Water is wet. The sky is blue. James Kennedy loves being in the spotlight. These are just some basic facts. Kennedy, aka the freshly dubbed villain on Vanderpump Rules, lives to stir the pot, and this week, he's turning his love for drama into a family affair. In the preview for the upcoming episode, James Kennedy's family comes to the center of the drama when he yells at his mother on the phone about her failed marriage with his father and, later, confronts her in person. Are there tears? You bet.
By now, we know all about Kennedy — the good, the bad, and everything in between. But what about his parents, who hooked him up with his first gig as a bus boy at SUR? How are James and the Kennedy family connected to Lisa Vanderpump?
The short answer: It's all about who you know. Like Kennedy, his parents, Jacqueline and Andros Georgiou, are skilled socialites. In fact, his father grew up with the late George Michael and even managed the singer's record label, Aegean Records. It was this connection that ultimately led the Kennedys to cross paths with Vanderpump.
"I met James' parents through Bruno Tonioli a few years ago just before he started to work for us. [Tonioli is] the judge on Dancing with the Stars, who's an old friend of mine," Vanderpump said on Bravo TV's The Daily Dish podcast. "Prior to that, I had met Andros, and Ken knew Andros vaguely. I'd met Andros with George Michael, and Andros had been around the scene in London, so we knew him a little bit."
Though Vanderpump said she and Kennedy's parents aren't "that close," despite how it may seem on TV, she decided to do them a favor.
"But then we had dinner that night, and they both said, you know, could you give one of my songs, James, a job, maybe as a busser or a barback?" Vanderpump added. "He probably, because we'd started Vanderpump Rules by then, I think maybe we were in the first season, thought, 'OK, I want to get involved in this.' And, obviously, then he started sleeping with Kristen Doute, and he was well in there like a rat up a drain pipe."
Such loving and endearing words, no?
Kennedy's family has served as more than just a connection; they've also been the source of a lot of pain. After Vanderpump fired Kennedy and canceled See You Next Tuesday, the distraught DJ opened up a bit about his tumultuous childhood.
"I'd come home from school, and my mom would just end up drinking a bottle of wine," he said. "It would eventually break out into fights. I ended up moving out at 18 years old, and them my brothers were left to deal with it for fucking years."
Like his mother, Kennedy admitted that he had a problem with drinking and recently stopped in an effort to mend his (many) broken relationships.
Despite the sour teenage memories, Kennedy has been helping his father find his footing in Los Angeles, while also vouching for his younger brother, Harry. In the upcoming episode, Kennedy and his little bro meet with Peter Madrigal and SUR partner Guillermo Zapata to see if they'd consider giving the recent college grad a job.
Say what you want about his overall demeanor, but Kennedy is quite the family man when he needs to be.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.