Kathy Hilton, the matriarch of the infamous Hiltons – yes, those Hiltons – joined her sister Kyle Richards on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in an official capacity this past season for the first time. And to say she made an impression as a “friend of the show” is an understatement. Kathy Hilton’s oft-quirky personality – comprising odd 1970s sayings, lampshade hats, and refusals to sleep without a fan blowing – was such a hit, in fact, that Bravo fans would frequently and affectionately comment that she was a “legend,” and many considered her the gift that kept on giving amidst the drama. Yet Hilton is reportedly refusing to return to filming for Season 12, and I’m not quite buying the reasons being shared.
The last of Season 11’s four theatrics-heavy reunion specials recently aired, and many viewers were divided on what they saw/heard from the legally embroiled “Ice Queen” Erika Jayne. Still, Bravo hasn’t wasted any time on pushing ahead with filming for the next season. According to sources for TMZ, however, Kathy Hilton not only hasn’t signed her contract, but she also hasn’t been part of the ongoing production for “several weeks.” The reason behind her reluctance is apparently that she wants a bigger paycheck cut from the network.
This is suspect only because we’re talking about the Kathy Hilton. Her husband Richard sold off his notorious Hilton Hotels years ago, and their combined net worth reportedly equaled more than that of all her co-stars combined (via Celebrity Net Worth). Not to mention the last Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season cluing fans in on Hilton’s attempt to flip a house to make a cool $53 million. Obviously, none of the Hiltons are exactly hurting for the six-figure salary that full-time Real Housewives castmates allegedly make per season. So it would seem strange for this to be the alleged motivation for her refusals.
But then again, if a less financially stable person was as popular a freshman RHOBH star as Kathy Hilton was, that person would probably attempt to renegotiate their bottom line. But will Bravo actually give in to those alleged demands?
Beyond her lovable idiosyncrasies, Kathy Hilton didn’t really get into any major viewer-drawing drama on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in Season 11, so it’s not likely that Bravo will upgrade her status until she does. And she might be fine with that, to be sure, given Nicky Hilton has said in the past that their mom likely will never become a full-time castmate on the show because she doesn’t have “time” to do it.
That said, all the money-circling speculation is evidently for naught anyway, because Kyle Richards told TMZ that her sister’s absence from Real Housewives‘ production was really just because she was helping Paris Hilton plan her extravagant wedding to Carter Heum, which just so happened to take place yesterday.
So maybe Kathy Hilton will now have enough free time to jump into filming again, with or without a raise involved. Her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costar Dorit Kemsley recently faced a home invasion and discussions about it are apparently being filmed for Season 12. And I, for one, would love to hear another signature Hilton take on that near-tragedy and other matters.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.