The Craziest ‘Real Housewives’ Scandals Of The Decade

If you’re a dedicated Real Housewives fan, then congrats, because we’ve made it through a lot in the last 10 years. There have been hundreds of episodes, dozens of over-the-top trips, and too many petty arguments to even count. But out of all the drama, there are certain scandals that stick out more than your average dinner party disagreement. As the 2010s come to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the craziest Real Housewives scandals this decade has brought us.

Cancergate

Over the course of 14 seasons, The Real Housewives of Orange County has seen it all, but no storyline was quite as shocking as the season 10 revelation that Vicki Gunvalson’s fiancé, Brooks Ayers, lied about having cancer. As the other ladies grew more and more suspicious, Vicki didn’t do a great job of making herself look innocent, even though she’s adamant to this day that she really thought he was sick. 

What began—like all good Real Housewives storylines do—when a psychic raised questions, spiraled into a full-scale investigation, all led tirelessly by Meghan King Edmonds. Never forget when she went to the radiology center to see if the formatting of their results paperwork matched up with the ones that Brooks falsified. It’s for this reason that I’m excited by rumors of her return to RHOC, but either way, I’m thankful for her service against the evil that was Brooks Ayers. 

Luann’s Legal Issues

At the beginning of the decade, Luann de Lesseps was still busy preaching to her fellow Housewives about etiquette, but that, uh, didn’t last. Everyone watched in dismay as she married and divorced Tom D’Agostino in less than a year—after he cheated on her, at the Regency, in front of everyone. 

Luann’s divorce sent her on a downward spiral, culminating in her getting arrested in Palm Beach on Christmas Eve, 2017. The story of her kicking a police officer and slipping out of her handcuffs is a scene I picture in my head at times when I’m feeling down. Since then, the Countess has reinvented herself as a cabaret star, because why not. Life is not a cabaret, but these days, Luann’s life basically is.

Teresa & Joe’s Legal Issues

Even if you don’t really watch RHONJ, you’re most likely still aware of Teresa Giudice’s legal saga. We watched in real time as the fallout from Joe’s shady business dealings played out, ultimately leading to him and Teresa both spending significant amounts of time “at camp,” as Teresa likes to say. However you feel about Teresa, watching her reunite with her daughters after almost a year in prison was a seriously emotional moment. 

Things didn’t go so great for Joe, though. After finishing his sentence and spending several months in ICE custody, Joe was finally deported to Italy this fall, where he’s still waiting on his immigration appeal. Just last week, he and Teresa announced their separation, which I’ve personally been waiting for ever since he called her the C-word on camera way back in 2012. Arrivederci!

Michael Darby’s Sexual Assault Case

If you still haven’t gotten into The Real Housewives of Potomac, let me just tell you that it is… f*cking insane in the best way. The ladies on RHOP always bring the drama, but the most shocking event of this past season had to do with one of the husbands. Ashley Darby’s husband Michael was charged with felony sexual assault after he allegedly touched a cameraman inappropriately. 

The charges were eventually dropped, but we got to watch the whole thing play out on camera, and the Housewives’ reactions to hearing about the charges were truly priceless. The messy AF producers then dropped the bomb that there was audio of the incident, and the ~unseen production footage~ is legendary. 

Lesbiangate

Phaedra Parks was a mainstay on RHOA for seven seasons, but on the season 9 reunion, we watched as it all got taken away in a matter of minutes. In seasons past, Phaedra and Kandi Burruss were close friends, but that changed, and their relationship got more and more toxic. 

Throughout season 9, there were mysterious rumors that Kandi was a lesbian, and specifically that she and her husband had plotted to drug and sexually assault her castmate, Porsha Williams. The source of the rumors was unknown for the entire season, until the reunion, when Porsha revealed that Phaedra had told her they were true. Kandi’s iconic “YOU SAID THAT?” line was born, but Phaedra basically had nothing to say for herself, and she’s never been on Bravo again.

Taylor & Russell’s Marriage

From the moment The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered, it was obvious that things in Taylor Armstrong’s marriage weren’t great. As we watched her grapple with her abusive relationship, we could all tell things weren’t headed in a good direction, and just before season 2 premiered, the Housewives world was rocked with the news that her husband Russell had committed suicide. 

The second season, which was filmed before Russell died, is honestly scary to watch, with a morbid sense of dramatic irony that most reality TV shows would never even want to deal with. Still, it made for one of the most interesting seasons of RHOBH, and none of us will ever forget the time that Taylor hid in a suitcase.

Puppygate

Sadly, the most recent seasons of RHOBH have lacked the hard-hitting drama of the first few seasons, but season 9’s Puppygate was still a pretty major scandal. It began when Dorit adopted a dog from Vanderpump Dogs, but later gave it away to someone else. What could have just been a personal issue between LVP and Dorit escalated to a war within the cast, complete with leaked stories to Radar Online and a lie detector test.

Ultimately, Lisa wasn’t willing to make it work with Kyle or Dorit, and she cut ties with the rest of the cast, essentially leaving the show in the middle of the season. Whether you’re an LVP fan or not, it was a messy way for an OG to go out. 

What’s the Real Housewives scandal that’s made your jaw drop the furthest? Hopefully the 2020s will be full of many more unbelievable moments, because I can’t get enough of this sh*t.

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