It’s official: There will only be one Richards sister on the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kyle Richards confirmed that Kim Richards will not be on RHOBH Season 8 — at all. And it seems to actually be for the best.
For seven seasons, Kim was a fixture of the Beverly Hills edition of The Real Housewives. When the Bravo show premiered in 2010, the Richards sisters were two of the six main cast members, and when Kim stepped down from her post before Season 6, she stuck around for two more seasons as a Friend of Housewives. But as far as Season 8 is concerned, it looks like Kim won’t even be around as a supporting character.
“You know, she's got a lot of stuff going on in her personal life,” Kyle told ET. “She, I think, didn't want to do that … maybe it's a little too intense, so she's happy doing what she's doing right now.”
The "stuff" being, presumably, Kim's battle with addiction, which she has been open about. She is sober now, but the path leading up to this point has appeared to be a difficult one, and her time on RHOBH really didn't seem to make things any easier on her. Even when she wasn't part of the main roster, her personal life was dragged into the show's drama. Just last season, for example, her sobriety was the subject of a distasteful piece of gossip that culminated in her returning a cellophane-wrapped plush bunny to Lisa Rinna.
Kyle added that it’s “weird” to film RHOBH without her sibling. She said,
“You know, we started it together and even though we fought, we're sisters and I love her. There's nothing like having your sister there with you, even if you're fighting — that's your blood, so it's like, it was kind of weird at first.”
Here’s a huge understatement for you: Kim and Kyle’s relationship is complicated. It's really, really complicated. But by all accounts, it looks like they're doing much better than they were, say, three-ish seasons ago. Given everything they've gone through on RHOBH, it's a heartwarming thing to see.
In the aforementioned ET interview, Lisa Vanderpump also shared her feelings on Kim's departure from the show. She told the site,
“I think [it’s] a shame, really. Because, always the relationship, when it's a family member, it really raises the stakes, because you're so invested in that. And I like Kim ... she stepped out at certain times, she's needed to step out, and it was a shame she didn't come back this year, because apparently, she's doing, you know, quite well.”
To Vanderpump's point, it would be lovely to see a healthy Kim on RHOBH. However, given the circumstances, it makes sense that Kyle's sister bowed out. As Kyle said, she's happy doing what she's doing now, so why throw the RHOBH wrench into the mix?
Kim’s road to recovery has been paved with trials and tribulations, including an arrest in 2015 for public intoxication. In July 2015, she told Us Weekly, “Actually, my arrest was my 'a-ha I get to go away now and rest and take a break from all this.” Thankfully, it sounds like she’s in a solid place now. Back in September, Kim talked to E! News about her recovery, as well as the role nonprofit horse rescue Skydog Ranch has played in her sobriety. She said,
“This new lifestyle of mine does not fit in with the old lifestyle and this new lifestyle is beautiful and this place has been a huge part of my sobriety and my recovery process. Honestly, my sobriety kind of came with it- with spending so much time here. It just happened naturally.”
Of course, Kim’s presence will be missed during Season 8. But here’s an even bigger of course: It’s wonderful to hear that she’s doing so well, and if removing RHOBH from her life helps her stay on this path, then her exiting the show is a good thing. Her well-being is what's important.