Tamra Barney is one tough cookie, but underneath her tough facade are some seriously raw emotions. The Real Housewives of Orange County star rarely shows her vulnerable side, but in this sneak peek of Season 8, Episode 9, Tamra opens up about her rough upbringing while giving a keynote speech at a women’s conference.
Clearly nervous from the get go, Tamra takes the stage and cracks a not-so-well-received joke about what a terrible keynote speaker she’s about to be. Self-effacing jokes don’t seem to be this crowd’s style, so she dives into the meatier parts of her monologue.
“Love seems like a pretty simple word, but in my family, love was kind of four letter word,” Tamra Barney says, as her mother, Sandy, watches from the front row of the audience. “It was a word that you didn't talk about, you didn't think about. You didn't’ say, ‘Hey, I love you.’ I grew up in a pretty tough family.”
Tamra continues, describing how her sassy personality formed at a young age.
“I was a bit of spitfire. I was outspoken, and not anybody was gonna tell me what I could and could not do. But what a lot of people didn’t know is I was extremely shy and insecure. I hid behind my sarcasm and my humor, as I do today, because I don’t know if i’m accepted.”
Even though all people perceived her as confident and outgoing, Tamra says her self esteem was critically low. So much so, that she turned to unhealthy ways of coping with her lack of confidence and acceptance.
“I was sexually active at 14, at 17 I was pregnant,” she admits to the audience, her voice wavering with emotion.
Turning to the Bravo cameras, Tamra explains why she sought physical attention from men at as a young teen.
“I developed very young, and older guys would hit on me. I used my looks and my body as a form of love. I wanted to be loved.”
What do you think of Tamra’s startling admissions in Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8, Episode 9?