In a November 2023 interview with Bustle, Richards admitted surprise over some things that take place on the reality show she starred in since 2010 —such as cameras in the bathroom to capture audio behind closed doors. But she also dished on how real the reality show actually is.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kyle Richards Questioned an Agenda Behind a Famous RHOBH Storyline
In the interview with Bustle, Richards named “the most staged storyline” on RHOBH. “I can only think of one, and that was the dog story with Lucy whatever it was,” Richards said. “Our show isn’t staged or set up, but I think that was brought to the table with the intention for there to be another [spinoff].”
Richards’ response referenced the infamous season 9 “Puppygate” storyline about Lucy Lucy Apple Juice, a puppy that Dorit Kemsley adopted and then gave up. Lisa Vanderpump’s dog rescue stepped in after the pup became temporarily placed at a kill shelter.
The Puppygate scandal dominated most of RHOBH season 9. Accusations about leaked tabloid stories about the scandal resulted in a friendship-ending fight between Vanderpump and Richards. Vanderpump ultimately quit the show at the end of season 9 in 2019.
There have been rumors that Vanderpump spawned the “Puppygate” storyline to draw attention to her dog rescue.
Lisa Rinna Also Thought the Puppy Storyline Intended to Fuel a Spinoff
In Dave Quinn’s tell-all book, “Not All Diamonds and Rosé,” RHOBH executive producer Chris Cullen alleged that Vanderpump went to a tabloid with the story about Kemsley’s adopted dog. In the book, Cullen stated, “When Lisa lost the narrative in the show, and she realized that it wasn’t going the way she wanted, that’s when she leaked the story to the press,” per E! News.
Vanderpump repeatedly denied that she leaked the story to the press. At the time, she even took — and passed — a lie detector test to clear her name, People reported in 2019.
But there were still doubters. According to E! News, former co-star Lisa Rinna alleged that Vanderpump drummed up the dog drama as a way to fuel a spinoff series based on her rescue.
“I’m a hustler. I make no bones about that. I think you get paid for what you do. So my feeling is if we indeed are servicing a spin off we should be paid for it,” Rinna told fans in an Instagram story. “If you are going to use our services without telling us – that we are playing out a storyline to launch a pilot for a new show and you don’t compensate us extra for that. Yeah I’m a hustler, I get paid for what I do. So if this indeed becomes another show my lawyer will be calling.”
Former co-star Teddi Mellencamp also weighed in, telling Us Weekly, “Wouldn’t that be convenient?… I wonder why they based a whole drama about a dog!”
The following year, Peacock announced the original series, “Vanderpump Dogs.”
The spinoff, set at the Vanderpump Dogs Rescue in Los Angeles, aired for one season in 2021.