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'Real Housewives of Orange County': Lynne Curtin admits she's a 'little ditzy'

Lynne-Curtin You might recognize her as the sole brunet in a bevy of blond manes. Or maybe the lady always sporting cuff-wear? Guess it depends on what catches your attention first. Lynne Curtin joined the "Real Housewives of Orange County" midway last season. Her questionable comments and spacey demeanor at times got her pegged as the ditzy -- and incredibly tanned and toned -- gal of the bunch. This season, we've watched as she and her family struggle with finances and downsize from their Capistrano Beach home to a smaller rental in Laguna Beach. Then there's the other struggle: controlling (or not) the wild teenage behavior of their daughters, Raquel and Alexa.

I snagged a few mobile minutes with Lynne to get her take on life in 'Housewives' land.

Hey, Lynne ... what are you doing right now? Sounds like you're driving...

I'm trying to get cuffs out. I have a lot of cuffs on my website that look kind of similar to the Saints symbol ... the fleur de lis. I'm just on my way getting orders out right now cause the business is booming right now, especially with the Saints winning [the Super Bowl]. I just happen to have a fleur de lis on my cuffs anyway, and a lot of people from Louisiana recognized the symbol and, coincidentally, with the team winning I have a lot of people ordering them right now.

What made you decide to get into the cuff business in the first place?

Because my girlfriends in Orange County had a lot of money ... and just being able to afford to buy them a gift that they don't have. Instead of buying them Juicy sweatsuits -- they already have like 10 of those -- I wanted to find them something that they didn't have already; it had to be unique. And going to boutiques and buying stuff there, they wanted like $300 or $400 for one; it was unaffordable. I was already doing jewelry like 18 years ago and with research I was able to find the right product to wrap the leather around them. It's all been a learning process. Now I've extended to handbags and purses. And I'm coming out with a bedding line soon.

Cool. And I see you have Gretchen modeling a piece on your website.

Yeah. Gretchen on a motorcycle. I got that cool, kind of cross-motorcycle-looking things for the Harley people too. I got a lot of rocker crosses. And I named some after my daughters. I have Raquel, and I have an Alexa. The Alexa cuff is the one that has a fleur de lis on it. That's surpassing our Raquel sales right now. We'll see ... it just depends what people are into.

Well, let's rewind and talk about how you got yourself on the show.

I had one girlfriend who was doing my skin care; she knew somebody that worked for a store that was doing the wardrobe, and also, my other girlfriend had a daughter on an MTV show.

I knew it! Was she modeling one of the pieces on your website?

Yes, Kendra [Mayo from Laguna Beach]. Her mother and I have been best friends forever, and she's a really good photographer in Laguna Beach. So both of them in one week said, "Can we give your name out?" -- unrelated to each other. So I was like, "Oh, sure. Why not?" Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here today on a show, having such a great time with all the women. It's been a blast.

Wait. Did you watch the previous seasons?

Um, yeah. I did a bit, actually. Lauri [Waring] happened to be a really good friend of one of my really good friends. And I knew Lauri was having a good time on the show. That was part of the reason ... I thought, "If Lauri is doing the show, I want to interview for it. That would be fun." I didn't know I was going to be replacing her at the time.

So before you joined the cast, was there someone you expected to click with, or someone you knew you'd have to watch out for?

Not in particular. Not until I got on the show and someone said we would be going out to dinner with everybody. ... I had a heads-up about Vicki [Gunvalson]. I didn't know all the characters by face that well, so I wasn't sure who she was. I whispered over to Gretchen [Rossi], "Which one's Vicki?" 'Cause I'd only really remember a few of the episodes ... like the one with Lauri and the trailer. Being a mom keeps you pretty busy. You can't really follow every show. I was a little nervous the first time I saw Vicki 'cause I was like, "uh-oh. She's going to be tough on me." But she turned out to be a doll. This season, she's been one of my closest friends on the show.

Is that how it really is? It's seems like you guys don't really hang out on a regular basis. When all of you are in a room, it's usually a setup like the sleepover and cooking party ...

