Crystal Kung Minkoff on What Being RHOBH's First Asian Housewife Means to Her

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' newest cast member opens up about diversity, representation and why she joined the hit Bravo show.

By Brett Malec May 13, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Garcelle Beauvais: "It's About Time" a Black Woman Joined "RHOBH"

The 90210 has a bright new star (or should we say diamond?).

Crystal Kung Minkoff is opening up about joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ahead of next week's season 11 premiere.

"I've always watched the show. I've been a fan of it," Minkoff told E! News exclusively. "It never occurred to me to be on the show but I've been friends with Kathy [Hilton] for, I don't know, 15 years now and she just called me and said, 'What do you think?'"

While she was "reluctant" at first, Minkoff recalls Hilton saying, "'Why don't we do this together?'" before they both joined the hit series.

"I spent a lot of time with my family. We sort of did the panels with our family and friends," she added. "I really rely on them. We just said, 'Let's do it. What a fun experience.' And it was just that."

Minkoff makes history as RHOBH's first Asian Housewife. The new Bravolebrity said she absolutely considered the issue of representation when deciding to join the show.

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"You can't not think about that," she explained. "For me, it was obviously extremely important to represent Asian-Americans. I feel a massive responsibility for the AAPI community, and hopefully represent it well and inspire the minority fans of the show."

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The mother of two continued, "But also it's really important to speak to the non-minority fans who watch and to show we're whole people. We're not a monolith of people. But all I could really do is represent myself. I'm one of many, many Asian-Americans. We have our own stories and it's important to share them. "

Minkoff says she immediately got supportive responses on social media after her casting was announced.

"That's really what drove me to keep going. Not 'keep going,' but I just felt like this is so much more meaningful than I anticipated from the beginning," she shared. "Every day I get a DM or multiple, just girls saying, ‘Thank you for doing this. Now I have someone on TV that looks like me. I've never watched the show but I'm going to watch now.' Those things just go right to my heart because I never even thought about it like that, but then when I think of my childhood growing up, I never saw Asian people on TV. So you know, it's a special thing for me and I feel so honored to be the one to be that person for them."

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Minkoff even became friends with The Real Housewives of Dallas' newest cast member Tiffany Moon in the process.

"We sort of reached out to each other, being the first Asians on our series. We had this strong connection," she revealed. "Her being a doctor, and that was sort of my path for a long time. Just a lot of connections: she's from Northern China, that's where my family's from. So we just started connecting and sort of sharing our experiences and advice."

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She continued, "I was laughing, like, 'You are me, six months earlier,' so I can really ask her about what is this like? Because you really jump in without any guidance, but that's like, authentic, right? Her experience was so different than mine in terms of the girls, but nonetheless it's a nice relationship to have and support throughout it. We text probably at least once a week if not more.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11 premieres Wednesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Binge past seasons on Peacock any time.

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