Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vicki Gunvalson On Gretchen Rossi: "I’m Glad She’s Gone" From RHOC
When it launched over seven years ago, the TV series The Real Housewives of Orange County proved such a hit with viewers that it went on to spawn a seemingly endless array of clones.

Providing a peek into the gilded lives of America’s wealthy and fabulous, the success of the show eventually led to further off-shoots such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, even extending overseas with The Real Housewives of Athens.  

A complicated miscellany of catfights, hair extensions, marital discord, bling and group hugging, the shows make for baffling yet compulsive viewing – none more so than the original series which is currently filming its ninth season.

Vicki Gunvalson, the doyenne of the OC franchise, has the distinction of being the longest-serving member of the series and is the only housewife to last all nine seasons. ‘And I guess it’s because I’m just a glutton for punishment!’ she says. ‘I don’t know why I’ve lasted the distance, other than it’s because my life has been so eventful. 

'I’ve raised children, become a grandmother, I have my own business and I’ve been through a divorce and that’s everyday life for a lot of people out there these days.’

While some viewers may relate to the show’s glamorous characters, it’s perhaps more reasonable to assume that most keep watching because of the incessant squabbling.
A cast reunion which aired earlier this year not only managed to throw up tears (from Housewife Gretchen Rossi) and tantrums (between Housewives Heather Dubrow and Lydia McLaughlin), but also accusations of a threesome (directed at Vicki, who promptly denied everything).

With tensions running high, little wonder then that some of the Housewives have reportedly been axed since the last series, namely the afore-mentioned Gretchen as well as Alexis Bellino, who appeared on the show for four seasons. 

Indeed, Vicki herself seems to confirm this by saying: ‘I’m sad about Alexis – she was very beautiful and good eye candy for the viewers, but Lydia [who recently quit the show after just one season] I never really knew.’ 

And what of Gretchen, who recently took to Twitter, implying that Vicki had bullied her? ‘I never bullied her, that’s just not true,’ says Vicki. ‘And I’m glad she’s gone. She’s a troublemaker and 90 per cent of her stuff was fake. 

'Actually, who knows if what she did was real or fake but my perception of her was that she just wasn’t authentic.’

Authenticity may not always be the first quality Real Housewives’ devotees look for, but there’s no doubt that the show has its fair share of drama, not least when Vicki is on screen. 

During her seven-year tenure on the show, she has divorced Donn Gunvalson, her husband of 16 years, taken up with a businessman Brooks Ayers (who then ended their relationship during the afore-mentioned reunion special) and has been accused by recurring Housewife Lauri Peterson of indulging in a threesome. 

One imagines that her relationship with Lauri in particular is somewhat frosty these days? ‘There is no relationship,’ admits Vicki. ‘She’s a liar who caused trouble and then left. There was some dirty, dirty stuff she said which wasn’t true. [The threesome allegation] was all lies.’
More troubling perhaps for fans of Vicki – and indeed for her own family – is that despite the apparent break-up between Vicki and Brooks, she now reveals that they are in fact still together.

Brooks has come in for repeated criticism throughout their on-off relationship, not only regarding rumours that he was unfaithful to Vicky with a stripper-slash-porn star (which he denied), but in particular when secretly recorded audio tapes were released where he declared his plans to ‘f***ing beat [Vicki’s] ass’ and referred to his girlfriend as a ‘f***ing whore’ (Ayers subsequently apologised for his comments).

'We are still seeing each other from time to time,' says Vicki.  'He lives in a different state – but he was wrongfully abused on the show, both by other cast members and my daughter [Briana]. 

'They magnified the truth. I wouldn’t be with someone who didn’t treat me right, who didn’t treat me like a princess, and I don’t need to be protected,’ she says, adding: ‘I mean, I’m 51 – I’ve got this! 

'We tried breaking up and it didn’t really work for us, but I’m just dating him – we’re not married or engaged – and dating someone is how you find out about them. 

'I know my daughter worries, but she’s only met him four times and in any case, we each have our own lives to lead – we can’t lead anyone else’s life for them. Other people have their opinions but I really, really care for this man.’
RELATED: Blast From The Past: Vicki Gunvalson Shares Home Video Of Happier Times With Ex-Hubby Do