Actually, we do see each other. I was invited to an event for Vicki. Or I get invited to an event for Tamra [Barney]. Like Tamra and I just talked. We're going to take a spin class tomorrow. I saw Jeana [Keough] the other day at my gym.

How's she doing?

She actually came by and dropped me off some clothes the other day; her friend's a designer. But she's doing great. She loves my cuffs; she's my little model. She's doing great.

I'm curious to know what it's like being part of a reality show ... do you watch each week? And what's that like reliving some of those events?

I do watch. I'm like underneath the covers. I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, did I do that?" or "Did I say that?" Sometime I wish I would have thought before I said something. But I just try to let it all go. I'm just as real as I could possibly be. It's all real. I'm a little ditzy, I admit it.

Well, let's talk about that. You were certainly portrayed as the ditzy gal last season ... and the other women -- mainly Tamra and Vicki -- weren't shy about pointing that out. Given that, how were you able to move past that and become so close?

I think they just really realized who I am and what I'm about. I am a hard worker. I think they see the fact that I am ... I'm doing really well with my business right now. I've learned a lot from Vicki from just seeing her, and now I know what she's going through. Before, it was a cottage industry, my business. It wasn't like how it is today. Now I live, eat, breathe and sleep my jewelry line. It's a constant work in progress. Just trying to keep it fresh. Keep it new. I'm very excited. The bedding line might, I think, be in Costco; we're talking. We'll see.

Seems like you're busy; that's something that seems to be a frequent topic in episodes -- how much you guys do in comparison to Vicki. I mean, last week, she left your housewarming party and caused a ruckus with the whole working thing ... 

Yeah, we touched on that subject a little bit last week. We all work. We're all working people. My husband goes to work every day. We're not in the traditional sense. She probably goes to the office every day -- but who knows if Vicki really goes to the office every day? She has an office, but I don't know if she actually goes there from 9 to 5. My point is, nobody really knows how hard everybody else is working. And we kind of got on her case a little bit about that. Everybody was offended by that statement. She kind of brushed it off a little bit, saying, "Oh, I didn't mean it that way."

Think she's still just bitter about the girls weekend turned couples retreat?

I think she's over that. What she's got going on right now, she's a nervous wreck. She just hasn't been herself.  [More on that in my interview with Vicki on Friday.]

Let's turn the table back to you. Your daughters are really highlighted in this season. And viewers see how you struggle to communicate with them ... and you bring in this youthologist to sort of help you with that. How did that come about?

I heard about this book called "You're Grounded." One of the other parents told me to check it out. I ended up calling her [Vanessa Van Petten], and she was really into coming down. She lives in L.A. I was at first a little eerie 'cause I was thinking "she's 26, what is she going to know?" She actually had a similar situation, you know, being a teenager and was going through all the same issues and turned her life around. The girls talked to her and they really did listen ... and it stuck for a couple of weeks. She inspired them. Raquel went out and got some art supplies; she actually has a website and has sold three paintings. She actually took one right off my wall the other day and sold it. Not a lot of money, but at least it's something.

Raquel seemed to be the rebellious one at first, but this season we see Alexa take on that role.

They're two years apart. They're both going through it at different times.

A lot of the readers of this blog have commented about the lack of boundaries you and your husband have in place. How do you respond to the criticisms you receive on how you discipline your daughters?

They don't see everything. They see a little bit here, a little bit there; they don't see what really goes down: the arguing, Frank getting upset, us taking away Raquel's vehicle. You just see a little bit. You don't see everything that transpires. I am tough. I'm strict. Alexa is home right now. She's not grounded but, you know, she just got her license and she wants a car. Does she have a car? No. Raquel doesn't have a car either right now. Neither one of my daughter's have cars. I am tough.

And what about the whole Gretchen situation?

