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Reality TV Star Kim Zolciak-Biermann Reveals Her Unexpected Secrets To Living An Authentic Life

08/18/20

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PROGRAM: ALWAYS EVOLVING WITH COACH MIKE BAYER

SHOW#: CM1037

GUEST: KIM ZOLCIAK-BIERMANN

 

(START OF PODCAST)

COACH MIKE BAYER: Hey everyone welcome back to Always Evolving with me, Coach Mike. So the next podcast guest, I’m just warning you in case you have little kids around or you don’t like curse words, you know, she has a bit of a sailor’s mouth but love her for it ’cause she’s totally authentic, uh, Kim Zoliak-Biermann. But I’m just giving you a head’s up, so there is a lot of profanity. Doesn’t bother me—don’t listen! All right thanks. — Today we have a super fabulous guest who doesn’t need much of an introduction but I’ll introduce her in a little bit—Kim Zoliak-Biermann. She was one of the stars of Real Housewives of Atlanta, she also had a huge show, Don’t Be Tardy, that’s been on for so many seasons. She’s CEO and founder of Salty K, a bathing suit line and also has her own podcast called House of Kim, so thanks for coming on Always Evolving, Kim.

KIM ZOLCIAK-BIERMANN: Thanks for having me! How are you?

MIKE: I’m good, you know? It’s um, I know we talked about getting together at some point, uh, but you know with social distancing that makes it pretty difficult, you know?

KIM: Well looks like you’ve been taking care of your skin because it looks amazing.

MIKE: Really?

KIM: Like, it looks so glowy and dewy—what is the secret? Tell me all about it because you look really great.

MIKE: Yeah. I think it’s probably uh, lack of sleep, really good lighting and uh…

KIM: (LAUGHS)

MIKE: (LAUGHS) No…

KIM: No, I think you look great.

MIKE: So I’m, I’m curious because I know you’ve spoken a lot where you know, you were a nurse, you had a few kids and—did you ever think that your life was going to look like this?

KIM: Yes, I did.

MIKE: Tell me.

KIM: Not, not the six kids because my grandmother has a bunch of kids and I was like, “There’s no way I’m doing that. My mom has six siblings” I was like, “No way.” Um, I, when I was 12 years old, well, all kind of through my um, seventh, eighth grade, high school, I kept telling my mom “I wanna be famous” and she’s like, “Oh, that’s really great, sweetie” like, but you know, “We’re in Connecticut.” I grew up in Windsor Locks, a very small town, and so I wrote in my journal when I was 12, like I wanna be famous, I wanna have my own TV show by the time I’m 30—here’s the thing though, I knew that I didn’t, I’m not good at acting, which is unfortunate, um, I’m not good at acting, I don’t wanna be an actress, I don’t enjoy that. So I wasn’t really sure what I really wanted, I just knew that I wanted my own show of some kind. I left it at that, I knew I wanted to be famous, uh, graduate high school, I don’t even know how ‘’cause I got kicked out a couple times for smoking cigarettes back then—Catholic school—my parents were not happy with me. And um, I said, “Mom, like, I just wanna be famous.” And she’s like, “Sweetie…that’s great but like, we need to go to college.” So what is it? A hairdresser? Like her, which I don’t, didn’t wanna be anything like her. Or a nurse, and I was like, “You know what? I wanna be a nurse. I think I would love that.” So I went to nursing school. Always wanting to be famous, not really knowing what it entailed or anything. I just though rich and fame and, you know, I didn’t really know what it entailed. Long story short, I got pregnant with Brielle, I was 18 and um, I finished school, graduated, moved down to Georgia and, um, worked as a nurse for five years. Five years or so? And I actually really love it. I love helping people. I worked anywhere from like a nursing home to trauma, you know, a bunch of stuff; always still wanting fame. Well nothing was going on in Atlanta. I only moved to Atlanta because my mom-my dad got a job transfer and my mom moved down her and she waited for me to finish college, like a couple months and then we moved down together. So that’s the only reason why I came to Atlanta. I ultimately wanted to, like, go to New York or LA and, but having a baby and not having support and being so young was not an option. So that’s why I came here. But Atlanta, there’s nothing going on. Like, there’s, like Real Housewives of Atlanta was the very first show ever filmed, any TV show, out of Atlanta, Georgia ever. It was the very first show. They had to go through all of…

MIKE: Wow.

KIM: …these hoops and all of these things to…

MIKE: Wow.

