I have so many feelings about Kim Richards' departure from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Quitting the show (don't even think of saying she was fired, although that's still up for debate) in the midst of her substance abuse problems was the best thing the 51-year-old could do for her health and sanity. But, at the same time, I was rooting for her to work out her issues in rehab and return to the Housewives better and fiercer than ever. If a life well lived is the best revenge of all, I fully expected Kim to use the way some of the other cast members (including sister Kyle Richards) treated her as the fuel she needs to conquer her demons and shove her newfound health in everyone's faces. Alas, reality TV and real life do not always mesh and now the question becomes: What on Earth will Richards do with herself now that she will no longer be stalking Lisa Rinna and making her life a living hell?
If Richards plays her cards right, leaving the show could be the best thing that happened to her because everyone loves a comeback and a happy ending. Here are my predictions for seven things we should expect from the turtle-loving, hilarious former actress now that she's free from reality TV.
1. She'll Remain Sober
You have to hand it to Richards, accepting that you have a problem and getting help is one of the most difficult things anyone can do and by entering rehab in June instead of agreeing to return to the show, she took a major step forward in achieving sobriety and living the healthy life she deserves. Even after admitting she was always closer to Kyle than Kim, Lisa Vanderpump recently raved about Kim's progress to Us Weekly: "I saw [Kim] just the other day," Vanderpump reportedly said. "She’s doing very well and she looks healthy and happy so that’s good. That’s more important than anything, any reality show, so I was happy to see her, doing well on her birthday."
2. She & Kyle Will Be Closer Than Ever
Love was always there between the siblings, but Kim's increasingly erratic behavior drove a wedge between Kyle and herself during the filming of RHOBH. Now that Kim is off the show, it seems like she and Kyle have actually been enjoying each other's company more than ever, which is a miracle. Some distance between them may help repair their relationship, as Vanderpump confirmed to Us. "I’m sure it’s a complex relationship, but they seemed happy," she said of the sisters. "It was her birthday so that’s a really positive step in the right direction."
3. She & Monty Brinson Will Get Back Together
Kim praised ex Monty Brinson, who is suffering from terminal cancer, for supporting her throughout her rehab stint and arrests for public intoxication and shoplifting. No matter what is going on behind the scenes, these two are role models for how one should treat their former significant other. With that said, there's so much love and mutual respect between these two kids that I can totally picture them giving their relationship another try. And, if that isn't in the cards for them, at least Kim and Monty can say they are solid BFF's.
4. She'll Return To Acting
Kim is certainly no stranger to the camera. In addition to her starring role on Escape to Witch Mountain in the '70s, she appeared in a slew of TV shows and films like The Dukes of Hazzard and (more recently) Sharknado 3. She has awesome comedic timing and I'd love to see her take on a fun project — wouldn't she be hilarious as Lisa Kudrow's sister or BFF or anyone in the TV series The Comeback?
5. She'll Use Her Experiences To Help Others
As part of her plea bargain after her April arrest, Richards was sentenced to 30 days of community service. Her attorney reportedly told a judge a foot injury she sustained prevents her from performing labor tasks, according to TMZ, but I'd like to think she will discover that she actually enjoys giving back and helping others in whatever capacity she can. Perhaps she could even become a motivational speaker and address others who are battling substance abuse problems.
6. She'll Become A Conservationist
No one loves turtles as much as Kim Richards. If she hasn't done so already, she really needs to join the Turtle Conservancy and take on the task of throwing benefit dinners and fashion shows to raise money and awareness for one of the most threatened animals on the planet. I can't think of a better turtle ambassador.
7. She'll Return To The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
As much as I can picture Kim doing any one of the above things, I don't think they will keep her from ultimately returning to the show. Give her a season or two to truly work on her sobriety and re-discover herself and what she loves in life and I predict she's going to make an amazing comeback on RHOBH. Her former cast mates, including Brandi Glanville and Yolanda Foster, who are in touch with her, will welcome her return (notice how my future version of the show involves Brandi, as well) and fans will get to see Kim's peaceful, funny, goofy, and good-natured side.
I'm rooting for you, Kim!