The Untold Truth Of Lisa Vanderpump

So, you're a diehard fan of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and "Vanderpump Rules." Perhaps you've dined at one of her many establishments. Maybe you've even purchased some of her pet brand's accessories for your own dog. All in all, you think you know Lisa Vanderpump pretty dang well. You can hit all the big points: her unbridled love of animals, her unrelenting drama with Kristen Doute, her seemingly endless supply of silk blouses, her devotion to her partially hairless dog Giggy (RIP), and so on.

Given that she's shared multiple facets of her life on reality TV since 2010, it's easy to think you know everything there is to know about Vanderpump, but some of her colleagues may tell you there's a lot more to her than meets the eye. As Erika Girardi famously once said, "I think she's a sniper from the side." 

Of course, her former costars are biased to some degree, and there's even more to the Queen of SUR's story. Without further ado, let us dig into the untold truth of Lisa Vanderpump.

Lisa Vanderpump's scary accident

Lisa Vanderpump's life might seem like it's all roses and rosé — after all, she has her own brand of rosé and her house is covered in heaps upon heaps of flowers — but she's had her hard times, too. In addition to literally living among the flowers like some kind of Beverly Hills fairy, Vanderpump also has her favorite animals, horses, on hand in her yard. Granted, those are just miniature horses, but she keeps the larger variety in a barn nearby as she's always been a devoted horseback rider.

Any horse girl will tell you that you aren't a true rider until you fall off, and by that measure Vanderpump has earned her stripes. The reality star suffered a very scary fall in January 2022. According to TMZ, after Vanderpump's horse was startled by something, the reality star ended up on the ground, breaking her leg in two places.

After emergency surgery, and a tough sixth month recovery, Vanderpump was back to her old self. "I'm back in heels," Vanderpump told ET at the opening of Vanderpump Paris in Las Vegas. She's been hard at work at her various businesses and may even venture back into the ring — though she isn't rushing it. "I'm just taking a breath," she told the outlet when asked about her plans to get back in the saddle. "I've got to fulfill all my obligations and then I'll think about it."

Lisa Vanderpump fell out with her costars

On "Vanderpump Rules," Lisa Vanderpump is all business. Sure, she occasionally butts heads with her staff but overall they for the most part seem to get along relatively well. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for Vanderpump's working relationship with her "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" costars. Vanderpump left the series in the middle of Season 9, when Kyle Richards (along with a few others) accused her of selling a defamatory story to the tabloids. "Puppygate," as it was later called, involved a murky narrative regarding whether or not Dorit Kemsley abandoned a dog she adopted from Vanderpump's rescue after it allegedly bit one of her children, per Us Weekly

This wasn't the first time Vanderpump was believed to have her hand in a defamatory story that'd made its way to the tabloids. As "RHOBH" alum Teddi Mellencamp claimed in Dave Quinn's "Not All Diamonds and Rosé," "There was definitely a pattern where LVP would go to the press in order to get the storylines there ... so that people would look bad and she could continue to look good."

Alas, this behavior sank some longtime friendships. Take, for example, when Andy Cohen asked Richards' daughters on a 2022 episode of "Watch What Happens Live" to say, on a scale from one to 10, how much their mom misses former BFF Vanderpump. Richards and her kids all estimated she was at a paltry three. 

Lisa Vanderpump rushed down the aisle

Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd's relationship is one for the books. When they first met, Vanderpump was just 21, had done some work as an actor, but still had a lot of life stuff to figure out. Todd was 37, a successful restaurateur, and recently divorced, per Bravo TV. They might seem like an odd pair, but apparently the chemistry was palpable. Within six weeks of meeting, they were engaged, and within three months they were married.

It might sound like love at first sight, but according to Vanderpump the whirlwind romance was anything but. Back in 2016, Todd and Vanderpump interviewed each other Insider, and after nearly three decades of marriage, Vanderpump let it slip that she was anything but confident on their wedding day. "I think it was after we got married," she replied when Todd asked when she first knew she loved him. "I think I was so desperate to marry someone and then you came along. Then a couple of weeks into our honeymoon I thought, 'I quite like this guy.'"

As for Todd, he claims he was never unsure of Vanderpump. "Um, [I knew] about ten seconds after I met you," he said. "You were like a breath of fresh air in my life. You make everything so wonderful."

