Lisa Vanderpump wanted a break from holding a diamond.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star admits to ET she asked Bravo and Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen for a year off the show, following the April 2018 death of her brother, Mark, who died by suicide, before ultimately filming the upcoming ninth season.
“[Andy] said, 'You know, I think we should've given you a year off when you asked for it,’” she shares. “He said, 'I don't think you were in a mental state where you were really prepared to deal with it,' it was very emotional … 'With hindsight, we probably should've given you the year off.’”
“I wasn’t as prepared for combat as I should’ve been,” she confesses.
“It hasn't been a good situation,” she continues. “I think this year, with where my mental state was -- and I've been very honest about that, I struggled a lot, you know, after my brother's suicide. The first few months it was really difficult, and I was kind of searching for happiness, so, I think you know … when something really significant happens in your life, maybe it does change you, you know?”
Lisa went straight into filming both Housewives and her spinoff, Vanderpump Rules, shortly after losing her brother. She’s an executive producer on the spinoff, but not RHOBH.
“It was a tough year, personally,” she says. “I don't know. I have no control over what they show, what's being filmed and what's being said. I know for me, we've talked about before, I just tell my truth and keep going.”
“The audience has normally been very supportive, and I thank them for that,” she adds, noting that while the viewers have never left her, her “friend” group seems to turn on her every couple of seasons.
“[Season two], I was accused of giving stories,” she recalls. “Four, some nonsense about a magazine. Six, eight -- see, I got a year off! It was my year to be beaten up again. It's every other year, yeah.”
Lisa Vanderpump Sets the Record Straight On 'RHOBH' Exit (Exclusive)
Season nine of RHOBH, premiering Feb. 12, will seemingly focus on Lisa’s falling out with her co-stars, and it’s all linked back to Dorit Kemsley’s adoption of a dog from Lisa’s rescue center, Vanderpump Dogs. The dog somehow wound up at a shelter, and when the story got out to the blogs, the cast reportedly started pointing fingers at Lisa for leaking it, which Lisa has vehemently denied.
“Unfortunately, I think that’s all this is about,” Lisa laments.
Lisa concedes that her relationship with all the women is fractured at this moment, and she’s not exactly sure there’s hope for reconciliation. When asked about mending things with her fellow RHOBH “OG” Kyle Richards, she quickly pivoted the conversation to her Vanderpump Rosé. She did, however, hint it’s her loyalty to the network that made her famous that keeps her coming back for more.
“After season four, I said I would never go back, but I did,” she shares. “Season six, I think I said the same thing. I have a great relationship with Bravo, and a great relationship with the production company, so they kind of say, you know, come on.”
While Lisa’s not quite ready to predict her Housewives future -- she previously compared it to presumptuously inviting oneself over for Christmas dinner a year in advance -- she was willing to agree with Kyle on one thing: Kyle's claim on Tuesday's Live With Kelly and Ryan that season nine can best be summed up as “deceitful.”
Lisa is getting a little relief from the Housewives pressure cooker, though. Starting Thursday, Feb. 7, her fans can watch her on a third series, Facebook Watch’s The World’s Most Amazing Dog. It’s a hybrid clip show/talent show where dogs can win $100,000 for showing off their talents.
“Just get your popcorn, watch it and really enjoy the moments,” she teases. “There's no kind of intricacies and mysteries. It really is just a lot of fun, and I've had a great time doing it.”
“It's got such a feel-good factor and it's quite incredible the things they do,” Lisa gushes. “I was gobsmacked. You watch these videos and I thought, how can this dog be this smart? … They really are something, really talented. It's a fabulous show.”
Yes, for the record, Lisa finds it easier to film with dogs over Housewives, admitting her season six tagline -- “I’m passionate about dogs, just not crazy about b***hes” -- probably should’ve been reserved for season nine of RHOBH.