KIM: …get this show to be able to come to air, but regardless of all this, that show was uh, I was friends with NeNe, we worked out at the gym together, we’d always have people laughing and, you know, whatever, and she was like, “This girl’s a nurse.” Like, I had big boobs, blonde hair, like, but I still wore scrubs, I still like, I didn’t go to work with makeup on. I had my hair pulled back or whatever and so NeNe used to call it this like, transformation. Like all of a sudden I go out at night, I got makeup on and big boobs and, so anyway, um…Bravo comes to a producer here in Atlanta and says, “Listen—we wanna do a show about, um, housewives, basically, and all African-American cast.” So NeNe who, I always, I always thought she was kinda full of shit, says, “Listen, I’m filming this pilot with Shereé,” I was friends with them both, “it’s all African-American cast, so don’t even get excited, but do you wanna come do it with us?” And I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” I thought it was a big hoax, a bunch of bullshit, I was like, “NeNe this is not—she’s so crazy, this is some bullshit. So, we filmed it in July and I went back to work. Um, and then in November I got a phone call, “Hey…” um, they called it Ladies of Atlanta so it was really alarming to me. It sounded more like uh, a porno to be honest and I was like, “What the hell does NeNe sign me up for?”

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

KIM: What is going on here? So, I said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” Five-thousand dollars later and a whole fuckin’ season became the number one show on Bravo. So, I was 29 years old, I was the youngest housewife ever to start on that franchise.

MIKE: So, $5,000 per episode or are you saying, $5,000 later for the season?

KIM: Whole season, sweetie.

MIKE: NO!

KIM: Whole season.

MIKE: Whole season? Five thousand dollars?

KIM: Whole season. Five thousand dollars, it cost me…

MIKE: Did you know…

KIM: …so much money.

MIKE: No I can’t imagine your wardrobe…did they, was there a glam budget?

KIM: Nothing. Nothing.

MIKE: Wait, (STAMMERS) so were you, when, when you knew what they were paying you at the time, what did you think the end game was gonna be by putting yourself out there for $5,000?

KIM: You know what? It’s still my favorite season of all time because none of us knew. It, we were just real and authentic. I’m combative, you know, and like  testy and like, Italian hothead, you know, NeNe can be a hothead like, I had, it was exhausting. We filmed way more, like we filmed 10 hour days where season two was maybe five hours, three time a week for NeNe and I and Shereé and, you know, so it was a lot and it was exhausting. Brielle had her birthday party at the Intercontinental that year and it cost like, 22 grand out of pock—like, all these things, obviously I was in a relationship so it wasn’t at that time and he was very wealthy and it wasn’t like I needed the $5,000, um, and I quit nursing and just did this. So we filmed from like February to May or June and then October 7th, which is like the biggest day—I got engaged October 7th, I got divorced October 7th, Housewives launched on October 7th. This fuckin’ day is like, for me huge, but um, it, NeNe and I were in New York um, like October 6th and we’re walking down the street in New York and we’re doing press for the show and people are screaming, the show hasn’t even aired yet—they’re screaming, “NeNe! Kim!” and I was like “Oh my God, I wanted this so bad—it’s fuckin’ here!” like, I was so excited…I was so excited. I didn’t care if they didn’t give me $5,000. I think they have to legally pay you something, otherwise they would have given us nothing, I feel like. But our income jumped drastically the next year.

MIKE: Do, do you think you were so excited because you finally were like seen? Or like, what was it about being famous where you were like, you know, it…fulfilled what?

KIM: I just…I genuinely like love who I am as a person and I think I’m very funny. My dad’s very funny and so I have two girls who I think are amazing and the best kids in the whole wide world and I just like love life and I, and I also, um, went through a horrible divorce when I was pregnant with Ariana and so I met with a spiritual counselor named Angie when I was 23 and I’ve worked so hard with her up until this very day to just like, learn about my “Ask and ye receive” motto, how to stay, like…

MIKE: Mmm.

