Inside Look: ‘The Real Housewives’ TV Mom Kim Richards
Reality television can bring out the best or worst in those who participate in this type of medium. However, it’s a different element when it comes to reality TV moms. Not only are they trying to raise their kids, but they are also dealing with drama while the spotlight shines on their lives.
This is very much true for Kim Richards of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” who has shown that growing up in Hollywood and becoming a reality television star is not as glamorous as some may believe. The mom of four very publicly aired her issues with substance abuse while participating in some of the worst feuds in “Real Housewives” history.
Here’s an inside look at Richards’ rise, fall and road to recovery in the Hollywood spotlight.
Richards Was a Child Actor
Kim was a very successful child star and earned the title “Disney Girl.” Her first gig came when she was only 4 months old doing a diaper ad. By age 4.5, she had already appeared in 20 TV commercials.
Her TV acting debut came in 1970 when she appeared in “Nanny and the Professor.” But while she had recurring roles in some shows, Kim reached stardom when she appeared as a psychic alien in “Escape from Witch Mountain” in 1975 and its sequel “Return from Witch Mountain” in 1978.
She certainly kept herself busy as she appeared in guest spots in nearly 20 other television shows, including “The Rockford Files,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “The Love Boat” and “Magnum P.I.”
Moving Into Adulthood
As she grew older, Kim began getting more mature adult roles in the mid-1980s until she backed away from acting to raise her four children.
Kim made a triumphant return to acting with “Black Snake Moan” (pictured) in 2006. However, Kim’s personal troubles forced her to step back from acting, albeit temporarily.
Becoming a ‘Real Housewives’ Star
Kim was one of the original members of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (RHOBH) along with her sister Kyle, and it was anything but a smooth ride for the Richards sisters. Kim was a full-time cast member through season 5 before taking on guest roles for seasons 6 and 7 with cameos filmed for seasons 9 and 10.
True to the nature of “Real Housewives” conflicts, Kim found herself in weekly battles with fellow cast members, particularly with her sister. During the filming of the Bravo series, Kim was also battling addiction, which was exposed by Kyle at the end of season 1 when she called her sister an “alcoholic” and that she needed to “get help.”
Her Issues With Substance Abuse
Indeed, the majority of Kim’s conflicts centered around substance abuse, but Kyle wasn’t the only one noticing. In 2011, co-star Brandi Glanville accused Kim of using meth. In season 5, Kim fought with Lisa Rinna when Lisa questioned her sobriety.
Although Lisa apologized, Kim did not accept and even hinted that she “knew something” about Lisa’s husband, Harry Hamlin. That prompted Lisa to throw a wine glass at Kim. And so it goes in Housewives-land.
Richards’ Personal Problems
Kim has lived a checkered life, to be sure, and a good part of her problems have been aired for the public to witness. We pretty much know about her struggles with alcohol and drugs, but she had other personal issues that included two failed marriages. She gave birth to four children between three partners.
Once, she attempted to shoplift over $600 worth of goods at a Target retailer in Van Nuys, and she spent the night in jail. In 1991, Kim was on the phone with then-fiance John Collett when he was shot and killed at a deli. (Collett was under investigation for a $150 million scam.) In 2013, one of Kim’s kids was placed on involuntary psychiatric hold after a public breakdown.
And You Thought We Were Done?
There were two biting incidents that happened with Kim’s pit bull, Kingsley. In 2015, Kim was “out of control drunk” and was kicked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel although she had to be dragged out of the restaurant’s bathroom by police. Kim was charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest and battery.
RHOBH producers had enough and dumped Kim; she continued to contact them and begged for another chance.
The good news is that it looks like Kim is making strides to get her life back in order, including her relationship with her four children: Brooke, Whitney, Chad and Kimberly.
One significant event was Kim becoming a grandmother. Her daughter Brooke gave birth to her son Hucksley Andrew, and Kim said the boy has “changed my life.”
Road to Recovery
Meanwhile, recovery seems to be going well for Kim. She volunteered at Skydog Ranch, a nonprofit organization that finds homes for wild mustangs from abusive homes. “My recovery has been amazing and I love how I feel,” Kim told E! News.
In addition, with her two arrests of shoplifting and battery, Kim completed 450 hours of community service, and her probation has been completed. In the meantime, Kim is attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings. And now she’s in a relationship with businessman Wynn Katz. Oh, and Kim is working to improve her relationship with sister Kyle.
Believe It or Not, She's Related to Paris Hilton
Yes, Kim Richards and sister Kyle are related to socialite Paris Hilton. Kathy Hilton (formerly Richards) is Paris’ mother and is the half-sister of Kim and Kyle.
Yes, that would make Paris and Nicky Hilton Kim’s nieces. It really is a small world in reality TV.