Meghan King on Revisiting 'RHOC' and Finding Herself 'in a Really Happy Space' Despite Hardships (Exclusive)
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Meghan King is ready to revisit her time on The Real Housewives of Orange County. Actually, she's already started... by launching a YouTube channel! Last week, Meghan posted the first in a series of videos she plans to make, in which she'll rewatch and react to her time on the Bravo hit.
"My friends have been asking me to do this for a long time, and finally, I mean, I just sat down and I did it and it's been so much fun!" the former reality star tells ET over video chat. Meghan intends to film a reaction/recap for every single episode she appeared on during her three years on the show, from season 10 through season 12.
"Seven years have passed since I first started the show, and in those seven years I have gotten divorced, I have had three children -- one of my children has gotten a diagnosis of cerebral palsy -- I've moved back to Missouri, I bought a house," Meghan rattles off of life since 2015. "I'm just living this totally different life than what I lived when I was on Real Housewives, and I just thought it would be so fun to look back at those moments with [a] fresh perspective."
"I think at this moment in time, I'm feeling really a lot of mental clarity, which is the best time for me to reflect back on my days on the Real Housewives," she later notes. "It's not like I'm confused by my behavior on it. I just, I can reflect back on it with so much mental clarity. I feel like I'm in a great space. I've got these three awesome kids, I'm working my butt off with them, and I'm in a really happy space."
The 37-year-old's first video already garnered plenty of tabloid attention, as it focused heavily on her reacting to her time with ex-husband Jim Edmonds. Meghan and the one-time MLB star split in 2019 after five years of marriage, three of which were documented by RHOC cameras, with the audience (and Meghan's co-stars) weighing in and questioning the way Jim treated his then-wife.
"Thank god it's not anymore!" Meghan remarks while watching one scene, in which Jim reminded her that her last name was now Edmonds. Later in the clip, Meghan describes Jim's behavior as "so rude" and admits to being "in denial" as she watches back one conversation she describes as "so embarrassing." As she looks back at more moments with Jim, she calls her time with her ex "so cringey" and "horrible."
"People would say things like, 'Oh, he wasn't into you...' or like, 'He was dismissive...' or whatever," Meghan recalls to ET. "I'm like, 'No, he just didn't like being in front of the camera... he didn't like being on the Housewives and filming.' Now I'm watching. I'm like, 'Oh my god!' It's very obvious that it's more than just filming. Very obvious."
Meghan is frank about her marriage to Jim (it ended amid cheating allegations on his part, which he denied), confessing she wishes she would've gotten out of the relationship sooner. However, it's a bit of a double-edged sword, because without Jim, Meghan wouldn't have her three kids -- daughter Aspen, 5, and twin sons Hart and Hayes, 3.
"I don't like having children with that man because it makes it really hard on myself, on my kids," she admits. "I wish I had my kids just in a healthy, loving, committed relationship. That's a hard question to answer. No, I don't like this situation, but I love my children."
"I don't like having felt those ways during my time with him and without him, but also it's made me who I am today," she adds. "That part is good, I think."
Meghan says she and Jim have a strained co-parenting relationship, stuck in the same cycle of minimal communication they've had since first splitting. "I think that's his M.O," she offers. "What do they say? A leopard doesn't change their spots. So far, that's unfortunately proven to be the truth. It's tough. Tough. I know I'm not the only single mom out there with this situation."
The mom of three shares hopes for improvement in the future, but for now she's taking life day by day. Despite being off Housewives for half a decade, Meghan's remained a gossip blog fixture, her every move online turned into a headline. Her love life has been a real point of concentration, a fact that bewilders even her.
"Why is everybody so interested in my romantic life?" she asks. "I don't get it. I don't get it. I really don't."
"I don't know what the deal is with my romantic life that everybody's so into," she reiterates, "but, I think, I'm dating. I date because I'm a single person. I don't know what the interest is, but I mean, I'm just doing my thing. ... I'm just trying to find love and happiness like everybody else. I guess I'm an underdog because I've been through some s**t and I feel like, for the most part, people are rooting for me -- which feels good -- but it doesn't really matter if you're rooting for me or not. I'm still just going to do what I do."
Meghan's most recent headline-making romance was with attorney Cuffe Owens, the nephew of President Joe Biden. The pair's relationship played out fast -- they met over a dating app and got married after just a few months together back in October. The two announced their separation only two months later. While Meghan says she's not ready to discuss what happened between them, she does reflect on sharing so much of her love life over the past few years with the world -- Meghan's gone "official" with multiple boyfriends online as she's explored dating.
