Known as the open book spite-fire housewife on Bravo’s famed reality TV show The Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn Windham-Burke wants to show the world her many layers and help others feel less alone in their life’s journey. This month will mark her 1-year anniversary of being sober and while she has had a tumultuous battle with alcohol, she is determined to stay sober and live a healthy life.
This season on RHOC, she addressed many topics that have been occurring in her personal life, from supporting her son Jacob’s desire to dress in drag, her open marriage, sharing her participation in local protests and her political views, getting sober, to revealing her true self and coming out as a lesbian.
Braunwyn was born in Fenwick Island, Delaware and later moved to Newport Beach, California when she was a child as her mother had dreams of becoming a famous musician and thought of pursuing her dream on the West Coast.
Being an only child to a single mother who ditched the dream of being a Rock-star and pursued a medical degree, Braunwyn spent her time alone and fending for herself. While in high school, she moved in with her grandfather in Laguna Beach, CA and began a life of promiscuity and drinking. Alcoholism ran in her family – her aunt suffered an alcohol withdrawal seizure and her father also battled alcoholism. She met her husband, Sean Burke while attending college in Santa Barbara, California when she was 18 years old. The two tied the knot in 2000 and have 7 beautiful children – Bella, Rowan, Jacob, twins Caden and Curren, Koa and Hazel. However, the journey for her wasn’t ideal as she created a pattern of self-destruction, numbing herself with alcohol and extramarital sex, which then would cause her to patch up her rocky marriage and become pregnant.
In 2019, her dream of becoming a cast member of The Real Housewives of Orange Country came true, and she got a taste of what it was like to be on reality TV.
Last January, she made the decision to get sober for the third time in her life, being very committed and vocal about the process.
She shared her journey on the 15th season of The Real Housewives and admitted that she was going through the process without professional help. Now, she’s taking online course and studying to become an alcohol and drug addiction therapist. She also puts together monthly Zoom conversations with fans and guest speakers who are experts on various topics from mental health, to activism. She spends time responding to DM’s from fellow alcoholics in crisis who have turned to her for help after watching the show. She wants to live a life that has purpose by helping others.