Lisa Rinna And Kathy Hilton's Feud Explained

Season 12 of Bravo's iconic "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" series wrapped in one of the messiest feuds to date, and in true Lisa Rinna fashion, you'd better believe we're going to talk about it. Maybe it was the altitude in the air during the ladies' trip to Aspen or just another meltdown of the rich and famous, but either way, Kathy Hilton stormed out of a club and Rinna has more than a few words to say about the ordeal. Where it gets messy, however, is that their mismatched stories are turning the ongoing fight into a he-said-she-said of epic proportions, leaving fans with more questions than answers. It's gotten so out of hand that there is even screen-printed Etsy apparel available for superfans who have taken sides in the epic Beverly Hills brawl.

The catfight in question allegedly started after Hilton left an Aspen club upset, proceeding to trash-talk the network, her co-stars, and her younger half-sister, Kyle Richards, in a drunken rant, according to Rinna. To complicate the situation further, none of it was captured by Bravo's cameras, leading fans to question the validity of Rinna's retelling of events — which, if you're a fan of the show, should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Rinna's integrity has long been questioned as she is often referred to as the "s***-stirrer" — dishing on others' drama but unable to take the heat herself. Regardless of where you stand, we're breaking down the drama. This is Rinna and Hilton's feud explained.

Tensions rise over tequila

The feud between Lisa Rinna and Kathy Hilton all started with the "Rinna Beauty" mogul ordering a tequila shot, believe it or not. On Season 12 Episode 18 of "RHOBH," Hilton called Rinna "f***ing disgusting" for ordering Kendall Jenner's 818 tequila over Eva Longoria's Casa Del Sol tequila brand, in which Hilton and her daughter Nicky are investors. Hilton had been riding the gravy train of free advertising for the tequila all season, schmoozing the other housewives to try it and taking advantage of her platform to promote the brand. She was less than thrilled when Rinna asked for a shot of 818 at a bar during the housewives' trip to Aspen; Rinna explained, "I just want to try it 'cause it's my friend Kendall Jenner's tequila." Hilton left early after complaining to all her cast mates about Rinna's drink choice and asked the bartender to pour her Casa Del Sol in view of the cameras.

The night ignited the ongoing feud between Hilton and Rinna, and it put a strain on her relationship with her younger half-sister Kyle Richards. In the episode, Hilton complains that her younger half-sister "didn't do a f***ing thing" to defend her in the battle of the tequila brands. "I know Kris Jenner very well and the family. I don't know Kendall much at all — but in the moment, I said 'my friend' in the moment because we're friends of the family," Rinna told E! Online. Jenner doesn't seem to be taking sides — and Kris commented heart emojis on Hilton's reunion special Instagram snap.

Kathy Hilton's club meltdown

Though no cameras were there to capture it, plenty was said about Kathy Hilton's club meltdown that drew a wedge between her, Lisa Rinna, and Erika Jayne. According to the final installment of the Season 12 reunion, drama ensued when Hilton offered to pay a DJ to play her music and he told her to "Go back to L.A." Jayne weighed in on what went down saying, "I see Kathy coming from the dance floor, very upset." She continued, "I say, 'Kathy, what's wrong?' She says, 'The DJ's an old f***ing f**,' and walked off." The Casa Del Sol investor denied ever using an anti-gay slur and proceeded to question Jayne's credibility, claiming she doesn't even own the jewelry and bags she accessorizes with.

Castmate Dorit Kemsley recounted her version of events on an "RHOBH" aftershow, saying that Hilton asked all the housewives to leave the club after the DJ debacle. Jayne agreed with Kemsley, saying, "She went around to each of us and said, 'If you don't leave with me right now, you're not my friend.'" Jayne went on to say that she and her castmates saw a version of Hilton they had never seen before: "This is behavior I had not seen from Kathy Hilton before." Jayne continued, "She was doing a chair dance, she was dropping it low." Kyle Richards also experienced her older half-sister's wrath, saying on the reunion episode that Hilton yelled, "You f***ing leave now," to her at the club.

