Kyle Richards survives reality TV by being ‘true’ to herself

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Kyle Richards leads a life that’s anything but ordinary.

From child actor through five seasons of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (RHOB), to writing a memoir, to launching a clothing line and opening a boutique in that coveted 90210 zip code, Richards has lived her dream and knows who to thank for it.

“All of that came because of the show,” Richards said last week at the One Night for One Drop fundraiser she hosted with her real-estate-tycoon husband Mauricio Umansky. “That’s added a whole other element to my life that I didn’t have before, so for that I’m grateful.”

Even though she’s a business force to be reckoned with, Richards is most proud of her close relationship with her four girls. To say they are in each other’s pockets is an understatement. A concept evidenced in how hard a time Richards is having with the fact that her 18-year-old, Alexia recently left for college on the show.

“We’re a very tight family and we do everything together all the time. We travel in packs,” she said. “When one of your pack leaves it doesn’t feel good, especially as a mom.”

Thankfully, Richards has had her family and her girlfriends to lean on. “I have all my friends who were going through the same thing and we were like, we need a support group, like why has nobody ever made a support group for this?” she jokes. Mainly because her husband “wasn’t that easy to lean on because he was crumbling himself.”

But the void Alexia left is filled with the new roles Richards has taken on as her other daughters reach new and exciting milestones, like playing Tooth Fairy for six-year-old Portia. “I didn’t know the going rate for college, let alone the Tooth Fairy,” she says. “It’s been around $10 or $5 and some gold coins or some MAC glitter fairy dust.”

Fairy dust would do Richards good too, as she’s had some serious concerns about the season that is about to play out on Bravo’s RHOBH. “[It’s about to be] the most intense, craziest one ever,” she says as her brow tightens. “Starting next week, it’s a crazy train. Maybe the craziest train we’ve ever been on… No, not maybe, the craziest train we’ve ever been on,” she says.

She admits that she has had a tough time wading through the drama, especially with the stress that it’s put on her relationship with her sister Kim. “I love my sister. She will always be my sister. And unfortunately, things like this, because we signed up to do this, are going to play out on television but I love her so much,” she said with an obvious want to patch up their past. “We have a lot of work to do… We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, we really did not.”

There are some relationships she doesn’t care to mend, like the one she’s put aside with Brandi for good. The two have been clashing more frequently on the show, but in the coming weeks, it’s about to pop off. “I realize she was never my friend. She does not know how to be or stay a friend to anyone, and she’s shown this over and over and over again throughout the seasons. She’s screwed everybody over,” Richards said.

So how does Richards stay grounded and zen on this roller coaster that is RHOB?

“I’m the happiest when I spend time with my children. When I go to yoga after going to my girl’s classroom, those are my best days,” she says. “If my life were just a television show, I wouldn’t have balance. That’s how I stay balanced.”

It must work, because despite the drama, she wouldn’t stop her girls from joining the reality TV train if they wanted to. But she would have some serious advice for them.

“Always be true to yourself and be honest, that way whether you’re liked or loved, at least it’s real and you can live with that,” she said. “And don’t duel with any family members.”

From New York to Boston and on to LA, Devon Ott has crash-landed her way through these cities by reporting on the latest music and tech scenes. If there’s a new sound, a new gadget or just a killer cup of coffee, you know Devon’s on it. She dabbles in journalism, marketing, social media and content creation for companies like Susan G. Komen, Viacom, NBCUniversal and of course, Hype Effect, all while serenading her steering wheel.

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