Crystal Kung-Minkoff on What Was Left Out of Controversial RHOBH Episode, Admits She’s “Embarrassed” by Eating Disorder Discussions by Costars, Plus Doctor Weighs In

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Crystal Kung Minkoff faced embarrassment after opening up about her eating disorder struggles on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

After admitting to suffering from disordered eating and being met with a number of questions and comments from her castmates, including Kyle Richards, who asked if she binged and “threw up,” and Erika Jayne, who joked about the use of laxatives and suggested Crystal wasn’t allowed to eat a chicken tender, Crystal is revealing how the cast’s response to her health crisis impacted her.

“I felt embarrassed. Like suddenly the show didn’t exist, and I just felt embarrassed. There’s a feeling of embarrassment being on the show, the idea of being filmed. And then, you know, I got made fun of, as a child, for being chubby. That’s how it felt,” Crystal recalled during an interview with The Daily Beast.

Dr. Samantha DeCaro, the director of clinical outreach and education at the Renfrew Center, which specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, also spoke to the outlet, reacting to the food restriction jokes.

“Any joke about eating disorder symptoms, or any joke about an eating disorder, really trivializes such a serious matter,” she said. “Eating disorders are the second deadliest psychiatric disorder in the DSM-5, second only to opioid overdose… Not only does it trivialize what that person is going through, but it also goes against what that person is trying to unlearn in their recovery. And one of the things they’re trying to unlearn is this idea that certain food is not OK, and that they have to micromanage what they eat, and micromanage their weight.”

Addressing Erika’s comment about laxatives directly, Crystal admitted that hearing the comment made her “very uncomfortable.”

“Because when she mentioned the laxative, I actually explained that my best friend suffered from that. And I’d discovered that later and she didn’t know it was an eating disorder. She had always known about mine… And then I found out she was doing that. And I was like, you know that’s a problem,” Crystal recalled.

But RHOBH editors left that out of the show, as well as another moment in which Crystal attempted to set boundaries for her co-stars.

“I said to them, ‘This is starting to feel a little too graphic for me,’” Crystal revealed.

In addition to the comments seen on season 12, Crystal’s body issues were also spotlighted amid season 11 after she slammed castmate Sutton Stracke for a “violation” after she walked in on her in a state of undress while in Lake Tahoe.

“In Tahoe, I opened up. It could have been a conversation, of explaining ‘violation’ and my eating disorder, and me diving into an educational moment. But it was not done like that…And it wouldn’t have spiraled to what it was. But it doesn’t work like that. I can’t control it. It’s a show,” Crystal said, giving a nod to the editor’s decisions.

“Had it been like an opportunity, that it was encouraged to talk about, that could have been the learning moment, then. And I would have been happy to open up about it. I was like, ready. I was like, ‘OK.’ Because I needed them to know. It felt very intense how they were treating me,” she continued.

That said, Crystal acknowledged that there’s an expectation on RHOBH that people are going to ask questions that “are far more invasive than normal” and that her “inner thoughts” will be revealed.

But, as Dr. DeCaro pointed out, this setup could feel “intrusive to someone who is struggling with an eating disorder,” and Crystal seemed to agree.

“When people are like, asking me directly, ‘Do you do that? Throwing up?’ I’m like, ‘Ugh, you guys. This is a lot. I’m an open book. But try to be a little more gentle,’” Crystal advised.

As for why Crystal hasn’t fought back against her RHOBH co-stars’ comments and questions, she told the outlet that the topic simply doesn’t call for a “clap back.”

“This is not, like, you’re making fun of my clothes. This is so deep and painful and rooted in, like, my view of life and my view of myself. It’s not frivolous, that I’m going to ‘clap back’ at you. I’m just going to walk away and protect myself, and that’s all I can do,” she explained.

“I have to protect myself when it comes to this. Because when the show is over, I still have my eating disorder,” Crystal added.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 12 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.