The most recent episode of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which aired on Dec. 17, ended with recurring castmember Faye Resnick yelling at the refreshingly honest and self-deprecating Brandi Glanville. The subject of the yelling: Brandi’s recent on-camera blabbing that Housewives’ Adrienne Maloof and her (now ex-) husband, Paul Nassif, apparently had used a surrogate for their three children. Resnick and Adrienne are friends, and Resnick was demanding Brandi apologize to Adrienne. She demanded it a lot.
What Brandi had actually said about Adrienne was made inaudible by Bravo, so we viewers had to turn to the Internet and gossip press to find out: it seems that Maloof wanted to tell her kids about the surrogacy herself when the time was right.
Those of us who are Brandi fans - me! – have already come to terms with the fact that her blasting out someone’s personal family business wasn’t her greatest moment. On her Bravo blog, Brandi herself wrote, “I said something I shouldn’t have said and I am sorry and I now regret it.”
Monday’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the first since the holidays, picks up right where the last episode left off: with Faye making Brandi cry and driving her from the dinner party. How dare she? Why don’t you butt out, Faye Resnick? Are you, as Vulture’s genius recapper Julie Klausner, has written, a garbage person?
Who are you, Faye Resnick?
1) People who were riveted by the trial of O.J. Simpson – me! – remember Faye Resnick well. She was a close friend of Nicole Brown Simpson, whom O.J. was accused of killing (along with Ron Goldman, who was at Nicole’s house that night). Resnick adamantly asserted before and during O.J.’s trial that he had beaten Nicole, and that Nicole feared he would kill her. She testified for the prosecution at the trial. (I asked to interview Resnick through Bravo, and she declined.)
2) Resnick was born on July 3, 1957. Her maiden name is Hutchison. Her father was not around, and her mother was a Jehovah’s Witness. Resnick – the name of her third husband – became a media star after the Simpson/Goldman murders, which took place on June 12, 1994. She appeared frequently on television, and wrote a book about Nicole called Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted that was published less than four months after the murders. People magazine wrote at the time, “… it did what many thought impossible: it brought the feuding parties at the O.J. Simpson trial into sudden agreement. Everyone hated the book.”
3) The book is a lurid, though probably somewhat true-to-life, account of Nicole’s partying ways, and also includes a description of a one-night stand Resnick and Nicole had…with each other.
4) After the book came out, Resnick felt her life was in danger, and she went into hiding in Stowe, Vt. and other places. She wasn’t afraid of O.J. himself (he was in jail awaiting trial); she feared “his loyal minions and crazed acolytes,” in the words of The New York Times, which profiled her in Nov. 1994.
5) Before the murders, Nicole and O.J. Simpson and Faye Resnick were good friends with the Kardashian family – they were members of a wealthy set of sceney L.A. Westsiders. After the murders, Kris Jenner, then and now the Kardashian matriarch, corroborated Resnick’s accusations about O.J. abusing Nicole. Robert Kardashian, however, the late father of Kim/Kourtney/Khloé/Rob, was part of O.J. Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers. (By then, he and Kris Jenner were divorced.)
Kris Jenner and Resnick are still friends; the photograph of Resnick, Jenner, and Lance Bass above, posted on Resnick’s Instagram, was from New Year’s Day.
N.B.: In 1985, Kris Jenner, then Kris Kardashian, made a video for her 30th birthday to the tune of “I Love L.A.” renamed “I Love My Friends.” There’s no real Faye Resnick connection here, unless she’s in one of the photos that goes by quickly and I missed it. Nicole and O.J. are featured, though, with a big O.J. moment at 3:23. Mostly, it’s just the craziest thing I’ve ever seen and need you to see it, too, because I feel betrayed no one had ever told me about this video and I had to find it on my own.
6) Three days before Nicole Brown Simpson’s death, Nicole and other friends conducted an intervention with Resnick for her cocaine abuse. Therefore, Resnick, who had been staying with Nicole, was in rehab during the murder. (One of several stints.)
