The Real Housewives of Orange County star Braunwyn Windham-Burke has sparked rumors after joking about her “wife,” Shari, on Wednesday’s episode of the reality series.
In the episode, Braunwyn was chatting with other housewives Gina Kirschenheiter, Kelly Dodd, and Elizabeth Lyn Vargas as the friends enjoy a trip to Lake Arrowhead.
During their conversation, she tells them that she is planning to return to Lake Arrowhead the next week with her “quarantine family” – which includes her children and her new friend, Shari.
Braunwyn then jokingly calls Shari her wife and later explained it is because they have spent a lot of time quarantining together. “I jokingly call her my wife because we quarantine together,” she stated.
“I’ll probably still be back” [to Lake Arrowhead], Braunwyn says — despite the coronavirus pandemic putting a stop to travel for millions of people — and explains that it will just be “the kids” and Shari.
In a home video, viewers of the show can see Braunwyn and her friend, Shari, spending time together in the living room. It is also revealed that Braunwyn’s daughter, Bella, refers to Shari as her “other mommy.”
Later on, Braunwyn opens up about her friendship with Shari, saying that the two women became “sober companions” when lockdown began to affect Braunwyn to the point she started turning to alcohol.
The pair spent around 45 days together in quarantine and “kept each other sane,” according to Braunwyn.
She revealed: “After 45 days of quarantining, I had a little breakdown, and I needed a friend. Shari has kept me sane, and I have kept her sane. And we trade-off. She’s very important to me. I love her.”
Co-star Gina Kirschenheiter pointed during the episode that Braunwyn told her when they first met that she had a romantic preference for women.
When asked how her husband, Sean Burke, felt about the situation, Braunwyn said that he gets jealous and is not okay with Shari — who has her own house and a son — being around so much.
She explained: “He gets jealous.” Braunwyn then added: “When I close my eyes, and I have a fantasy, Sean doesn’t have a starring role right now.”
She has also admitted that they are struggling with their marriage, and her fans were concerned earlier this year when speculation arose they may be filing for divorce.
Moreover, Braunwyn came out as lesbian late last year and said they will try to make an “open marriage” work.