Braunwyn Windham-Burke Would ‘Pop a Xanax’ Before Filming ‘RHOC’

Braunwyn Windham-Burke couldn’t handle the stress of starring on Real Housewives of Orange County. 

“Have I had some pretty uncomfortable things that have happened [on RHOC] that were not okay? Yeah, absolutely,” she exclusively told Us Weekly at CMA Fest in Nashville on Friday, June 7. “I mean I had to pop Xanax sometimes before filming ’cause my blood pressure was so high and that isn’t alright.”

Windham-Burke left RHOC in 2021 and eventually moved to Nashville with her wife Jennifer Spinner. Windham-Burke also weighed in on Real Housewives of New York City alum Leah McSweeney’s lawsuit against the franchise and executive producer Andy Cohen.

McSweeney filed a lawsuit against both Cohen and Bravo, alleging that the show created a workplace that encouraged substance use. The lawsuit also claimed that Cohen “rewards Housewives with whom he uses cocaine with more favorable treatment and edits.”

Cohen’s representatives have denied the allegations. In a statement, Bravo said that the claims made against Cohen were “unsubstantiated” following an investigation into the presenter.

“I’m good friends with Leah,” Windham-Burke told Us on Friday. “I really do like her and I support what she’s doing. I had very similar experiences and I know that that’s not everyone’s experience. I have definitely had some things that happened off stage.”

“It wasn’t with Bravo or Andy Cohen,” she added. “Leah and I both had similar situations where we started drinking again on the show, not realizing what our issues were. There were some things I was asked to do or told to do that weren’t okay.”

Windham-Burke told Us that she’s not sure if Cohen is the correct target for a lawsuit, calling him a “figurehead” and noting that he was “not [her] boss.” She also noted that while Cohen never asked her to use drugs personally, she believes McSweeney’s claims.

“Was he doing drugs with housewives? I don’t know. He wasn’t doing it with me,” she said. “I’ve talked to [McSweeney] in real life. I know her experience and it’s real… I think you should support women in that situation.”

Windham-Burke was candid in her conversation with Us, even revealing that she is currently using Ozempic to lose weight after a move to Nashville made her confront the reality of Southern cooking. Windham-Burke summed up her Ozempic use briefly: “I needed help. I got help. My wife is hungry.”

Reporting by Jeremy Parsons

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