Real Housewives Who Got Divorced While On The Show

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The following references domestic abuse.

For every strong marriage highlighted on the "Real Housewives" franchise, there are two or three that seem straight-up awful. Unsurprisingly, many of these marriages have ended in divorce, either while the couple was still being featured on reality television or after their stint was up. In fact, there are currently no less than three "Real Housewives" who have separated thus far in 2022, including "The Real Housewives of Orange County" cast member Jen ArmstrongAshley Darby of "The Real Housewives of Potomac," and "The Real Housewives of Miami'" star Lisa Hochstein. Whether or not viewers were shocked by these announcements, said announcements remain noteworthy.

Though this list is about married "Real Housewives" couples who broke up while they were still involved with the franchise, we have to acknowledge some of our favorite gals who called it quits after they were no longer full-time cast members. This includes Adrienne Maloof, Yolanda Hadid, Alexis Bellino, Carlton Gebbia, Meghan King, Lisa Wu, and half the cast of the short-lived "The Real Housewives of DC," amongst others. Our real focus, however, is on the couples who let us see their juicy splits play out on TV — sometimes for years. The divorce storyline is one of the most common in the franchise, up there with things like launching a candle (or wine or clothing or whatever) business or remodeling a home, but with more darkness and turbulence than some of the frivolous tropes. Here are 16 "Real Housewives" who memorably started their divorce proceedings while appearing as full-time cast members.

LuAnn de Lesseps

Luann de Lesseps has not one, but two divorces that have occurred during her tenure on "The Real Housewives of New York City." When she first joined the show in 2008, as part of its first season cast, Luann was married to Count Alexandre de Lesseps — something she loved to remind people, as being a "Countess" became a part of her brand. Back then, her shtick was all about etiquette and class, which she monetized with a book ("Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair") and a catchy song ("Money Can't Buy You Class"). This was, of course, before she was arrested for the not-so-classy crimes of battery of an officer, disorderly intoxication, and two more felony charges in 2017, per CNN.

De Lesseps split from her first husband in 2009 and was reportedly shocked to find out he had met someone new after only three months of separation. She told People, "I knew that we were kind of separating, but I was hoping that things were going to work out." Viewers of "RHONY" then saw Luann play the field, as well as have a serious relationship with Jacques Azoulay, whom she dated for four years, according to Bravo TV. In 2016, Luann wed a second time when she walked down the aisle with Tom D'Agostino — despite Bethenny Frankel informing Luann that D'Agostino was caught cheating on her at The Regency, which was a Season 8 storyline. According to Page Six, the marriage lasted only seven months.

Ramona Singer

There was not a single married Real Housewife on Season 13 of "The Real Housewives of New York," but Luann de Lesseps is not the only cast member who has had a public split. Ramona Singer was also an originating cast member of the show, and her marriage to Mario Singer appeared to be thriving during the early seasons. Their chemistry was always palpable, and there were not a lot of red flags — at least not relative to some of the volatile marriages we have seen in the franchise. Ramona filed for divorce in January 2014, after Mario was caught cheating a few months earlier.

After a brief attempt at reconciliation, the pair formally went their own ways in August 2014, and the divorce was finalized two years later. All told, the Singers were married for more than 20 years, and they seem to have had their fair share of great moments. They have somehow managed to remain friends, and even quarantined together with their grown daughter, Avery Singer, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mario has occasionally appeared on "The Real Housewives of New York" since the divorce but has not been a regular since they ended things after Season 6. No problem for Ramona, however, as she sure seems to enjoy being back in the dating pool and isn't in any rush to settle down. "I'm at a stage in my life, I want a man, I don't need a man," she told ET in 2021. 

Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel experienced a lot of change in her early seasons of "The Real Housewives of New York," and her marital status was one key part of that. Her eventual groom Jason Hoppy appeared on Season 3 of "RHONY," before he and Frankel got the spin-off, "Bethenny Ever After," which aired for three seasons. The two wed in 2010, while Frankel was pregnant with daughter Bryn, and separated two years later, per People. They then spent nearly a decade in court. Hoppy was Frankel's second husband, but she did not know what she was in for when they split.

Frankel's divorce was one of the most acrimonious celebrity divorces we have ever seen. In her testimony, she made a lot of disturbing allegations against Hoppy, accusing him of mistreating her, their daughter, and their dog. Frankel also claimed that Hoppy made a habit of going number two and then not flushing the toilet, as some sort of war game, according to In Touch Weekly. While the actual divorce was finalized in 2016, the couple fought over Bryn's custody as recently as 2021, according to the Daily Mail. Frankel now has custody of Bryn, but all told, she shelled out a lot. "I have spent millions of dollars, millions of tears. I have had a horrific, hall of fame, nightmare divorce," she said on her podcast, "Just B." Frankel is currently engaged to Paul Bernon, but as she told ET, they're in no hurry to take the next step. 

