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Braunwyn Windham-Burke Says She Would ‘Pop a Xanax’ Before Filming Real Housewives (Exclusive)

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.”


Related: Former ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ Stars: Where Are They Now?

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.


Related: Every ‘Real Housewives’ Couple Who Filed for Divorce After Appearing on TV

“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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