Real Housewives of Orange County’s Braunwyn Windham-Burke has been the center of rife speculation all year. From questions about the status of her marriage, to discussion centered on her sobriety – or lack thereof – Windham-Burke has had a difficult year. Now, however, the RHOC star is ready to put the turbulence behind her and live authentically. The mother of seven has come out as a lesbian, putting rumors and speculation to rest.
“Earlier on Wednesday, the reality TV star shared her truth with the world in an interview with GLAAD.
‘I like women. I’m gay,’ she said. ‘I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. It has taken me 42 years to say that but I am so proud of where I am right now. I’m so happy where I am. To be able to be comfortable in my own skin after so long is just so nice’,”People shares. For fans, it’s good to hear Windham-Burke so self-assured and happy, after a year of ups and downs.
It Started Out With a Post
Windham-Burke’s wild public ride started out with something simple – an Instagram post. Back in September, CELEB wrote about the drama.
“…in late September, Braunwyn posted on Instagram, ‘New to the co-parenting world? It doesn’t have to suck. It won’t feel like this forever. You just need some perspective… Knowing what to expect will save your sanity.’ Fans wondered if this meant she was divorcing from husband Sean Burke.
Although she removed the post quickly, daughter Rowan did not clear things up when she posted an image of herself with the caption, ‘F— you, mom.’ The caption was eventually removed.
Braunwyn did not directly address the posts, but did add to her Instagram story, stating, ‘Our family asks for your understanding as we work through some challenging circumstances. 45 million Americans will experience mental health issues. This effects almost every family, and ours is no different. We will share with you more when the time is right. We kindly ask for your grace and kindness, and thank everyone for their support.'”
“Someone New and Special”
Windham-Burke confused fans further when she posted an image on Instagram of herself and husband Sean, with the caption, “modern marriage.”
By late October, it appeared that the couple was no longer living together. This was confirmed in an interview, where Windham-Burke first hinted that the new person in her life might be a woman.
In an interview with ET, Braunwyn admitted that she and Sean were living apart. The RHOC star even admitted that there may be a new woman in her life.
UsWeekly reports, “The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 42, confirmed the news to Entertainment Tonight earlier this week while giving correspondent Lauren Zima a tour of her new 8,000-square-foot home.
The Bravo star gave showed off her massive closet, admitting, ‘No one’s allowed in here, just me.’
‘No, he’s not. He’s not living here right now,’ the mother of seven replied. ‘Love him dearly, we haven’t gotten along this well in a long time. We’re redefining what marriage means to us. Not following the old, antiquated rules anymore.’
‘Does that kind of make things exciting?’ Zima asked.
‘So good,’ Braunwyn replied enthusiastically. ‘So good.’
The ET correspondent then asked about the reality TV star’s previous comments about threesomes and noted that one of Braunwyn’s rules for her open marriage is only ‘hot girls’ allowed.
‘I will say this, there’s no other men in my life,’ Braunwyn said.
‘So is there another woman in your life, Braunwyn?’ Zima shot back.
The star only smiled and jokingly pointed back at Zima.”
Then, Braunwyn shared more details about her new, “other half.” Per UsWeekly, “‘There’s someone in my life right now that makes me happy and I smile just thinking about, but I kinda want to protect it right now,’ the 42-year-old Bravo star exclusively told Us. ‘I’m not quite ready to put it all out there, everyone in my life that knows me knows what’s happening. I don’t think I’ve smiled so much. It’s good. I know if you look at social media, it seems really like crazy, but things are really good in our house right now.’”
A Rocky Road to Recovery
While it seems as though Windham-Burke is on the right path now, earlier this year she was in a dark place. On the premiere of season 15 of RHOC, Windham-Burke opened up candidly with co-star Emily Simpson, admitting that she was an alcoholic. Windham-Burke later admitted that when she filmed that episode, she was 12 days sober, a raw time in the life of a recovering alcoholic. When people are in addiction recovery, one of the things they’re encouraged to do is explore their life authentically, which seems to have led Windham-Burke to open up about her sexuality and redefine her marriage with Sean.
Braunwyn Shares Pic of Her New Special Someone
ET reports, “Braunwyn [said], ‘I’m just now starting to feel like I’m becoming the woman I’m supposed to be. I’ve always known it, but it took me, personally, 42 years to be comfortable in my own skin to say that.’
As for her husband of 20 years, Sean Burke, Braunwyn says they have no plans to divorce. The two share seven children together, Hazel, 2, Koa, 4, twins Caden and Curran, 7, Jacob, 15, Rowan, 18, and Bella, 20, and while they did briefly live apart this year, they have since moved back in together.
‘I love Sean. I love him dearly, he is my person, he is my family,’ Braunwyn shared. ‘But I’m not attracted to men and I never have been.’
Further explaining their reason for not splitting up, she noted, ‘We are in unchartered territories. Sean and I are still married, I plan on staying married. We are not sleeping in the same bedroom right now, but we are in the same house. We are raising our kids together, he’s my best friend. He knows the girl I’m dating.'”
On her Instagram story, Windham-Burke shared a picture of herself with her girlfriend whose name is reportedly Kris.
We are happy for Braunwyn and wish her and her family well!