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.

Nene Leakes

"Real Housewives" fans mourned when Gregg Leakes died in September 2021, after the recurrence of his colon cancer. He seemed to be a good person and, as far as "Real Housewives" is concerned, a caring husband. But that does not mean that he was always that way, as evidenced by his messy marriage history with wife Nene Leakes. When Nene started on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in 2008, the pair had already been together about 12 years and had been married for 11. Within two years of being on the show, they decided to split — at least partially because Gregg felt that Nene's fame had changed her.

Nene has also claimed that Gregg cheated, but it is unclear whether that was before or after their divorce. In any case, Nene was the one to pull the plug. "I filed for divorce because I always felt like you have to teach people how to treat you and I felt like at that time that Gregg wasn't treating me the way I felt I should be treated," Nene said on TV One's "Uncensored." "It was me teaching Gregg a lesson, and I think he got it." After officially divorcing in 2011, the two decided to remarry a couple of years later — in full view of the cameras, on a seven-part special called "I Dream of Nene: The Wedding." Though they weathered their bumpy periods, the couple stayed together until Gregg's death, which was roughly 25 years after they first met.

Tamra Judge

"The Real Housewives of Orange County's" Tamra Judge has always been a firecracker, but her current husband Eddie Judge is somewhat of a stabilizing force for the dramatic Bravolebrity. Before Eddie, Tamra was in a far less peaceful union, and longtime viewers of "RHOC" remember it all playing out on camera. When Tamra joined the show in Season 3, she was married to Simon Barney, with whom she shares three children (she also has a fourth, from a previous marriage). Their issues unfolded onscreen and Tamra famously even brought up divorce in the backseat of a limo during one contentious fight.

Barney filed for divorce in January 2010, and the divorce was finalized the following year. In court documents obtained by Radar Online (via Us Weekly), Barney accused his former wife of verbal abuse and adultery. She denied the allegations. It also came to light that Barney had been arrested for domestic violence back in 1997, and then again in 2010, though the charges were dropped, according to the Daily Mail. Tamra married Eddie in 2013 and, by appearances, her third marriage seems to be a better fit. She has had plenty of problems with her ex-husband, but as she told Us Weekly, they have been in a good place since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Tamra even reconciled with her daughter Sidney, from whom she was at one point estranged, so things appear to be good on the home front.

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.

Noella Bergener

When Noella Bergener joined "The Real Housewives of Orange County" in its 16th season, she likely had no clue how large a role her marriage would play in her storyline. Bergener appeared to be totally taken off guard when she was served with divorce papers only a few episodes into the season. The dissolution of her marriage to James "Sweet James" Bergener then became a key storyline, to the point of exhaustion. "Noella talked about her divorce constantly," co-star Emily Simpson said in a Bravo Insider Exclusive. "We were inundated every time we were around her about this divorce, and James, and where James is, and where he is now."

"Sweet James" filed for divorce in Puerto Rico (also a plot point on the show) in July 2021, and the proceedings were finalized in December of that year. Aside from reality TV, much of the drama has also played out on social media. Both Noella and James have utilized Instagram to try to get their facts out — and it's a good thing their son is too young to use the internet, because things have gotten quite messy. "He had a midlife crisis coupled with shame coupled with like some narcissistic spiral of just bats*** craziness," Noella told E! News. For her part, Noella seems to have moved on, as she entered into a relationship with a man named Bobby Schubenski, who purchased an adult toy company for her to run.

Erika Girardi

As of this writing, Erika Girardi's divorce has not been finalized, but it is still one of the biggest ones ever to rock the "Real Housewives" franchise. This is, of course, because it coincided with charges that Erika's husband, Tom Girardi, had been embezzling money from clients, including the widows and families of plane crash victims. Though Erika left Tom and filed for divorce in November 2020, in May 2022, she told ET that divorce is not a priority.

Erika and Tom met when she was a waitress at Chasen's, a West Hollywood eatery, and they have been married since January 1999. They are more than 30 years apart in age but appeared to be very much in love on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." In addition to Tom's legal and financial issues — some of which have become Erika's legal and financial issues — there were also cheating allegations, and revelations about Tom's mental decline. 

As recapped by Us Weekly, while addressing her split on a "RHOBH" reunion episode, Erika said, "I let go of my Lamborghini. I let go of my 16,000 square foot home. I let go of my marriage. I let go of everything. I literally made a decision that I had to."

