The 55-year-old Melrose Place alum made headlines on Thursday, February 21, after she claimed that if she did not film the latter half of season 9 like Vanderpump, 58, she would have been fired from the series.
“I understand that everyone’s grieving process is different and our hearts have gone out to her and we feel so deeply for Lisa Vanderpump,” Rinna said on The Jenny McCarthy Show on Thursday, referring to Vanderpump’s brother, Mark, who died of an apparent overdose in May 2018. “To not show up for work and not contact any of us for two and a half months? I’m so disappointed in that behavior. She’s got 400 employees, I can’t imagine if one of her employees did that. They’d be fired. … There was no consequences.”
Rinna added that Vanderpump refusing to film RHOBH for two months is “a really bad example of women in the workforce” and noted that the SUR owner filmed season 7 of Vanderpump Rules with no interruptions.
“She has another show on Bravo. It’s not a fair — it’s not a fair playing field. I’m sorry, it’s not,” she continued. “I think if the tables were turned and it were me — you know, my father passed away while I was filming the show … I think if it were me I would be fired.”
Us Weekly revealed in October 2018 that the restaurateur was not speaking to her costars, including Rinna, after she was allegedly “caught in a lie.” An insider told Us at the time that the RHOBH production company was “miffed” that Vanderpump was “using a personal family excuse to get out of filming Housewives.”
“She already filmed a whole season of Vanderpump Rules. She’s at Tom Tom and PUMP every night,” the insider told Us.
After Rinna’s appearance on The Jenny McCarthy Show, the reality star began receiving backlash from fans.
“I get where you’re coming from with the work thing; most people would get fired after not showing up to work for two months, but the problem we have with you all is the THIRSTY PACK MENTALITY!” one fan wrote.
Another user tweeted, “@LisaVanderpump didn’t want to reach out to people who in her heart weren’t her true friends. She owes you nothing. Bravo knew & that is who needed to be aware.”
“We tell the truth. That is what this show is about,” Rinna tweeted in response on Friday. “Speak your opinion. Say how you feel.”
She added: “I’m done I did press I said how I Feel. Which is my prerogative. I will continue to be engaged. Now just watch the show.”
I’m done I did press I said how I Feel. Which is my prerogative. I will continue to be engaged. Now just watch the show. 😘
— lisa rinna (@lisarinna) February 22, 2019
Amid the drama, a source close to production tells Us that Vanderpump “is involved in both shows in very different capacities, and RHOBH and Pump Rules are two different entities and you can’t use one to qualify the other.”
“They are their own shows, very different and they aren’t linked,” the source added. “They are both successful in their own right.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.