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Woo, Hoo! 'Real Housewives of Orange County' Star Vicki Gunvalson’s 15 Top Secrets & Scandals

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Apr. 13 2019, Updated 9:15 p.m. ET

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Vicki Gunvalson is considered the First Lady of Bravo, as she has reigned over The Real Housewives of Orange County, the first show in the long-running franchise, for nine seasons. Although the 52-year-old insurance company owner is known for her exuberant “Woo, hoo!” party call, she has also faced plenty of trials and tribulations.

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//woo hoo real housewives of orange county star vicki gunvalsons top secrets and scandals pp sl

Vicki Gunvalson is considered the First Lady of Bravo, as she has reigned over The Real Housewives of Orange County, the first show in the long-running franchise, for nine seasons. Although the 52-year-old insurance company owner is known for her exuberant “Woo, hoo!” party call, she has also faced plenty of trials and tribulations.

vicki gunvalson

//vicki gunvalson
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Flirting With Co-Star’s Husband: In a surprise on the just-aired “RHOC” 2014 reunion show, Vicki Gunvalson revealed she and David Beador, the husband of co-star Shannon, had done some inappropriate flirting. Gunvalson told the gang at the gathering, “He said, ‘What color bra do you have on?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know.’” But Gunvalson made things worse by continuing to babble—about how “sexy and hot” David is. His wife Shannon shot her a dirty look. That’s what friends are for?

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Donn Gunvalson

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Check Mate: As Radar readers know from our exclusive reports, Vicki Gunvalson had to give her second husband, Donn Gunvalson, $95,000 to settle their divorce. And recently, the successful insurance company maven revealed to Andy Cohen how she held on to the check very tightly before letting it go! “I folded,” she sighed. “In the state of California, he was entitled to half my business,” she said, relaying that she told him, “Donn, do you understand how much I’m giving you?” He’s living really large right now. He hit the jackpot with me.”

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vicki gunvalson slade smiley

//vicki gunvalson slade smiley
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Plastic Surgery: Vicki Gunvalson’s co-star Slade Smiley insulted her by saying she looked like Miss Piggy, and she admitted to a magazine, “I've always felt like I'm not pretty enough.” So in 2012, Gunvalson underwent plastic surgery, thinning her nose, getting a chin implant, and having body fat injected into her face to erase wrinkles. (She previously also had two boob jobs.) “I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep looking my best,” said Gunvalson, 52, whose plastic surgery became a plot point during the eighth season.

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Vicki Gunvalson and Michael Wolfsmith

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Source: bravo/star magazine

“Loser” First Husband?: Before she became RHOC’s alpha dog, Vicki Gunvalson had a troubled first marriage. As Radar reported, Gunvalson told Star Magazine she’d lived a “hard life” in Chicago with her “loser” first husband, Michael Wolfsmith, the father of her two children, Briana and Michael Jr. The future reality star was 21 when she married Wolfsmith in 1983. Gunvalson told Star that he “was an alcoholic. He abused me verbally. He had many affairs during our marriage.” But the bad marriage gave Gunvalson initiative, she said. She filed for divorce from Wolfsmith in 1992 and never looked back.

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vicki gunvalson

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“Sooner State” Misstatements?: Vicki Gunvalson got in trouble during the ninth season when she dissed the state of Oklahoma, where her daughter Briana and son-in-law Ryan Culberson moved because he was stationed there as a Marine. Oklahomans were appalled at Gunvalson calling it an “invisible” state because according to her, no one knows anything about it. But when given the chance to clarify her comments at the 2014 reunion show, Gunvalson slammed Oklahoma again—as “boring,” “humid” and tornado-ridden.

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vicki gunvalson

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“Vicki's Vodka” Wasted: Never one to pass up a business opportunity, Vicki Gunvalson decided to put out a line of vodkas under her name. But as Radar has extensively reported, booze enthusiast Gunvalson was sued by her company partner, Robert Williamson III, for fraud, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith dealings, misrepresentation and unjustly enriching herself and intentionally inflicting emotional distress on him. Gunvalson later pulled the plug on Vicki’s Vodka. She then claimed in legal papers, among other things, that Williamson tried to extort her and claimed he operates an “unlicensed revenue-raising gambling venture.” Gunvalson has demanded a jury trial.

