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Former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Braunwyn Windham-Burke spoke with Fox News Digital about her status with her husband, Sean Burke, and how life has been with her girlfriend Victoria Brito. Windham-Burke also shared a major relationship milestone: she and Victoria Brito are now living with each other part-time on the East Coast.
“Shawn and I are friends. We are family, and we are parents,” she said. “We are figuring it out as we go. You know, there’s not a lot of couples that I’ve seen do this before, so we’re sort of trying to figure it out. Right now, we’re really just focused on keeping as much stability for the kids as possible.”
Windham-Burke announced her separation from her husband in the summer of 2021, and since then, both parties have begun to see other people. The “RHOC” star revealed to Fox News Digital that she splits her time between New York – where she lives with Brito – and Orange County, where a lot of her family still lives.
“So we do something called nesting, where we take turns coming in and out of the house,” she said of her and Burke. “I’ve been sick. He’s actually been here with me helping out.”
The couple share seven children: Bella, 21, Rowan, 19, Jacob, 16, twins Curren and Caden, 9, Koa, 7, and Hazel, 4.
“So, you know, we really are friends, we really are family, and we’re just trying to do what’s best,” she continued. “I couldn’t take care of the kids the last few days. I didn’t want to get them sick. So, you know, he’s here. It’s just it’s working for us.”
Windham-Burke, who made “Real Housewives” history by being the first openly gay cast member, shared with Fox News Digital how she first met her girlfriend.
“We met through mutual friends,” she shared. “So my girlfriend Amy was hanging out at dinner, and she walked in.”
She detailed that she began texting Brito for about two weeks before they had their first date in the Big Apple.
“It was like the perfect New York date,” she said. “We met in Dumbo at Jane’s Carousel, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Van Gogh exhibit. We just had the best first date that lasted seven days.”
Windham-Burke shared that each of her children took her new relationship differently and her oldest, Bella, has had a difficult time accepting that her parent’s relationship has changed.
“I’ve always been very cognizant of treating each of my children as individuals. Whereas Rowan, my second daughter, is like, ‘Oh my God, I love Vic, let’s go out together.’ Bella was like, ‘You know what, Mom? I’m just not quite ready to meet her’ and I have to respect that,” she said. “I do respect that. So, every child is different, and I think we have a lot of kids like we do. It’s really important to cater to each one of their needs during such a time of change.”
The mother of seven has been a huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and shared that she is the Grand Marshal for Orange County Pride and will be celebrating this Saturday.
“I love the idea that representation in mainstream media is getting more and more visible,” she said of the LGBTQ+ community. “What I think a lot of people don’t understand is, yes, this is a big party. There’s lots of rainbows, there’s lots of glitter, but pride originally is a protest.”
She shared that her and her mother will be celebrating in Orange County and then hoping on a red-eye flight to celebrate New York’s Pride on the GLAAD and NFL Super Bowl float.
As far as the reality star’s time with the “Real Housewives” franchise, she is planning on going in a different direction, but still wants to use television as a platform to share people’s stories.
“I filmed something recently that I’m really excited about that’s more in tune with where I’m headed right now,” she said. “I find out if it gets picked up any day now, and it’s about sharing stories.”
Windham-Burke added that she put “no thought” in moving across the country but hopes to inspire others to live the life of their dreams.
“You know, at 44, I moved across the country to New York like kind of on a whim. I really can say I put no thought into that decision. I just did it and kind of created this whole new life,” she said.
“I think that’s sort of like the moral of my story, at least, is that it’s never too late to start a second chapter and live a life of your dreams. I hope if anyone follows me on Instagram, they can see that, yeah, things are hard, you know, we’ve dealt with a lot of hard things, but there’s always that silver lining. There’s always that pot of gold at the end, you know, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
Fox News’ Larry Fink contributed to this report.