After years of being on opposite sides of a bitter feud, Vicki Gunvalson finally appeared to mend fences with Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador on Monday’s Real Housewives of Orange County season 12 reunion closer — all three women joining for a group hug.
“I’m sorry,” Gunvalson told them. “I never meant to hurt either one of your families.”
Her words were big, considering earlier in the season she had vowed to “punish” Tamra and Shannon for “not being my friend” and was ready to stand up to their “mean girl” behavior. She then proceeded to repeat rumors that Tamra’s husband Eddie Judge was gay and double down on false accusations that Shannon’s husband David Beador “beat the s— out of [Shannon]” during their marriage.
“I won’t talk about it ever again, as God as my witness. I promise you. I’m sorry. I totally surrender,” Gunvalson told Judge, embracing her in a hug. “I love you, I really do, and I’m sorry I hurt you. I don’t want to hurt you and I don’t want to hurt anymore.”
“Shannon, I want to hug you too because I’m sorry. I really am sorry. I’ve asked for forgiveness and I’m sorry,” she told Shannon, who joined them for a hug and who had announced earlier in the reunion that she and David has separated. “I feel for you. I do, I’ve literally been through it twice. It sucks. We gotta build each other up not tear each other down. We all are good people.”
For their part, Tamra and Shannon appeared ready to accept her apology — even making room on their couch for Gunvalson at the end of the episode. But they weren’t going to let Gunvalson escape some of the damaging interviews she had given and hurtful lies she had spread after the season stopped filming.
Gunvalson was remorseful and agreed to watch what she said. In response though, she asked Tamra to stop bringing up Gunvalson’s involvement in ex-boyfriend Brooks Ayers’ cancer scam — something Ayers previously told PEOPLE that Gunvalson had no part in, but something Gunvalson herself had admitted at a previous RHOC reunion that she had “fabricated” in an effort to get her castmates to feel “compassion” for Ayers.
“I want you to stop saying I was in on a cancer scam,” Gunvalson asked Monday. “I was scammed. The amount of time and money on that man I spent, I’ll never get back. … I got conned!”
Tamra promised Gunvalson she would “never say another word” about Ayers, but made it clear that she was never spreading rumors. “As a friend, you want the best,” she told host Andy Cohen. “I didn’t want [Vicki] to get hurt again. And at the end of the day, instead of coming to me and saying, ‘You’re so right, I’m so sorry …’ I didn’t get that.”
“I was feeling alienated and ostracized,” Gunvalson said in her defense. “Everybody’s going out and doing this, and I heard you girls were saying, ‘Don’t film with Vicki,’ and I was like, ‘What the hell?’ ”
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That’s where she was wrong, with both Tamra and Shannon claiming they never tried to prevent anyone from filming with Gunvalson. In fact, they said they enjoyed the time they had spent with her this season but kept getting knocked back every time Gunvalson would spread another rumor to the press about them.
“Being with Vicki in Iceland, we had so much fun. I literally thought I was going to pee in my pants. And I said to Tamra, it’s such a shame,” Shannon said. “Why did you screw it up? Why did you throw these things out in the air? It hurt [Tamra’s] family. It’s just so sad.”
“Vicki and I are good together, and that’s the truth,” Tamra said, referring to their friendship as “Lucy and Ethel” from I Love Lucy. “We’re good together. … We’ve had this thing the whole time and I think for me, my love for Eddie and the love he has for me, and the relationship we have and the family life we have is so precious. Call me ugly, call me fat, call me stupid, but just don’t … I’ve had such a hard time with [my estranged daughter] Sidney and [my ex husband] Simon and all that’s going on. Just don’t hurt my family.”
As the reunion came to a close, Gunvalson sat between Tamra and Shannon holding both of their hands.
“I want to be there for you. You got this,” she told Shannon. “I’m sorry. I admire your strength and you’re going to be okay. And if you want a job at Coto Financial, we’re hiring.”
Walking off the set for a break and hugging Tamra, Gunvalson asked, “Are we back?”
“We’re back,” Tamra said.