Kenya Moore

Like Erika Girardi, Kenya Moore's divorce has also yet to be finalized — but in this case, it is not for a lack of trying on Moore's part. Moore joined "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in Season 5, and she has historically not done well with love. Viewers saw her in multiple ill-fated romances, one of which has faced accusations of fakeness. Moore seemed to want a husband and a child more than anything, and so it was great to see her find that with Marc Daly. The pair married in secret in June 2017, in between Seasons 9 and 10 of the show, and they had their daughter Brooklyn the following year. Unfortunately, their marital bliss was short-lived.

Moore and Daly announced their divorce in September 2019, after only two years of marriage. At first, Moore seemed to be contemplating giving the marriage a second chance, but Daly has never appeared to be fully on board. As of this writing, they have been engaged in heated proceedings for multiple years, and according to Radar Online, the paperwork is not yet final. Per Radar Online, some of the issues have included legal custody of Brooklyn (Moore has primary physical custody), Daly's entitlement to a share of Moore's home, and their child's appearances on "RHOA" (Daly wanted to stop her from appearing).

Vicki Gunvalson

There have been many, many divorces on "The Real Housewives of Orange County," but no one has as much regret about theirs as Vicki Gunvalson. The OG of the OC has, on numerous occasions, admitted that she wished she had never divorced second husband Donn Gunvalson. "I think Donn was an amazing man, so I'm not going to say he wasn't good for me. I think that if I had to do it all over again, I would not have divorced Donn. I know that for a fact," she once said on "Watch What Happens Lives with Andy Cohen." Donn and Vicki divorced in 2010 after 17 years of marriage. As recapped by Us Weekly, Donn admitted on a "RHOC" reunion episode he was surprised by Vicki's filing. 

Though his relationship with Vicki didn't survive reality TV, Donn is still in touch with Vicki's kids. Her daughter, Briana Culberson, has even posted photos of "Grampy D" hanging out with his grandchildren, so maybe Vicki can worm her way into his good graces now that she has moved on from ex-fiancé Steve Lodge. Vicki has always talked about her "love tank" needing to be filled, and it seems that she is back at it again. In a February 2022 chat with Access, she confirmed she has a new boyfriend that is keeping the tank loaded.

Teresa Giudice

Teresa Giudice's life has always been a central component of the success of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," and her marriage to Joe Giudice took center stage during much of the early seasons of the show. The marriage was complicated by the feud between Joe Giudice and Teresa's brother, Joe Gorga, as well as Joe Giudice's shady business handlings. Both Giudices went to jail for charges related to fraud, with Teresa getting 15 months, and Joe Giudice 41 months. Since Teresa remained with her then-husband throughout his time in jail — and even after he called her his "c**t wife" on national television years before — many viewers assumed she would stay for good. She didn't.

After Joe Giudice was released from jail, he was sent into ICE custody because he never applied to become an American citizen. He was eventually deported to Italy, where he was born, which led to the end of the two-decade union. In November 2021, Joe Giudice told E! News he was trying to fight his way back into the United States, but Teresa has since moved on. She is currently engaged to Luis Ruelas, and their wedding is planned for summer 2022

Gina Kirschenheiter

When Gina Kirschenheiter became a cast member on "The Real Housewives of Orange County" in Season 13, her husband Matt Kirschenheiter was an elusive figure. We saw photos of him and heard about him often, but he was never seen on the show and did not even live in Orange County with his family (he worked and lived in Los Angeles during the week). So, it was not entirely a shock when the couple called it quits, and we can't say we were sad to see him go, since we did not know him at all. The circumstances, however, were certainly quite sad.

The couple first split in July 2018, at which time they released a statement about co-parenting amicably. "We will never end our friendship and will forever remain family," they told Us Weekly at the time. "We are dedicated to raising our children together in a happy, healthy loving environment." They got back together for a brief period a year later but, within a month of their reconciliation, Matt was arrested for domestic violence. Gina got a restraining order against him, and the divorce was finalized in January 2020. The exes are now in a much better place, and Matt has even appeared on "RHOC" a few times. Gina is now living with her boyfriend Travis Mullen and their six (combined) kids.

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.

Camille Meyer

Certain women who come on "Real Housewives" appear to be setting themselves up with a platform because they intend to get out of a failing marriage. Betches dubbed this the process of setting up a "lily pad," which allows these cast members to establish not just fame but also their own substantial finances before flying the coop. Camille Meyer is not one of these women. In fact, if Camille had her way, she would likely still be married to Kelsey Grammer and flying around the world on private planes. Grammer had other plans, and we sincerely believe Camille was the last to know (she admitted as much in Dave Quinn's "Not all Diamonds and Rosé").

