Real Housewives Who Are Screwing Up Their Lives

This article contains references to racism, domestic violence, homophobia, and addiction. 

You either leave Bravo an icon or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Many housewives make their first appearance on the show by introducing their glam life and feeding audiences a sassy tagline. However, as the seasons go on, viewers get to see that not all that glitters is gold. 

From messy divorces to shocking court cases, many of the ladies are forced to confront some of their darkest moments in front of the cameras. Their most controversial sequences can see them quickly go from being a fan favorite to being given the boot. 

With ten "Real Housewives" shows on Bravo (as of 2022, at least), one thing is certain — the cast always delivers drama on camera. Sometimes the drama doesn't stop even when the cameras aren't around. Despite their best efforts in keeping their missteps off blogs, we live in a world of never-ending receipts regarding their respective messes. From former cast members to current stars, here are a few Real Housewives who are screwing up their lives. 

Jennie Nguyen was exposed on social media

Jennie Nguyen was introduced to the spunky group of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" in Season 2 of the show. As the episodes went on, viewers saw the star confront the group over their insensitive remarks about Asians, which even resulted in a heated argument in which she later denied throwing a glass at Cosby. If on-screen drama wasn't enough, Nguyen soon found herself in a social media firestorm that resulted in her firing. 

On TikTok, her own niece accused her of manufacturing family drama for the show. When Housewives fans went digging on her Facebook page, they found a slew of racist posts that the star and her husband shared on their respective profiles. The star apologized for having shared the posts, which included cartoons featuring racist stereotypes and criticisms against the Black Lives Matter movement. Fans and even other Bravo housewives like Candice Dillard and Jen Shah were outraged by what they saw and joined fans in calling for Bravo to fire her.

On Instagram Live (via Page Six) the Housewife blamed her former social media team for sharing the posts on her personal Facebook page. "I just want you to understand that, during that time, I had a team of people that [were] helping me. Whether they posted [or] I posted, it doesn't really matter at this point," she said. Despite her best efforts to smooth things over, Bravo cut ties with her and announced she was fired.

Carlton Gebbia's housekeeper sued her

Carlton Gebbia was off to a bad start when she joined "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" during Season 4. However, after butting heads with OG Kyle Richards, the new addition lasted only one season. Gebbia is a practicing Wiccan and her religion was often a topic of conversation with many of the Housewives expressing fear and confusion over her being a witch. Cast mates like Richards and Joyce Giraud even accused her of casting spells on them. But, that wasn't the only bizarre accusation thrown at the star. 

In 2017, a former housekeeper sued Gebbia for allegedly attacking her. According to TMZ, the unnamed staff member accused the "RHOBH" star of frequently being under the influence of alcohol and of verbally and emotionally abusing her. The worker also alleged that she was badly injured after Gebbia pushed her against a door. She claims that she was given two weeks off to recover from her injury before she was fired. Gebbia denied the housekeeper's allegation and told TMZ that the lawsuit was raised in retaliation after the housekeeper was confronted about stolen jewelry.

The dispute came just one month after Gebbia's husband David filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. In 2016, a source claimed to Us Weekly that the couple had been separated from one another for a year — however, they continued to live in the same house to help co-parent their three children. 

LeeAnne Locken was fired after racist remarks

LeeAnne Locken's departure from "The Real Housewives of Dallas" was certainly dramatic. In Season 4 of the series, Locken went on a series of rants filled with racially insensitive remarks toward Kary Brittingham regarding her Mexican roots. Cameras caught Locken talking behind Brittingham's back and saying comments like, "Come on, Mexican! I thought you were all Mexican and strong," and referring to her as, "The chirpy little Mexican." Despite repeatedly bringing up her ethnicity in a derogatory way, Locken denied being racist.

On Twitter, the reality TV star posted an apology to any viewers who were offended. However, she failed to address the cast member at whom the insensitive remarks were directed. "I am deeply sorry to those that I have hurt or offended with some of my comments" the statement read. "... It was never my intention to hurt anyone and I will use this as a learning experience to be more aware of my comments in the future."

Later, in a statement published by People, she announced that she wouldn't be returning to the show for Season 5. By all accounts, she sounded in control of her departure, sharing, "I have made the personal decision to step away from 'RHOD.'" However, former cast mate Cary Deuber dropped a bombshell in an Instagram Live video (via Twitter), which suggested that Locken was actually booted from the show. "Yeah, LeeAnne is off 'RHOD' — fired like me," she told her followers.