KIM: …I would always get so tired around people and like I’m very empathic and at the time I didn’t know what it meant so I spent all these years by this point seven or six, years really working on, like, creating this incredible life and I was like so happy and I wanted everybody to know how to do it. So, I spent all this money doing it, well not all this money, I mean, she’s very reasonable, but all this money and it was like, that was kind of my goal was to share that with people, and also to share people that like, I’m a single parent, I graduated school, I have two girls who are amazing, um, and you can do it, too. And that was kind of my thing. I never once thought, like, I don’t know, I mean people dig up your past, which I didn’t really have much of a past but, you know, I didn’t realize kind of what went into all of this and I just loved the camera, which, I’m super shy, like I, I’m very shy and if you ask Andy Cohen or anybody they’re gonna tell you the same thing. Like, I’m super, super shy. If I can avoid a red carpet I will. I am very shy. Unless I immediately connect with you—like I feel like I immediately connected with you—happens very rarely, um, I feel like everybody at Kroy’s wedding was just so great. Um…but I’m super shy. But, so the camera for me was like, I could be myself and the camera was just like, I have my own crew, you know? So it was like, just…

MIKE: Yeah.

KIM: …about me, they became my family, I don’t know, man, it was, it was just so great and then it aired and it wasn’t so fucking great and I was crying and it was like they were saying all these things behind my back and so this dream that I had from February to October 7th was completely different.

MIKE: You finally, people are screaming your name and it hasn’t aired…

KIM: Mm hmm.

MIKE: …and you’re like, “This is my moment” like…

KIM: Mm hmm.

MIKE: … “Holy shit, the law of attraction”…

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: …I mean, I am a beacon of this energy flowing into me…

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: …the sky’s the limit.

KIM: Hundred percent.

MIKE: And the first episode drops and what shocked you?

KIM: Well, so I’m from Connecticut and if I don’t like you, I don’t like you, right? I'm not gonna act like I like you to your face. I’m gonna say, “Fuck you” to your face, I’m gonna say “Fuck you” behind your back. Like, it’s not, that’s just what it is. That’s what I grew up around. A town, you know, my family’s Italian, Catholic, just, that’s what they are. So when I moved to the South, it was like, “Hey girl, how are you?” And then behind my back you’re like, “Fuck you.”

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

KIM: And so honestly I don’t feel like it was until the last couple years that I realized that people are not always nice. People don’t always have your best interest at heart. Like my husband is very real with me. Like, “Sweetie, um, let’s look at the big picture…” I’m like, “She would never do that!” but, you know, I, I was so shocked that they would talk shit about me. Like, “Wait a minute—we just left the party and, but you’re telling me I’m asshole?” You know, like, I just was so upset about my dream, like, you know, it was so emotionally draining once it aired and it changed me forever. Because I was like, my authentic self. I remained to this very day who I really am when others on the show had like, meetings on what they were gonna do and how they were gonna portray things. So this show that I thought was so great, each episode got worse and worse. Like, you know, they just talk shit. There was a lot of competition and I don’t know. I’m , I’m all about like women empowering women. I always looked at it different. So my dream was very quickly shattered. 

MIKE: And…and you continued on that show for how long?

KIM: Five years.

MIKE: Okay, so during, so you did, did the show for five years, it initially started and when you say—was it that, was it the way you were portrayed or was it…

KIM: Yes.

MIKE: …the people saying things behind your back that bothered you more?

KIM: So I wore wigs, right? Which is funny because these bitches did, too. So like, what the fuck is the problem? But I, I have amazing hair, like for real, I have amazing hair and that chapped their ass, too. But I had amazing hair but I loved wigs. My mom’s a hairdresser, I grew up in hair salons, you know, like I love big hair. So they would make fun of my wigs and that really hurt my feelings because like, you wear a wig, like, I couldn’t wrap my mind around…the hate. I just, like, I still can’t, NeNe got off the couch to attack me like, I’ve never had somebody, I mean, in high school I had this one girl try to come after me, she’s so ugly not on Facebook, I love it. (LAUGHS) So, but she tried to fight me in the hall and it was like devastating to me. I remember like it was yesterday. These girls, like NeNe would try to fight me. It was so fucking crazy, Mike, that it was…I don’t know. I just can’t even…

MIKE: Do you think, let me ask you, because you were, you were the only, uh, white woman on Housewives of Atlanta, right?

KIM: I’ve only been, the only one…

MIKE: The only one.

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: And, and I have to imagine that um, you know, there’s a huge demographic that watches the show and there’s huge pe-you know, people typically when they watch reality shows they’re like, “We like this person. We don’t like that person. We like this person…” 

KIM: Right.

