I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Yolanda Foster of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Yolanda was introduced as a Housewife in season 3 and in our interview she opens up about her expectations going into season 4, how she handles the crazy dynamic of her cast mates, her battle with Lyme Disease, she reveals some of her favorite songs her husband has ever written and more.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview with me! How have you been doing?
YF: “I wish I could answer great but unfortunately I am still struggling through my days with terrible symptoms of Lyme disease. On a good day I am only 70% of my usual self, which makes it really hard to fully enjoy and participate in life. Fortunately I am relentless and I wonâ€™t stop until I find a cure for my disease. I now feel it is my duty to bring awareness to this silent killer that the world knows so little about.”
How did Bravo originally approach you to join the cast of RHOBH?
YF: “I was on a reality show called “Dutch Hollywood women” in Holland for 2 seasons when I was asked to join the cast of RHOBH season 3.”
Did you have any hesitations about being on Reality TV?
YF: “Obviously reality TV opens up a big part of your private life to the world. My experience with my Dutch show was very positive and it kind of eased my family and I into the process before joining the cast of RHOBH.”
How do you handle the drama that comes with this group of women on RHOBH?
YF: “Sometimes the drama in this group of woman seems so insignificant when it comes to the true important things in life, but it is the job I choose to have for now. I always try to keep focused on the reality of my personal life, my family, and the things that are really important to me at the end of each day.”
What made you gravitate towards Lisa and Brandi versus the other women?
YF: “I came into this group somewhat guarded but definitely with an open mind and an open heart, and I feel that I gave everyone an equal chance to get to know me. These are real life situations so naturally one is more drawn to some people than others.”
What has been your favorite thing about being a part of The Housewives Franchise?
YF: “So far my favorite thing about being part of the housewife franchise is the platform that it has given me to bring awareness to Lyme disease, Iâ€™m helping to pave the way for millions of people battling this disease all over the world, whoâ€™s voices cannot be heard.
Its also important for me to show the authentic person that I am with a different communication style then what is typically shown on this franchise. I believe we can share some of the extraordinary beauty and values of our lives today but also be proud to show that we are very normal folks and have worked very hard to get where we are today.
A lot of viewers admire your marriage and love watching your everyday life on TV. You truly are a ‘Real Housewife.’ In your opinion, what is one of the biggest secrets to a happy marriage?
YF: “I am proud to be a housewife and making a happy home for my loved ones is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. I wouldn’t consider myself a marriage specialist because as everyone knows this is my second one and David’s 4th haha but I do know this: My whole life I have been fascinated and driven by romance and at this point I just think that I have matured into a woman that has great things to share out of the experience I have had in the past 49 years. It takes someone to be committed, creative and willing to keep the Romance alive in his or her marriage. My slogan is â€œGet wise, keep your romance alive.”
Many viewers ask why David isn’t around as much as some of the other husbands on the show, does he not want to be on-camera or is he just busy working?
YF: “David of course supports me in my journey, but the truth is that he did not sign up the be a Beverly Hills househusband. He is an executive at Universal Music, runs the label Verve Records and is in the studio almost 7 days a week producing albums with Stevie Wonder, Brian Adams and Mary J Blige this year. So the little time left, we choose to spend without cameras.”
I’m a big music lover. Do you have a favorite song your husband David has written? Top 3?
YF: “I always say David’s music is the soundtrack to our lives. We all have a make up or break up story with one of his songs. â€œThe prayerâ€ that he wrote for Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion is probably my favorite. Tony Braxtonâ€™s â€œUn break my heartâ€ has not so fun memories for me. “Hard to say Iâ€™m sorry” by Peter Cetera just reminds me of happy times.”
Who are some of your favorite music geniuses (artists)? Besides David of course! 😉
YF: “My favorite artist of all time is Luther VanDross, unfortunately he is no longer with us but his songs will live in my heart forever.”
What made you realize you had Lyme’s Disease while you were filming Season 3 of RHOBH?
YF: “I started having neurological symptoms during the filming of my Dutch show. After many doctor visits I kept being sent home with prescriptions for Aderol, Ridelin and anti-depressants, trying to treat my symptoms but nobody was able to find the cause. I truly struggled my way through filming season 3 of the RHOBH but my with Dutch upbringing I somehow made it through on pure discipline. After we wrapped, I literally fell off planet earth and spent the next seven months of my life in bed with a paralyzed brain staring at the ceiling not being able to get up, read, write or do something as simple as watch TV until I was finally diagnosed with chronic neurological Lyme disease by Dr Meirleir in Belgium.”
What was your treatment plan, and how is your health now?
YF: “Once I was diagnosed I had a port surgically implanted in my jugular vein and started an unbearable 90 days of IV antibiotics. The Herxheimer reactions on this treatment were so sever that at a certain point I honestly did not think I was going to make it through alive. After that I did another six weeks of holistic medicine at a treatment center in Florida and had good results, but it still only got me to about 70% of my normal self. At this point there is not much I have not tried yet. I am currently on a severe diet without sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and animal proteins and am getting ready to go for a Lyme treatment in Switzerland. I hate the thought of having to leave my family again but I am so determined and will not accept living this mediocre way of life so I wonâ€™t stop until I get back to my old self and hopefully find a cure for Lyme disease that I can share with people that are not able to run around the world to find treatment. Unfortunately health insurance in this country only pays for 28 days of antibiotics and believes you should be cured after that. It infuriates me to think that people are dying everyday because of it!”
What was your mindset going in to Season 4 of RHOBH?
YF: “Like I said, after going through this life changing experience this past year my main focus and motivation for the show is to bring awareness to Lyme disease. When one gets chronically ill, you are somehow faced with taking inventory of who the important people in your life are. So, going into this season it was very important for me to find out who are my real friends and who is just another Hollywood relationship. Iâ€™m probably more sensitive to this subject today than Iâ€™ve ever been before just because I value life and those in it more than ever. Unfortunately I have become even less tolerant to all the fake bullshit that Beverly Hills Life has to offer.”
Has the division between the women changed in Season 4?
YF: “I have learned that the only thing in life that is constant is change! THE CORE OF WHO WE ARE AS HUMAN BEINGS DOES NOT but circumstances do so with that said you will see the same people in different dynamics.”
Do you think you will ever be able to have a friendship with Kyle or Kim Richards?
YF: “Sometimes I feel the older I get the less I know haha. The more time you spend with people the more their true colors become visible, sometimes that can work in your favor and sometimes it doesnâ€™t.”
Did you watch any of The Real Housewives prior to joining the cast?
YF: “No. I never watched the show because I love to read and watch movies but I am not a big TV fan in general so I chose not to once I got hired because I did not want to judge anyone before I got to know them in person and have real life connections with them.”
Are you working on any new projects you’d like to share with us?
YF: “I have always been a independent working girl so before I got sick I came up with a incredible concept called Hopelessly Romantic combined with a lifestyle TV show but Right now my most important project is to find a 100% recovery in my health journey with Lyme Disease and be able to participate with a healthy brain in a fulfilled life with my husband, children, and close friends.”
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
YF: “Thank you to my four biggest fans, David, Gigi, Bella, and Anwar for pulling me through the worst year of my life and giving me purpose to live. To all off you thank you for the heartfelt love, support and teaching me the power of social media, If I had not gotten sick I would have never been on instagram or twitter because I would have never had the patience to take a moment to type 120 letters on how my crazy day was going. The truth is that in my worst days I somehow became obsessed with retraining my brain to learn the alphabet and because of that I have connected with all of you, and for that I am forever grateful.”
Photo Credit: Bravo