RHOC’s Lauri Peterson Announces Son’s Death After Battle With Addiction


RHOC alum Lauri Peterson reveals that her son, Josh Waring, passed away on Easter following a long battle with drug addiction. Get all the details on this tragic news.

Earlier today, RHOC alum Lauri Peterson announced the news of her son, Josh Waring‘s death. He was 36 years old.

On Instagram, the RHOC OG shared the devastating news, writing:

“It is with a shattered heart that I write this post to let you know that my sweet Josh left this earth Easter Sunday. No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss. Every fiber in my body hurts. Josh fought every single day for most of his adult life, for his life, but this past Sunday, the challenge was too great. Josh’s childhood was filled with deep intellect, humor, pranks, athletics, snowboarding, body boarding, mountain hikes, reading, friends, and his love for music. Even during adult hardship, Josh continued to maintain his sense of humor, continued to be optimistic, continued to be kind to others, defended those that were unable to defend themselves, and continued to love his family so so much! He received the most joy, pride, and purpose through his daughter Kennady and watching her grow and thrive over the years. Thank you to all of the people that have tried to help Josh along the way. I am witness to many Angels on earth. Not everyone understands those suffering from substance abuse disorder, but I am forever grateful for your understanding and the impact you made on his life. I also thank those who have supported me through this journey and offering kind words of encouragement by sharing their stories of living with substance abuse disorder and the many parents that have shared their stories over the years with me about the children they have sadly lost due to this illness. Josh, I love you so much, and I will miss you terribly! I will forever be your “Mama Bear & Mama Dukes,” and every time the clock turns to 11:11, I will expect your call to tell me to make a wish! What will I wish for now? My heart is with you and I pray you have found the peace that you so deserve. Heaven has gained the coolest angel, and you have gained your freedom at last, sweet boy. Love always and forever, Mom ?????? Joshua-Michael Phillip Waring 12/20/88-3/31/24.”

Several of Lauri’s RHOC co-stars sent their condolences in the comments section of her Instagram post.

“Oh, Laurie, my heart breaks for you so much. I know how much you fought for him and always wanted nothing but the best for him. ?? May the Lord surround you with his angels and give you strength through this incredibly hard loss. I love you, friend,” Gretchen Rossi commented.

Fellow RHOC OG Jo de la Rosa wrote, “I am so incredibly sorry, Lauri ? Sending you all my love and praying for your heart. Here if you need anything.”

Lauri Peterson and family during season 1 of RHOC
RHOC — Season 1 — Pictured: (l-r) Ashley Zarlin, Lauri Peterson, Josh Waring, Sophie Waring — Bravo (Photo by Chris McPherson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“My heart breaks for you; I know how hard you worked to be his advocate. Big hug and prayers for your family at this sad time,” RHOC OG Jeana Keough commented.

Peggy Tanous wrote, “I am so sorry for your loss, sweetie. Sending you love and prayers at this difficult time. Josh is in a beautiful place now, as hard as it is.”

Lauri’s oldest daughter, Ashley Zarlin, also wrote a tribute to her brother amid his passing.

The 38-year-old shared:

“On Easter Sunday, I lost my brother to the relentless grip of addiction. It’s a disease that distorts and destroys, leaving behind shattered dreams and broken hearts.

He was brilliant and had limitless potential, but addiction veered him off course. My heart aches for the lost opportunities for us to grow together as adults, to share laughter and dreams, the conversations that we will never get to have, and the dreams that will be left unfulfilled. My thoughts linger on the what-ifs, the alternate paths he could have taken if only the system had offered more than empty promises and closed doors.

My mom’s unwavering love and tireless efforts to support him will forever be etched in my heart. She fought alongside him, never wavering in her belief that he could overcome this demon.

I wish for a different outcome with every fiber of my being. I wish I could have done more, been more, to help him find his way back to the light. As I grieve his loss, I cherish the memories of who he truly was, before addiction stole him away. My little brother.

I mourn not only for the loss of my brother but also for the countless others who have been failed by a system that should have been their lifeline. Their stories, like his, are a reminder of the urgent need for change, for reform, for a healthcare system that prioritizes compassion and support above all else. Our healthcare system is riddled with shortcomings and limitations, and failed him time and again. I pray for a world where compassion and effective support systems replace judgment and neglect so that others may find the help they desperately need.

Josh, I hope that you’ve finally found the peace you’ve been looking for. You’re no longer in pain, you can rest. I love you xo Smash.”

RHONJ alum Dina Manzo, who previously lived in Orange County after leaving New Jersey, offered her condolences to Ashley and Lauri, writing, “Oh Ashley, my heart aches for you and mom. Such a profound loss…my deepest prayers for peace and understanding so you may heal the part of your soul that went with him. Love you.”

Lauri Peterson is an original cast member of RHOC, which premiered on Bravo in 2006. She starred in the series for four seasons before leaving during season five to better help Josh deal with his addiction and legal troubles.

RHOC star Lauri Peterson and son Josh
Reality TV star Lauri Peterson and son Josh

Josh battled with drug addiction for well over a decade and spent time in and out of jail. Over the years, Josh was arrested for drug possession and more serious charges, including shooting, hit-and-run, attempted murder, assault, battery, property damage, and more.

This news is incredibly sad, but hopefully, Josh is at peace now after enduring so many struggles and demons. As my mom always says, drugs don’t discriminate and can hit anyone at any time.

Sending love to Lauri and her family.

The Real Housewives of Orange County will return for season 18 in mid-to-late 2024.

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