The business savvy of Lisa Vanderpump

As far as Ken Todd is concerned, meeting Lisa Vanderpump was the best thing to ever happen to him, and not just because she's the love of his life. Since the day they said "I do," Todd and Vanderpump have been devoted business partners as well as husband and wife.

With Vanderpump on his team, Todd extended his restaurant empire from the UK into the States, and upwards of 30 establishments at its peak. As Vanderpump put it when speaking to the Evening Standard in 2002, they balance each other out. "I tend to look after the aesthetic side of things," she said. "Ken deals with licenses and so on."

Vanderpump knows a good deal when she sees it, which is how she came to be on reality TV. According to The Cut, she was reluctant at first but ultimately chose to give "RHOBH" a go after she concluded that it could be a boon for her family's empire. Through her position on Bravo, Vanderpump (along with Todd, as always) began executive producing "Vanderpump Rules," which became an instant hit. As her popularity grew, she capitalized on that recognition with a host of products including a wine label, sangria, and pet apparel. If you thought COVID would slow her down, you'd be wrong again: In April 2022, Vanderpump opened yet another restaurant, Las Vegas eatery Vanderpump à Paris. 

One of her kids is adopted

Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd share two children: Pandora Vanderpump Sabo, her mother's right hand, and Max Todd, who may be best known for his conflicts with the SUR staff on "Vanderpump Rules." Vanderpump and Ken adopted Max when he was a baby, and on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," the family helped him navigate trying to find his birth parents. Ken and Vanderpump agreed to support Max and even visited the adoption agency with him to begin the search. 

During the Season 7 reunion, Vanderpump told Andy Cohen and the rest of the "RHOBH" cast that Max had indeed found his birth mother with the help of a private investigator. "He said to me the most unbelievable thing," Vanderpump began. "He said, 'I just want to thank [his birth mother].'" Whether or not Max ever got the chance to express his gratitude to the mystery woman remains unclear. What is clear, however, is just how much Vanderpump and Ken adore their son and how much joy they gained from raising him. As Vanderpump said on "RHOBH" in regards to Max's biological mother, "I've had the good parts, haven't I? Nobody can take him from me now."

Her odd connection to her stepson

If you've watched "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" or "Vanderpump Rules," then you're already familiar with Lisa Vanderpump's two children, Pandora Vanderpump Sabo and Max Todd. What you may not have known though is that her husband, Ken Todd, has another son from a previous marriage, Warren Todd, to whom Vanderpump shares a very strange connection.

One thing led to another and a few years later, Warren met and fell in love with Vanderpump's friend Sue Vanner — who happens to be 16 years his senior. However, neither Vanderpump nor Ken were huge fans of the match at first, which is somewhat ironic given their own 16-year age gap. "When Warren first met Sue, the 16 year age difference, the secrecy that had transpired, was not something we supported," Vanderpump wrote in a Bravo blog after an episode introducing Warren aired. "It took a while," she continued, admitting that eventually she and Ken came around. "And now 26 years and a lovely grandson for Ken later, we would have to admit we were wrong."

Though the marriage lasted for nearly three decades, it eventually ran its course. In 2019, Warren and Verner split following some rumblings of infidelity, per the Daily Mail

Lisa Vanderpump has gotten into legal trouble

Despite making a name for herself as a successful businesswoman, and a force to be reckoned with in the LA social scene, Lisa Vanderpump has her fair share of skeletons in the closet. After years in the business, by 2020 it seemed that Vanderpump's hospitality empire was in jeopardy thanks to a few class-action lawsuits leveled against the restaurateur.

According to E! News, a former restaurant staff member filed a class action suit against LVP and Ken Todd in December 2019, alleging the reality TV couple cut corners with wages and overtime. A few months later, another former employee filed another suit against Vanderpump and Todd, per E! News. Cut to October 2020, and another former employee (this time a Pump server) filed yet another suit alleging similar violations, per The Sun. According to The Sun and E! News, Vanderpump and Todd denied all of the accusations. 

Then there were the taxes. Pump, Vanderpump's famed gay bar, remained closed for months after lockdown ended due to failure to pay taxes, per Us Weekly. Vanderpump worked it out though, claiming it was a small issue of neglecting to pay a $250 fine. As of this writing, Pump is open and operating as usual.