Amber and Jim Marchese's social media drama

Renowned for never backing down from a fight, Amber and Jim Marchese were a messy addition to "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." They joined the show during Season 6 and only lasted for that one season. Despite that, the couple caused plenty of drama off the show. In 2018, Jim made headlines after posting a series of homophobic tweets (via Us Weekly), including one which read, "NO STRAIGHT MALE wants his son to be gay. A gay son is a curse that takes away your family traditions ... LGBTQI is a parent's nightmare that destroys families."

According to US Weekly, the tweets were made in defense of Kevin Hart when the actor backed out of hosting the 2019 Oscars after old homophobic tweets of his had re-emerged. His wife issued an apology on Jim's behalf to the outlet, stating, "My husband is the kind of man who wants to stand against injustice. He sees what happened to Kevin Hart as an injustice."

In an interesting turn of events, Jim's own son went public with a GoFundMe campaign in 2019 that accused his father of cutting him off after he came out as gay. His goal was to reach $35,000 to help pay for part of his college tuition. However, Jim denied the allegations and claimed his son was lying and mentally ill. "His entire story is a fraud," he alleged to People. "Michael isn't being honest as I already gave his mother money for his college."

Kelly Dodd was fined and fired from Bravo

In 2020, "The Real Housewives of Orange County" star, Kelly Dodd, made headlines when she made insensitive comments about the COVID-19 pandemic. On Instagram, a fan commented on one of the star's posts by raising their concern about continual air travel during the prime of the virus' initial outbreak. Dodd responded (via Page Six), "Do you know how many people died from the H1N1, the swine flu, or SARS? It's 25% get your facts straight you [sic] only hearing numbers not the reality! It's God's way of thinning the herd!" She quickly deleted the comments but it was too late. The screenshots went viral and the star was forced to issue an apology. On Instagram Stories (via Access), the star apologized to those she offended. She then attempted an explanation by suggesting she was just simply posing a theological question about God's intentions. 

Just a few months later, the Housewife attracted more controversy when she was seen wearing a hat that read "Drunk Wives Matter" in mockery of the Black Lives Matter movement (via People). Fans didn't see the humor in it and neither did Bravo — the network reportedly fined her $16,000 for the gesture, along with other unspecified behavioral complaints. Despite all of this, Dodd told "Jeff Lewis Live" that she was surprised when Bravo fired her. Still, she took responsibility for her exit, proclaiming, "I was causing them a lot of trouble. And you know, I'm sorry about that. Like, I feel bad."

Luann de Lesseps spiraled after her divorce

Luann de Lesseps' relationship with Tom D'Agostino was doomed from the start. Two of her cast mates revealed that they had previously dated him and called her out for "breaking the girl code." As the relationship progressed, cast mate Bethenny Frankle tried to warn her of his cheating ways. De Lesseps brushed off all criticism of him and married D'Agostino in 2016. After just seven months of marriage, outlets like Page Six began reporting that the couple was already at odds after allegedly being seen having a physical confrontation at a restaurant in Manhattan. One month after those reports and just seven months after their wedding, the pair announced their divorce

Following the breakdown of her marriage, de Lesseps made headlines after she was arrested in Florida. According to CNN, the star was charged with disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, and battery of an officer. In a statement published by the outlet, The Countess stated, "I want to offer my sincere apologies to anyone I might have offended with my behavior. This was my first time in Palm Beach since my wedding and being there brought up long-buried emotions. I am committed to [a] transformative and hopeful 2018." A year later, the housewife briefly landed back in hot water after she was accused of violating her probation. The cabaret singer completed two stints in rehab and confirmed to People that Bravo had paid for them.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jules Wainstein's never ending divorce drama

Jules Wainstein's firing from "The Real Housewives of New York" came at a terrible time. In 2016, Us Weekly reported that Bravo was purportedly looking to fire the star because she had an impending divorce and wasn't resonating with viewers. As she went through with her split from Michael Wainstein, things quickly turned ugly. According to E! News, she called the police and alleged that her estranged husband was speaking to her in a threatening manner. Throughout legal proceedings, Michael repeatedly accused his estranged wife of abusing him, with his attorney telling Us Weekly, "In the winter of 2012, Julianne brutally and viciously assaulted her diminutive but brave husband." 

