The Real Housewives shows are practically an empire of Bravo’s creation. It started with The Real Housewives of Orange County in 2006, but now the show seems to have an installment running in every major city of the U.S. including: Atlanta, Miami, Washington D.C., New York City, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, the Potomac region, and Dallas. The show has even managed to go international, putting women in front of a camera in Athens, Israel, Vancouver, France, Melbourne, and Cheshire. Believe it or not, watching someone be a wealthy housewife is a pretty popular pastime.
The point of the show is that it follows women that have either married into, or created with the aid of their marriage, vast wealth. We’re talking a lot of money. So much money, in fact, that it seems most of the show consists of these women shopping together and never using the goods they’ve purchased.
These women are sometimes selected years in advance of the show airing. Sometimes the show even goes to a city because of one particular wealthy woman. However, fame and fortune are fleeting comforts; not all of these women have enjoyed the luxury of maintaining their wealth. Many have squandered their fortunes on luxury items they couldn’t afford. Many attempted to start businesses with poor concepts or poor planning. And many simply didn’t understand that credit card debt has to be paid off. In any case, they’re not so well off anymore! Here are 10 “Real Housewives” that are really broke.
10. Lynne Curtin – Living On $515 A Month
Lynne appeared in the second half of Season 4 of The Real Housewives of Orange County and things have not been easy for her ever since. Her husband’s construction company dried up when the economy tanked and he lost all of his business and, thus, his fortune. The couple got a divorce and he demanded spousal support from her, but she professed to be completely broke and that she needed spousal support from him. For a while she claimed to be living on a budget of only $515 a month. She’s owed lawyers and the IRS for a while now; hopefully things will turn around for her soon. It’s possible that she’s just been lying to everyone and actually has millions tucked away, but it’s just as (if not more) likely that she foolishly squandered what little wealth she had.
9. Danielle Staub – Not Shy About Being Broke
Danielle Staub was in the premiere season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and she has never been shy about telling everyone both on the show and in the audience just how broke she is. She professed to bing unable to buy her two children school supplies! She also claimed that she couldn’t afford basic repairs on her excessively large home. She was constantly arguing with her ex-husband about their divorce settlement and she complained about money constantly. However, none of that stopped her from wearing ridiculously expensive clothes, or spending wild amounts of money on luxury items and plastic surgery. Though she has a book on sale on Amazon, still guest stars on the show occasionally, and gets paid constantly for celebrity appearances, she’s managed to somehow stay broke. Way to go, Danielle.
8. Kim Richards – Famous Family, Yet No Money
She always looks concerned in her pictures, doesn’t she? Well… it’s because she’s broke.
The socialite, who has starred across several seasons of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, is aunt to Paris and Nicole Hilton, so she comes from money. She’s a professional actress, so she’s made decent money. And she’s gone through two marriages with wealthy corporate executives, so she’s married into decent money. Where did she go so wrong?
She was reportedly kicked out of her rental home in the valley and had to bail out of a boozy Mexico vacation in order to avoid her possessions being tossed to the curb. Her “loving and caring” sisters have cut her off from the family money for her reckless spending. If we were dealing with all of these financial problems, we’d look pretty worried too.
7. Sonja Morgan – Lost Major Lawsuit
Sonja was on Season Three of The Real Housewives of New York City and things haven’t been so cushy since she left the show. Soon after her husband divorced her, she was taken to court by Hannibal Pictures Incorporated under accusations that she illegally backed out of a movie investment. Though she contested the accusations, she lost and was sentenced to pay $7 million dollars in reparations. After that, Sonja declared bankruptcy. She was forced to sell her homes in France and in Colorado, and she paid off legal fees for the production company lawsuit and a divorce. Then she was hit with yet another lawsuit when her ex-husband filed against her for withholding money earned by selling their jointly owned real estate (he lost the lawsuit, since he owed her $3 million dollars from their divorce). She was definitely knocked down a few pegs.