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Vicki Gunvalson and Lauri Peterson

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Unfaithful Wife: Vicki Gunvalson admitted during the show’s eighth season that she had cheated on her second husband, Donn. But she said there was infidelity on both sides when shouting at frenemy Lauri Peterson on the ski slopes: “Donn and I were separated many times, we both were unfaithful.”

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Vicki Gunvalson and andy cohen

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Gaydar: Did Vicki Gunvalson put her foot in her mouth when discussing gays? During a season 9 episode, she asked a male guest if he was married and he said he was gay. Gunvalson responded, “You don’t look gay.” When asked later by openly gay Andy Cohen what gay men look like, Gunvalson said, “Usually they’re very very fit. They’re usually very GQ looking…very poised. Not to generalize….” Gunvalson told Cohen, “You don’t have a gaydar, either…You’re all boy to me.” Cohen visibly winced.

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Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers

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Staging Scenes?: When she was on a break from boyfriend Brooks Ayers, Vicki Gunvalson hit back at his claims that she used her vodka to help stage scenes on RHOC. Ayers made the claim as part of a legal case in which he’s being sued for fraud. As Radar has reported, Ayers revealed in a filing that he attended a meeting on June 3, 2012, in Las Vegas, during which Vicki “specifically agreed, represented and promised that Vicki would negotiate her season 8 contract (on the Real Housewives) to include VV (Vicki’s Vodka) as part of the negotiations and product integration.” But Gunvalson denied any fakery, telling Radar, “The show is real, and I am always real.”

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Vicki Gunvalson and Ryan Culberson

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Son-In-Law’s Struggles: Vicki Gunvalson’s beloved daughter Briana has touched fans with her strong marriage to Marine Ryan Culberson. But Radar exclusively learned that in 2014, after season eight had aired, Culberson had to seek help for the post-traumatic stress that stemmed from his five combat deployments in Afghanistan. “I know I’ve been painted in some not so great light in the past season and after some deep soul searching I decided to reach out and get some help with the PTSD I have been dealing with for quite awhile,” Culberson told Radar.

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Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers

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Cheating Boyfriend?: Vicki Gunvalson’s boyfriend Brooks Ayers has been a lightning rod for controversy on RHOC, and never more so than in season 8 when she learned he’d allegedly two-timed her with a 21-year-old porn star. According to whistleblower cast member Lauri Peterson, Ayers met the XXX actress at a poker party, and the young mistress was soon referring to him as her “sugar daddy.” However, Ayers denied cheating on Gunvalson.

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Vicki Gunvalson

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Health Scare: In 2010, the RHOC star was hospitalized for internal bleeding after filming segments for her Bravo show. Gunvalson’s former co-star, Jeana Keough, told the Orange County Register at the time that Vicki was “resting comfortably. She’s not in any danger,” but added, “She’s got a lot of stress, there’s a lot going on in her life. She never relaxes. It’s always go, go, go … perhaps this is God’s way of saying, ‘Slow down baby girl.’”

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Vicki Gunvalson

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It Pays To Be Real: According to a 2014 report on the website Celebrity Net Worth, Vicki Gunvalson makes a whopping $500,000 per season of RHOC. And the bubbly blonde owner of Coto Insurance & Financial Services reportedly boasts a net worth of $7 million.

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Vicki Gunvalson

//vicki gunvalson
Source: Getty

The Fur Flies: Animal rights groups were outraged after Vicki Gunvalson wore a lush mink coat on the 2012 season finale. Under pressure from PETA, Gunvalson said it would be the last time viewers would see her wearing fur. She told Radar: “Fur, while it was never something I needed or specifically wanted, it was in my mindset as something glamorous and a sign of success for a woman. That is absolutely no longer the case. When PETA sent me video footage of investigations on fur farms, I was horrified by the cruelty involved. These animals endure terrible pain and this cruelty is something I do not want to ever be a part of.”

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