One of the original cast members of The Real Housewives of Orange County says she was the inspiration behind it all.
RHOC alum, Jeana Keough, appeared on OWN’s ‘Oprah: Where Are They Now?’ on Saturday and dished that the original concept for Bravo’s reality series focused on her and her family.
“The producer, Scott Dunlop, wrote the show about my family,” Jeana says. “He was my next-door neighbor.”
Jeana Keough a real estate agent and mother of three living in the exclusive gated community of Coto De Caza told Oprah.
“When he started pitching the idea, he filmed us and sent it to Bravo,” Keough says. “They said, ‘Yeah, we like it, but let’s see some other families.’”
As a result, additional women were recruited and The Real Housewives of Orange County became a hit, which Keough credits to timing.
“Back then, the writers’ strike was on, so we became hugely successful for lack of anything else on TV,” she says.
Although ratings soared, Keough’s neighbors behind the exclusive Coto De Caza gates disapproved of the show and called for its cancellation.
“The show was a huge disappointment to Coto,” Keough says. “They were afraid it was going to make them look stupid. They were boycotting and having big news conferences at the club about, ‘Let’s stop this filming. It’s disruptive. Our children are all going to be kidnapped.’”
Eventually, Keough says that sentiment shifted.
“Four or five years later, these same people are saying, ‘Oh, my God, I traveled to Japan and the conversation stopped when they heard we lived in Coto De Caza.’ It was like the buzz word,” she says. “Wherever we went, we were treated like princesses.”
The 60-year-old former Playboy Playmate spilled the tea that the now infamous wine toss was premeditated by former costar Tamra Judge. Keough goes onto to reveal what made her walk away from a successful show.
“I quit the show because it became not so favorable to me,” Keough admits. “I knew how to behave on camera and they didn’t,” she said.
“That fight that started a lot of different fights became Teresa from New York (sic) throwing the table over on people,” she said.