Mommie Dearest! House of Hilton Unravels Kim Richards’ Dysfunctional Reality

Share This:

Kim Richards_RHOBH__Childhood

Kim Richards’ off-season antics have been popping up in cast conversations as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills rolls on. Her Polo Lounge meltdown was addressed, and tonight, we will hear the news of her arrest, after a bizarre shoplifting spree at a local Target. 

House of Hilton, by Jerry Oppenheimer, sheds glaring light on a childhood reality that reveals much about Kim’s past, and the mindset that guided the talented child actress. It is a well-known fact that the Richards sisters’ domineering mother, “Big Kathy,” was instrumental in molding the young girls, and according to the book, a contentious sibling relationship between Kim and Kyle, was put in place long ago. 

READ: Inside Kathy Hilton’s Viciousness & Nasty History of Snubbing Family Members!

Jane Hallaren, a confidant to Big Kathy since childhood, recounted comments made by Ted Bessell, who directed or produced different shows that had Kim or Kyle in the cast. Oppenheimer writes,

“Jane Hallren says Bessell described Kathleen as a ‘horror show’ and that he considered her ‘impossible to deal with as a stage mother.’”

Kathy also had a reputation for pitting the girls against each other. Sylvia Richards, Kyle and Kim’s father’s third wife, recalled a specific incident, indicative of the disturbing pattern. Kyle had recently landed a role in the 1980 Disney hour film, “Watcher in the Woods,” during a period when Kyle was actually generating more work than KimRichards described their mother’s heaping praise as a typical example of Kathy’s destructive manipulation.

“She’d say about Kyle in front of Kim, ‘Well, this is my baby. This is my little sweetheart. Kyle’s working and what are you doing?’” recounts Sylvia Richards. “Big Kathy did this constantly to those kids.  I don’t know what she thought—-whether she was going to get more production out of them by doing that, or what.  But I do know it was devastating to them. Looking back, I don’t know how anybody survived in that family. Kim so wanted to please her mom because I don’t think she ever really felt like her mother loved her.”

Kim once shared in an interview that she missed having a typical home life, and that she struggled to make friends at school, because she simply wasn’t there enough. Kim hung around with other ambitious and often troubled young actors, like Different Strokes stars, Dana Plato and Todd Bridges. The book tells of an interesting incident that occurred when Kim was fourteen. Plato and Bridges talked Kim into sneaking into the Magic Mountain amusement park, even though they had celebrity passes. Later, because of feelings of shame and guilt, Kim confessed to her mother. Kim later explained,

“Dana and Todd laughed at me. But I respected my mom, and never wanted to let her down.”

Oppenheimer writes that Kim thought of her mother far differently than others did. Kim saw Big Kathy as a moral compass. After reading this book, I can assure you that such an assessment is indeed a unique one. 

Stay tuned, as House of Hilton continues to spill insight, and unravel the complicated Richards dynamic. No Bravo cameras needed. 


“Like” us on Facebook  “Follow” us on Twitter and on Instagram 

Share This: