Reality Star Brandi Glanville
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And your family was OK with that?
I checked with them beforehand. But I think once it was out there, it kind of set in and created a few waves. You’ll have to watch and see. I don’t want to give it all away.
Speaking of your book—your memoir Drinking and Tweeting—in it, you wrote, “I started out in the ghetto of South Sacramento getting beat up daily by a neighborhood thug.”
Yeah. I mean, that’s what happened. I was born in Salinas and we were there until I was 3 and then we moved to Sacramento, and I spent the rest of my years until I was 17 years old in Sacramento. I lived in South Sac. Back then it was kind of a dangerous neighborhood. When I was in high school and junior high, gang violence was really prevalent, whereas I feel like it’s tapered off quite a bit now. It’s gotten much nicer, actually.
Also in the book, this was how you described your parents: “My father was the local pot dealer and my mom was a hippie who rarely wore a bra.”
Yeah, my mom still doesn’t really wear a bra. Not that she needs one. When I was little, it was so embarrassing—she had a shirt that said “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” on it and she would wear it to school.
And [my dad] doesn’t like that word, “dealer.” He was a distributor. He grew [marijuana] in our backyard and gave it to the dealers to deal. It was a means to an end and a way to make ends meet. We had a lot of bills and there were always a lot of financial issues. [My parents] sent us to private schools—I went to Willow Rancho Baptist School and Gloria Dei Lutheran—because other schools around us were dangerous.
They were the hardest-working people I knew. My dad had three jobs. He was a janitor, he worked at the gas station and at a grocery store. My mom was a housekeeper. I used to clean houses with her in the summers during high school. I had a very humble but great upbringing.
What are some of your fondest memories of growing up in Sacramento?
I was a candy fanatic and I used to ride my bike randomly from South Sacramento all the way to Old Sacramento to get candy in Old Town. I don’t remember the name of [the candy store], but I was obsessed with it. I needed to have the popcorn balls and taffy there. My parents didn’t know. They were like, “Be back before the streetlights go on,” and I’d just head downtown. It was the good old days. No one was creeping around back then.
I grew up working in the restaurant business. I used to work for Randy [Paragary]. I was a waitress, a cocktail waitress and a hostess at Capitol Grill. Working in his restaurant was awesome.
And when you were 17, you got discovered by a modeling scout, right?
Yeah, I had graduated [from John F. Kennedy High School] and I was at Arden [Fair] mall, and a guy came up and gave me his card. He was like, “We have an open call in San Francisco.” I showed up, and that was the beginning of the end. I was more of a runway girl than a print girl. Almost every big designer you can think of, I’ve been in their show. My first big show was Valentino. I did Armani a ton, Chanel and Versace. I’ve lived in Tokyo, Hamburg and Munich—I’ve lived everywhere. I had a great experience.
Fast forward 20 years. You’re on The Real Housewives and wrote a New York Times best-selling book. And you’ve got another book on the way. It’ll be called Drinking, Dating and Medicating, right? Can you tell us about it?
We have two possible titles. I like that title, but it’s a big drama at HarperCollins. They’re not liking it, but I feel like, “It’s my book.” It’ll be out around Valentine’s Day, assuming I turn it in on time. It’s kind of a continuation of where the last book left off, minus ex-husband, minus ex-wife, or new wife, whatever she is. [Glanville was married to actor Eddie Cibrian, who had an extramarital affair with country singer and now-wife, LeAnn Rimes.]
It’s about dating life. I want to keep it funny and sarcastic, but also be very honest with people so they don’t feel bad about what they’re going through. I’m not newly single—I’ve been single for five years. I have trust issues. I’m a single woman who’s raising children at [the age of] 40 in Los Angeles. It’s a very tough city to date in. Everyone here is 22 and perfect. It’s also a little sexier than the first book because I’m getting a little down and dirty. There’s definitely a chapter on sex itself. I got all of my girlfriends together and we had some wine and recorded ourselves. We were laughing and giggling the whole time.
It’s a relationship book [too]. I’m interviewing ex-boyfriends and [finding out] what makes them run, what makes them stay, what’s a deal breaker. Even the relationship that I have with [Eddie] to a certain extent is [covered because we’re] co-parenting. People think it’s a lot more odd than it is. We don’t sit around and chitchat and like hug each other or anything, but I was at their house this morning, they’re at my house in the mornings. I go to baseball [games]. I see them at school, I see them at soccer, I see them at drop-off. It’s not like, “Ooh, they ran into each other at Nobu. It was so awkward.” People want to make a story out of something that’s not a story.
The two of them have a new show coming out on VH1 about their life, which is tentatively titled LeAnn & Eddie. What was your reaction when you first found out? Are you going to watch?
I just thought it was a super original title. It must have taken them forever to come up with that name. I’d probably be lying to you if I said that I’m not going to [watch the show] because apparently it’s a hybrid of reality and scripted. There are actors playing my children [Mason, 10, and Jake, 6] and an actress playing me. So I’m interested to see who they get to play me and my kids. Once I see that, I don’t know that I’ll need to watch it, but you never know. It’s like a car accident on a freeway. We’re all looking.
I’m sure it hasn’t been easy having your personal life put out in the public eye.
I think that everything happens for a reason. Clearly my heartache was meant to happen so that I could do the [Real Housewives] show, so that I could write a book, so that I could find myself again. It’s not like I ever dreamed of having a marriage fall apart, but it’s how you deal with it after the fact. I get through one day at a time. I’m so blessed. It’s so important to me that people know that I’m appreciative. Every day I look over my shoulders, going, “Am I getting punked? Is this really happening?” I feel like I’ve won the Lotto in a lot of ways. S