Vicki Gunvalson opened up about Shannon Beador‘s DUI and hit-and-run arrest during an interview on Thursday.
Also addressing whether John Janssen is to blame, the Real Housewives of Orange County cast’s gang-up on Heather Dubrow, 54, and discussing her potential return, Vicki, 61, spoke of the moments leading up to Shannon’s arrest and revealed the changes coming to their “Tres Amigas” comedy show because of it.
“We’re going strong,” Vicki told Access Hollywood‘s Housewives Nightcap of herself, Shannon, and Tamra Judge, 56. “We sold out on the 16th of November. Now they opened up the 15th.”
Although the ladies will change some of their material to veer away from the alcohol focus of their tour shows, Vicki promised their act would still be entertaining.
“We’re gonna tweak some of the words a little bit but all in all, we’re having fun, the girls and I … We have to tweak some of the songs a little bit. We’re gonna incorporate what just happened but it’s going to be okay because people drink, people can have fun,” she explained. “You just don’t get behind the wheel, ever. We were gonna do a show during BravoCon and it just didn’t work out. We’re gonna do a holiday show… It’s gonna be funny.”
In addition to continuing on with her “Tres Amigas” tour in 2023, Vicki also made her highly-anticipated return to the show, which she exited after season 14 following a demotion. But, looking back on her decision to make a cameo role, Vicki admitted she wouldn’t do it again — even though she “[likes] all the girls.”
After noting that season 17 “was easy” since she “wasn’t involved in any of the chaos,” Vicki said casting is underway for season 18.
“I was over at the Coto Club the other night and this girl’s like… ‘I think I’m gonna get on the housewives’ … and her husband’s like, ‘We have a normal life.’ I’m like, ‘[You] probably won’t get chosen,’” she revealed. “They’re always interviewing for new, fresh faces and that’s the hard part for me, who still has a life ahead of me.”
According to Vicki, “there’s still a lot of [her] left” and she’d love for RHOC viewers to not only how her life is today, but also get updates on her children, Briana Culberson and Michael Wolfsmith.
“We’re good people and we do have drama. We do have chaos,” she noted.
That said, if Bravo wants her back, it will cost them — and she’s not open to a “friend” role.
“I won’t be a toe-in. It’s all in or nothing … [And] it would have to be on my terms and that means financially, too. I’m not gonna go back down. I left at a certain number. Either you bring that number back or what’s the point?” Vicki asked. “I don’t need them as much as they need me. There has to be a voice of reason and a strong, successful businesswoman that can still have fun.”
“[Season 17] wasn’t right. It was something I created and I’m coming in like a has-been old lady? I’m not gonna do that,” she added. “It was like, ‘Why am I not on full-time?’ You want to use me for things.”
During her time on season 17, Vicki said she stayed out of the drama because she didn’t understand it and didn’t want to side with anyone without the facts.
“I didn’t know why everybody was so mad at Heather so I couldn’t jump on the bandwagon and I like Heather so for me it was like ‘Why would I side with this person or that person? I don’t know what happened,’” she recalled. “I will stand up for myself again if something is coming at me that is not truth but I can’t defend somebody when I don’t know where it’s coming from … It was uncomfortable.”
Regarding Shannon’s DUI, Vicki said that while her ex-boyfriend, John, has been accused of being a bad influence on her, she feels the responsibility is on Shannon.
“It’s not John’s responsibility if she drinks too much. It’s her responsibility,” she stated. “Shannon is responsible for what she puts in her body. A lot of people want to blame John … At the end of the day, Shannon drank, she got in the car, and she drove. She knows that was the wrong thing to do.”
Since Shannon was arrested last month, Vicki said the two of them have been talking every day.
“She’s doing good. She’s taking ownership of it, she’s getting some help, treatment,” Vicki revealed. “Shannon doesn’t and hasn’t [drank] and [driven]. She is an Uber girl. She spends a ton of money a month but that night it was an unfortunate situation.”
As RHOC fans may have heard, Shannon was headed to a restaurant to retrieve her lost phone when she ended up hitting a house and being dealt with a DUI.
“Shannon had been out with friends and she might have had one too many and then went to try and find her phone, she thought she left it at the restaurant so she got in her car because she couldn’t call an Uber to find her phone because she didn’t have her phone,” Vicki explained. “It was a very unfortunate, quick, wrong decision and she’s owning it, she’s gonna take full responsibility.”
“She’s already made full restitution with the little garden wall that she hit and I’m so proud of her,” she added. “I said, ‘You know what? Accidents happen. This is an accident. You take ownership of this. You get in front of it.’ And she’s doing all of that … She’s totally saying, ‘I messed up.’”
No word yet on when The Real Housewives of Orange County will begin filming its upcoming 18th season.