Tragic Details About The Cast Of Vanderpump Rules

This article includes mentions of mental health disorders, eating disorders, depression, and suicide.

In 2013, Bravo unveiled a brand new reality television show, "Vanderpump Rules." The series documents the lives of the wait staff at SUR, the restaurant owned by former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Lisa Vanderpump.

As the show has aired, we've watched the cast experience some of life's biggest changes, like moving, starting a business, getting married, and having children. We've watched them feud with each other, vacation together, and sort out their issues, all while making sure the SUR customers were taken care of. The "Vanderpump Rules" cast is not short on drama.

Unfortunately, though, the cast is not short on misfortune, either. Just as we've seen their highs, we've seen the cast's lows, each one a little more melancholy than the last. Sure, the cast members now have reality stardom and handsome savings accounts, but they've also given the public a window into the sadness in their lives. Let's discuss the tragic details about the cast of "Vanderpump Rules."

Katie Maloney filed for divorce from Tom Schwartz

"Vanderpump Rules" fans have watched couple after couple get together, break up, make up, break up, and follow that cycle time and time again. The one couple that seemed to have broken the cycle and entered into a stable union was Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney. The fan-favorite duo's wedding was documented on Season 5 of the show.

Unfortunately, after years of marriage, Maloney filed for divorce from Schwartz in March 2022. The news came after fans had speculated that the two were experiencing a rough patch in their relationship. Maloney took to Instagram to explain, "This ending is not met with resentment or animosity, no sides to choose. We have deep admiration for one another that will always remain and we cherish our friendship."

Schwartz shared his own thoughts on Instagram, saying within a lengthy post, "Yes my heart aches but I'll be ok." As it seems, this tragedy may only be in our eyes. The two cited irreconcilable differences on their divorce papers, and a source shared with People that the couple had different ideas for their future. Maloney further discussed the matter on "Relationsh*t with Kamie Crawford," revealing that she wanted to keep the decision private. Maloney told the host that she had a lot of anxiety about the rumors and said, "I don't like people speaking for me and saying things that maybe aren't true. ... I had to take control of that narrative."

Lala Kent's ex cheated on her

Lala Kent ended 2021 in a media firestorm after it was discovered that her longtime fiance and father of her child, Randall Emmett, had cheated on her. The two first got together when Emmett wanted to put Kent in a movie, she told Cosmopolitan, as he works as a film producer. Kent kept their relationship hidden for a couple years, even while filming the show, referring to him by a nickname instead of revealing his identity. Kent's discretion was a source of confusion for her castmates, as they all wondered who was funding her lavish lifestyle. (Does a Range Rover ring a bell to anyone?) After just a few years of dating, Kent and Emmett got engaged, and in 2020 had to postpone their wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2021, Kent gave birth to their daughter, Ocean. Unfortunately, just nine months after giving birth, the two called off their engagement, and soon after, rumors of Emmett's infidelity circulated. Kent said on her "Give Them Lala" podcast, "Unfortunately for me, my head has been in the sand," insinuating that perhaps this behavior may have been going on for longer than she would like to admit. In early 2022, she shared on "Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald" that she found out about his escapades through photos.

Despite the issues, Kent seems to be focused on her daughter now, sharing to Instagram, "This past year has been the best year of my life," thanks to giving birth.

James Kennedy struggled with addiction

Alcohol is, and always has been, a major part of the "Vanderpump Rules" plotlines. Whether it's Stassi Schroeder's iconic line, "I'm not really sure what I've done to you, but I'll take a Pinot Grigio," or the infamous Witches of WeHo wine, there's been plenty of drinking on the show, sometimes to the detriment of the cast. For James Kennedy, drinking was very much to his detriment.

SUR's resident DJ struggled with drinking, and it severely affected his behavior, much of which was documented on the show. Fans will remember the tearful conversation between him and Lisa Vanderpump when she fired him, saying, "James, I want you to grow up and pull yourself together. You are responsible for your actions, and you will be held accountable" (via People).

Eventually, Kennedy did take responsibility. After an ultimatum from his ex-girlfriend Raquel Leviss, Kennedy began living a sober lifestyle, and he shared with E! News, "My life has just gotten so much better from quitting drinking. I'm never hungover, I'm able to focus on my music so much more. My relationships and friendships are excelling. When I see these amazing things happening right before my eyes, why would I want to go back?"

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).

Scheana Shay had a miscarriage

Scheana Shay has rotated through relationships at a faster pace than nearly anyone else on "Vanderpump Rules." She was married briefly to Mike Shay, and dated an assortment of other men on the show, as well.

Shay has always been very open about her desire to settle down and start a family, and unfortunately, that desire was interrupted when she suffered a miscarriage. The show did not capture the tragedy, but she shared the details on her "Scheananigans with Scheana Shay" podcast. "There was just nothing progressing, there was nothing growing inside. There were parts that he could see where it was starting to form, and it just didn't," she shared. "... We were so excited and then to just, like, be excited for a few weeks and then it's just, like, gone so quickly. It's still been a lot to process," she added.

Although Shay lost one baby, she was able to get pregnant again, and in 2021 she gave birth to her daughter Summer Moon, whom she shares with her partner Brock Davies.

Lisa Vanderpump lost her brother

"Vanderpump Rules" matriarch and eponym Lisa Vanderpump, owner of SUR, TomTom, and several other restaurants, is as open as anyone on the cast. Though her most dramatic moments were reserved for "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," she's obviously still a staple of her own show. 

