A Marine who appears on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” is under fire from civilians and other service members following his behavior towards one of the star’s mother’s during Monday’s season finale — but he said there’s more to the story than what made the TV edits.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Culberson, a joint terminal attack controller with 11th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., is currently deployed to Afghanistan on his fourth tour. Culberson married his wife, Briana, in 2012. She is the daughter of “Real Housewives” star Vicki Gunvalson, who just wrapped up her eighth season of the Bravo reality TV show. Culberson has appeared on the show for the past two seasons.
But his appearance on the show’s season finale that aired on Monday has left him the subject of a heated debate. Some say his behavior brought discredit on the Marine Corps. Others say blaming him for the way he acted is a double standard, since the “housewives” on the show are regularly yelling at each other and calling each other names.
The incident in question occurred after the mother of one of the housewives, Judy Stirling, approached Gunvalson during a party at her house to tell her that her son-in-law threatened to kick her out. She said he was angry that she rested her feet on the couch and “went off” on her.
But Culberson said Bravo’s edits didn’t show the full story.
“There was so much more … that led up to that incident which they fail to include to make me look like the crazy Marine,” Culberson told Marine Corps Times via email. “It definitely was a crazy night and I cannot get over how the producers edited it.”
Culberson said he went as far as to get the family lawyers involved in order to persuade Bravo into showing a more realistic version of what went down.
“But due to the contract, anything we say or do can be cut a represented they way they want,” he said.
Still, some Marines have said Culberson should never have acted the way he did on camera. And Culberson agreed, saying he has some regrets about what happened that night.
“I said somethings in the heat of the moment that I wish I hadn’t,” he said. “But if the true story had of been painted it would be a lot more justified.”
Gunvalson told Marine Corps Times that she wasn’t there to see what happened between her son-in-law and Stirling, but said the show only depicted Ryan’s reaction, and not what led up to it.
“What Ryan did tell me when the cameras were off is she was very rude and disrespectful to him when he asked her several times to remove her feet off my sofa and the red wine she was holding,” she said. “Although I can’t defend or condone how he acted because I wasn’t there at the time, I do know Ryan is a very kind man but obviously was pushed to his limit with her.”
Culberson told Marine Corps Times last year that he tries to always be mindful of who he’s representing as a Marine featured on a reality show.
“…I think you just need to make sure you steer clear of any drama that would make you look bad or bring discredit on the Marine Corps,” Culberson said. “I think, unless it’s something positive, it’s just not a good idea. Putting anything negative out there is only going to create problems.”
More about Monday night’s episode can be viewed here.