Crystal Kung Minkoff unpacks her ‘really challenging’ first season on ‘RHOBH’

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Crystal Kung Minkoff’s first season on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been a memorable one, to say the very least.

The current 11th season of the Bravo hit, which is in the midst of airing its historic four-part reunion this month, has given us an old school Housewives tiff between Kung Minkoff and Sutton Stracke, new levels of humor from fellow newcomer Kathy Hilton and, of course, unheard of real-world drama centered around Erika Jayne’s divorce and subsequent legal fallout around her husband.

Crystal Kung Minkoff appears on the most recent episode of In The Know by Yahoo’s pop culture interview series, We Should Talk, to discuss her experience on Real Housewives, her evolving relationships with her fellow cast members and whether she’d do it all again.

“[It’s been] a rollercoaster. From filming to watching it to everything, it’s unlike anything you can prepare for [or] expect. But it’s certainly a life experience that many don’t get to have. I really think of that as the positive of it — that I got to do something that was totally unlike anything else,” Kung Minkoff told In The Know. “Even though I’m a totally open book, I was just more quiet [in the beginning], but towards the end, I decided, I was like, ‘I need them to know who I am.’ So I had more fun, and to show my culture and my family was great.”

Listen to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Crystal Kung Minkoff’s full episode of We Should Talk below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:

On where she stands with Sutton Stracke: “Sutton and I talked about it not long ago to really dissect what happened. I think both of us assumed the worst in each other, and when you do that, there’s no space. Then, when we really hashed it out about where we were coming from, we got to know each other better and, of course, you end up sort of regretting what happened because it didn’t have to [happen]. But, ultimately, that’s what makes people become closer. I know that sounds so trite, but it’s actually true. I would never have had this intense conversation with her later to really understand it, so we know each other better now! Then I can [also] learn from my mistakes about what I did. It’s a growing pain but kind of amazing at the same time.”

On her changing mentality on Erika Jayne’s situation, and why she seemingly supported her on the show: “It’s my personality. I don’t grill people in general! And I don’t think audiences in real life do that, either. You don’t spend every single night grilling someone, and if I don’t know you, I’m certainly not going to do that. It was because, on the heels of what happened with Sutton and I — and the girls know this now — they kept it going. I think Sutton and I would’ve gotten to a better place if that hadn’t happened. It was a hard place to be, and I wanted to get to know people. It was just every night, fighting and screaming, and that was hard for me. It made me uncomfortable. I don’t know if it was more support versus just discomfort. I also don’t want to make judgments based on all that. I knew things would play out — and they still are — but now that I look back, so much has gone on since. My feelings have changed in different ways, not just in this situation.”

On whether she agrees with the criticism of Erika Jayne’s social media activity during the scandal: “Totally. I agree. I would be remiss … one hundred percent.”

On dealing with anti-Asian hate on social media: “It’s something I didn’t anticipate to the level it has been. I get the show is designed to [have] ups and downs on how people feel, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that. But the constant racist death threats — I don’t post that stuff, it just gets really dark. I get many a day, and I’ll wake up and [be like], ‘I’ll just blast this person.’ But for every one of those, I get a hundred positive [messages]. I get girls all the time, every day, like, ‘Thank you for being on the show because you’re the only person who looks like me.’ Or, ‘When you talk about making dumplings, even some light things, it reminds me of my grandma.’ I want to not only relate [to] and represent Asians but all minorities. We have a voice. Sometimes, as an Asian person, it’s very hard to open up, and that’s what you see. Actually, my silence is my struggle. It’s part of being told that my opinion doesn’t matter or that it’s wrong — that is the Asian experience. There’s a lot of value to being on the show, but it’s hard to be the one.”

On whether she’d return for another season of RHOBH: “Everyone’s been asking me that throughout the season, and I’m like, ‘Let me get through the reunion, and then we’ll see.’ Look, I would be lying if I didn’t say it was really challenging. It’s thrown my life upside down. But then there is so much amazing positive stuff that comes out of it. Most obviously, representing Asians. I want to do that for that one girl that messages me. That’s so important, you know? But then, it’s like, what does it mean for my family? It’s certainly exciting! It’s added a lot of excitement to my life.”

On what we can expect from her at the reunion: “Of course, you have to discuss it and hash it out and sort of relive it. For me, though, I think the majority was really about where I stand today with everyone and sort of how I felt as a newbie filming … and what has transpired since, and where I’m at today. I felt more comfortable at the reunion expressing how I felt than I did back in December because I was so new, and I was able to watch back the experience of opening up and speaking out. I felt more comfortable at the reunion doing that.”

On her relationship with RHONY star Eboni K. Williams: “Having Eboni has been so valuable to me. We really do share our experiences on the show and off the show. I don’t think either of us anticipated it, and our experiences — even though they’re parallel in a lot of ways — they’re different, as well. But having someone at the exact same time — I think her season started a week before mine — we just check in all the time. All the time! We see each other as much as we can … It’s very helpful, and you need your support system who really understands. We have that in each other.”

Watch In The Know’s full interview with Crystal Kung Minkoff below, and tune into The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo:

If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s recent interview with The Real Housewives of New York City star Eboni K. Williams!

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: