The Saddest Thing That Happened on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Last Night: Kim Richards Goes to Prom

This is Kim Richards. When Kim was a child, she acted in a lot of films and television shows, and she was very famous. She was able to buy a home for and support her entire family with the money she earned during that time. Because of this, she didn’t have what many would call a typical upbringing.

“I missed out on everything as a child, seriously. I went to a professional school for children who worked in the industry, so the kids who went to my school were, like, Kristy and Jimmy McNichol, and all the, like, teen throbs. My prom was, like … ” She trails off and shrugs, wide-eyed.

As mentioned last week, every season the housewives get a new catchphrase for the opening title sequence that they get to announce over shots of them twirling in front of stock footage of Hermès bags and tiny dogs. Here are Kim’s, in order, with some contextual reference:

“I was a child star, but now my most important role is being a mother.” Then her third child, Whitney, moved out to live with her father in Houston, and her sister outed her as an alcoholic on national television. “People try to figure me out, but I’m one of a kind.” Then Brandi Glanville accused her of doing crystal meth, this happened, and she went to rehab for a third time for what is officially being called alcoholism. “Life is a journey, and I’m finding myself every day.” Now it’s time to send her youngest child to prom.

“I’ve done three proms with my other kids, and they’ve been amazing,” Kim tells us in an emotional rasp, the corners of her mouth turned down gravely. “Kimberly’s my youngest and I’ve missed out on some … time.” Two things about that: The time she is referring to is her time spent both in rehab and on a debilitating cocktail of antidepressants. And yes, she named her 16-year-old daughter after herself. She twirls her hair anxiously with both hands. “I want to make sure that every day is just the best I can make it.”

Kim takes off what looks like a rosary necklace and hands it to Kimberly as Kasea the stylist goes to work on her hair. “This is from Amma, the Hugging Saint,” she says.

Kimberly casts a sidelong glance at the trinket and rolls her eyes. “Nooo — ” she starts to say, then sees the intensity in her mother’s eyes and quickly changes her mind. “I’ll hold it.”

Kim dashes into the kitchen and comes back with a comically large bowl of chicken salad. Some gentle, lighthearted Bravo musak plays, punctuated by light triangle chimes. “Look at my chicken salad,” she says, stirring and walking as her hippie-ish blouse falls off one shoulder. “I’m still putting walnuts … ” She holds the bowl inches from Kimberly’s face as Kasea applies her eye makeup. “Look. Apples.”

“Oh, that looks delicious,” Kasea says for Kimberly.

Kimberly’s baby-faced 20-year-old boyfriend arrives, and Kim watches from the dining table as they exchange corsages and boutonnieres, her elbows on the table, chin propped up in her hands. Her blouse is still askew, but she either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. It’s prom night!

As soon as the photos have been taken, Kim senses her daughter’s sudden hurry to leave. “Well, why don’t you have a little glass of lemonade before you go?” she says in a rushed slur.

“No, we’re not doing lemonade,” says Kimberly, setting down the glass her mother has handed her. “We have to go.”

“Five minutes.”

“No, really. I can’t.”

“You can wait!”

“It’s time.”

“Just sit down — “

“It’s time to go.”

It’s time to go.

Kim Richards

Filed Under: Bravo, Hill People, Kim Richards, Reality TV, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

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Emily Yoshida is an editor at Grantland.

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