Kathy Hilton threatens Bravo and her castmates

The "RHOBH" Sprinter vans deserve their own show. The booze-filled 12-seater vehicles pack as much drama as they do housewives, and they provide the perfect backdrop for cast members to spill the tea en route to their next bougie get-together. One particular van served as a safe-enough space for Kathy Hilton to threaten to take down Bravo and NBC in a drunken rant, according to Lisa Rinna. "Where it started was in the Sprinter van," Rinna said on the Season 12 reunion episode, "Kathy screaming and yelling and venting and saying things I have never heard in my life." The "Rinna Beauty" mogul claimed that the turbulent fashion designer had called her castmates useless and stupid and even threatened to destroy her own half-sister Kyle Richards.

Hilton denied saying any of that to Rinna but did admit to confiding in her. "I recall venting, thinking that we've known each other a long time, this is not being filmed, and I felt like I could trust you," she admitted. Hilton called out Rinna for empathizing with her, claiming the former soap star even said, "You're preaching to the choir," which Rinna said she doesn't recall. Hilton, however, did admit to saying something: "I just said I feel dismissed. I feel like Kyle hates me sometimes." While we may never know exactly what was said, one thing is for sure — what happens in the Sprinter van stays in the Sprinter van.

Lisa Rinna's expiring contract

If there's smoke, there's fire, and if there's drama, there's Lisa Rinna. The "Days of Our Lives" actor is known to stir the pot on "RHOBH," and the rumor mill has been quick to blame it on her expiring contract. Kathy Hilton agreed, claiming that Rinna wanted to blow the feud out of proportion for the storyline, given that her contract was allegedly up. "You wanted it on camera because your contract was coming up and you needed some drama," Hilton said on the third installment of the Season 12 reunion. 

Rinna's had her fair share of feuds, like the Munchausen's debate with Yolanda Hadid, her infamous feud about Denise Richards' alleged threesome, and her demanding a cut for a spin-off show centered around her former co-star Lisa Vanderpump. The common denominator in all the scandals is Rinna — since Hadid, Richards, and Vanderpump have all exited the show while the "Rinna Wines" founder remains a cast member. "She is a s*** talker, s*** stirrer, mean girl, hypocritical, gossip... she is never a loyal friend and will say whatever she needs to in the moment regardless of truth or friendship," one Reddit user wrote. Fans of the show have even gone so far as to start a Change petition for her firing.

Despite the rumors, Rinna is demanding Bravo pay her $2 million per season to renew her contract or she'll walk. That would make her the highest-paid housewife; currently, among the highest-paid is Atlanta housewife Kandi Burruss, who reportedly is paid a little less than $2 million each season.

Rinna's rants

If there's one thing Lisa Rinna can own, it's her tendency to go completely unhinged on social media. Bravo's ringmaster, "Real Housewives" executive producer Andy Cohen, called the TV personality a "double disaster" on an episode of Watch What Happens Live!, to which the Rinna Wines founder admitted, "I have been a flipping nightmare. I know it. I acknowledge it. I have tried to fix it as much as I can. I'm fully self-aware that I am a mess right now," she said in August 2022. "Let's hope it gets better." But her efforts were short-lived, as the "Days of Our Lives" star had no problem dragging Kathy Hilton on social media a few months later in screenshots obtained by the Instagram account @allabouttrh.

Rinna has a habit of speaking out when her storylines aren't tailored to her liking. Following the death of her mother, Lois, she called out Bravo producers for not giving her enough grace. "I'm shocked we spent 3 episodes about the word dark but only few scenes shown on real human grief," Rinna wrote on her Instagram story via All About The Tea. But Rinna's rage might have more to do with her filming while grappling with grief. The actor posted on Instagram (via Page Six) writing, "I have had a really rough time of it I think you've seen how hard this has hit me. I'm sorry if I've raged on you, about you- it really has nothing to do with any of you."

Kyle Richards' strained relationship with her half-sister

The feud between Lisa Rinna and Kathy Hilton isn't just a fight between castmates — it's opened up new wounds for Hilton and her younger half-sister Kyle Richards. The "Little House on the Prairie" actor hasn't always had the best relationship with her older half-sister. Tensions arose when Richards produced "American Woman" in 2018, a TV Land series that was loosely inspired by their mother raising two children in the '70s. The TV personality revealed on the Season 8 reunion (via Us Weekly) that she hadn't spoken to her older half-sister in six months due to the series.

