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‘RHOC’ Vicki Gunvalson on Why She Wouldn’t Legally Marry Steve, His “Stalker” Fiancee, and Donn

Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Bravo

Vicki Gunvalson planned to marry Steve Lodge prior to their September 2021 split, but she didn’t plan to do so legally.

During an appearance on Brandi Glanville‘s podcast on Monday, the “OG” of The Real Housewives of Orange County explained why she was unwilling to take that step with her now-ex-fiance before labeling the 37-year-old woman he’s now planning to wed as a “stalker.”

“I was good getting married here in Mexico under a church, under God’s eyes, not legally. Because I have the assets. He didn’t. I wasn’t going to get married in a courthouse with that type of legal system,” Vicki explained on the January 24 episode of Patreon’s Brandi Glanville Unfiltered.

As RHOC fans have surely heard, Steve, 63, announced his engagement to Janis earlier this month. Understandably, Vicki, 61, was caught completely off-guard. She also found herself quite suspicious of Janis’ motives.

“I’ve been on this show 16 years ago and she’s [37]. So I’m 20 years older. She started watching me,” Vicki suspected. “You don’t think she was a stalker? Of course, she was. Every time they go out, she says, ‘Oh do you know who you’re sitting next to? That’s Steve from [RHOC].’ She loves me and she loves the show.”

“He’s 63 and a half years old. My God. What the hell does she want from a grandpop? I do think she’s very hung up on the fame that I gave Steve. She thinks he’s famous,” Vicki added.

Although Vicki admitted that she and Steve did reach a rocky patch in early 2021, she said she was determined to make things work.

“He just kept saying. ‘I want to live in Mexico. You still work.’ I said, ‘Well let’s work it out,’” Vicki recalled. “He gave me hope. He told me to put my ring back on in July and August… He said, ‘We’re just going through a struggle.’ Because he’s retired. I’m not. I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m in it till life.’ I just thought, ‘Okay, he’s getting a little grumpy because he’s kind of lost his will.’ He had no profession. He’s not working. We found my place here in Mexico, his happy place.”

While Vicki has gone on dates in the months since their breakup, she said that because of what she went through with him, it would likely be a “very long time, if ever” that she’s able to trust again.

“I don’t even want to kiss anybody. I’m closed off. He’s already marrying somebody. How do you do that so fast? I don’t understand it. It’s gross!” she fumed.

Throughout her time on RHOC, Vicki experienced plenty of heartbreak. But that’s not too uncommon in the world of the Real Housewives. In fact, Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky are one of the rare couples of the franchise who’ve been able to maintain a happy marriage throughout their past 10 years on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vicki applauds them for it.

“With Mauricio and Kyle, they’re, to me, the epitome of perfect relationship, gorgeous people,” she gushed.

According to Vicki, couples in the world of entertainment face temptation as they recently travel without one another, just as she did when she was married to ex-husband Donn Gunvalson.

It was that very thing, along with her “inflated” ego that led to the end of their marriage.

“We fell out of love and that happens… I was traveling too much without him. And my ego was inflated, wrongfully so,” she admitted. “I thought I could get anybody. I saw all these women with all these rich men and I thought, ’Sh-t. I’ll sell my business.’ I thought the grass was greener and I learned very hard you water your own grass. You don’t look outside.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County season 16 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.

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