Sister Kyle Richards and Kathy Hilton are filming together with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but not too long ago they were even speaking to one another. What caused the split between them?
Kyle explained that the two of them first had an issue in 2011 when Kyle and her husband Mauricio started The Agency. At that time Mauricio had quit working with Kathy’s husband Rick Hilton’s real estate firm to strike out on his own with Kyle.
The biggest problem happened in 2018 when Kyle produced a Lifetime series called “American Woman” about the Richards sisters’ childhoods. Kathy didn’t want the project to happen and fought very hard against it. When it came out people said mean things about their mom and her sisters, so Kathy had her lawyer write a letter to the series saying they were not allowed to use her or her family. They got around this legal issue by making the story a fictional account, not a biopic.
Kyle said that anyone who saw the series would see it as a “love letter to mom.” Furthermore, she says the character was not their mom, but only inspired by her. In confessional, Kyle says she’s scared to talk about the series with her series because she’s “terrified that it’s going to spark another issue.”
“If it’s such a love letter to mom, why wouldn’t you have talked to Kim?” Kathy asked. Kyle revealed that she did talk to Kim, but she had not consulted Kathy about it because they already weren’t speaking at the time.
“I wouldn’t do that without talking to you,” Kathy said.
“If it was a real story about mom and us, I wouldn’t have done it. But it wasn’t,” Kyle says in defense of the project. “I liked the idea of something in the ’70s, seeing a single mom and how they didn’t know how to navigate without their husband.”
Still, Kathy didn’t like things about the show, like a scene where the mother character, played by Alicia Silverstone, was “floating in the pool with the champagne bottles, with the bills.”
Kyle says that this wasn’t even in the show. She says that there wasn’t money involved. “It’s Alicia Silverstone lying on a float in a pool, chilling, smoking. I really thought that was benign.”
Kathy revealed that people were calling her freaking out about the show, which Kyle attributes to “outside toxic people contributing to the issues between us.”
Kathy still feels like the show has tainted their family’s legacy. “The bottom line is if it’s in the show, then people think that’s your family and that’s just unacceptable.”
Despite their continued disagreement about the Lifetime series, Kyle and Kathy are in a much better place now and are able to talk about everything civilly. Kathy had invited Kyle over to chat and brought them back to when they were kids by serving their food on TV trays and serving the same crackers their mom would give them with tomato soup from a can. They bonded over their mom’s lack of culinary abilities.
In confessional Kathy broke down in tears when a producer asked her what she regretted about not speaking to Kyle for all those years. “Being together,” she answered before breaking down into sobs. “What a waste!” she says about their time apart.
Kyle and Kathy have also had their issues with their other sister Kim, who started on the show with Kyle.
“Can I tell you something? Hand to God, no crossing legs. Kim never once said one unkind thing,” Kathy said during her lunch with Kyle.
Kyle found that hard to believe. She pointed out that there have been times when each sister felt like an outsider. Kathy said that Kim never liked feeling like an outsider. Kyle said she had felt that way too, especially when she wasn’t included at a family Christmas.
Kyle feels like the sisters were able to spend so much time apart and not mend their differences after the death of their mother because she “would never have tolerated” them not spending time together for years.
Kyle says that time had ended up healing all wounds, and finally Kyle and Mauricio accepted an invitation to Kathy’s home, after that, they started to mend things.
Kathy actually agreed to do Real Housewives of Beverly Hills just so she could reconnect with her sister Kyle.
“I never would have thought I’d say yes to this,” Kathy told PEOPLE recently. “I stopped watching it after the first season. My sister Kyle and I had our ups and downs so it was nothing that I wanted to watch. But Kyle convinced me to do it. And I was flattered. I thought it would be an opportunity for us to spend time together. I really missed her.”