Viewers could sense something was amiss when the couple first appeared on Season 1 of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." We barely saw him on camera, but when we did, there was certainly no love being broadcast to the world. "We started to see the distance," recalled "RHOBH" Executive Producer Alex Baskin. "And she became aware of it and was insecure about it. She thought she derived her status from him, so to acknowledge that he may have had one foot out the door would diminish her power." The "Frasier" alum had a girlfriend in New York, where he was doing a play, and later married her after his divorce from Camille was finalized in early 2011. Camille also moved on, marrying lawyer David C. Meyer in 2018.

Phaedra Parks

If we were making a list of good reasons to dump a partner, their arrest for fraud would be high up there. Shockingly, this has happened to multiple "Real Housewives" now — and one husband of a Real Housewife, Salt Lake City's Sharrieff Shah. The first time we saw this sort of thing play out was with Phaedra Parks, who divorced husband Apollo Nida while she was a cast member on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." And sure, Nida was one of the most handsome Househusbands we have ever had in the franchise — but he was also a criminal, so we are on Parks' side here.

Parks started on "RHOA" in Season 3, and her relationship with Nida was in full force for her first four seasons on the show. The couple had married in 2009, shortly before Parks became a cast member, and they were expecting a baby whose date of conception was hotly contested. Nida — who was in prison on racketeering charges from 2003 to 2009 – was then arrested in 2014 and sentenced to eight years for his newest set of white-collar crimes, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Though Parks filed for divorce in October 2014, things were not settled for nearly three years. The pair share two kids, Ayden and Dylan, and Parks has primary physical custody.

Shannon Beador

Shannon Beador joined "The Real Housewives of Orange County" in Season 9, and she has remained on the show ever since. Somehow, her marriage to David Beador was able to hang on for a few seasons despite its obvious flaws. "David and I had been fighting. What I'd later learn is that the day after we started filming, David left for a trip to Key West, Florida, and started an affair," Shannon told Dave Quinn for his book, "Not All Diamonds and Rosé." The couple announced their split at the Season 12 reunion, but that was after years of dealing with the uncovering of David's affair and its aftermath.

The Beadors had a vow renewal — a curse in "Real Housewives" circles — and did all sorts of work on their marriage, which one time even included a fake funeral. By the time they actually called it quits, they had been married for 17 years. Their divorce was finalized two years later in April 2019. As recapped by People, Shannon stated on a reunion episode years later that David had stopped talking to her and wasn't being a co-parent to their three daughters. He is now remarried with a baby, while Shannon is dating John Janssen, who has appeared with her on "The Real Housewives of Orange County" since 2020.

Porsha Williams

Porsha Williams was a completely different person when she first appeared on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in Season 5. She was married to football star Kordell Stewart, shied away from anything sexual or risqué, and seemed more like a prim choir girl than the fun-loving woman we now know her to be. We never got to see the true Williams until she was able to get out from Stewart's shadow. Stewart and Williams wed in 2011 and separated two years later. 

When Stewart filed for divorce, Williams wasn't happy with how things played out. Per TMZ, her rep said in a statement, "[Stewart] misled her and she found out about the filing in the media." Things only got messier from there. When they were still separated, TMZ reported Williams said she'd been kicked out of their home without so much as a warning. Their divorce was finalized by December 2013. Following the dissolution of their marriage, Williams accused Stewart of abuse. Williams denied the accusations to Radar Online

Around the time of the divorce, she started to display some anger issues that played out on screen — most memorably when she was arrested for physically assaulting co-star Kenya Moore on the Season 6 reunion. Williams has since emerged as a strong social justice advocate and one of the funniest "RHOA" cast members of all time. She has had a number of relationships since the divorce, including an engagement to her daughter's father Dennis "Hot Dog King" McKinley and a subsequent engagement to Simon Guobadia.

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.

Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia Bailey is currently married to TV personality Mike Hill and — though the marriage has faced rumors of cheating — we were happy to see 50 Cynt find love after years of romantic tribulations. When Bailey started on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in its third season, she was with Peter Thomas. As Thomas recounted to Essence, the two met on a plane nearly two decades prior and spent years in a long-distance relationship. Bailey married Thomas in her first season on the show, but not without serving up the drama. "Cynthia was really transparent about the issues surrounding that wedding and the way her family felt about her relationship to Peter," Bravo VP Sezin Cavusoglu said in Dave Quinn's book "Not All Diamonds and Rosé." 

During his stint on the series, Thomas wasn't afraid to mix it up with the rest of the cast in front of the cameras. "Peter came around and changed the game," Bailey told Quinn. "He defended his wife and he voiced his opinions, which I thought was admirable. But the other women didn't like that."

There were also financial issues that viewers saw play out on the show, which could not have helped their stress levels. The couple split in 2016, six years after they wed, and finalized the paperwork the following year. Alas, that would not be the end of their legal battle. In 2021, Bailey confirmed on an episode of "The Wendy Williams Show" that they were engaged in a lawsuit over a piece of Atlanta property.