In terms of entertainment news, the farthest you can get from the Oscars is reality TV. And that’s where I am living right now, in the muck of confessionals and C-list Twitter feuds. Not that I’m complaining, I love it!
Over the last week, a very late 80s/early 90s feud bubbled up between Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin and Nicollette Sheridan (with cameos from Denise Richards and Michael Bolton, which will we get to in a minute). Some background: Lisa Rinna is a gleefully messy member of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Denise Richards joined the cast this season.
While filming for the show, Lisa and Denise got together for an activity (true to form, it was something totally nonsensical and useless – who in real life would have time to make a chocolate heart in the middle of the day?) and Lisa mentioned to the other women that Denise’s boyfriend (now husband) Aaron was in the process of divorcing Nicollette Sheridan. Lisa Rinna’s husband Harry Hamlin (who is always referred to by his full name) was also married to Nicollette Sheridan (they divorced in 1992).
Some of the women already knew about it, but Camille Grammer (yes, Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wife) was shocked, and Lisa went on to tell the often-repeated gossip legend: while Harry Hamlin was away working in Canada (he’s always working in Canada – Toronto? Vancouver? Winnipeg? Who knows, it’s just Canada), Nicollette went to a Michael Bolton concert and left with him. The marriage ended shortly thereafter. Lisa Rinna then raised a toast to Michael Bolton, the (formerly) pony-tailed lothario.
This is just an average scene on Housewives, no big deal, particularly on the Beverly Hills and New York franchises, because those castmembers tend to want the audience to know that they know “real” celebrities. It only caught more press because Nicollette was not happy about being mentioned. She tweeted out this:
FAKE NEWS! Harry and I ended our marriage nose to nose in Canada...Michael was a long time friend that was invited to our wedding...Happy Harry found happiness with housewife @lisarinna @slice_tv https://t.co/OFJzjje57d— Nicollette Sheridan (@IamNicollette) February 23, 2019
Lisa Rinna lives for a social media beef, so she went with this:
Thank you Michael Bolton. 💐— lisa rinna (@lisarinna) February 23, 2019
Harry Hamlin (who is probably working “in Canada”) jumped in on the mess and tweeted this.
Re Fake News! What’s it called when your wife of one year suddenly goes to bed with a pop singer? ...two weeks after your mother dies?? I did a lotta stuff with my wife “nose to nose” but ending our marriage was not one of them!— Harry Hamlin (@HarryRHamlin) February 24, 2019
Nicollette wasn’t about to let Harry Hamlin have the last word:
Do you really want the truth shared? I appreciate that you want to support your housewife’s FAKE NEWS narrative, but the end of our marriage had nothing to do with anyone other than us. Sad you still can’t own your part.@HarryRHamlin @lisarinna https://t.co/GUEVCVsAYT— Nicollette Sheridan (@IamNicollette) February 24, 2019
(Lisa Rinna continued on a couple more times on her Instagram stories and Denise Richards briefly jumped in to both say there’s no beef with Nicolette and to vouch for Lisa Rinna’s truthfulness. She’s handled Charlie Sheen for years, this is child’s play.)
While this has turned into the Melrose Place/Knots Landing/Desperate Housewives/LA Law crossover we didn’t know we needed, I’d like to draw your attention to a few things. First, Harry Hamlin’s highlighting of the phrase nose-to-nose makes it obvious we aren’t talking about having conversations, right? I think the implication is more something that goes up your nose. And Nicollette, in her response, makes a point to call Rinna “your housewife” and not just “wife.” Heh.
There’s also something vaguely sinister about Nicollette threatening to expose the “truth.” This isn’t the first time someone has threatened to expose Harry Hamlin. In an iconic (for reality TV moment), Lisa Rinna almost choked out Kim Richards (former child star, aunt of Paris Hilton) for saying, “Let’s talk about the husband” in reference to Harry Hamlin. “Let’s not talk about what you don’t want out” set her OFF.
This is where things get tricky because Housewives fandoms have no chill and have been throwing around some very serious and uncorroborated accusations against Harry Hamlin. On social media, the theories about him are pushed by anonymous accounts but that tweet from Nicollette, an ex-wife and someone well-known in her own right, definitely gives those #whatdidharrydo truthers more fuel.
Ultimately, all of this is in service to Andy Cohen’s empire, which is built on bandage dresses, clip-on extensions and lapsed Range Rovers leases. The obvious move here would be for Andy to court Nicollette to be on Real Housewives, but there’s slim chance of that happening: Beverly Hills has already wrapped and she’s currently on Dynasty. The real power play would be Nicollette as a guest on WWHL, which is Rinna’s domain. Andy is the shadiest bitch of them all so you know that call has already been made. Inject this right into my veins like an off-label dermal filler.
Attahced - Nicollette Sheridan at an event in LA earlier this month.