Oh, gosh. I just say let the parenting duties stick with the parents. That's all I have to say. I don't wish her any ill when she has kids. I was just saying, 'You know what, Gretchen? Wait 'til you have kids, then come talk to me." I wasn't saying it to be mean or anything, I just wanted her to know that no one knows your kids like you do. I'm with them 24/7. And somebody who just spends maybe 25 minutes with them here or there is not going to be able to know my daughter and then tell me what to do about my daughter.

Continuing on with that, a lot of people were upset that you would allow your daughter to get plastic surgery at such a young age ...

My daughter is 19, and she had an injury. If you look at the comparison to her nose now, it wasn't like a drastic change. It was Raquel -- the same nose, minus the bump. She wanted a breast augmentation also. Did I let her do that? No. With the nose thing, she was bugging me for the past five years. Every day. Every time she was in front of the mirror. It's like someone who wants to get their teeth whitened or repaired. It seems a lot more invasive than it really was. It wasn't all that invasive. She didn't bruise; she didn't look like an accident victim. Neither of us got much bruising. I think nowadays, the way they perform these surgeries, it's amazing. I was on these tablets that you get from the health food store; you won't bruise, you won't swell. I took them two weeks before. It was very holistic. I barely had to take any pain pills. The thought I was on a lot ... I just left telling them, "No, I'm just relaxed." I'm very sensitive because I'm very much a pure system. I barely even drink ... aside from the show, when you see me a couple of times. That's how sensitive I am -- I kind of went on the deep end a few times 'cause I'm not a big drinker.

OK. Now let's talk about the husbands. We see the them in a bigger capacity this time around. And we see the wife-husband dynamics. Alexis and Jim Bellino's relationship is quite different than, say, Vicki and Donn's. ... Where do you and your husband fall on the spectrum?

Well, I'm in charge [laughs]. We get along really good. I actually got Frank running in right now; he's actually handling a lot of my business right now for me. It's kind of nice now. It's a whole different set of circumstances since I've been so successful with my company cause he has to listen to what I say. I'm the boss...no, it's actually 50-50. He lets me go wherever I want to go. If I want to go tomorrow with my girlfriends to Greece, I can get on a plane if I can afford it.

I don't know. I wouldn't have lasted five years if someone was telling me what to do. There's no way. I think that's why we've lasted 20 years, because he listens to me. We don't take each other too seriously. We get over it. We don't ever go to bed angry at each other. We're not like that. We just know each other so well now.

But in this week's episode, we see that Frank has kept you in the dark about finances. Want to clear that up?

What it was was a discrepancy over a deposit. It was an exorbitant deposit that Frank failed to tell me about. It was like an insurance binder that the woman wanted for our house. Since she knew we were on a show and filming, I think she was thinking we were rich and had all this money and thought, "Oh, why is she getting her face done?" I would get mail every day sent to her house from different doctors. ... I think she was looking for a deposit in order for her to get surgeries on her face. I think she was angry that I was getting some surgery done. I really feel that ... that's what I think went down. The rent was paid every month on time. But, yes, Frank did fail to tell me that there was this huge, huge -- more than you could imagine for any deposit. I could have put a down payment on a house. And he failed to tell me because ... I don't know what he was thinking was going to happen in the interim.  That's why I was so ... I was kind of blindsided that day when I found that out. And my daughters called me and I was so sad that they had to go through that on camera.

Was it hard to have that all transpire on camera?  To have it all exposed?

I don't really care what anybody thinks. As long as I have my family behind me, that's all that matter to me. I have good friends; my friends know me -- they know what it's all about. And you know what? I was just in Vegas for three days and I had more love and more support from strangers coming up to me. ... It was a natural high. We couldn't go 10 feet without people coming up to us and telling us how much they loved the show. Men were coming up! I can't believe how many men watch the show. I felt like a celebrity. I sold two cuffs that night. My girlfriend and I sold them off our wrists.

So no plans to leave the show any time soon?

I'll be doing it until in my walker. I love it. It's fun. I have a good time. As long as the people like me, I'll stay as long as they'll have me.

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Lynne Curtin. Credit: Bravo

Check back Friday for my take on Thursday night's show ... and my interview with Vicki -- "Wa-hoo!"

