The ladies of The Real Housewives are the gifts that keep on giving. I love the franchise because it’s a space where women are not only allowed, but encouraged, to be unabashedly themselves. Many are quick to dismiss the show as frivolous and superficial, but for me and my fellow Bravoholics it’s a fascinating sociological study on what it means to be a woman in today’s world. This inevitably gives us a glimpse into the men our gals choose, and more often than not, the results are pure, unadulterated trash not pretty. Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I ventured into the deepest, darkest depths of House Husband Hell and compiled a list of the most garbage men to grace our screens over the years.
9. Bill Aydin
Bill is a relatively new addition to The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but he immediately made an impression with his condescending attitude towards his wife, Jennifer, and insistence that she stay at home with their children at all times. Jennifer memorably had to ask Bill for permission to go on a “girls’ trip” (in other words, do her job), a request that displeased her controlling traditional husband. This should end well.
8. Brooks Ayers
While not technically a husband (despite Vicki’s numerous attempts to make him fill her love tank), Brooks may as well have been one with the amount of screen time he took up during his tenure on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He immediately pinged fans’ creep radars when Vicki’s daughter Briana recounted that he sexually harassed her while she was pregnant. Brooks really cemented his status as the Dirty John of Bravo when it came out in season 10 that he perpetrated a cancer scam that Vicki was definitely *not* in on. Just thinking about him makes me want to take several showers.
7. Michael Darby
Ashley’s marriage to Michael was shaky even in the earlier seasons of The Real Housewives of Potomac, with the two arguing over their fledgling restaurant and having children together, culminating in a separation just two years ago. Unfortunately, Michael is looking even worse this season with allegations that he sexually assaulted a cameraman on the show. Despite the charges being dropped, more allegations persist. And now he and Ashley have a baby together, which won’t complicate things at all.
6. Jim Edmonds
This marriage always seemed suspect to me, not only because it was lucky number three for Jimbo, but also because he appeared completely and utterly checked out in every interaction with his wife. His abandonment of Meghan during her painful IVF treatments was particularly damning. Just when it seemed he couldn’t be more awful, news broke earlier this year about Jim’s involvement in a nude text message scandal in which, among other things, he was sexting a woman while Meghan was about to give birth to their twins. Inexplicably, they are still together.
My advice to Meghan:
5. Shane Simpson
There’s no way around it: Shane sucks. This human embodiment of the word “twerp,” as he was brilliantly called by castmate and certified genius Kelly Dodd, has been a walking wet blanket since his debut last season on The Real Housewives of Orange County. He threw Gina out of his home last season for being too loud during a party and proceeded to handle the aftermath with the same grace as a whiny toddler who’s been denied his binky. Shane has done nothing to redeem himself this season and can’t be bothered to hide his disdain snark in every scene with Emily, even going so far as to leave his family at home to escape to a hotel under the guise of “studying for the bar” (which he failed, btw). Instead of being grateful to his wife for singlehandedly taking care of their children and throwing a party for his parents in his absence, he snaps at her for disturbing him. Emily can do so much better.
4. Jason Hoppy
This is where the list really starts getting dark. Like many serial killers eligible men, Jason initially seemed like the dream guy Bethenny had been searching for her entire life. He supported her dreams and together they started the family she always wanted. For a while, it looked like Bethenny really did have it all. But cracks started to show in her spin-off Bethenny Ever After and it quickly became clear that Jason had a dark side he’d been hiding from the viewers. Once Bethenny filed for divorce, Jason fully unleashed his crazy by refusing to leave their apartment, threatening her, and bad-mouthing her to their daughter. Yikes.
3. David Beador
Seeing old footage of David Beador and his White Walker eyes still sends a chill down my spine. Shannon was completely humiliated when she revealed during season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County that David had a long-term affair. Though the pair did try to work through their problems, David’s attempts to reconcile always seemed forced and inauthentic. During season 11, Vicki alleged that David was physically abusive towards Shannon during their marriage. Though both David and Shannon denied any physical abuse, David was arrested for domestic battery years earlier. The stress of the allegations led Shannon to gain 40 pounds, and instead of supporting his wife during this difficult time, David began aggressively working out as if to mock her and would eat in front of her in a way that can only be described as hostile. Thankfully, Shannon divorced him.
