Seasons 1-4 & 8
“You know what, I’m living the O.C. lifestyle again. I feel like royalty.”
“I was poor, I was rich, I was poor again and you know what? Having money is easier.”
“Are the police involved?”
In Season 1, Lauri Peterson was a multiple-divorced single mother who lived in a house with maid service in the neighboring Dove Canyon with her ex-husband, but in the aftermath of her divorce, she had to downsize to a smaller townhouse outside the gates in Ladera Ranch. Her family included Ashley, Josh and Sophie. To make ends meet, she worked in Gunvalson’s home insurance office, however by Season 2, after forming a relationship with a rich land developer, Peterson appears to have a less active role in Gunvalson’s insurance company and by Season 3, Waring never appears working with Gunvalson or in the insurance business. Her daughter Ashley moved back home to escape the difficulties of paying her own bills and her son Josh spent time in juvenile detention.
During Season 2, Peterson became engaged on Lake Como to a wealthy real estate and land developer, George Peterson. Season 2 focused on Peterson’s relationship with George and the financial improvements to her lifestyle that this upwardly mobile relationship provides her and her children. Peterson identifies herself as a Republican and attends a Republican Party fundraiser as part of George’s social obligations.
By Season 3, Peterson, Ashley and Sophie have moved in with George into his home in San Juan Capistrano. She is shown planning her expensive third wedding and riding horses at George’s ranch. After leaving rehab, Josh moved into Peterson’s Ladera Ranch townhouse with Ashley, however, Peterson purports that Josh broke a number of “house rules” and evicted him. After leaving his mother’s townhouse, Josh moved in with George’s ex-wife, Gina. Despite the appearance of numerous children from George’s former marriage and Peterson’s repeated commentary about their “modern Brady Bunch family” in Season 2, only one daughter, McKenzie, appears to live with George and Peterson during Season 3. The Season 3 finale included a psychotherapy session attended by Peterson and Josh where they achieved resolution in their conflicted mother-son relationship. Josh ends up being included in his mother’s lavish wedding ceremony as his grandmother’s escort down the aisle.
In Season 4, Peterson makes a brief appearance with the other housewives. Gunvalson commented that Peterson used to be a close friend but not since she married George and says that, “It’s sad”. As the season progresses, it is apparent that Waring interacts very sporadically with the other housewives saying that her focus and attention is with George and her family. December 9, 2008, marked the departure of Peterson from the show to focus her attention on her family and their difficulties, specifically citing Josh’s spiral into heroin addiction. Prior to the start of Season 4, in June 2008, Josh was charged with two felony counts of possession and intent to sell. He would later be arrested on April 23, 2010, and charged with battery on a spouse or significant other and false imprisonment.
In late November 2012, Peterson was spotted filming with the ladies as they attended a dress fitting for Tamra Barney’s wedding. She also appeared in a photo of the entire group vacationing in Canada.
Peterson came back to the series during Season 8 as a recurring housewife and has since dropped Waring from her name.