Like her staff members, Vanderpump has experienced tragedy. On Season 9 of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Vanderpump shared that her brother, her only sibling, died by suicide. The DJ was found in his home, and the cause of death was drug toxicity, per the coroner's report (via The Daily Beast). In the episode, Vanderpump shared more on their relationship, as well as her take on his death. "I know my brother well enough to know my brother didn't mean to do this. It was a cry for help that went horribly wrong," she said (via People).

Vanderpump understandably spent much of the season grieving the loss of her brother, and the following season, she exited early amid PuppyGate and after a blowout with her longtime best friend Kyle Richards.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Charli Burnett struggled with depression

Charlie Burnett joined the "Vanderpump Rules" cast as a waitress at SUR. Not long after starting her gig, she was fully enmeshed in the cast drama.

Burnett is active on her Instagram account, and on the photo-sharing app, she shared in a since-deleted post that in 2020 she struggled with her mental health, and gained 45 pounds because of it (via The Sun). "I fell into a deep depression eating and drinking every single day. I was at rock bottom." The star was determined to make a change to her health, both mental and physical, and started bodybuilding, where she found success. Burnett entered a National Physique Committee contest in 2021, and walked away with multiple metals. "Time to crush a pizza," she said after finishing the competition.

In her bygone Instagram post, Burnett detailed the progress she's made in her health journey. "I have a better relationship now with food more than ever, I'm confident with this new women [sic] I am, and I really learned I can do anything I set my mf mind too [sic]," she wrote.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Stassi Schroeder's childhood home was ruined by Hurricane Katrina

Though she's no longer part of the cast, fans still associate Stassi Schroeder with "Vanderpump Rules," and many credit her for making it into the cultural phenomenon that it is.

Schroeder is also one of the many cast members who has suffered a major tragedy in her life. The best-selling author grew up in New Orleans, and in 2005, just like the rest of the citizens of the city, her life was upended by Hurricane Katrina. Schroeder's childhood home was destroyed in the disaster, displacing her family for a period of time. The Schroeders had recently participated on "The Amazing Race: Family Edition," and after losing their home, stayed with another family from the show. "Their house is down to the studs. They have nothing left. They knocked it down. And basically they have nothing. They have their race bags they came to our home with and the clothes on their backs," Renee Rogers, the woman they stayed with, said of their situation. 

Schroeder was fired from "Vanderpump Rules" in 2020 after racist actions and comments she made in a prior season resurfaced. Since leaving the show, she's given birth to her daughter, gotten married, and published a second bestselling book, "Off with My Head."

Ariana Madix suffered from an eating disorder

Reality television has long been criticized for being anything but real, but the stars of "Vanderpump Rules" have proven that what they share is genuinely part of their lives, particularly the details of their mental health. One open cast member, Ariana Madix, has had bouts with multiple mental health disorders. Throughout the course of her life, Madix has been affected by eating disorders, anxiety, and depression, and she has shared her struggles on the show in interviews and with cast members.

Madix appeared on Scheana Shay's "Scheananigans" podcast and detailed how her eating disorder has improved over the course of the show. "I've grown in literal size, but I don't care as much. I started the show, I feel like, with, like, a full-blown eating disorder, and now I feel like I have some tendencies towards disordered eating, but at least I'm more now conscious of it and will fight against it to be healthy," she said. Madix also mentioned that she shares more freely about her mental health now.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Jax Taylor lost his father to cancer

Another bygone star of "Vanderpump Rules" who made a huge impact while he was a cast member is Jax Taylor. Say what you want about him; no one can deny that he influenced not only the show, but Bravo as a whole.

Taylor had seemingly unending issues with the people in his life, both with his co-stars, and, unfortunately, his family. Taylor and his mother, Marie Cauchi, stopped communicating after his father died of cancer. "I used to be very close to my mom. Everybody's like, 'I love your mom.' We really haven't communicated in the last six months, pretty much since my father passed," Taylor shared in an episode of the show (via Bravo). The reality star added, "Their marriage was on the rocks; she was talking about leaving my dad about a year before he got cancer. Toward the end, my mom would say, 'Oh, he's fine.' We didn't know he was in ICU."

Though Taylor is no longer on the show, he still updates fans on his life, sharing photos of his son and wife on his Instagram page.

Brittany Cartwright was cheated on

It's impossible to discuss "Vanderpump Rules" without mentioning Jax Taylor at least twice. And, when it comes to tragic details, unfortunately, his name is going to be mentioned multiple times.

Taylor is remembered for many of his relationships on the show, most notably with his wife Brittany Cartwright. The two are now in wedded bliss and share a son together, but their relationship wasn't always so joyous. In Season 6, much of the show's plot revolved around Taylor's infidelity, as he admitted to cheating on Cartwright with former SUR employee Faith Stowers.

Many fans, including "Watch What Happens Live" host Andy Cohen, questioned Cartwright's decision to stay with Taylor after this discovery. "I don't know how to explain it," she told Cohen. "I was so confused. I was loving him, I was hating him, I couldn't stand to be around him, and then I wanted him to be, like, right beside me all the time." Cartwright and Taylor worked through their issues, and in 2019 flew to Cartwright's home state of Kentucky to tie the knot.