Cancer research institute fact checks RHOBH star Lisa Rinna over ‘false’ claims about disease

This season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has not been without its drama. While housewife Erika Jayne has been making headlines for her ongoing legal troubles, it seems Lisa Rinna is now under fire for controversial comments she made about cancer during the season 12 finale.

The controversy began when the cast of RHOBH took a trip to Aspen, Colorado during a recent episode. Kathy Hilton, mother of socialite Paris Hilton and sister to castmate Kyle Richards, became angry when Rinna ordered a shot of Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila at a bar, rather than the tequila brand Casa Del Sol, which Hilton’s invested in.

Later that evening, the women visited a members-only club (no cameras were allowed) where they said Hilton supposedly had a “meltdown”. Rinna left the club with Hilton, and claimed that Hilton started making comments off-camera about her sister Kyle, and the other housewives, that could “ruin people’s lives forever.” Drama ensued when Rinna shared Hilton’s alleged comments with the rest of the group, despite Richards’ insistence that she wanted to make peace with her sister.

When the other women suggested Rinna should stop talking about Hilton’s alleged meltdown, the Rinna Beauty founder explained why she couldn’t let things go.

“I’m not going to take it to my grave because I’d get sick and I’d get cancer if I didn’t express this,” she said. “That’s how bad it is. To have these kinds of things go on and not express them, I’ll get sick and die because it’s that vile.”

Now, the American Institute for Cancer Research has weighed in on Rinna’s claims about cancer, denying the misconception that stress (or holding in gossip) is a cause of the disease.

An AICR spokesperson told TMZ that Rinna is “just using the spectre of cancer as emotional blackmail to justify airing her grievance,” and added that there is “no strong evidence to support stress being the cause of cancer.”

What’s more, the research institute said the reality star “has taken a popular (but likely false) concept” and regurgitated it to millions of RHOBH viewers.

The American Institute for Cancer Research wasn’t the only group critical of Rinna’s comments about cancer. Following the episode, many fans took to Twitter to share their disappointment in Rinna using cancer to justify spreading gossip about Hilton.

“Shame on you @lisarinna for saying you might get cancer if you don’t tell the Kathy story,” one person tweeted. “As a cancer survivor, who went through two years of treatment and am now permanently scarred, I found your words offensive.”

“Hey @lisarinna both of my parents had cancer and fyi it wasn’t because they refused to gossip,” said someone else.

“Lisa Rinna telling the women she’d get cancer and die if she didn’t tell them what Kathy Hilton said off-camera was one of the most wild things I’ve ever seen on this show,” another person wrote.

Rinna isn’t the only one embroiled in drama on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Throughout the past two seasons, cast member Erika Girardi (known professionally as Erika Jayne) has sparked controversy over the legal cases against her estranged husband and former attorney Tom Girardi, who was sued for allegedly embezzling settlement funds intended for victims of the 2018 Lion Air crash.

When Jayne refused to give up a pair of $750,000 earrings – which lawyers argue her husband paid for with the money intended for the victims’ families – the housewives believed that Jayne showed no empathy for the tragedy.

Many celebrities have even weighed in on the recent season of RHOBH, including actors Jennifer Lawrence and Jon Hamm. The Mad Men star admitted he’s an avid fan of the Bravo franchise while appearing on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show last month, and insisted that Jayne give back the earrings. Meanwhile, Lawrence called Jayne “evil” and joked that the reality star “needs a publicist ASAP.”