In addition to being an actress and reality star, Sober House’s Jennifer Gimenez is an addiction counselor. She also happens to be a good friend of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills newcomer Brandi Glanville and was at Brandi’s side when co-star Kim Richards went off on a disturbing, erratic rant targeted at Brandi on last night’s episode. It took place at the home of Kim’s sister, Kyle Richards, during her annual White Party. Since the filming of the episode, which occurred this past spring, Kim has checked into rehab to address alcohol and other serious issues. Speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment, Jennifer talks about what it was like to witness Kim’s outburst that evening — and why she thinks rehab is truly the best place for her right now.
Wetpaint Entertainment: In one of her asides to the camera, Brandi said she thought substance abuse issues were at the root of Kim’s behavior. Based on what you saw at the white party, do you agree?
Jennifer Gimenez: Yes, I do. That night was my first encounter with her, but right away I could tell something was off. You could tell from looking at her — her eyes, her gestures — that she was not well.
Kim was throwing out insult after insult, even mocking Brandi’s voice like a child and threatening to hurt her. Yet, you and Brandi kept your cool and didn’t fight back.
Brandi and I were just doing our best to be compassionate. It was obvious to both of us that Kim was very sick. She was clearly suffering. We didn’t want to do anything to make it worse. My main goal, besides being there for Brandi, was to make sure no one got hurt. At one point, Kim did threaten to get violent and I didn’t want the situation to get any more out of hand than it already had.
Kim recently checked into rehab. What are your thoughts about that?
I’m very happy for her think it’s courageous for anyone to admit they have a problem and make the decision to get help. If our paths cross again, I would absolutely open my arms to her in any way possible.