' Kyle Loves You, But Hands Off Her Mauricio
BY Neal Broverman
February 06 2012 5:00 AM ET
It’s hard to not hate someone who has it all — career, family, hot clothes — but Kyle Richards endeared herself to the picky Bravo viewers who’ve made The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills one of the channel’s biggest hits. Maybe it’s her direct communication style or her ease in both gowns and ripped jeans. For gay fans, it could be her brazen support for marriage equality, which she showed off on a recent episode by wearing a NOH8 t-shirt (she’s also posed for the California marriage equality campaign). In the midst of the series’ three-part reunion special and in-between book tour stops for her memoir, Life Is Not a Reality Show, Richards talked to The Advocate about meeting President Obama and updated us on castmate Taylor Armstrong, who lost her husband to suicide last year, and Kyle's sister, Kim, who recently entered rehab. We also discussed less weighty matters, namely her handsome husband, L.A. realtor Mauricio Umansky.
The Advocate: You're such a good sport when it comes to the show and your celebrity. How do you enjoy it and not take it too seriously?
Kyle Richards: It’s the wrong day to ask me that (laughs). I love life and I’m a happy person. You see me on the show laughing and, if not, crying hysterically. But with the reunion, it’s very hard. I dread it, we all dread rehashing things that have long been put to rest and addressing things we haven’t wanted to. But the show is about being honest. It can be painful, though, and I’m a human being. My feelings get hurt and I don’t want to hurt others’ feelings.
And your cast actually seems to enjoy each others' company.
That’s what makes it so painful. I’ve talked to housewives from other casts and they’ll say, “Who cares [about hurting others]? I just do my own thing and don’t talk [to the other cast members off-camera].” That’s not our cast at all. We spend time together off-camera a lot — trick-or-treating with our kids, birthdays, holidays, visiting each other’s houses. So, it makes it all the more painful.
On the show, women have hit on your husband, Mauricio, right in front of you. Does that also happen with men?
All the time! We always joke with my friends and say, “Let’s go to the Abbey in West Hollywood.” And I’m like, “I’m leaving Mauricio home.” He’s too much work to take to West Hollywood. They’ll come right up to him. But I get a lot of gay women hitting on me!
Has Mauricio’s head gotten bigger since Bravo’s turned him into the show’s sex object?
No, not at all. Thank God. He doesn’t have an ego, I’m very happy to say.
You have a mysterious assistant, who refers to himself as your “ladysitter.” Will we see more of him in the next season?
He is adorable, Justin. People say to me, “Why do you call him a ladysitter?” He calls himself that! But, the second season is over and we haven’t announced a third season. Wherever I am, he is, so if there are more seasons, you’ll be seeing him.
You wore a NOH8 shirt when you were running around organizing your big “White Party” event. Was that intentional?
It wasn’t on purpose. I just happen to wear that shirt sometimes. But I’m definitely a big promoter of NOH8. My family posed for the campaign. One of my favorite pictures of [daughter] Portia is just her face and her little fingers up and the tape across her mouth. It’s something that’s very important to me and I feel very strongly about. But that day I was just running around in my jeans and slippers and a banana clip in my hair. But once it aired, people started tweeting me and were so happy I did have it on. It’s a very important message, so I’ll make a point to wear it more.
You met President Obama last year at a fundraiser. What was that like?
We were invited and I’m a Democrat. My husband is a Republican. I’m not saying I agree with all of Obama’s views but I definitely wanted to meet our president. I thought it was a great opportunity. I have to say he was very charming and nice. We had a very nice conversation. I was surprised by the reaction from some of the people on Twitter. My lord! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to meet the president.
What was the impetus behind your book?
I was always the girl growing up who my friends would turn to for dating advice. Once we were married, they turned to me for advice with their spouses. Being the youngest in a family of women, I lived with my mom, my sisters, my grandmother, and there were four other girls [sister] Kathy [Hilton’s] age that lived there too. My mom was their guru. I would lie in bed and listen to all these do's and don’ts and the mistakes they made and I applied those rules to my life. I think that’s why all my friends turned to me. So, when I decided to write this book, I wanted to talk about what's worked for me in my life. I address a lot of the questions and comments on Twitter about having the best marriage possible, beauty, fashion. I wanted to have it for my daughters, so instead of preaching to them every night, they could just read the book (laughs). Then they can pass it on to their children.
You grew up in a house of women and now you have four daughters.
It's ironic that I grew up with all these women. My sister Kathy had Paris and then Nicky, and then [sister] Kim had Brooke, and then I had Farrah. We thought, Where are the men in this family? I thought I'd have a son one day, but it's my destiny to be in an all-women family. Even my dogs are girls! Poor Mauricio.
Do you think about getting back into acting?
I still do acting. I just did a movie for Lifetime. And I just sold a pilot, a half-hour sitcom. I’m really excited about that because that’s what I love to do. I’ve always kept my foot in the door even though I wasn’t doing major things as I got older because I had the four kids. When I was doing ER for 10 years it allowed me to pick up my kids at school or my husband would drop them off and I would be back in time to pick them up. It was perfect. So, yes, it’s something I’d really like to do. It’s easier to do scripted television than reality.
On Halloween, you seem to be everywhere. Every channel runs Halloween, which you were in, every hour.
My Twitter is on fire during Halloween. People are shocked that that’s me.
How are Kim and Taylor doing?
Kim is doing really well. She is strong and sober and moving forward. We’re just very proud of her and supporting her right now. Taylor is taking it one day at a time, trying to move on with her life with [daughter] Kennedy. She's trying to keep her happy and doing what she can as a mom to get her through this very difficult time. I think the fact that Kennedy is so young is definitely on her side. It’s very difficult.
The scene with Kim breaking down in front of you at Kathy’s store was probably one of the rawest reality moments.
I can’t even watch that without crying. That scene is so painful for me. It’s amazing that it can affect me so much still. I was actually up there shopping, it's close to my house, and Kim happened to be there looking for dresses for the opening title shoot. So, we really bumped into each other, which in reality television is rare. It was such a raw, painful moment. When I see it, it brings me to tears.
Part two of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' second season reunion airs Monday on Bravo at 9 p.m. ET.
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