These Are The Most Controversial Real Housewives Of All Time

Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.
It's hard to imagine a time before Bravo's Real Housewives. That time, however, was 2006: the year that The Real Housewives of Orange County, Bravo's first iteration of the reality franchise, debuted. Since then, the series has given way to television spin-offs, book deals, and bonafide mogulships for their titular Housewives — all of whom bucked the conventions of what a "housewife" was supposed to be. However, while there were plenty of amazing careers brought about by Bravo's incredibly successful franchise, not every woman featured on the series was beloved. In fact, many housewives were downright controversial.
One such housewife? Kim Zolciak of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame, who recently denied accusations of racism on the Atlanta reunion show to hefty pushback from the internet.
Advertisement
Zolciak may be the center of controversy right now, but let's not forget the Housewife who crashed the White House. Or the one who was accused of forging medical records. Or even the one whose past life was exposed thanks to her co-stars uncovering a brutal tell-all about her life.
Click through to read about all the drama.
Looking for more theories, recaps, and insider info on all things TV? Join our Facebook group, Binge Club. The community is a space for you to share articles, discuss last night’s episode of your favorite show, or ask questions! Join here.
1 of 8
Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.
Michaele Salahi, Real Housewives of D.C.

The short-lived Real Housewives of D.C. featured Salahi, who, along with her then-husband Tareq, became the first two people to successfully crash a presidential state dinner. Then, in 2011, just months after Bravo canceled D.C., Salahi went "missing." Tareq was concerned. His manager released a statement indicating that it was possible Salahi was kidnapped and under duress, forced to tell her husband that no, really, she was okay. Except, Salahi was okay: She was just on tour with Journey's Neal Schon. Quite the strange saga, indeed.
2 of 8
Photo: Amy Graves/Getty Images.
Vicki Gunvalson, Real Housewives of Orange County

Gunvalson came under fire when her co-stars accused her now-ex Brooks Ayer of faking his cancer diagnosis. Later, Ayer admitted that he forged documents to make it appear he had been a patient at cancer hospital City of Hope. He apologized, stating that he did so as to not share his real medical records. The damage to Gunvalson's reputation, however, was done: In the court of public opinion, Gunvalson helped cover up Ayer's alleged fraud.

Gunvalson, the "OG of the O.C.," remains on the series.
Advertisement
3 of 8
Photo: CJ Rivera/Getty Images.
Danielle Staub, Real Housewives of New Jersey

Staub was a main character on the series for the first two seasons, however, her time on the show was clouded with controversy. Her extremely colorful past, which included an arrest, was detailed in Charles Kipps' book Cop Without a Badge. In season 8, Staub returned to her small screen roots as a "friend," rather than official Real Housewife.
4 of 8
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.
Teresa Giudice, Real Housewives of New Jersey

One of the most popular Real Housewives (and iconic table-flipper) ran into legal trouble in 2013 when she and her husband Joe were charged with a slew of financial crimes, including bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and bankruptcy fraud. She went to prison in 2015 after serving 11 months of a 15-month sentence. Despite her jail time, she has remained a main member of the Housewives squad for all eight seasons.
5 of 8
Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images.
Phaedra Parks, Real Housewives of Atlanta

Parks was fired from the franchise after it was revealed that she had fabricated a story in which Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker allegedly planned to date rape Porsha Williams. Bravo did not air the clip about the rumor, but the truth eventually came out during the four-part reunion following the season 9 finale. Parks' accusation was enough for Bravo to cut ties with the reality star.
6 of 8
Photo: El Pics/Getty Images.
Bethenny Frankel, Real Housewives of New York

Frankel took her time on Real Housewives of New York to build a huge brand for herself: She's the founder of Skinnygirl, a company that launched with a line of lower-calorie cocktails. However, there has been some discrepancies over how much she sold her company for — as well as what's really in those cocktails. Some claim that they are not as all-natural as Frankel claimed.

Frankel left RHONY for seasons 4, 5, and 6, before returning to the show as a regular.
7 of 8
Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.
Brandi Glanville, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Glanville — who made tabloid headlines when her husband, Eddie Cibrian, allegedly entered into a relationship with LeAnn Rimes, allegedly leading to the pair's 2010 divorce — joined the cast of RHOBH in 2011. However, she became the subject of controversy yet again in 2015 when former Housewife Joanna Krupa sued Glanville for defamation. Glanville alleged that Krupa had a relationship with Yolanda Foster's then-husband Mohamed Hadid. In 2017, People reported that the suit was settled, and Glanville issued an apology to Krupa.
8 of 8
Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.
Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Real Housewives of Atlanta

Back to Kim Zolciak-Biermann. Months earlier, the RHOA star's daughter Brielle sent around a Snapchat video which alleged that reality co-star NeNe Leakes had bugs in her home. Some of Brielle's followers thought that Brielle was calling Leakes a "black roach," which she denied. Zolciak-Biermann came to her daughter's defense, saying that Leakes was "sick and disgusting" for living in a "roach nest," a term that she was called out for as holding racial implications.

On Sunday's season 10 reunion, a teary-eyed Zolciak-Biermann told host Andy Cohen:

"That bitch [NeNe] knows I’m not racist. NeNe knows I’m not racist... You know why you have not found another white woman to [join the cast]? Because nobody is dumb enough to do that!"

Whether the so-called #RoachGate will spell the end of Zolciak-Biermann's time on RHOA remains to be seen.
Advertisement

More from TV

Watch

R29 Original Series