Comments () | Archives (28)

This woman is in such denial ... it's just sad! Complete willful blindness. And her husband was absolutely correct, she doesn't want to know the truth.

I was watching the show tonight & kept staring at the"cuffs" and had to go to Lynne's site to check them out. The cuffs are so cute and sexy! They are a bit too expensive for my budget but I might have to save up for at least one of them. While at the website tonight I had sent an email to let Lynne know that I enjoy her on the show and that I like her cuffs. I never expected to get a personal email back within the hour saying thank you along with a really nice compliment. The emails that I received did not come from her staff but from Lynne personally. WOW! She is just as sweet and genuine as I felt that she would be. I don't feel that I would have received a personal msg from anyone else on that show. So, let it be known that Lynne of OC is a really sweet person who cares about others. She Rocks!
Cheryl Ingram
Gig Harbor, WA

Lynne, you say you're tough on your girls FYI you'd better get tougher.Alexa needs consistant boundaries.She does not talk nice to you and Frank.If she was mine I would ground her.If my three sons ever talked to me like that when they were growing up they would have had a bar of soap for dinner!Get her under control.And be your husbands partner and not a shopaholic space cadet. He seems like a nice guy.Appreciate him!!!

The "F" word being used by you and your family is very sad. Both your daughters use it over and over again in your home. I have 2 daughters who are not allowed to use those words in my home.

I felt sorry for Lynne until she bought the $1200 leather jacket.And all the woman drink far to much!

Hysterical! She actually thinks we're going to fall for the whole land-lady was jealous thing? Oh Lynn, its quite obvioius you haven't evolved intellectually past a 7th grade girl.

I think you were served an eviction notice becasue you failed to pay a $10,00 deposit, plain and simple. And if you can't afford basic housing, why DID you have a face lift? It's basic economics. Stop blaming your poor husband, too.

What to say about last nights episode.. So sad.. what is this show becoming, i loved the older seasons when it just started and now its a game. The girls are friends. REALLY. I dont see any of the girls friends.. They are sweet to your face at times and then the daggers come out as soon as you are gone. Where to begin.. Lynne what a joke.. I felt bad in a way and understood you when you say your girls shouldnt have recieved that eviction notice, and your tears were heart felt on that. But you blame Frank for your not knowing the finances, and him protecting you. He was just trying not to let you down and you threw it in his face. Relationships are a two way street and maybe you should be in the finacial picture. You want this glame life and glame ways like you say on a "beer budget". Wake up to reality lady. Then to go off to san fran for the weekend hmmmm how much did the ticket, hotel, spending, food, and oh yeah did i see a leather jacket in there for almost 1200 hundred dollars. Duh. You stated you just got paid.. well dont you think that should have gone to the eviction or like you say in the show "it dosent matter how much money you have just how good you look spending it". Well your close are to tight, your skin is so tan you look leathered, and your hair looks fried. So my opinion is your spending on looks is not paying off. Enough with you.. . The other ladys of the oc.... tamra not sure what to think, except congrats to Simon whom is in my mind a great man and love his values of family and RESPECT.. Gretchen i dont think she has a bad heart and wish her the best in her makeup line... hope that succeeds but am business causious on that one. .Alexis ohhhh you dont work, you dont have a care in the world, you have a fortunate life style yes but you are so over the top your lucky to have found a man to put up with that. Most men dont like that. You say you work.. where the heck do you work... You tan, hair, nails, excersise, bike, legs, oh yeah lunch, dinner with the girls, trips, dinner parties, bbq's, did i mention hair, nails, again.. And you have two nannies. for what.. Let me quess on nanny from 6am-6pm and the next one from 6pm-6am. You are so caught up in yourself you have no idea of what reality is. With everything you buy, do, tan, nails, hair, that makes you 100 % fake. You dont work!!! Vicki, i just love you.. You are an admirable lady and i have taken lessons from you. I hope you are reading this and know that you may cry and say your friends hurt you and to let you know you have made a difference with the show. You have taught me to be a new business (young women owner) and i do admire your spirit, goals, and values. You have set ways with your kids, and work and family and i think you are inspriational. You are crazy at times but who isnt. I couldnt take 2 hours off during the day either to go to cooking class or whatever else the girls do.. we work. Just wanted you to know i would be done with them as well. Hope this helps you but you are my favorite and most unselfish, career getter person i know, kuddos to you and know you have sent me a message to be determined and successful. Blessings and prayers to your daughter and i pray she is healthy and what a beautiful girl you raised.

