Kyle Richards Reveals She Struggled With Secret Eating Disorder For Years After Being Body Shamed As A Teen

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star says a toxic remark directed at her when she was a child star on a TV show triggered her anorexia battle.

Kyle Richards and Allergan Celebrate Mother's Day on May 11, 2019 in New York City.
Craig Barritt / Getty Images

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star says a toxic remark directed at her when she was a child star on a TV show triggered her anorexia battle.

Kyle Richards is opening up about a secret she has been keeping for more than 30 years. The 50-year-old Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star revealed that she battled an eating disorder when she was a teen in the 1980s, and her weight dipped below 100 pounds.

Richards made the reveal during a cast trip to France with her RHOBH co-stars Lisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Erika Girardi, and Teddi Mellencamp, People reports.

After Lisa Rinna began talking about her 17-year-old daughter Amelia’s eating disorder, Kyle Richards came clean about her own anorexia battle. Richards, who is mom to daughters Farrah, 30, Alexia, 22, Sophia, 19, and Portia, 11, admitted that she never talked about her eating disorder because she didn’t want to put the idea into her daughters’ heads.

Kyle revealed that her eating disorder started when she was 17-years-old and was body shamed while working on a TV show. The former Little House on the Prairie star admitted he didn’t like being compared to her “tiny,” blonde sisters Kathy Hilton and Kim Richards and was told that if she lost some weight she’d be allowed to wear a “cuter” wardrobe on the show. Richards didn’t name the TV show she was working on at the time, but in the mid-1980s she starred as Lissy Preston on the TBS sitcom Down to Earth for three seasons.

During her RHOBH reveal, Kyle Richards said as she began to lose weight, people would compliment her appearance.

“People would compliment me and the more they complimented me, the less I would eat. I would take V8 juice and put it in a bowl and heat it up and that was my food. I was 99 lbs. I can remember times where I said, ‘I’m only going to have six almonds today. That’s all I’m going to have.'”

Richards said she secretly struggled with an eating disorder “for years.”

“When I was growing up and my sisters were so skinny and all the models were, that’s what triggered all of that.”

Kyle Richards also revealed that she had been terrified to talk about her anorexia battle with her daughters because she always wants them to have a healthy body image. Richards said she never points out things about her own body and never says she looks or feels fat.

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As the episode — which was filmed last fall — aired, Kyle Richards took to Twitter to admit that she now regrets talking about her long-secret eating disorder.

“I don’t want any young people getting ideas. Which is why I never discussed it before,” Kyle tweeted.

Kyle Richards later responded to a fan question when asked if she ever feels the urge to go back to that unhealthy way of eating. Richards tweeted that she thinks once someone goes through an eating disorder battle, “you always have the tendency.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.