What Happened To Lauri Peterson After RHOC?

The first season of The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered on March 21, 2006, and viewers met the first-ever OG housewivesVicki Gunvalson, Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Jeana Keough, and Lauri Peterson. During the first season, viewers witnessed Lauri's journey from being a single mom to becoming a bride and marrying her third husband, George Peterson. Yet, while she was a cast member for the first three seasons, on the fourth season's third episode, Lauri made her final appearance. 

Following her exit from the series, Lauri spoke with the OC Register about her decision to leave the show. Lauri's son, Josh Waring, had been battling drug addiction and was arrested for heroin possession and being under the influence. With that development, she realized she needed to make a change. Of her situation, Lauri said, "I was traumatized by Josh's arrest. I truly was completely emotionally unavailable. I was crying continually, and I wasn't helping my son. For me, I needed to really pull back, concentrate on my emotional well being and deal with the aftermath of the arrest."

Lauri told the newspaper, "It was a joint decision. This wasn't something I took lightly. We talked this through. This took me weeks to try to figure out. It wasn't a rash decision. Once I bailed Josh out of jail, I just really needed my privacy. It needed to be as much a private matter as possible." Keep scrolling for details on Lauri Peterson's surprising decision after leaving RHOC.

Lauri Peterson adopted her son's daughter after leaving RHOC

While Lauri Peterson has made a few appearances on RHOC since leaving the series, she has remained out of the spotlight for the most part. Lauri is still married to her husband George (pictured above), and the couple adopted her son Josh's daughter Kennady. "As most of the viewers know, I have a son and he's had just a lot of challenges," she told The Daily Dish in October 2015 about the decision to adopt her granddaughter. "And he and his wife had a baby almost three years ago. He's really struggling and, well, they're both really struggling. And so [my husband] George and I elected to help out and we actually adopted Kennady, and so we're raising her." 

Since she was six months old, Kennady has lived with the Peterson's and receives some extra care from Lauri's oldest daughter. "I've got my oldest daughter, Ashley, and she's a huge help. And Kennady just loves Ashley. And she loves all of her little cousins and her aunts and uncles and everybody," Lauri told The Daily Dish. She's even tried to switch from calling Lauri and George "Nana" and "Poppa" to "Mommy" and "Daddy." While Lauri and George were adjusting to becoming parents, however, the unthinkable happened. Scroll for more details on Lauri Peterson's family's crisis.

Lauri Peterson's son was arrested for attempted murder

Lauri Peterson's son Josh Waring, her adopted daughter Kennady's biological father, was arrested on June 20, 2016, for allegedly shooting a man in California and leaving the scene with a stolen car. Per the Daily Pilot, the police reported that "there had been a previous confrontation between [Waring] and occupants the residence earlier, and he had returned." This was Josh's fifth arrest since 2008.

Lauri remained relatively silent after her son's arrest, but that all changed when she appeared on Megyn Kelly's talk show in October 2018 with her son's lawyer, Joel Garson. The former RHOC star believes that Josh did not commit the crime, claiming there does not seem to be evidence that points to his guilt. Among several reasons they cited for his innocence, Lauri noted, "My son was tested immediately [for gun shot residue]... he had no [gun shot residue] on him whatsoever... They did not test [the other possible suspect]" (via All About the Truth).

Lauri also shared that, while she "struggles" with her decision to only financially aid her son for rehab-related purposes and not legal issues, being incarcerated did eventually help him get clean. While Lauri Peterson's son remained in prison, there was a silver lining. Keep scrolling to learn more about Josh's rehabilitation and the significant development in the case against him.

RHOC star Lauri Peterson's son Josh was released from prison

Despite the ensuing heartache, Josh Waring's time in jail forced him to get clean and stay sober — something Lauri Peterson sees as the only positive thing in this entire ordeal. She told Megyn Kelly, per TooFab, "So because Josh found the strength and resilience and he was able to without any help; he hasn't been given any rehabilitation. Nothing but strength from himself. He's really invested himself into this case and studied. And it's really given him a purpose. So the silver lining is he is sober."

In October 2019, TMZ reported that Josh was injured in an attack while in prison, during what Lauri claimed was a premeditated attack. In March 2020, Josh accepted a plea deal in his attempted murder case, stemming from his 2016 arrest. Josh was sentenced to seven years and four months, but was released from prison with time served.

Lauri told the Daily Pilot that she was "ecstatic" her son was being released from prison, although she wished he could have presented his case to a jury. Lauri theorized that her son's decision to make a plea deal resulted from spending the past few months in isolated confinement. "It broke his spirit," she said. We hope that Lauri Peterson's family has been able to heal and rebuild their lives since Josh has been released from prison as they have a long road ahead of them.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).