Andy Cohen Shares If Connie Britton Knew about Vicki Gunvalson's Romantic Past While Filming Dirty John

The Bravo series bears a striking resemblance to this Real Housewives of Orange County relationship.

If Dirty John seems too familiar to you, you're not alone. Many Bravo fans have commented that the new limited series event reminds them of some major drama from The Real Housewives of Orange County's past. 

Specifically, RHOC fans have noticed that Dirty John's tale of how Debra Newell disregards her daughters' warnings and falls in love with a man named John Meehan who's not all he appears to be bears a striking resemblance to Vicki Gunvalson's past romance with Brooks Ayers. The series, which is based on a true story chronicled in The Los Angeles Times and a hit podcast of the same name, even takes place in Orange County. 

In fact, Vicki herself said she "100 percent" sees the similarities between Dirty John and her relationship with Brooks during Part 1 of the RHOC Season 13 reunion Sunday night (clip above). She admitted that she didn't heed daughter Briana Culberson's warnings about Brooks, just as Debra doesn't in Dirty John. "This is totally my daughter adamant that this guy was a bad guy, and I was like, 'He wants to make love with me four times a day. He's filling me up, my love tank,'" Vicki explained during the reunion. "When you're in it, you can't listen to other people, because he was chirping in my ear, 'They're the enemy. Your daughter just doesn't want you happy.' Like all this mixture of just chaos."


Connie Britton, the actress behind Debra in Dirty John, wasn't aware of the whole Brooks situation when she filmed the series, according to Andy Cohen. But she shared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Sunday night that it was the universality of Debra's story among women that really spoke to her about the project. "I was really interested in this because I think it's really about the stories we tell ourselves as women," she said. "In Debra's case, she's super successful. She's self-made, she's a great mom, she's got this incredible business that she created herself. And yet, she felt inferior without a man. She told herself that story. And so she was really longing for that. She felt this huge void in her life. So yeah, I think that's a big deal."

Watch What Happens Live
How Vicki Gunvalson & Brooks Compare to ‘Dirty John’
Vicki Gunvalson at the #RHOC Reunion says she sees the comparison of her relationship with ex Brooks Ayers to Debra Newall and John Meehan in “Dirty John” and actress Connie Britton comments on the dynamic.

Vicki previously opened up to The Daily Dish in September about how easy it can be to fall into a relationship like this. "I mean, it happened to me with my eyes wide open. It happened to me. So if it can happen to me, can you imagine how many women it's happening to? And I'm a smart cookie," she shared. "Everybody told me he was a bad boy. I didn't see it — until it was over." 

Find out the advice Vicki has for women who find themselves in a similar situation, below.

The Real Housewives of Orange County
Vicki Gunvalson Compares Her Past Romance to Dirty John
The RHOC OG opens up about her controversial relationship and how it reminded her of the podcast and upcoming Bravo series.
All Posts About:
Dirty JohnVicki GunvalsonConnie BrittonAndy Cohen Briana Culberson Brooks Ayers Relationships

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