Monday night’s Vanderpump Rules premiere focused on reformed bad boy Jax Taylor’s proposal to Kentucky-bred sweetheart Brittany Cartwright. But as the cast celebrated the couple’s long-awaited engagement, their boss Lisa Vanderpump was still reeling from unspeakable tragedy.
Lisa returned to SUR for the first time in over a month; the self-professed workaholic had been taking time to mourn her brother Mark Vanderpump, who died of a suspected overdose on April 30 at his home in England. He was 59.
During the episode, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star confirmed that her DJ brother had killed himself.
“It’s been five weeks since my only sibling, my brother who was 16 months older than me, passed away through suicide,” she told the camera. “And for five weeks, I stayed home. Obviously it just being the two of us, we were more like twins. It’s been incredibly difficult, but we have to keep moving forward and make the people that were so important in our lives proud as they watch down over us.”
Of course, she wasn’t the only star who’d lost a loved one. Jax’s father, Ronald Cauchi, died of cancer in December 2017, and Brittany’s strength as he grieved ultimately inspired him to shape up after his cheating storyline dominated VPR last season.
“That’s when I knew she was the one, absolutely,” he told pals Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz while picking up the engagement ring, which he bought in part using money left to him in Ronald’s will. “The fact that after everything she’s been through, to stand up and grab my phone and say, ‘I’m going to handle the flights, the flowers, whatever you need, I got this, baby.’ And I was like, this is my soulmate. How could I not want to spend the rest of my life with somebody who wants to take care of me like that?”
Plus, Lala Kent’s dad Kent Burningham died in April after having a stroke.
“I mean, 27 and I don’t have a dad anymore, it’s a little intense for me,” the hostess told Lisa. “It’s just so sad. You’ve had a loss, Jax, myself.”
“It’s hard, like you don’t even want to talk about it. Then when people say, ‘I’m sorry,’ you start to become emotional,” Lisa said.
Vanderpump Rules airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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