Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesLast night's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" directly addressed Kim Richards' odd behavior for the first time this season. Not only did she deny that she's been boozing, but a doctor offered a medical explanation for her slurred words and glassy-eyed appearance: The combo of prescriptions drugs she's taking.
Sitting down with Dr. Paul Nassif (the husband of fellow Housewife Adrienne) and a Bravo camera that just happened to be there, Richards told him what she's been prescribed.
"I'm glad you told me this, now this makes sense," Nassif promptly concluded (via People), explaining that the trio of drugs she's taking might cause one to "slur the words a little bit, make you a little bit of out it."
"I've had patients come in on two or three of these combined, and I've thought they were drunk. Right now when I'm talking to you, your eyes are half-closed already. In other words, you've got that sedated look on you," he said, echoing a frequent observation (that he himself has made before).
Richards immediately assured him, "I haven't had any (alcohol) for a while. To mix anything with those (prescriptions), I would be… It would be very dangerous."
Capping off last season, Richards' sister, Kyle, angrily labeled the former child actress "an alcoholic" and helped check her into rehab … which Kim checked herself out of a week later.
Since then, the sisters are tight as ever, but Richards' strange behavior and wonky speech patterns haven't abated. In one episode, show newcomer Brandi Glanville -- the wife Eddie Cibrian left for LeAnn Rimes -- angrily accused Richards of doing crystal meth and of being "wasted" after witnessing the loopy 46-year-old's many inexplicable trips to the bathroom.
But according to Dr. Nassif, it might be this unholy trio of anti-anxiety pills, antidepressants and anti-seizure meds (which can be used to treat alcoholism) that create Kim Richards as we know her on Bravo TV. Even as the single mom later told the camera, "I haven't had anything to drink," she was still slurring her words. Nassif advised her to talk to her psychiatrist about reconsidering her medication cocktail.
"This is why everyone is asking, 'Is she on something?'" Nassif offered. "It's the damn medication."
But before we close the case file on Kim Richards, it's worth noting that Dr. Nassif -- in addition to appearing regularly on the show -- is not a pharmacist, psychiatrist nor is he Kim's regular doctor. A sought-after Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Nassif is a respected doctor but he is not exactly a specialist for this kind of thing. After all, the Housewives wouldn't turn to a pharmacist or psychiatrist for tips on rhinoplasty, right?
At the very least, Kim does sound committed to giving sobriety a go. "I am afraid that people think I'm drinking. I hope that I can stay not drinking because I like the way I feel when I don't."
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