Ryan Vieth: The Truth About Tamra Judge's Oldest Son

Funnily enough, one of the most controversial people on Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County isn't an actual cast member — it's Tamra Judge's eldest son, Ryan Vieth. He first appeared on the reality show in 2007 as a teenager and showed up sporadically throughout his mother's tenure, depending how strained their relationship was at the time (which it often was). During his mother's final two seasons — Tamra announced she was leaving RHOC in January 2020 — Ryan was a more steady fixture, even driving some of Tamra's storylines as they attempted to mend some of their old wounds.  

Ryan, 34 years old, is Tamra's eldest son with her first husband, Darren Vieth. Ryan was born in 1985 when Tamra was just 17 years old. Darren and Tamra split "probably a year later," she said on Season 14 of the show, per People. She was a single mom for 13 years when she met her second husband Simon Barney. They were married in 1998 and had three kids togetherSidney Barney, 21; Spencer Barney, 19; and Sophia Barney, 14 — before divorcing in 2011. Tamra then married her current husband, Eddie Judge, in 2013.

Ryan's relationship with his mother has changed over the years and he's been controversial with fans in his own right, given his Instagram posts in support of President Donald Trump. He also allegedly exchanged erratic and threatening texts with the mother of his 5-year-old daughter, per Reality Blurb

Tamra Judge has guilt about Ryan Vieth's upbringing

Most of the drama with Tamra Judge on Real Housewives of Orange County Season 14 revolved around her relationship with her eldest son Ryan Vieth. She had her other three kids when she was married to Simon Barney and already somewhat established in her career. However, Ryan, as she said on the show, didn't have the same upbringing as her other kids and he harbors some resentment — and she feels guilty for that.

As reported by People, Ryan said during a family therapy session on the show, "I think I have a lot of resentment growing up." He also admitted, "I didn't have the worst life, but the older I get, the more I see how my brother, my sisters are growing up, I think a bit of me inside is angry about it."

Tamra responded, "I carry guilt because I feel like I let him down. I look at my kids now and the opportunities that they have. I have two kids in college now; Ryan, he ran out of the house at 18 because he couldn't stand his stepdad. I didn't give him the perfect childhood. It's heartbreaking."

They seem to be doing better now, as Tamra defended him on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in August 2019 after some less-than-flattering news broke about her son arguing with Sarah Rodriguez, his ex and the mother of his 5-year-old daughter, Ava, per TooFab.

Ryan Viet quit 'Real Housewives' before his mom did

In the summer of 2019, Ryan Vieth's ex Sarah Rodriguez released text messages between her and Tamra Judge's son in which he allegedly told her to "go kill yourself" after going back and forth about the care of their daughter, Ava. Ryan also alleged that she hooked up with Dakota Meyer, Bristol Palin's ex-husband, while the Teen Mom OG star was still married to him, per Reality Blurb

Ryan responded to the scandal on Instagram Story, per the same outlet, writing, "Let me tell everybody something, there's always two sides to every story. I keep my mouth shut for my daughters sake and because I like to keep my life as private as I can. I don't play the media for sympathy. For everyone that wants to judge me for the chaos that was created yesterday please feel free to contact me. There's a lot about our life that people don't know and I'm here to set the record straight." He then added that Season 14 of RHOC would be the last one he appeared in, saying it wasn't worth putting his daughter in the spotlight like that. 

For her part, Tamra said on Watch What Happens Live that she wasn't "buying" anything that Sarah said about her son. "I don't know, but Sarah tends to go on social media and posts all this stuff, then delete it, so I'm not buying into it," she claimed.

Ryan Vieth has a good relationship with his daughter

Since leaving the Real Housewives of Orange County, Ryan Vieth has been working with horses, per Bravo, and spending as much time with his daughter, Ava, as possible. He posts pictures of her on Instagram all the time with him at work on the horse farm and says that Ava is his "world." 

Given his tough relationship with his mother, Ryan has dedicated his life to his daughter. Tamra Judge told him that he was a "good dad" on Season 14 of RHOC, per People. But she still worries about her son. "I can look in my son's eyes and see that he is not himself," she said on the show. "He is so troubled by his past that he doesn't want her to have that life. He just wants to protect that little girl so much, just smother her, that he doesn't let other people in. He isolates himself and it concerns me."

But leaving RHOC might have been the best thing for both Tamra and Ryan, as they seem to be in a good place now, having taken a family picture together recently. Controversy aside, Ryan will definitely go down in Real Housewives history as one of the most memorable Bravo kids.