6. Adriana De Moura – Living Wildly With Little Money
Adriana was on Season 1 of The Real Housewives of Miami, and she’s one of the only cast members to have been without wealth while actually on the show. Her ex-husband Roberto Sidi, who is a seedy corporate executive of a successful company, and the father to her child, cheated on her and allegedly assaulted her before finally divorcing her and leaving her without much money. She lost millions in the split. In 2013 she was worth a mere $500,000. Now, let’s be honest, that’s not broke; $500,000 is a very sustainable income for someone with reason and frugality. However, she was and still is living a wildly expensive lifestyle that cannot be sustained very long at all on those meager means. She recently remarried to Frederic Marq, a well-to-do French entrepreneur, who is likely to give her the lifestyle she’s been sorely missing.
5. Kenya Moore – “Actress” And “Model,” Yet Is Broke
Kenya is a former Miss U.S.A., and also an actress, model, author, and producer. She has appeared in multiple seasons of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s absolutely stunning, given her age and the stress of her financial situation. How did she land herself in such hot water, anyway?
Apparently, she was never too well off to begin with. The fancy car she drives around is a loaner from a local dealership that was cashing in on airtime on the show. Rumors swirled that the only reason Kenya was at the center of so much drama while on the show was because she was trying to increase her airtime in order to increase her paycheck. Hey, the girl’s got to get money somehow, right? Hopefully things will rebound for her soon, otherwise she’ll have to start facing facts.
4. Teresa Giudice – Bankruptcy Fraud
This Real Housewives of New Jersey star has dealt with her share of scandals. Didn’t she just get out of prison for bankruptcy fraud? Not only was she broke, but she was still making things up. Come on, lady.
When Giudice and Giuseppe, her husband, were taken to court, they pleaded guilty to owing the IRS $200,000, hiding assets from creditors, and submitting false information in applications on mortgages and loans. The two made a deal so that one of them will always be out of prison to take care of their daughters (Teresa went first to serve her 15-month sentence; Giuseppe is up next to serve his 41-month sentence). Fortune at least bought them good lawyers and the privileges of the wealthy. Who knows if she’ll be brought back onto the show after her run-in with the law, but we all know she sure could use the money now.
3. Alexis Bellino – Brags About Having Money, Can’t Back It Up
Alexis liked to live it up on The Real Housewives of Orange County: she frequently enraged her fellow cast members by taking stock of her expensive luxury items as if they gave her credibility. However, she doesn’t have all that much to brag about. This hot mama doesn’t have much left in the bank account.
Alexis married Jim Bellino in 2005. Her husband is an entrepreneurial businessman who boasts he enjoys changing things up and trying different ideas. He’s started businesses in flipping houses and selling sports memorabilia, as well as in several other markets, but it doesn’t seem to ring true that he changes his game every couple years because it’s “fun.” Instead, in the business community, he’s notorious for running businesses into the ground. There aren’t many left who trust him with their money, so Alexis can say bye-bye to all the nice things she brags about.
2. Cindy Barshop – Lost Much Of Her Fortunate After Leaving The Show
Cindy may be one of the few cast members of any of the Real Housewives shows to walk away and publicly insult the franchise. She’s done a lot of growing up and moving on since leaving the show, but that doesn’t soften the blow of losing her fortune.
While on The Real Housewives of New York City, Cindy expanded her beauty salon franchise to California. Immediately after she left the show, her business took a huge hit. Whether her leaving the show had anything to do with the suffering business is all speculation. She had to close down all of her California storefronts and pull the reins of her “empire” all the way back to New York City. She’s gotten things under control and replaced some of her revenue stream with a hair care product line, but she’s not nearly as successful as she was in her Housewives heyday.
1. Peggy Tanous – Owes Over $2 Million In Taxes, Credit Claims
She looks happy, right? Wrong. Peggy, a former Real Housewives of Orange County star, owed $2.16 million in property taxes and home loans, $70,000 in credit card claims, and another $10,000 for a book contract. Peggy filed for bankruptcy but she’s still in a pretty tight spot. If you’re driving through Orange County, keep an eye out for a Tanous yard sale! Though things seem pretty gruesome, she still keeps a bright face pointed to the camera for her social media presence. If you check her out on Twitter or Instagram, this has-been will look like nothing’s bothering her at all! Guess all those years of modeling and faking smiles paid off. She’s hoping to grab some money by asking for non-court ordered child support and selling one of her homes. But it would seem she hasn’t ceased living her lavish lifestyle, regardless of her lack of funds.