James Kennedy is in a good place. The Vanderpump Rules star revealed he is nine months sober after he was accused of verbally abusing his girlfriend, Raquel Leviss, on the Tuesday, March 3, episode of the Bravo hit.
“Because of all the drinking I was doing and stuff, I was really hiding away from my true emotions and just blaming whatever I wanted to get out the easy way,” the 27-year-old DJ said on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen after Tuesday’s episode aired. ”I’m going onto nine months sober. I haven’t had a drink in nearly nine months, and I just feel completely different.”
James, who has documented his struggles with substance abuse on the show for years, added that he’s been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
“I’ve really taken hold of my life and try to change it for the better and change our relationship for the better,” he explained. “I know I should be doing this for me, but I’m also doing it for my relationship with Raquel.”
While Andy Cohen pointed out that James has been caught sneaking drinks when he was allegedly sober in the past, the musician insisted this time was different.
“I have hidden that before from people and I have lied about that before,” James admitted. “This time I’m not lying to myself about it and it feels incredible. Eventually the people will see too.”
During Tuesday’s episode of Vanderpump Rules, James sent a series of text messages to Raquel calling her a “whore,” “slut,” and threatening to break up with her because she was drunk and not answering her phone during a night out.
“No girl goes into a relationship thinking they’re going to be verbally abused,” Raquel told the cameras in a confessional. “It’s scary to me. I don’t ever want to go through this again.”
While James initially said his “tone” was harsh because he’s from England, he later apologized.
“I know you’re sorry, but, like, I’m not going to blame myself for your actions,” Raquel told her boyfriend. “I’m not gonna be embarrassed for you. I’ve been letting you kind of circle into drinking, not drinking, and then getting back to normal again and being good. I think about the way that you talk to me when you’re drunk. It scares me because if we have kids together, I don’t want to put them in any situation relatively close to that. You understand? And if you can’t get your s—t together, then we will break up.”
James and Raquel have been dating since January 2016. The former beauty queen reflected on the episode on Tuesday via Instagram.
“Tonight’s episode is an emotional one for me. I teared up watching it back, seeing the exact moment our relationship took a turn for the better,” she wrote. “I am not tolerating this behavior any longer and James’ decision to take his sobriety seriously means the absolute world to me. So proud of you @itsjameskennedy ❤️ #pumprules.”
Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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