Though the siblings seemed to have mended things after Hilton joined the cast of "RHOBH" in 2020 as a "friend of," as per People, the Aspen meltdown in Season 12 threw a wrench in their up-and-down relationship. Richards made it clear during part three of the Season 12 reunion episode she wanted to move past it despite whatever her half-sister allegedly said, but Rinna had a hard time letting anything go. "I saw the devil, you were a f***ing monster that night," she said.

As for where the half-sisters stand now — there's trouble in paradise. The fan account @bravosnarkside obtained a video from the Daily Mail asking Richards where the half-sisters stood in October 2022, to which she replied, "Sisters always make up." Hilton told Access Hollywood in December 2022, "I have not talked to [Kyle] in a while, we've texted, but I have not talked to her for a while."

Castmates take sides

Cast members of the "RHOBH" have drawn lines in the sand on where they stand regarding the ongoing Kathy Hilton and Lisa Rinna feud. Garcelle Beauvais, who is often seen as a voice of reason in the series, didn't waste an opportunity to throw shade at Rinna for getting between the sisters. "If it's between Kathy and Kyle, then leave it alone," Beauvais said in part three of the Season 12 reunion episode. Housewife Sutton Stracke gave her two cents as well, and it seems she's Team Hilton. "I feel really bad about what's happened to her in the press and, what I think might be, insinuations about her character. I think they're wrong," Stracke told KTLA 5 Morning News.

Cast member Crystal Kung Minkoff stood by Kyle Richards telling Bravo, "I pulled [Kyle] aside and said, 'All of this doesn't matter. It's about you and your family, and you have my support no matter what,'" she continued. "No matter how hard we can be on the show, at the end of the day, when it's all over, that's what's left," she added. "I really hope that they can come back together and heal and get better."

Erika Jayne and Rinna have put up a united front against Hilton, refusing to back down on their version of events from that night. As for Dorit Kemsley, she stands by Richards' side. "She's going through a lot, she went through a lot at the reunion. I'm here for her, I love both her and Kathy," she told Access Hollywood.

Kathy Hilton threatens to leave the show

Kathy Hilton wants to have her cake and eat it too in the Bravosphere. The fashion designer spoke to Us Weekly about her future on the show. "If it's [the] same exact cast? Absolutely not," Hilton said. "I'm just a friend, so it doesn't matter. ... I don't ever like to say what other people should be. I just think that you need to mix things up a little bit." She got even more detailed when TMZ asked her about her potential return saying, "I feel there are two bullies that intimidate a lot of the other girls ... they're capable of anything," referring to Lisa Rinna and Erika Jayne.

Cast member Sutton Stracke slammed that ultimatum, telling Page Six, "I don't think any of us have that capability." She continued, "I don't want anything to do with that — it's like playing God." TMZ asked Rinna if she would come back to "RHOBH" after all the drama with Hilton, and she replied, "I can work with anyone." When pressed about whether or not she would be returning for Season 13, the Rinna Wines founder remained silent. As for Andy Cohen, he says it's nothing he hasn't seen before in the world of reality TV. "[We've] had this situation before with other Housewives, who've said, 'Look, this isn't my group. I don't wanna interact with X person or Y person.' And so, it's totally their decision."

The future of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fans will have to forego seeing their favorite cast members celebrate the holidays in the next season, as filming for Season 13 is set to commence in 2023. After quite the rocky season, Andy Cohen says the ladies of Beverly Hills are taking a breather after all the drama. "Beverly Hills, we're taking a minute break," the executive producer said (via Daily Mail). "And then we'll be back shooting with them in the new year," Cohen added. The Bravo host admitted at the time that nothing had been announced regarding the cast for the upcoming season. "It's kind of a downtime, which I think is important between seasons, especially when the season is so volatile," Cohen told Us Weekly. When asked if he would like to see a different cast shake things up in Beverly Hills, Cohen said, "I think tweaks are always good, but it was a very successful season."

As for what the viewers think, Reddit forums have flooded with their own speculations about which housewives will return next season. "Rinna will be back. [...] I don't like it either, but Bravo doesn't care if she's horrible as long as the ratings are good," one user wrote. "I don't think Kathy is coming back," another user commented. "She didn't [film] much and the rumors were that she asked a very big paycheck for this season and she barely participated. If it wasn't for the meltdown it would be like she wasn't there."