The Stories Behind 8 'Real Housewives' Divorces

by Marenah Dobin

The franchise is called Real Housewives, but a lot of the women are not actually wives. Some of them have never tied the knot and others have been divorced. When it comes to those who split up with their partners, sometimes viewers got to see these marriages break up during the show, and for other couples, the demise of these relationships happened in between seasons. No matter how it went down, there have been so many Real Housewives divorces that occurred for a variety of reasons to the point where they there could be a Real Divorcees spinoff series.

Some of the Real Housewives splits were vicariously heartbreaking for me and then there were others where I was happy to see the men leave the franchise. It's come to a (delusional) point where I feel like these women are my friends, so I hate seeing them feeling unhappy or getting mistreated, especially in the public eye. People always say that there is a curse for couples who go on reality TV and that it pretty much breaks them all up, but that's pretty debatable. Is it the pressure of being on television that breaks up these marriages or are the reality TV cameras just bringing attention to problems that already exist?

The women on Real Housewives have been through so much and the loyal fans have been around for it all. Here are the stories behind Real Housewives' biggest breakups.

1. Camille Grammer & Kelsey Grammer

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If you've been watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills since the beginning, you remember how this all went down. Camille was constantly bragging about her relationship with Kelsey and then all of a sudden she was blindsided by the news that he wanted to split up. Kelsey told Camille that their marriage was over, but they still went to the Tony Awards together immediately after, where she had to pretend to be a part of a happy couple. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch.

2. Adrienne Maloof & Paul Nassif

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Years later, I'm still so surprised that Adrienne and Paul ended up having such a complicated divorce. They seem pretty cool these days, but Paul once claimed that the former Housewife verbally and physically abused him in front of their kids. Supposedly things came to a breaking point when she allegedly "screamed that [he] was a horrible father" and hit him and kicked him in front of their children, People reported that Paul claimed in court documents. Adrienne's camp claimed to People that "Physically, all Adrienne has ever done is defend herself."

3. Vicki Gunvalson & Donn Gunvalson

Vicki and Donn were one of those couple who fell into that stereotype of being broken up by reality television. Vicki explained in an interview with E!,

"I hurt Donn a lot by exposing all of the things that I did, which I never meant to do. The unfortunate part is I started talking to Tamra [Barney] in confidence, and you tend to forget that there’s a microphone on and she’s like, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with you? You’re not yourself. And I just started unloading. And the cameras caught it…Tamra and I don’t see each other that often…I really kind of felt it was a therapeutic thing to discuss it."

I'm sure it's a lot to handle having your life shown on TV like that, and it must have put a lot of strain on the marriage.

4. Tamra Judge & Simon Barney

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Real Housewives of Orange County viewers got to see this breakup happen on the show. The couple was bickering a lot, but things really came to a head during an argument they had on the Season 5 finale. They decided to get a divorce and, unfortunately, this was right after Tamra got Simon's name tattooed on her finger.

5. Yolanda Hadid & David Foster

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Yolanda and David have been pretty tight lipped about the specifics of their divorce, but there have been hints here and there. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans know that Yolanda has been suffering with Lyme disease, and it seems like her illness affected the dynamic within her marriage. Yolanda said on The Dr. Oz Show ,

"At the end of the day, David never changed, I changed. Unfortunately, these are the cards that life dealt me. It wasn't by choice. But I'm not the woman I used to be and I probably will never be again. My focus, my energy goes to trying to get well, trying to make a difference, trying to find a cure for my children … and David's life is really traveling, going to concerts, loud music. And I mean, I couldn't, I can barely listen to the radio."

6. Bethenny Frankel & Jason Hoppy

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Bethenny Frankel talked about her split from Jason Hoppy during an episode of Watch What Happens Live, and said, "People should be in relationships with people that really accept them and understand them." That's pretty vague, but then she referenced Sheryl Sandberg, and said, “[It is hard] when the woman is the breadwinner. I think fame, attention, and money does not bring out the best in everybody. I think that money, in many ways, is the root of all evil.” Bethenny finally found the level of success that she wanted, and it seems like that really came at a major cost for her personal life.

7. Ramona & Mario Singer

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It was pretty shocking to hear the reports about Mario Singer's rumored affair. He and Ramona really seemed like such a happy couple on Real Housewives of New York City and they even renewed their vows on camera, so the cheating allegations really came out of nowhere. Ramona commented on the allegations to People and said of trying to work on their marriage, "He begged for forgiveness and was crying. We had a 22-year marriage here and I said, 'You know what? I am going to look at the bigger picture. People are entitled to make a mistake.'" Mario has not commented on the claims himself and could not be reached for comment.

8. Luann de Lesseps & Count Alex de Lesseps

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We pretty much never saw Luann's ex-husband on RHONY, but he certainly came up a lot, especially when Luann was talking about her countess title. The end to their marriage came in a pretty shocking way: She received an email from him after they'd be separated for three months. Luann explained this during an interview with People: "It said that he had met someone and they were serious.” But apparently, it was not a total shock since she also said, “I knew that we were kind of separating, but I was hoping that things were going to work out.”

Divorce is tough for everyone and it is even more difficult for people living in the public eye who feel obligated to be so open with their fans. I have no idea how these Real Housewives got through it, but they have and they're thriving.