The Bravo star admitted she had a drinking problem herself on the season 15 premiere of The Real Housewives of Orange County

By Jodi Guglielmi
October 22, 2020 10:32 AM
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Braunwyn Windham-Burke's history with alcoholism started long before her own journey to get sober.

On Wednesday's episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Windham-Burke revealed her father died of alcoholism.

"My dad died from drinking," Windham-Burke, 42, said while talking to new housewife Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, who also revealed that her dad was an alcoholic.

"I feel like I'm being punched in the gut," she continued. "My dad had a heart attack because he drank. Every day."

The conversation proved to be triggering for Windham-Burke, who was two weeks sober at the time.

"I want a drink so bad," Braunwyn told her husband Sean Burke after meeting up with Vargas. "I hate that I made this choice and now I'm stuck in it. I thought I was going to be stronger. What was I thinking? What am I doing?"

The reality star was also worried her friends wouldn't accept her new lifestyle. "There's a lot of people who like to have fun with me, and if I'm not drinking [they] won't call me anymore," she said. "We'll see who sticks around."

Braunwyn Windham-Burke
Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Windham-Burke, who is now nine months sober, revealed she was an alcoholic during the RHOC season 15 premiere earlier this month. She admitted to having a drinking problem after drinking nonstop during a trip to Miami to celebrate Kelly Dodd's now-husband Rick Leventhal's 60th birthday.

She came clean to fellow Housewife Emily Simpson — who had called her out for drinking too much last season.

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"You called me out on my drinking last year," Windham-Burke told Simpson, 44. "Instead of taking it to heart, I really pushed you away. Basically, I think I just got angry with you, and I came up with reasons to be mad."

Windham-Burke confessed that while in Miami, "Every hour I would keep doing a shot. I was drinking so much I thought I was going to die."

"I don't think I can never drink again, but yeah, it has to be forever," she said. "I don't know if it's divine intervention, but for the first time in my life I can say, 'My name is Braunwyn and I'm an alcoholic.'"

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.