Being the new girl on a wildly popular TV show isn’t easy; however, Emily Simpson has proven that she can hold her own. Despite her OC lifestyle and wealth, Emily comes across as extremely down to earth, something that I got to experience first hand after meeting up with her for an AllAboutTRH exclusive interview. It turns out that we had a lot in common as we are both originally from Ohio, went to the same university and even had the same major. True to her tagline, Emily is proud of her humble beginnings and counts her blessings; however, she isn’t afraid to take on drama head-on when needed:
Welcome! How does it feel being back in Ohio after being in the OC?
It’s two different planets for me but I feel like I fit in either one. I can be “Orange County Emily” but still, have my midwest values. I love where I live – I live in paradise – but I feel that I’ve always held on to my midwest and Ohio roots. I love the opulence of where I live but also enjoy coming back to Ohio and just going out to Target in my sweatpants.
It’s funny because I recently had a guy come up to me and say ‘do you know you look exactly like that girl from the Real Housewives?’ After I told him ‘I am that girl’ he and his wife didn’t believe me until he heard me call my daughter Annabelle.
They probably weren’t expecting to see you in such a small town! A lot of your storyline, and even tagline, this season focuses on your humble roots. How did you end up in the OC?
Well, it’s funny how Bravo coined it ‘humble beginnings’ because I always just say ‘we were poor!’ My dad left when I was little so it was just me, my sister and my mom. My mom had to get a job when he left and it was a real struggle living paycheck to paycheck. My mom always instilled in my sister and I to get an education so we could support ourselves so even from an early age I learned to be ambitious.
I graduated from Miami University in ’98 and then actually taught High School for four years. I always wanted to go to law school, so after teaching for four years, decided to go. Right before I went to law school I got married to my first husband who was in the military and he ended up getting stationed in San Diego. I ended up finishing law school in San Diego and that’s how I ended up in California. I never could dream of the life I had now but I always knew I wanted more.
Fast forward a few years and we know you eventually met your husband Shane who proposed on Google chat – have you got a lot of comments from fans on his proposal?
People are so weirded out by that but we’ve been together 10 years and we’re still going strong. At the reunion, everyone was being rude, again, about how we got married but I had the longest running marriage up there.
Obviously, you and Shane live an amazing life. Are you concerned about raising kids in such an affluent area?
I am because I feel a lot of my ambition came from growing up in a humble setting. We didn’t have a lot which made me want more for myself. It was a huge drive for me so it makes me concerned that they are growing up completely different than I did. My goal is just to keep them humble, kind and compassionate and have them know that not everyone lives like we do in the OC.
I think part of the appeal of the show is that these over the top lifestyles are an escape for many viewers. Were you a fan of the show before you joined?
I understand why people watch it so much because Shane and I lived in Utah for the first five years of marriage and I would watch the show all the time. After we moved back to the OC I didn’t watch it anymore. Every morning when I went to get coffee, Alexis Bellino would be there and I got to be friends with Lizzie. It just became so normal and I would run into them all the time so I stopped watching the show after I moved back. I also had twins and a two year old daughter at the time so I didn’t really have the time to watch anymore.
Speaking of past housewives, I’ve interviewed some who say that the toll it can take on your personal life isn’t worth it. After all the drama from your first season, what are your thoughts?
I do think it’s worth it, but when you’re in it and the episode is airing it’s difficult to deal with. Even if people try to explain what you’re getting into, you can’t begin to understand the magnitude of it. We get to watch the episodes early and you’ll think it’s fine, but then viewers will get so mad about something that you did that you didn’t think was a big deal.
I’ll say that I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming amount of people who take it so seriously and get offended by something I did, said or wore. By the end of the season, I was better at just shutting it out and focusing just on the opinions of my husband and family.
Overall, I do think the experience is good because when do you get the opportunity to be on a show that millions of people watch? People come to L.A. just to try and be on this show. There are a lot of fun things that come with it and you get an amazing platform. People send me messages about how they connect with me or feel inspired by something that I went through. I get a lot of messages about fertility issues and being able to put it on a national platform so it’s not taboo makes it worth it.
Are there any rumors or misconceptions that you want to clear up?
That my husband is an asshole. I’ve honestly had women send me emails with a list of the reasons why I should leave my husband. People don’t realize that all they are seeing is what someone wants them to see.
We had an anniversary dinner where we filmed for three hours and Shane made a book telling me how much he loved me, but they didn’t show any of that. You’ll just see the clip of me saying I want another baby with him saying ‘no.’ We’ve been together for ten years and he’s a great husband and great dad – that is what I want people to know. He’s not this one dimensional personality that they like to show.
Speaking of drama, you had your fair share your first season. How is your relationship with Shannon Beador and Kelly Dodd right now?
Shannon and I don’t talk and I still think I’m blocked by her on social media. Even if I wanted to reach out to her and say something I couldn’t. Kelly and I are fine. She just called me the other day and we talked – I don’t have any issues with Kelly.
In between the drama, you guys seemed to connect with a lot of the ladies as well. What was your favorite memory of the season?
Jamaica – Gina and I were in our room and were having a blast! Each of us has three little kids so we were thinking ‘when else do we get to go on vacation without our husbands and kids?’
Well, you’ve certainly had an eventful first season and have come a long way! What advice do you have for fans that dream big but aren’t sure how to reach their goals?
You need to stay true to your roots and your integrity but still be ambitious, try new things and travel. Any opportunity you get to meet someone or try something different – do it. I feel you learn by meeting different people and trying new things. You never know where or when opportunity will arise.
Special thanks to Emily Simpson for chatting with us at AllAboutTRH! Don’t forget to watch part three of the OC reunion on Dec. 9th then come back here to discuss.