RHOC's Braunwyn Windham-Burke: "I'm an Alcoholic"

The Real Housewives of Orange County star made an emotional and moving revelation about her drinking on tonight's season 15 premiere.

By Brett Malec Oct 15, 2020 2:00 AMTags

Braunwyn Windham-Burke is ready to admit she has a problem.

The Bravo star's drinking and hard-partying ways were hot topics during tonight's season 15 premiere of The Real Housewives of Orange County, with several of the RHOC ladies having conversations with each other about a possible problem.

During a dinner date with her husband Shane, Emily Simpson said, "She drinks so much that whenever you're around her you can't even have like a normal conversation...If Braunwyn is always drinking the way she is, you can't have anything but a superficial relationship with her. You can't have a deep meaningful conversation with someone who can't stand up."

Kelly Dodd and Gina Kirschenheiter went to hot yoga and Kelly recounted a recent party she and Braunwyn attended in Miami where Braunwyn let loose. "She gets out of control when she drinks," Gina said. "She drinks too much."

In a confessional, Kelly added, "Listen, I'm not going to judge because I can get hammered myself, but this was on a whole 'nother level. She was all over the place."

The episode ended with a sobering scene in which Braunwyn apologized to Emily during a tear-filled heart to heart.

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"You called me out on my drinking last year, and instead of taking it to heart, I really pushed you away. Basically I just got angry at you and then I came up with reasons to be mad because that was easier," Braunwyn admitted. "I have had not the best last few months. Miami was bad. I didn't stop drinking for four days. Everyone else would end their night, no one noticed, even [my husband] Sean didn't know, I kept drinking. So every hour, because I would start to shake, I would just keep doing a shot, a shot, a shot. I was drinking so much I was scared I was gonna die."


Braunwyn continued, "Sean basically said you're going to rehab if you have one more drink, because he didn't know I'd been hiding alcohol, I've been refilling bottles, I've been doing all the things that you know that everyone does."

"I'm honestly scared of who I am without it. It's much easier for me to be the fun, crazy one than to be myself," she shared, before Emily asked if her newfound sobriety is a lifelong commitment. "I don't think I can ever drink again. That scares the s--t out of me. But yeah, it has to be forever."

In her final confessional of the premiere, Braunwyn looked straight at the RHOC cameras and said, "I don't know if it's divine intervention. I don't know. But for the first time in my life I can say, 'My name is Braunwyn and I'm an alcoholic.'"

The Real Housewives of Orange County Season 15 Cast Photos

Braunwyn's admission was an unexpectedly powerful and moving ending to the RHOC premiere. And now, Emily is opening up exclusively to E! News about the emotional final scene.

"I'll tell you, that scene for me was probably one of the most raw and it was a lot of emotions for me because to be honest, when she first started talking to me. I had no idea what she was going to bring up. I thought that she was nervous because she was going to confront me about something I had done. So I was kind of on the defense," Emily revealed. "So when she told me what it was, it took me by surprise because I had called her out many times last season on her drinking, I knew it was a problem. But she was very adamant about how it wasn't a problem, it wasn't an issue. She told me she didn't have alcohol at home. So I was taken aback by the fact that she actually opened up and admitted to me that she was an alcoholic."

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Emily continued, "I watched the scene and you can tell that I really just let her talk. I didn't want to interrupt. I felt like it was such a big moment for her and it was probably so difficult for her to do that, that I really just wanted to listen, and be an ear, because I think that is just what she needed in that moment. I felt a lot of compassion for her, and when I said, 'I'm here for you and I'm your friend,' I genuinely meant that. And I think you get to see the remainder of the season how the other women and myself included try to the best of our ability to support her, but obviously what she's going through causes her to have lots of ups and downs."

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesday's at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

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