Lydia McLaughlin is spilling the tea about her time on the Real Housewives of Orange County.
In a new interview, the former RHOC star dished on the behind-the-scenes antics of the show. She insists that fans would be shocked if they knew what really went down when the cameras weren’t rolling.
“The season that I was on, like, they didn’t even show the drama,” Lydia told Us Weekly. “Because the producers said, ‘No.’ [They said], ‘You still need to [act] like [a] Housewife and you can’t show so much of [people’s drama] that they can never recover.’”
She says that showrunners took viewers on a “ride” and would “show all of your warts, but then they redeem you.”
However, off-camera, Lydia says some of her co-stars were much more sinister than they were portrayed on the show.
“What was going on behind-the-scenes, I felt, was [something] that if the viewer saw, they would never be able to be redeemed,” she said. “They were so mean. They were just so mean that it was, like, you can never vote [for them to win]. You can never, like, cheer someone on that would be so cruel.”
Lydia admits that the off-screen antics took a toll on her during both of her stints on the show. She appeared on season 8 of RHOC in 2013 then returned for season 12 in 2017.
“They were being mean to me, but I’m just saying that it was hard to see,” she explained. “There was a lot that wasn’t shown that season, even in the reunion, which I think does the show a disservice. You want to show the reality of everyone, so show it.”
While Lydia didn’t reveal which of her OC c0-stars were irredeemable behind the scenes, she did admit that she wasn’t surprised that Bravo let Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge go in 2020.
Lydia says she felt Vicki and Tamra “should have been let go” when she was on the show. She also says that she would have returned if they weren’t on the show.
“I decided to walk away [the second time] because of my relationships with the cast members,” she explained. “I felt like if I did another season, I would have been the target, and I would have been who everyone would be attacking. And I just wasn’t up for that. I didn’t want to do that.”
In the end, Lydia admits she didn’t know the direction the show was going in.
“I gave them, like, so many of my friends that I think would be amazing cast members and that I have a real friendship with and that I thought would be really interesting,” she said of the RHOC casting process. “I just don’t understand what the casting producers are looking for. Like, there’s a lot of really amazing women in Orange County that I feel aren’t represented.”
As for the franchise’s future, Lydia “hopes” they “shake it up” and start showing the full spectrum of women that live in Orange County.
“I’m grateful for the experience of it. I feel like it’s given me such a great platform,” she concluded. “I’m actually doing live Bible studies, which is crazy. I’m a Housewife that on Wednesdays, hosts Bible studies on my Instagram. I mean, I’m writing a Bible study right now, and I’ve written another book. So, I feel like it’s given me an opportunity that God’s really used the platform for, like, hopefully spreading love and goodness.”
RHOC is expected to return for season 16 in late 2021 or early 2022.
Thoughts on Lydia’s comments? Are you surprised about the behind-the-scenes antics on RHOC? Sound off below!