There’s hitting rock bottom – and then there’s landing with an unceremonious thud on a couch in front of Dr. Phil while wearing a very unfortunate red blouse that looks like it has a vest attached to the front of it while you recount how the sobriety you claimed to have never struggled with has finally begun to cause you some stress. Kim Richards, that beacon of strength, sobriety, and personal restraint – the woman whose on-camera antics over the last five seasons or so on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have caused me to feel both mild puzzlement and a sweeping and genuine concern for the future of all mankind – plummeted to her newest level of rock bottom and obviously made sure this latest trip to the gutter was televised because if a lens is not aimed directly at her chin, how will we know for sure if it is quivering with poorly-articulated emotion? How can we be sure time itself is even passing?
The story that initially made the rounds right after her arrest a week or so ago involved details, only some of which are accurate if we are all willing to play the Kim Is Telling The Truth game that I forfeited many moons ago. But for the sake of fun and to make me feel better about watching two of the worst people who have ever existed on the planet appearing in the same mid-shot on my television screen, let’s pretend that Kim Richards actually has an honest bone in her frail little body and that what she’s saying to a questionable doctor might in fact be the real and whole story.
The televised intervention/mea culpa begins with Dr. Phil laying out a list of all the charges Kim managed to incur in only a few short hours: public intoxication, trespassing, resisting arrest, battery against a police officer. Yes, it was a busy night over at the Polo Lounge, Kim’s home away from home, and we also get to see a montage of the cacophony of media coverage she received, which is actually far more media coverage than the woman has snagged in years. But finally, with the packaged clips over, it’s time for the interview to begin, but there the good doctor sits in a chair waiting because Kim needed to spend some time “fluffing her bangs” so she would look pretty as she dissolved into continuous tears in front of a man who believes she’s a total liar.
He comes out swinging. I think his first question was something along the lines of, “You’re a mom. What are you doing getting arrested? Is this evidence of a much larger issue?” to which I think every person watching this interview screamed words that indicated something along the lines of “fuck, yes!” But does Kim answer the same way? Um, no. First she actually has the balls to begin, “I’m a very strong person,” which made my eyebrows shoot so far up my forehead that I fear they are now gone forever and I just had them waxed so that’s just bullshit. And then she explained how a night ended with her trashed and kicking a police officer because she read what some fans said about her online – how they called her “a liar” and “drunk” – and how she was just so tired of being talked about.
Being talked about sucks. Know a good way to avoid such a thing? Get the fuck off a reality show.
Pushing the question of whether or not Kim is a complete liar, Dr. Phil asks her about being drunk on the show, to which she very tellingly answers, “I have not drank once this season on camera.” I know with absolute certainty that I’m not the only person who focused on the way the words “on camera” were tossed onto the end of that sentence like nobody was supposed to notice them.
Then the excuses and some well-practiced misdirection comes pouring out of her strangely shaped lips like a barrage of foam bullets:
“I felt very attacked by all the girls.”
“It was the relationship with my sister and my niece that have been destroyed. That’s what really started getting me upset.”
“I’m beating myself up over this. I feel the worst for my kids.”
And listen: excuses are nice, but Dr. Phil would like some clarification instead, so he asks her to walk him through the night and apparently the story goes a little something like this. Kim went to see her daughter Kimberly and, while there, realized she had to write a blog for the Reunion, which is an odd responsibility to all of a sudden feel after she spent the entire season not blogging. She decided to begin by going on Twitter to see the reaction to the show, and let’s just say that the feedback was not kind, which is also to say that the feedback was entirely accurate based on her appalling behavior all season long. Feeling badly, she left one daughter’s home and headed to another and, while there, she was so upset about everything that she poured herself a glass of vodka, downed it, got into the car, and drove until she felt drunk. She then pulled over at The Beverly Hills Hotel – a place she has spent a lot of time – and entered the bar where she thought she saw someone she knew but it was actually a stranger. At some point, that pesky maître d came over and told her she had to return to her table – which is what every maître d says to a random patron at a bar – and eventually she was asked by a waiter to leave because she was trespassing. She needed to go to the bathroom before she was unceremoniously removed from the premises, so she stayed locked in a stall until officers forcibly removed her and she did not like the way they were treating her, which means that once again this sick woman cannot understand that it is her actions that led to everybody’s reactions and since she never seems to enjoy those reactions, maybe it’s time to actually fucking change.
