For the last two years, the world has watched Kim Richards grapple with addiction and recovery
. In her sobriety, Kim's struggled to successfully mend the fractured relationship she shares with sister Kyle Richards. That was just one of the reasons The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
agreed to star on Fox's new series, Stars in Danger: The High Dive
"I wanted to do it because, obviously we've had a rough couple of years on Housewives, and I thought this would be something fun," Kim tells ETonline. "Just get away from the Housewives and spend some quality time together, and that's what we did."
Although the process wasn't easy for either lady, Kyle faced the largest hurdle as she had to overcome a debilitating fear of heights. "Believe me, my desire to do this show had nothing to do with getting on a diving board, that's for damn sure," Kyle tells me. "I thought it would be a good experience for Kim and me since we'd spent every single day together ... in a pool ... freezing our butts off ... in bathing suits!"
They laugh now, but the reality of competing on a televised diving competition was far from funny at the time. "Every single day we wanted to quit," Kyle admits. "I can tell you personally, each time I dove, I didn't want to do it. Every time I climbed the ladder, I would hyperventilate and was bawling backstage."
But the risk was worth the reward. "At the end of the day, I was elated. The sky was blue, the birds were chirping," Kyle laughs. "I never got to a place of enjoying it. It's not like I overcame my fear, we just had to endure it."
Relying on one another throughout this experience achieved the result both desired at the outset. "There were days where we were both crying, cursing and leaning on one another for support," says Kyle. "But it was such an amazing experience. It's like having the Kim I grew up with back again."
Kim says, "I've learned a lot about myself in the last two years, but this was such a mental, physical and emotional challenge, the fact I didn't quit makes me so happy. All away around, this whole experience has not only done something for me and something for my sister, but it's made a huge impact on my kids as well. And that's been the best thing of all."
Stars in Danger: The High Dive airs January 9 at 8 p.m. on Fox.