2. Jim Marchese
Until I began preparing this list, I had somehow forgotten that this O.T. (Original Twerp) ever existed. Jim was hated by just about every cast member during his mercifully short run on The Real Housewives of New Jersey for getting in the women’s faces repeatedly like a rabid dog on crack and saying unspeakable things about his castmates. Jim has continued to reach new lows after his stint on the show. He revealed during his appearance with Amber on Marriage Bootcamp that he blamed her for getting cancer, was arrested shortly thereafter for felony domestic violence against Amber and, most recently, has been accused by his own son of refusing to continue paying his college tuition because he is gay. What a mensch.
1. Joe Giudice
It admittedly doesn’t get much worse than Jim Marchese, but Juicy Joe still reigns supreme as the worst of the worst husbands. The repeated rumors of infidelity were bad enough. Who could forget that uncomfortable scene where he was caught on camera talking to his mistress one of his workers and referring to Teresa as “my bitch wife” and a “c*nt”? But Joe cemented his status on this list by committing fraud and implicating Teresa, causing her to serve time in prison and miss out on valuable time with her mother, who died less than two years after her release. It’s unforgivable, but it does look like karma is coming for Joe and he’s probably getting deported.
Of course, this isn’t a complete list because choosing among the toxic men on these shows is an embarrassment of riches. There were many more I wanted to include (looking at you, Jim Bellino, Kelsey Grammer, Slade Smiley, Paul “Peekay” Kemsley and Simon Barney), but I can’t afford to quit my day job. Sound off in the comments with your worst House Husbands!
Images: Getty Images (7); Shutterstock (2); NBCU; Bravo; Giphy (2)
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Coming to you LIVE from my hotel room. The reigning queen (and my personal idol) is leaving The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny Frankel. We have seen her on RHONY since it first aired 2008, then she left to do her own spinoff and talk show for a few years, only to triumphantly return to us in 2016. But this time, her leaving feels final. And personally, I need some time to process this news.
When we first met Bethenny back in 2008 she was considered by some cast members “the underdog.” She wasn’t married, didn’t have children, and was out here trying to make something of herself. She came in hot with her one-liners, and quickly befriended Jill Zarin. But Bethenny was a force from the jump. She doesn’t take sh*t, period. And when she had an opinion, we heard it. She was a breath of fresh air, and the no bulls*t Greek chorus of the show.
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I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to you. I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you. I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. Thank you so much for your love and support. And stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come. I love you all and am so lucky to have you in my life! PS: New York City is still my playground. . ♥️xo♥️ . B
Throughout her tenure on the show we have seen her ups and downs—her pregnancy, the breakdown of her marriage to he who shall not be named, and finding HUGE success with her company SkinnyGirl. (Which btw, she sold for a record-breaking $100 million dollars.) Mind you, when she started RHONY she has said she only had $8,000 to her name. Business. Woman. Goals.
Variety broke this devastating news, and at first I thought, this is untrue, she wouldn’t do this to us. But then it read “it’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership…”. *cue jaw drop* As Luann de Lesseps once said, “How could you do this to me, question mark”. RHONY is truly an ensemble cast. They have perfected the art of reality television, and I personally don’t know what it is going to be like without her. Bethenny then confirmed her departure in an Instagram post, which you can find above.
Some of you may ask—why are you taking this news so hard? Why are you sitting in your hotel room and pondering life’s existence? Well, if you must know (going to get deep for a minute), honestly, because Bethenny is more than just a housewife to me. She is someone I look up to and admire. Someone I relate to in the most chaotic ways. Maybe it’s because we are both Scorpios, but she is a complex female character and moves through life unapologetically. Personally, I think the most interesting thing about Bethenny is that she is self aware in a way we rarely see in life or on The Real Housewives. She is hyper-cognizant of how she comes across, and even in her most manic states, she recognizes that. Bethenny never deflects her behavior onto someone else, and that is something I will definitely miss. Also, her ability to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes is great TV. Her old BFF Carole Radziwill once said “she’s either wound tighter than a top, or crying”. That sums her up perfectly.
What makes her exit different than Vicki Gunvalson’s recent demotion on RHOC is that Bethenny left at her peak. Last season was a great season for Bethenny, and we got to see a softer side to the tough B. She was still trying to cope with the loss of her longtime on-and-off boyfriend/best friend Dennis. Still, every single week she delivered iconic lines, snarky confessionals, and humility. Vicki, on the other hand, was demoted because RHOC has been struggling the last few seasons. (That’s a conversation for another time though.)
I will finish this up by saying what every celebrity public relations firm advises their clients to say after a break up: “I wish her nothing but the best and I enjoyed our time together. Please respect my privacy at this time”. But also don’t, because I just looked up how to get cookies delivered to me so I can eat my feelings. I am reeling.
Images: Shutterstock; bethennyfrankel, betches / Instagram