"It's embarrassing," she says of so many relationship "failures" becoming public fodder. "I feel embarrassed by some of my past romantic relationships and that's really humiliating to live out in the public eye. In those ways, I wish that I wasn't a public figure, but I am. The mistakes I make are public and that I got to take the good with the bad."
"I think that in order for me to have been successful on the Real Housewives, and then to still be kind [of] in the public eye in the way that I am today, I can't really let things, outside noise, bother me that much," she adds. "Otherwise, I would just be hiding under a rock right now, which a lot of people do when they're exposed to a little bit of fame because it's hard. The scrutiny is intense, and it's personal, and it's emotionally charged. To be able to slough that off is a real skill that I'm proud to say that I do possess. I don't love it and it does affect me -- and I'd be lying to say that it doesn't affect me at all -- but for the most part, I feel very confident in who I am in my own sense of self."
Meghan says she's not sure she'll change her approach to sharing who she's dating on social media; she's more likely to pull back on the amount of photos and videos she posts with her children.
"It's funny, I don't really care about what [random people on the internet] have to say, unless they're talking about me as a parent," Meghan explains. "That bothers me. Or if they're talking about my children, that really bothers me. I have a feeling moving forward, you guys might start to see less of my children -- you might have actually already started to see a little less of them -- because they're getting older and with their own opinions and thoughts and stuff and I want to protect them a little."
Commenters love to call Meghan out for her parenting decisions online, most recently shaming her for introducing a man into the kids' lives who is now no longer a part of their lives.
"I don't really get this 'my kids are seeing too much,' or 'experiencing too much' [thing]," she says. "Having said that, I'm still growing and learning and changing. There's a lot of great advice out there from the peanut gallery that does deserve to be taken seriously and considered. But overall, this is just a part of the human journeying experience. I think I'm doing a pretty good job."
Meghan calls her kids "awesome," but admits she can't fathom what it would be like to film RHOC with all three. Meghan quit the show when she got pregnant with the twins.
"I took [Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen] to dinner and ... I was like, 'I got to quit. I got to. I can't do this anymore, Andy,'" she shares, recalling the sit-down they had in their shared hometown of St. Louis. "He's like, 'Yeah, that's fine. Well, you can come back anytime you want...' Then last year I was like, 'OK, I want to come back,' and he's like, 'No.' I mean, I did the whole casting and everything, but then I didn't get it. I'm like, I don't really know if I can go back anytime I want."
Yes, Meghan says she found herself back in the casting mix for RHOC season 15 (she made a guest appearance in season 14), but ultimately wasn't chosen to return to the show. She is still close to Tamra Judge, who exited the series ahead of season 15.
"I had to, like, get my hair and makeup done and, like, wear fancy clothes and do the whole casting thing, just like I did when I started!" she reveals. "But I wasn't offered the job. Again, I don't know how I would've done it, but I think that, but nobody wants to be refused. Everyone wants to do the refusing themselves."
One factor that may have played a part in Meghan not being recast is the fact that she's based in Missouri, rather than Orange County. Meghan moved back to her home state to be closer to family as she navigated her split and raised her kids.
"I didn't want to leave," she confesses. "I would totally go back. It's just now I have Aspen starting kindergarten next year and I have a lot of family in St. Louis, and it's just a good bubble for kids to grow up in here. Selfishly, I would love to be back in Southern California, but I don't know if that's the best option for my children. I don't know. It's something I've toyed within my head, but I would never say if I got a really good job in Southern California, I'd move in a heartbeat."
For now, fans will have to get their Housewives-style dose of Meghan by watching her rewatch herself. She's still beloved amongst viewers as the "private investigator" of the franchise, a title she holds near and dear. "I totally love it!" she exclaims. "I'm still that way. Are you kidding me? Yes. That part has not changed. That is who I am at the core."
Meghan might expand her YouTube offerings to include resurrecting her P.I. ways (the sagas of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah, Beverly Hills' Erika Jayne and even Orange County's newest 'Wife' Noella Bergener are all ripe for deep dives), but for now she's focused on just her "reacts" series -- and her future.
"My 2022 goal is to love myself deeply and truly, and fully, and authentically, and candidly, and nakedly in all of the ways," she professes, "and to be the best mom I can possibly be."
Click here to subscribe to Meghan's YouTube channel.
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