Bethenny Frankel & Denise Richards on How RHOBH Changed Lisa Rinna: ‘There’s a Desperation’


Oh, the shade! Bethenny Frankel and Denise Richards discuss how RHOBH changed Lisa Rinna for the worse and made her “desperate” AF.

RHOBH alum Denise Richards appeared on the November 8 episode of Bethenny Frankel‘s ReWives podcast, where she dished on the reality of reality TV and her now infamous friendship fallout with Lisa Rinna.

During the interview, Denise Richards discussed how her two-year stint on RHOBH ruined her 20-year friendship with Lisa Rinna.

“My experience with Lisa Rinna was so bad that I thought, ‘OK, what would happen next season?’” Denise Richards recalled, noting that she’d “never” be friends with Lisa Rinna ever again. “I did have a s—- experience. … It wasn’t good with Lisa Rinna, and it was sad to me.”

Denise Richards discusses her friendship fallout with Lisa Rinna on RHOBH
Denise Richards discusses her friendship fallout with Lisa Rinna on RHOBH

She continued, “I had a 20-year friendship with her, and to see how she could sacrifice a friendship of 20 years for a show that isn’t gonna last forever — obviously, she isn’t on it anymore — like, at what cost?”

In another clip from Bethenny’s podcast, Denise reveals that if it weren’t for RHOBH, she and Lisa would still be friends.

“We would still be friends, Rinna and I, if we weren’t on the show, I believe,” Denise declared, which surprised the Real Housewives of New York alum.

The Skinnygirl mogul mentioned a point Denise made earlier in the podcast: “That’s interesting because you think that if a marriage would’ve broken up [on reality TV], it would’ve broken up anyway. So doesn’t that mean your friendship would’ve also broken up?”

“I think that you learn a lot about people when you live with them. Travel or work with them,” Denise explained. “So we worked on the same movie. Ironically, my ex-husband was in it, but we didn’t have a scene together, and I didn’t work with her.”

Speaking of working with friends, Bethenny notes that Lisa Rinna long before she joined RHOBH during its fifth season in 2104.

Bravolebs: RHOBH stars Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, and Lisa Rinna hang with Lisa Rinna long before their Real Housewives fame.
Bravolebs: RHOBH stars Lisa Vanderpump, Kyle Richards, and Lisa Rinna hang with Lisa Rinna long before their Real Housewives fame.

Bethenny and Denise discussed how reality TV can change people for the worse, as RHOBH did with Lisa Rinna.

“I met Lisa not in the machine also. And I really connected with her, and I really liked her. I think that the reality television space or this particular medium it does crazy things to certain people,” Bethenny shared.

“Some people become a different person. And I see a difference even in Lisa Rinna now after ha being off the show; there’s a desperation that has calmed down. She’s doing a lot of fashion, and it seems like she likes it. You’re allowed to change, and you’re allowed to be into fashion. Your daughters are models. But it felt like while she was on the Housewives, it was constant. She was addicted to something, to messaging it, to doing something. She seems different now.”

Denise agreed with Bethenny but clarified her prior comments about her marriage to husband Aaron Phypers surviving reality TV.

So I take that [back] as far as for me personally, ‘Would I think Aaron and I would be married if we were on the show ten years?’ Absolutely. ”

She also added that she believes RHOBH gave Lisa Rinna a type of fame that she never had before, which affected her ego and need for attention.

Lisa Rinna on RHOBH
Lisa Rinna on RHOBH

Denise explained:

“Do I think the show itself, that environment could change people if you allow it? Absolutely. So I do think that you know, Lisa Rinna didn’t have, people knew who she was, but she didn’t have the fame she has now from that show.”

The RHONY OG pointed out: “That’s what I was saying; you were a different type of actress. You had massive fame before, and you still are, Denise Richards. Lisa [and] Kyle [ Richards] didn’t have that kind of fame in that Hollywood entertainment sphere that they do now.

RHOBH cast at reunion
RHOBH — “Reunion” — Pictured: (l-r) Denise Richards, Erika Girardi, Lisa Rinna, Andy Cohen, Kyle Richards, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Dorit Kemsley — (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)

Like I said, I’ve always liked Lisa Rinna, and I think fame in this way, in that bubble, can make you crazy because when you have it here, you think everybody is talking about this thing. This is one little world. There’s a whole world out there. And nobody knows what’s going on about this [outside of the Real Housewives bubble]. Lisa Rinna was very, very in tune with the machine.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo. 

Thoughts on Denise and Bethnny’s comments? Do you think Lisa Rinna’s RHOBH fame went to her head? Sound off in the comments!

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