Kim Richards has been on a careening roller coaster ride over the last couple of weeks. “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star has been arrested on charges stemming from a humiliating public intoxication incident. Then called out on national television by Dr. Phil McGraw as well as three of her children. Combined with sitting in a rehab facility, separated from those she loves, thinking about what she has done.
Richards was last seen by viewers being pegged and held accountable by Dr. Phil, who did a fantastic job at hitting her from all angles. The doc left her with no choice but to face her demons head on. But did she really? Could this have been just a performance from a skilled actress, carefully controlling a daunting confrontation that she was all but forced to deal with? I don’t believe for a minute that Dr. Phil bought half of what Richards was selling. However, he had bigger fish to fry, namely getting a raging addict to care more about her children than her next substance fueled day. Kim is now safely detoxing behind closed doors….Dr. Phil landed the whale, but make no mistake, Kim wasn’t fooling anyone throughout much of that interview.
The first sign of trouble was when Richards kept Dr. Phil waiting, an oldie but goodie strategy to gain control, and establish the upper hand. Dr. Phil fired back, by amusingly tattling on Kim’s self absorbed stall tactics, with the “fluffing her bangs” reference becoming one of my favorite lines of the whole showdown.
Another major red flag began waving when Richards began to describe the sequence of events that led to her arrest. Kim claimed that upon arrival at the Polo Lounge, she put her purse on her usual table and immediately approached a group of people that she believed she recognized. Kim described a waiter practically tackling her, asking her to go back to her seat, then to get out. She claims all for no reason other than chatting with some willing people, in a setting conducive to socializing. This claimed overreaction took place in an establishment that Kim described as home-like, one that she had frequented since childhood. She also claimed that the bar was closed upon her arrival. A quick call to the Polo Lounge confirmed that the bar closes at 1 am, on weekdays. The police arrived sometime between 12-12:30 am. Now even without factoring in the realistic period of time that any obnoxious customer would need to achieve 911 belligerence, there is simply no way that the bar was closed when she arrived. Dr. Phil obviously did not believe that she wasn’t likely knocking them back for a chunk of time before things went south, and most viewers probably didn’t either. Kim also stayed wasted enough to resist going peacefully. Additionally, after being arrested at 2 am and being transported to the station, she irrationally kicked a cop. All on one supposed whoopsie of a drink, ingested literally hours before.
Kim also had selective memory, claiming foggy bits and pieces of recollection one minute, and razor sharp accuracy the next. She seemed to strategically launch into weeping whenever the questions became unanswerable. When Kim finally caved and admitted to the ongoing relapsing, she backtracked and even giggled when Dr. Phil began to get hardcore real about her true condition. This gave us a glimpse of the true level of her respect for what was being confronted. She also wanted sober points for not drinking on camera, which was only a minimal suspicion. When her children confronted her off camera, her mic told the story when she argued that she didn’t drink every day. As well as her admission that pills and pot play parts in her life as an addict, all adding up to not being reason enough to submit to treatment. Her dramatic upset also allowed a wardrobe change and bang fluff, before Dr. Phil chased her down.
Kim Richards wanted to come across as a contrite sober woman who had made a few embarrassing mistakes. Unfortunately for her, she failed, and portrayed someone more resembling a lying, manipulative, selfish, typical addict, flailing for delusional freedom from her own played down choices. Let’s hope that something triggers a change from the inside out, and that Kim Richards can see what was clear to anyone who was paying attention.