Kyle Richards breaks down over best friend’s death by suicide: Lorene Shea was ‘my other half’

Kyle Richards broke down in tears while discussing the “huge loss” of her longtime best friend, Lorene Shea, who died by suicide in May 2022.

“May 1st, my very, very, very best friend in my whole life — I can’t even say the words — but she took her life on May 1st,” Richards tearfully told her life coach on Wednesday’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

“I don’t know what happened because she was so together,” she continued. “I mean even in my will, she was in charge of my children, my money, everything.”

Richards, 54, further opened up about their relationship in a confessional, telling producers that their connection was so strong that it felt like they were “separated at birth.”

The actress even called Shea — whom she met when they were just 7 years old — her “other half.”

“She’s definitely the most important person in my life outside of my family, who knows more about me than anybody else –– including my husband –– you know, your best friend all those years knows everything,” she explained as photos of the two women popped up on screen.

Richards had an emotional conversation with her life coach on Wednesday’s episode of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Shea and Richards had been best friends since the second grade. kylerichards18/Instagram

Richards admitted she still finds the loss “frustrating” because she does “not know what happened” or “have answers” as to why her friend took her own life.

“To lose someone like that who is like your constant in your life, I never had a falling out with her,” Richards said while wiping away tears. “She’d be the person I’d talk to about my sisters. I just never imagined that something like this could happen. Never.”

On top of the massive loss, the mom of four explained that 2022 was a particularly challenging year due to her estrangement from her eldest sister, Kathy Hilton, as well as her crumbling marriage to Mauricio Umansky.

“I just never imagined that something like this could happen. Never,” the Bravolebrity told producers about her best friend’s suicide.

“What always kept me feeling safe and grounded was my marriage, so not feeling like I had that either, all at the same time is a lot,” she commented.

The “Halloween Kills” star then explained to her life coach that a lot of her life changes –– like not drinking and working out more –– have been to help her “feel safe again.”

“I’m just trying to surround myself around people that I love and love me and support me and only want the best for me, and I only want the best for them,” she told him. “I’m just trying to do all the things that are gonna help me feel stronger and it’s been working.”

“I don’t know what happened, because she was so together,” Richards said while crying. kylerichards18/Instagram
The mom of four explained that she’s still trying to “feel safe” after the loss. kylerichards18/Instagram

Richards initially posted about losing her “kind, thoughtful, funny, smart, beautiful , sentimental” friend a week after Shea’s death in May 2022.

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“We would laugh until we cried , call each other out & be there for each other no matter what was going on in our lives,” she wrote at the time.

Richards added that her friend suffered from “debilitating depression” and the “system made it impossible to get her the help she needed.”

Shea died by suicide in May 2022. kylerichards18/Instagram

A little over a year after Shea’s death, Richards hosted an event with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise awareness for mental health and pay tribute to Shea.

“I wanted to honor her and bring everyone together here tonight and raise awareness and funds because I really want people to know that there is help out there,” she told Page Six at the time.

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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