Losing a parent is never easy, but for Vicki Gunvalson losing her parent in front of the cameras was especially hard. The 53-year-old star of Bravo's “The Real Housewives of Orange County” opened up about getting the news that her mother, Joanne Closset Steinmetz, had died while filming Season 10, episode 5 of the popular reality show.
According to her blog post, Vicki hadn’t planned on attending co-star Shannon Beador’s bunco party the evening of her mother's death. She wrote that, perhaps, if she had gone with her gut instinct to stay home she could have received the sad news in private. Still she said, “that’s the chance you take filming a reality show” and thanked everyone working on the show for “being so sensitive and supportive.” She also acknowledged the touching tribute the “RHOC” crew put together for her, sincerely thanking them.
“You really never know when ‘life happens’ like it did with me and while cameras were rolling,” she wrote. “I want to thank Evolution Media for being so sensitive and supportive to me and my family during this difficult time.”
The “RHOC” veteran went on to discuss the cause of her mother’s death saying even months later they are unsure. At the time the show was filmed Vicki said her 83-year-old mother had been found dead in bed by her brother Billy. In her blog she wrote that she and the rest of her siblings “elected not to do an autopsy,” but added that the coroner had ruled that she either had “a massive heart attack or an aneurysm.” Billy found their mother’s body at around 8 p.m. PDT on Feb. 4. She was lying in bed “on top of her covers” with her beloved dog lying next to her.
Vicki learned about her mother’s passing in Season 10, episode 5. She and the rest of the cast were at Shannon’s home for a party when she decided to slip into the craft room to call her daughter, Briana. Unfortunately the phone call was not what Vicki had expected. After Briana shared the tragic news, Vicki immediately dropped to the floor crying and struggling to breathe through tears. Soon after the rest of the “RHOC” cast learned what was going on and came to be by her side.
Vicki’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of her mother appears to be a central theme on the series upcoming episode. Tune in for all that and more Monday at 9 p.m. EDT on Bravo.
Watch Bravo's tribute to Joanne Closset Steinmetz below: