Getting the help she needs. Braunwyn Windham-Burke kicked off season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County with a reveal: she had a drinking problem and wanted to get help.
Over the course of the season, which debuted in October 2020, the reality star was open about her struggles both on and off screen — and had no problem firing back when people criticized her.
The mother of seven — she shares Hazel, Koa, Caden, Curran, Jacob, Rowan and Bella with husband Sean Burke — joined the show in season 14. However, after a season of partying, she wanted to make a change, and after that first season 15 episode, she admitted she “never had a healthy relationship with alcohol” ever since she first took her first sip as a 14-year-old girl.
“When I drank, I drank until I blacked out or got sick. But I never drank when I was pregnant or nursing — and in many ways, I think that probably saved my life,” the former blogger revealed in an essay for Glamour following the premiere. “I went to a meeting when I lived in Miami, but instead of sticking to a program, I just got pregnant. I have seven kids, so that’s a huge chunk of my life that I was sober — or I should say, not drinking. Now I realize there’s a difference between not drinking and being sober, for me.”
Although Windham-Burke, who came out as a lesbian in December 2020, received plenty of support from fans, Kelly Dodd took quite the dig at her during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
“I think that her whole sobriety thing is contrived, and I think it’s fake. I don’t think that she had seven kids so she could ‘not drink’ and I know her well enough that this was a pre-plotted thing that she wanted to do to get her own show,” Dodd said on the December 2 episode. “She wanted to get her own show, her talent agent told her to stop drinking. It’s all contrived. I don’t believe that she is a real alcoholic, no. You’ll see it at the end of the show, what happens. It’s really good.”
Wyndham-Burke didn’t publicly reply, but she did take to Instagram to respond to a fan who asked for her reaction. Scroll through the gallery below for that response and everything else that the housewife has said about her struggle with sobriety over the years.