In 2018, Vanderpump Rules fans learned that Katie Maloney fell through a plate-glass window in 2009. I remember exactly when it happened. While we were busy marveling at Katie’s composure when James Kennedy made fun of her weight, Lisa Vanderpump dropped the bomb that Katie had a near fatal accident.
At the time, it posed a lot of questions… but mainly: HOW DID SHE FALL THROUGH A SKYLIGHT? (And also, like, how did she survive, but that’s kind of less pressing.) Because it happened pre-VPR, news coverage is really light on the moments leading up to her fall, but here’s what we do know.
November 9, 2009: Katie has just started working at SUR. She falls through a skylight at a party and drops three floors (25 feet), breaking her jaw and collarbone, losing some teeth, and suffering a small brain injury. She does say in an old Instagram post that she “doesn’t remember falling.” Katie had her jaw wired shut and a crazy scar on her face, which a plastic surgeon offered to remove. She refused, saying “I like my scar. It gives me character and it’s a badge of honor. I went through something crazy, but I’m still here.”
Katie spoke about her accident on Rachael O’Brein’s podcast “Be Here For A While” She says she went to the house of a guy she was hooking up with where they “were playing Monopoly, eating cookies and chilling.” Then, she says, “My friend Johnny had a Canon camera, and we were like, ‘we should go to the roof and take some pictures of the skyline, and like practice with overexposure, some light trails and all that.'”
So they went up to the roof, where there were some big skylights — at least six feet by three feet, she estimates. The skylights were right above the staircase, so Katie said, “Oh, let’s see if we could get some light coming from underneath and see what kind of pictures we could take.'” Now, to give you a picture, these skylights were supposedly dome shaped and kind of dented in on the side — not a flat rectangle. Katie says she told her friend to sit on the edge of the skylight, “And then I kind of straddled him more or less and was taking pictures of him… and I was like, ‘oh shit, if this broke…’ and that’s the last thing I remember saying.”
Life Lesson: Don’t help your friends with their shitty photography.
Katie reached out to Lisa shortly after her accident. Lisa fondly recalls how “[she] was so concerned for [her] job,” since Katie didn’t yet understand that falling through a plate glass window is well within the bounds of mayhem Lisa expects from her servers. Since the accident, Katie has continued to prove to herself and fans that she’s the most resilient, bad-ass betch in the room.