Whether or not Kim Richards would – or should – return for Season 3 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been a hot topic of conversation ever since the former child star literally melted down in front of the cameras at the end of Season 2, then checked into rehab shortly afterward for issues with alcohol. But looking clear-eyed and sounding razor-sharp, Kim joined her sister, Kyle Richards, as well as castmates Adrienne Maloof, Lisa Vanderpump and Taylor Armstrong on the blue carpet at Bravo’s Upfronts presentation on April 4 – a sure signal she’s onboard for the new season. Speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment, she shared her regrets about the past… and her hopes for the next chapter.
Wetpaint Entertainment: What are you looking forward to most about the new season?
Kim: (laughing) I’m coming back for another season? Really? No, in all seriousness, everyone saw me take a huge spiral downward last year. Now, I’m really excited for people to see me work my way back up. I want everyone to see that.
How has the reaction been since you came forward with your addiction struggles?
Oh, god, it’s been amazing. People will say things to me like, ‘You’ve saved my son’s life,’ or ‘You’ve helped me so much.’ You know, before, I used to have a really hard time admitting I was an alcoholic. But I’m not ashamed or embarrassed any more. It’s made me a much stronger person and, hopefully, put me in a place where I can help other people.
What’s the message you want to get across to your fans and to others suffering from addiction?
It’s this: If I can do it, under THESE circumstances – having it all filmed, having everyone know every little detail about everything – then you can do it. It CAN be done.
What are your biggest regrets about last season?
My children have been greatly affected by this. I think they wish it could have all been slipped under the radar…
But you know, this isn’t my first time in recovery. And [during Season 2] I knew what I was doing wasn’t right. For me, it’s like: Sip one: I need to leave, Sip five: I’m in trouble. But I made the choice to go to work and to let the cameras in and people saw what they saw. Of course I would go back and change that if I could. But I can’t change the past, so I have to move forward.
What will be seeing this season?
People are going to see how hard I’m working. I’m not going to be sitting around with these girls sipping cocktails and just hanging out. I’m going to be very into AA and spending time with the people who have been supporting me.
Do you feel ready?
I do. I’m ready!