Kim Richards Says She's "Always Loved Sobriety" in Post-Rehab TV Interview: "Relapsing Was Very Hard for Me"

Former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star also opens up about her April 16, 2015 arrest

By Zach Johnson Jul 23, 2015 2:58 PMTags
Kim RichardsET

Kim Richards is ready to talk.

In her first TV interview since leaving rehab earlier this month, the former star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, 50, spoke candidly about her recent arrest and her struggle with sobriety. She was arrested Apr. 16 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. According to the Beverly Hills Police Department, Richards acted belligerent and refused to leave the hotel's restaurant, locking herself in the bathroom.

"Here's the thing: I asked them if I could use the bathroom. When I went in the bathroom, I was just going to the bathroom, so I guess they're calling it whatever they want. And that's OK. You can't...what are you gonna say? I'm Kim Richards. I'm an alcoholic," she said. "They're going to say what they want."

After Richards was taken into custody, she reportedly kicked a police officer in the leg. She was charged with public intoxication, trespassing, resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. Richards was also issued a citation for a misdemeanor. Shortly after her arrest, the Bravo star began a treatment program.

Richards has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Entertainment Tonight's Nischelle Turner asked the former child star if being arrested was the a-ha moment that led her to go back to rehab. "Actually, my arrest was my a-ha I get to go away now and rest and take a break from all this," Richards said of her decision to get help. "I don't want anybody to take this wrong, but I truly needed a break from hospitals, family, the pressure. I needed to go away."

Richards said family stress contributed to her relapse. "Monty, my ex-husband, is very sick and my son wasn't well," she said. "And I had to give away my dog, and I wasn't talking to my sister [Kyle Richards]."

(The reality star is currently being sued over an alleged dog attack.)

Regarding her stint in rehab, Richards said, "I went in and I got to learn a whole lot about myself. I dug deep into my past, things that happened to me as a child, good and bad, teenage years, relationships with all my loved ones, where they need to be mended, where they're very powerful. I worked on me."

Watch: Police Officer From Kim Richards' Arrest Speaks

Richards said she has completed her treatment program and has been sober for more than 30 days. Though she has been in and out of rehab over the years, she said, "I love sobriety. I've always loved sobriety, and relapsing was very hard for me. It was not easy. I have to say—don't take this wrong—but I really wanted to go to treatment because I needed a break from what I was going through at home."

Richards now has a life coach, a "wonderful" sponsor and "a great home group and sober friends." Still, Richards has a long way to go. As a source told E! News earlier this week, "Kim is upbeat, but uncertain about her future. Since leaving rehab, she's been staying with [Kathy Hilton and Rick Hilton]. But she needs to find her own place to live soon." And though Richards claimed her reps are in talks with Bravo to return to TV, it's unlikely that will happen. "Financially, she's stressed," an insider told E! News of the Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! actress. "Without her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills salary, she's going to have to figure something out. There have been small roles here and there, but she needs money."