. Listen, I moved past things with P.K. and Dorit and I consider them my friends. I can move past anything with you and Aaron. It's just these things happen. Honestly, from my heart, I don't look at you based upon Aaron's behavior. Whatever I may be feeling with you, I'm not going to let Aaron shape that for me," Erika said.
However, when it comes to Denise knowing Brand, Erika isn't too convinced Denise is telling the truth.
Erika explained that although the contents of the messages Brandi showed the women didn't matter, the volume of their exchanges did.
"I'm not looking at what the text messages say. I'm scrolling through the amount of text messages — and it went pages and pages and pages," Erika claimed on the episode that aired Teddi's baby shower.
"When Brandi showed us her phone at Teddi's baby shower, you could clearly see there was a friendship between she and Denise. There was a history of communication there," Erika said of Brandi's text messages on the Bravo after-show.
Brandi confessed the alleged affair to Kyle and Teddi before the women jetted off to Rome.
"I had been out with her and Aaron and I knew they had an understanding that she could be with girls if she wanted to as long as it wasn't with a guy. The first night we met, something happened," Brandi told Kyle and Teddi, implying that Denise and Aaron have an open marriage. (Denise denied having an open marriage during an exchange with a fan on Instagram back in February.)
Brandi explained in her confessional interview that once, she went to dinner with Denise, and the two got "wasted" and "go to the restroom and all of sudden we're making out." Brandi told Kyle and Teddi that Denise "wasn't with Aaron at that time."
Brandi claimed in the episode that their alleged affair happened years later, when Denise "invited me to go to her set in Northern California to do my podcast."
On the season finale, Brandi made a surprise appearance at Dorit's housewarming party and revealed she had texted Denise, warning her that she'd be in attendance.
"I was like, 'I'm gonna see you tonight.' I assumed she would be here, so I sent her a text giving her a head's up. I think if her and I could just sit down together and have a conversation without everyone involved, it's just no one else's business," Brandi, 47, told Dorit. Brandi also said that she and Denise had texted since the women returned from their cast trip to Rome, where the Housewives had confronted Denise about Brandi's claims.
"I said, 'First you make me a cheater, then you make me into a liar. What the f--- are you doing?' " Brandi said about Denise's denial of their hookup.
While Brandi will not be present at the RHOBH reunion, she said she will film separately with Andy Cohen to further tell her side of the story.
The season 10 reunion of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.