Personally I think your way to soft with your daughters and yes it was sad that your daughter was served with the eviction notice. On the other hand your daughters in reality are young adults and if they are not learning responsibilities & are not having some good old fashioned ground rules not to mention boundaries set for them. I can't say I feel any pity for your poor daughters. Sometimes we need to take a reality check...I mean who goes to the City & gets a $1200.00 Jacket after being served with an eviction notice.......that's pure insanity. We all think you have a great family especially your husband, he is so sweet. The both of you need to be on the same page when it comes to finances. Even as a wife you can’t' just go around assuming $$$$$ is all taken care of. It takes the both of you.

Amy, you're right about Lynne being "lynnesane," as I like to say, by saying they are all friends. If you read this columnist's interview with Gretchen, who has more of a clue than Lynne, she outright admits none of them are friends. In Gretchen's words, "it's all about business," which I take to mean she is on the show to promote herself and make money. Lynne is even more delusional than I imagined if she thinks these superficial people are her friends.

I do not understand why OC Housewives has her on the show when clearly she is delusional and is a sad character. If they continue to have her on the show, Bravo will surely loose viewers. Lynn is so pathetic and she should not be on. As for Vicky, she thinks she is all it when she isn't she has nothing glamorous about her except her $$. Sorry, Vicky lovers. At least Jeanna had the class to leave the show when she did. In fact, she was the only one that had class in this show.

These women are dangerous and not just to each other...

With that as an introduction, I say, this show (and others like it) is wrong (and getting wronger) on so many levels:

1.) This is just orchestrated bad drama - in this case, these women get together under the guise of hanging with girl friends and letting loose... These women are NOT friends, they are fame whores and are pitching their products. Sadly increasingly entertainment (and the arts in general) is not about talent, but product placement, endorsement, etc.

2.) This show (and the whole housewives collection) was built on the idea that somehow we (the viewers) are supposed to want what these women have. I think most of us by now are laughing at them and any sane person would say - No Thank You! Even if reality 'star?' status pays the bills, these women are not to be envied. And perhaps the least enviable is Alexis and while we're at it, let's throw in Jim. Who do you envy least? Him for being him and putting up with her? or Her for being her and putting up with him? Well now that I put it that way, they deserve each other... blech... And BTW - Wear your religion on your sleeve much? A little too much I think! I smell a guilty rat or two. Just sayin'. And no disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs as I too have my beliefs which are important to me.

3.) It tries to equate money with class... trust me, I can tell you there are definitely people here who 'appear' to have money and definitely people who do have true class -- it's just that the two actually intersect only on occasion in OC. (I refuse to say THE OC - as that little moniker just illustrates so much of what is wrong with it here... it is thank GOD, not the center of the universe.) You need no more evidence of money does not equal class than that group eating at Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys. The experience was lost on all but one of them. As someone who loves good food, I could have choked them for their lack of respect.

4.) And this is by far the most egregious problem... this show employs people with no talent because they are cheaper to hire than people who actually have talent. We have been completely taken by BRAVO, MTV, etc... kiss real entertainment goodbye if we keep watching these reality eejits...

So why do I even bother to watch and post? It really is an illness I can't explain - but I am willing to stop watching. You may be able to relate to what I'm saying. The first step to healing is acknowledging there is a problem. And if you completely disagree and love these women... wow... there may be no hope for you. Sorry. And even sorrier for the viewing public who has to settle for this crap.

To a higher ground...

