The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Kyle Richards, recently revealed the heartbreaking news of her best friend, Lorene Shea’s passing on May 1, 2022. The emotional disclosure unfolded during the December 13, 2023, episode of the reality show, where Kyle described Lorene as her “very, very, very best friend.” The sudden and tragic nature of Lorene’s death left Kyle grappling with profound grief and a myriad of unanswered questions.
The revelation on the Bravo show highlighted the depth of Kyle and Lorene’s enduring friendship, spanning back to their second-grade days at just 7 years old. In a confessional, Kyle reminisced about their close bond, stating, “Lorene was my other half. We always said we were separated at birth. Only she was six feet tall and blonde.” Such a connection was so profound that Kyle entrusted Lorene with significant responsibilities in her will, underscoring the profound impact Lorene had on Kyle’s life.
The circumstances surrounding Lorene Shea’s death remain shrouded in mystery, with Kyle expressing bewilderment during the on-screen conversation with her therapist, James. “I can’t even say the word. She took her life on May 1,” Kyle revealed. The shocking nature of the event was compounded by Lorene’s seemingly put-together demeanor, leaving Kyle grappling with the suddenness and lack of explanations surrounding the tragic incident.
Despite the close friendship that weathered the test of time, Kyle was blindsided by Lorene’s struggles with mental health. In a tribute posted on Instagram shortly after Lorene’s passing, Kyle shed light on her friend’s battle with “debilitating depression” and lamented the broken state of the mental health system. “She had always been a happy person. How did this happen?” Kyle questioned, emphasizing that the system failed to provide the necessary support for Lorene’s well-being.
Kyle Richards’ Instagram post not only mourned the loss of her dear friend but also served as a call to action. Expressing frustration with the mental health system, Kyle vowed to advocate for change. She declared her intention to “do whatever it takes” to alter laws and make mental health treatment more accessible, highlighting the need for reform in a system that failed not only Lorene but countless others facing similar struggles.
In the aftermath of Lorene’s passing, Kyle has been vocal about her grief and the steps she has taken to navigate this challenging period. During the December 13 scene with her therapist, Kyle acknowledged the need for a “safe place to grieve” and shared the efforts she has undertaken to prioritize her mental health. “I’m doing all the things, and just trying to surround myself around people that I love and love me and support me and only want the best for me,” Kyle affirmed, emphasizing the importance of a support system during times of profound loss.
The tragedy of Lorene Shea’s death has not only left a void in Kyle Richards’ life but has also ignited a passion for change. Kyle’s commitment to advocating for improved mental health support underscores the profound impact of Lorene’s struggles and serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of addressing mental health challenges within our society. As Kyle continues to navigate the complex emotions of grief, her unwavering dedication to promoting change stands as a tribute to the enduring friendship she shared with Lorene Shea.