Lisa Vanderpump has a high net worth

This will come as no surprise, but Lisa Vanderpump is wicked rich. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the reality star/restaurateur/executive producer is worth approximately $90 million, thanks to her empire that includes restaurants, shows, products — the list goes on.

When it comes to how Vanderpump likes to spend her money, property sure seems to be near the top of the list. Take Villa Rosa, her home that features enviable views of the Los Angeles skyline, horses, swans, a moat, and an infinity pool. In 2019, Zillow told Refinery29 that the house is worth nearly $13 million; Celebrity Net Worth's estimate hits $20 million. If Villa Rosa is indeed worth $20 million, then it's proven to be an incredibly wise investment, given that Vanderpump and Todd reportedly bought the place for $12 million in 2011

Don't go thinking that Vanderpump hoards her wealth or that she spends it all on herself. The reality star balances out her lavish lifestyle with her various charitable initiatives. She's been known to host events for LA-based non profits at SUR, per TMZ. Of course, there's also the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, her no-kill dog rescue.

She joined the Rolling Stones on the road

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Lisa Vanderpump is that before settling down with Ken Todd and becoming a cutthroat businessperson, she was something of a party girl. Just because Vanderpump got married young, doesn't mean she settled down early. Back in her twenties, the future "RHOBH" star spent a year touring with the Rolling Stones.

As Vanderpump said to Bustle, Todd was close friends with (former) Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, so the couple joined the band for a leg of 1989 Steel Wheels tour. It was then that Vanderpump got a taste for life and Los Angeles and evidently liked it very much. However, it would take nearly another 20 years for the family to make the move to the States.

In 2005, Vanderpump and Todd, who had recently sold a large chunk of their European restaurant empire, headed to Beverly Hills for a fresh start, per The Hollywood Reporter. The return to the U.S. marked a turning point for Vanderpump, and a new era of her life that more closely resembled her party days than the years she spent in London raising children. "We had two young children, we were in the country half the time," Vanderpump recalled. "But we moved here, and within a few years I ended up on 'Housewives.' God help me."

Lisa Vanderpump struggled with depression

Yes, Lisa Vanderpump stepped away from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in the thick of the Puppygate debacle, and yes, she did end up burning bridges with her castmates. But behind the scenes, Vanderpump was struggling with her mental health. 

Just a few months before filming began, Vanderpump's brother died. The grief took a toll on her while the season was still in production, and she had to make the painful decision to walk away from the franchise. As she said in "Not All Diamonds and Rosé," "I left at a very low point in my life. It was a sad ending at what could have been an amazing experience." 

In a 2021 interview with Hollywood Life, Vanderpump spoke about her exit. "[My depression] was circumstantial grief really because of something that happened," she said. "So for me, I really needed to be proactive with it." Even though Vanderpump quit "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," the day-to-day stress of her jam-packed life didn't stop. "I was running on four cylinders. I wasn't really where I should be," she explained. The reality star shared that she sought treatment for her mental health and made life changes that proved helpful. "We have to take responsibility for our own happiness," she said. "If it's really negative in your life, step away from it."

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.

Lisa Vanderpump wanted to be an actor

Yes, she's conquered the small screen as a reality star, but long before she agreed to be on Bravo, Lisa Vanderpump had dreams of being a serious actor. And those dreams started early. As she shared on her website (via Bustle), "I had an unusual childhood attending a drama school full time from the age of nine!"

At the tender age of just 13, she nabbed her first role on the series "A Touch of Class," per The Cut. Her filmography also includes the TV show "Kids," where she happened to act alongside Naomi Campbell when the future supermodel was still in grade school. "Naomi was always very forthright at a very young age," Vanderpump told The Wall Street Journal. "She's a little spitfire." Vanderpump also eventually landed a gig in a "Baywatch" spinoff with David Hasselhoff. What's more, she was an '80s music video vixen. 

While her acting career maybe didn't take off the way she once hoped, her work in the reality TV world sure has made her a household name. "Everywhere you go people stare at you and are very aware of you being on the show," she told The New York Times. "You start to choose your vacation based on where the show wasn't aired." In Vanderpump's case, reality stardom is what happens when you're busy making other plans.