Lynne paid for the jacket with a credit card.I hope she's not planning on maxing that card out and than not paying on it.But who knows what she was thinking!She proved she's more about her selfish needs,than that of her families.It seems her husband tried everything to make her happy.They live in an area they can't afford,buy their daughter a used BMW they can't afford,have plastic surgeries they can't afford,and throw parties they can't afford.And for what,just to try to impress others(which most of them seem to live beyond their means also).Don't worry about other people,who really cares what they think!Also Lynnes made the comment a few times that is hard to live in the O.C.,well no ones forcing her to live there.

Lynne you seriously need to catch a clue. You are in dire need of parenting lessons, but certainly NOT from Gretchen/Slade! I do like your cuffs, however. Keep up the good work in that.

GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!!!!!! From Ashley in Breaux Bridge, Labreesiana!!!

Thanks for the great cuffs Lynn!

Love the show and the people!

Lynn is so childish and selfish. Watch how Lynn talks to her husband about the eviction and how Alexa talks to her mom Lynn and you will see Lynn and Alexa are one and the same. They are both over-dramatic and both talk over others and refuse to accept their own faults. They both blame others for their own mistakes

Wake up and stop with the downers. Do you ever watch your own show. Your daugters play you like a dumb friend. You appear so clueless that you seem like you are on drugs. Alexa gives you a line of crap and you and frank buy it. Whenever she is caught in something she lays on her poor ignored daughter routine and starts to cry. Have you ever grounded your kids ever?? If not,ya'll really do need some help in parenting,like maybe a real adult in your home to manage your daughter. Grow up and take away her cell phone or her car. Do something,like a parent would do before it's too late

It is horrible to see what is going on in your family. But the reality of it is, you and your daughters needed a wake-up call. You live in a fantasy world. And your poor husband. You should feel so bad for treating him the way you do. I'm sure you're daughters will grow up to be the same way towards men. Stand up for yourself, make your own money, pay your own bills, WORK HARD. Your daughters, like you, have absolutely NO work ethic. And the truth is, IT IS TOOOOOOO LATE. I feel bad for your husband. He seemed to work hard for everything he ever had, meanwhile his family took advantage of him.

Lynne, I think you need to open your eyes and see that you are living way above your means. You are fake and act like you are either drunk or on drugs all the time. Lynne needs to leave the show because she does not fit the Orange County style, she is fake and tries to be important. Vicki, at first I did not like you but I really like you this season, best of luck to you and Don. I also agree with you that women can get together and go places with out their husbands. Gretchen - wish you the best of luck this season with Slade, stay true to your beliefs and good luck with your makeup line. Tamra - you are a back stabber, one minute you talk up a person and when their back is turned you slam them. Alexis, you are fake and wouldn't be on the show if it wasn't for a rich husband, you act like someone that is in a bar and want to "take it outside" when things don;t go their way. Another thing Alexis, no one wants your husband because there are much better looking men out there.

On the episode "Let's Bow Our Heads and Pray" Vicki is a BIG BABY!!! No one can say anything to her. I agree with Alexis if you acnt take it don't dish it. Even if you are a mother with or without nannies its still hard. Granted with a nanny its a lot easier, but your still a mother. Vicki your not the only one in this world who works and your husband is defenitly not the only man that works also.
Lynn WAKE THE F UP!!! Your kids run you and Frank. Alexa plays that baby roll when she wants to get out of something. I'm a victum role is what she plays every time. You said it yourself Lynn, "You have champagne taste on a beer budget!!" Deal with it and stop actting like you could of spent $1200 on a jacket you did not need.
This show pretty much is a bunch of spoiled women that like to think that everyone lives like its all about me. Everyone of those ladies love drama.

I'm glad to see others feel the same way about you as myself.
At first I thought you had just killed too many brain cells in your youth. Do you not get it that everyone sees how shallow you are??? You broke your poor husband with your spending then blamed him....SHOCKING!!! One last comment " the hands always give away your age" yours are wrinkly and I'd guess you at FIFTY. Poor FRANK

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