7) O.J. Simpson, who was found not guilty during his criminal trial, but was later found liable for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for the crimes, continuously – and crazily – tried to blame Resnick for Nicole’s death. He released a video before the trial saying the killer was likely from the “world of Faye Resnick.” He claimed he had gotten anonymous calls from tipsters telling him that the murders were related to Resnick’s “drug debts.” He was never able to produce any actual facts or evidence to prove any of these assertions. In a deposition, he tried (and failed) to substantiate his accusations about Resnick: “She claimed her life was in danger early on, which I guess it was, and she claims her life is in danger now. Certainly not from me, but I wouldn’t be surprised … I thought, the bizarre way Nicole was acting seemed to somehow be related to Faye Resnick.”
8) After O.J. was found not guilty – the jury was sworn in on Nov. 2, 1994 and the verdict was delivered an exhausting 11 months later – he and Resnick continued to feud. He attacked her on CNN; she went on Larry King Live in Feb. 1996 and called him a “crazy man.”
9) She posed for the cover of the March 1997 Playboy and appeared fully nude inside. (The pictures are, of course, NSFW, but here are two places of many where you can find them: one and two.) Since she was famous because her friend was murdered, she was subjected to a huge backlash over this decision.
10) To promote the Playboy cover, Resnick appeared on Geraldo Rivera’s talkshow. When he asked her why she did it, she responded, “Why not? I’m a woman of the 90s, I’m a liberal – you know that.”
11) Cut to: Dec. 2010, when we see that, even years later, the Playboy nakedness continues to bite Resnick in the ass. In the best episode of the first season of RHOBH, Resnick, whom many of us had forgotten existed, accompanied her good friend Kyle Richards to a dinner party at Camille Grammer’s house. In what seemed to be a setup on Camille’s part, she pretended not to know who Resnick was but then “remembered,” attacking her repeatedly about the Playboy appearance. “And I thought you looked amazing!” Camille said hatefully. In a confessional interview, she referred to Resnick as – and this phrase has really stuck – “the morally corrupt Faye Resnick.”
12) I cannot undersell how epic that dinner party was, so here’s the video of that part. Grammer says within that yes, she too posed for Playboy, but “it wasn’t coming off a big murder trial – that my girlfriend was killed!”
13) Resnick has what looks like a successful interior design business. So after that episode aired, it wasn’t hard to find her to try to talk to her; we wanted to know about the experience of being attacked by Camille, as well as what she’d been up to since she had dropped out of the public eye. (I was at The Daily Beast at the time.) She said no to the interview, but sent the reporter, Nicole LaPorte, an email with the subject line “The morally corrupt Camielle [sic] Donatacci,” with a note saying, “The hypocrisy amazes me!!!!! Donatacci is her maiden name.” And then, in the body of the email, there were – and I can’t emphasize this enough – a bunch of naked screengrabs of Camille from her softcore porn days! Can you believe? Machiavelli himself would cower from her; Sun Tzu would say, “You win, Faye.” Again, I will not post the NSFW images, but they were from this site.
14) Since Season 1, Resnick appeared off and on in RHOBH episodes. It should be noted that her life seems full and prosperous while O.J. Simpson sits in a Nevada prison serving out a 9-to-33-year sentence for armed robbery. She has not proven to be popular with viewers, however. This third season she is officially a “friend of the Housewives,” which means she is a contractually-bound, recurring cast member. After Part 1 of the fight with Brandi aired, Resnick blogged about it on Bravo’s site, and, from what I can glean from those who quoted from it, she had no regrets. She wrote: “I thought it was important for Brandi to understand the severity of what she had said and offer her a solution on how to try to make amends…By raising the issue at the dinner party I was hoping Brandi would shed some light as to what would drive her to reveal something so intensely personal and private. Brandi’s response was confusing.”
The response to Resnick’s blog post, on the other hand, was extremely straightforward. There were hundreds of negative comments about her and her behavior, many of which apparently begged Bravo to axe her from the show and never to make her an official castmember. Unfortunately, we can no longer see that entry; Resnick demanded it be taken down.