“This is beyond what’s normal,” Dr. Phil muses, and then he asks her if she was behaving in ways that could be seen as obnoxious or crazy, but Kim can’t remember that part. And when he tells her that, all those hours later, she should have started to sober up, she just kind of shrugs and said she hadn’t. I wasn’t entirely sure where he was going with the line of questioning, but it became pretty clear that he simply didn’t buy that she’d just had one drink, and that’s when another “secret” came spilling out, that in the last several months she’s had several glasses of wine, which kind of makes her declaration earlier in the interview that she has been sober for three years entirely worthless. When it’s asked why she didn’t admit having broken her sobriety long ago, Kim holds her face to her hands – again – and weeps and says, “I was embarrassed to say anything at the Reunion,” and that’s when the editors over at the Dr. Phil show cut to a clip from the Reunion where Kim, decked out in her bright pink dress, declares her sobriety again and again and also throws in that she has never once struggled with that sobriety.
Good thing nobody believed her or we’d all feel pretty foolish right about now, huh?
But see, that last reveal – even though we all knew it was probably the case – kind of throws a big greasy wrench into her earlier statement that, after she drank the vodka, she whispered to herself, “Oh, my God – what did I just do?” What did you just do? You did what you’ve done repeatedly. You drank. Was Kim just upset for herself in that moment or in this one where she is being interviewed for her continued lapse in sobriety? It’s hard to tell what’s real with this woman because she also has the gall to actually say that she feels badly for letting down “all the people who follow my sobriety and look up to me.” For argument’s sake, let’s say that one person out there exists who follows Kim’s sobriety and looks up to her. Is it too bold a suggestion that I think that maybe that person should be killed?
When the Kyle issue is brought up, Kim makes sure to say she doesn’t fully blame Kyle anymore for telling the world that she is an alcoholic, and that’s good because I think it has been Kim’s ridiculous televised behavior that really announced that little secret to the world, so it’s time to get over an incident that shouldn’t really matter. And perhaps she should also get over Kyle being upset that Kim’s dog mauled her child as long as we’re vagina-deep in a moment of pretend personal growth.
Later on, Kim’s children join the interview and the whole thing is just very sad to watch. All of them seem far stronger than their mother, whose expressions and reactions are both infantile and incredibly creepy, and they are adamant that Kim needs a shitload of help to deal with an issue she’s never fully dealt with. As their mother is a rambling, tragic mess, the kids nod as Dr. Phil describes how Kim is clearly not handling her sobriety as she should and that he has never known an alcoholic to report things fully and truthfully, which is Kim Richards’ behavior in the kind of nutshell that won’t open. And as far as accountability for her repulsive and deranged behavior on the Housewives, Dr. Phil plays a clip of the Amsterdam dinner where Kim lost her entire mind and started chanting allegations about Lisa Rinna’s husband cheating on her, and when Dr. Phil asks if she was intoxicated there, she denies it to which Dr. Phil says, “So you were just slurring and belligerent?” and Kim’s reaction is to laugh and actually respond, “Whatever.”
When the time that everyone except for Kim realized was coming – the let’s-get-you-into-treatment-now moment – Kim declares that she is not ready for such a thing and panics. She cannot do a sixty-day program; she only wants to do thirty days. The program must be close to home. She has to have her own room because she is a monster who has never learned how to share. She cannot miss her daughter’s wedding because it would be way better to be drunk with family than drying out in a room somewhere so she might actually have a future.
It’s also briefly brought up that Kim’s son believes that Brandi Glanville, she of the perpetual drinking and the founder of a new kind of wine that looks particularly disgusting, is a “toxic” influence on his mother, but that’s a no-brainer kind of response because Brandi is the second worst person on the show. The real issue is that Kim books out of the room like a woman with a lot to hide once treatment is brought up as a very real thing instead of a maybe-I’ll-go kind of scenario, and the words she’s bellowing in fury include the following:
“You can forget this whole thing!”
When her daughter goes to speak with her shell of a mother, Kim ignores her pleas to get the help she so desperately needs, and when her son enters the room, she tells him she’s not drinking every day, like the logistics even matter anymore. Even after it’s revealed that she also smokes pot, Kim is steadfast that she will not engage in a discussion about immediate treatment and the interview is over.
But twenty minutes later, when Dr. Phil knocks on the door of whatever room she is currently hiding inside of, Kim comes to the door and in her bullshit baby voice, she tells him how much she respects him.
“Don’t cheat yourself,” he tells her to her face. “Don’t cheat your kids.”
Holy hell – do I like Dr. Phil?! Maybe it’s just that when anyone is onscreen with Kim Richards that person just looks better…
I’m going with that last thought so I can sleep through the night without having terror-filled dreams.
Just a few days later, it turns out that Kim took Dr. Phil up on his offer for treatment, and I can only hope the treatment is incredibly intensive because this is a woman so warped and fragile that she needs to do a complete overhaul of herself as a person to ever function or be believed ever again. And I wish her well, but I cannot say that I think she will ever really get better because there is clearly far too much she is still desperate to hide.