Their battle over custody continued and in 2020, Jules made headlines after she was arrested for assault. A source told Page Six, that while the two were exchanging custody of their children in a parking lot, she allegedly punched her former husband in the face and repeatedly hit his car with a baseball bat. Following the incident, TMZ reported that Michael asked the court that she be drug tested. 

Citing her erratic behavior and alleged drug use, Michael filed a temporary restraining order and asked the courts to ban his ex-wife from seeing their children. Per The U.S. Sun, Jules' drug tests came back negative and the latter request was dismissed. Six months later, their divorce was officially finalized with Jules granted sole custody of their two children afterward, per TMZ.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Kim Richard's personal and legal issues

When it comes to the cast of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," no one is as popular as Kim Richards — she's responsible for some of the show's most iconic moments in the first five seasons, after all. Having her sister, Kyle Richards, as a cast mate meant that much of their family drama played out in front of cameras, with Kim's sobriety and mental health a constant theme. As the series went on, viewers at home started to notice her looking and sounding disoriented in scenes.

Outside of filming, the star made headlines with her legal troubles. In 2015, she was arrested for shoplifting $600 worth of items from Target and was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and weekly alcohol anonymous meetings, per E! News. Months earlier, People reported that she was arrested for public intoxication and the battery of an officer. Although she subsequently entered rehab, her legal troubles and dishonesty about her sobriety led producers to fire her, according to The Daily Beast

In 2020, Kim announced she was publishing a tell-all memoir. Sadly, it never arrived. A year on, Daily Mail reported that the publishers decide to scrap the book despite already paying her the $300,000 advance. The countless delays and a $5,000 lawsuit Kim received from a ghostwriter, clouded the release in drama. Since leaving the show, her money issues have continued. In 2021, The Sun reported that she owed $90,000 in outstanding tax fees.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jen Shah pleaded guilty

The debut season of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" made it clear that Jen Shah was the star of the show. The over-the-top, outspoken cast member brought all the fun to the series. But as Season 2 began filming, she found herself in deep trouble with the law. In 2021, TMZ reported that Shah was arrested and charged for her part in a telemarketing scheme targeting senior citizens. 

In front of Bravo cameras, Shah maintained her innocence and claimed she had no idea how her name had been connected to the crime. However, when she appeared before a judge in 2022, she changed her tune and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to NBC, Shah told the judge "[I] knew it was wrong, many people were harmed and I'm so sorry." The details of her plea mean Shah would have to forfeit $6.5 million and pay $9.5 million in restitution. As of writing, she faces up to 14 years in prison. 

In the Season 3 "RHOSLC" trailer, Shah sat down with the ladies and appeared to blame the legal trouble on her former assistant, Stuart Smith – who also pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. "I got played by Stuart Smith," she claimed. "I would not be in this thing at all if it wasn't for Stuart."

Porsha Williams became the villain of her own show

Porsha Williams has always been a fan favorite on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta". Since her 2011 divorce from Kordell Stewart and split from ex-fiance Dennis McKinley nine years later, Williams has been searching for Mr. Right. When she revealed that the new man in her life was entrepreneur Simon Guobadia, there was only one problem — fans immediately recognized him as the estranged husband of Williams' co-star Falynn Guobadia. The star received backlash for the messy romance, particularly because the engagement was announced just a week after his divorce was finalized. Despite the controversy, Williams promised to set the record straight on her spin-off series, "Porsha's Family Matters". 

While some critics declared the show "damage control" after allegations of Williams being a home wrecker, it actually did everything but that. In one episode, the "RHOA" star was shown trying to fight McKinley and his mother, although it was unclear as to why. The dispute erupted into a full-on brawl, with Williams throwing punches, plates, and even microphones. McKinley could be heard saying, "They went after my mother, yo," while his ex shouted back, "Where is your f***ing mother at?"

The fight caused uproar amongst viewers, with one fan tweeting, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say goodbye to Porsha's career. She will be remembered as the 'RHOA' Housewife who made a fool of herself when given an opportunity that could've went to another deserving housewife! She will not be missed."