MIKE: And I, I know, I knew even back then like you’re, you took off. Like even no matter how they kind of portrayed you for whatever reason…

KIM: Oh, they called me racist, you know? They called me racist which, honestly, and this was a big debate at the reunion, or the show when I went back three years ago was, you know, when NeNe called me that, NeNe knows I’m not racist, right? But like what’s one thing that she can say, right? And that would frustrate me more than anything. But there was not real traction to her statement because it wasn’t like Twitter or Instagram, when we started, this is in 2008, so there was none of that, right? So now you got Instagram and Twitter as each year went on and it was just insane and so no matter what people said, it is what it is. Like, I didn’t have a voice, you know, I didn’t know and it, I couldn’t believe that Bravo would even toy with something like that. I think that’s what got me so upset throughout the, aside from, I’ll tell you why I walked off ’cause it was absolutely barbaric and I walked away from millions of dollars and I have zero regrets but, you know, there’s no control on these shows basically. Just crazy shit like we are grown-ass women, like, who is—and they’re older than me by like 10 years at least and they put their hands on you? Like she strangled, like, just crazy, I mean, this stuff like scarred me, I’m not kidding you. Like, still to this day I feel like I need therapy for this, because it is, it is…I just took so much and it wasn’t that I took so much for the fame, I took so much because I wanted to have a voice. I’m strong, you know, I’m a very strong-minded person and you are not going to fucking put your hands on me and get me off of the show and off of the fame and off of something that I wanted so bad. I will never give you that fucking control. 

MIKE: Mm hmm.

KIM: Until I was eight months pregnant with Kash and there was wine glasses being thrown at my stomach and I walked off and never looked back until, you know, three years ago.

MIKE: So let me ask you—how much of that do you feel was real versus not real? You know, everyone talks about reality TV, is it real?

KIM: Oh, it’s real. It is fucking 100% real. Our show, Atlanta Housewives, is 100% real, but here’s what happens, right? So NeNe hears from somebody else that I said this, right? So then NeNe doesn’t call me and I don’t call her and then we’re in a room together and she’s like, she just blows up, right? Like there’s, the communication when filming starts kind of halts because everybody’s almost in it to win it, it’s the weirdest fucking thing on this show. Um, and I feel like there’s a lot of them that have so many lies that they have to like, keep up with and try to protect their real life that it’s almost like, that they’re so angry, so combative, so loud, um, but not communicating is a big problem on Atlanta Housewives, because you hear one thing from a producer or from another castmate whatever and that’s it. You’re pissed and it just starts it, so that’s why, it is real, like, so instead of calling NeNe and saying like “Hey did you say this?” And you’re just like, “NeNe said what?” And you just automatically go to that place and it’s, and it’s just, I mean, my stomach hurt every single day, every single day. I mean it, is the most stressful thing that I’ve ever done in my whole life…

MIKE: Mmm.

KIM: …um, and I think that the way that they did portray things wasn’t very fair, for sure.

MIKE: And how, how did you get your brain ’cause there’s no, uh, you had no prep work, right, before. It wasn’t like you were a childhood star and you’ve been through bullying or cyberbullying or like, you literally were like…from the scene in New York, you know, I picture you, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, the time is now” and then all of a sudden there’s injustices and things aren’t fair and they don’t make sense and they go completely against your values but there’s a vehicle going.

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: Right?

KIM: Yeah.

MIKE: How did you get your brain to be resilient through it, like, and not do something that then you just regret?

KIM: I’m a very rational person. I’m also like a very kind person (STAMMERS) and I’m too forgiving. So, I would always forgive instantly, right? And that was always at my expense I feel like. My parents have done a really good job with me and, and, you know, I did the complete opposite with Brielle, it’s probably pretty obvious, I do everything for her, but my parents were like, you know, “Get a job at 16.” I got pregnant a year out at 18, you know, like you’re doing something with your life. Like, I had to work and, my mom was a hairdresser and I wanted, you know, this buy a lot of shampoo and Paul Mitchell and all this shit and my mom wouldn’t give it to me. Like, “You have to work for it” and I’m like, “Why would you not give it to me? You have it!” you know? Um, my parents did a really good job with discipline. My dad was physically abusive with like a belt and that kind of thing and so I think that that also was like “I can’t wait to get the fuck out of here” um, and, and kind of stand on my own two feet. Like I think it almost made me stronger in a weird way, um, my brother never got hit—there was only two of us—only me. So I think it made, I think that alone made who I am today, seriously. And it, it went on ’til I was probably like, 15. It wasn’t something that stopped when…

MIKE: Wow.

KIM …I was four, you know?

MIKE: And did you, how did you—is your dad still around?

KIM: Yes. My dad is Navy, right? Navy, um, my dad is…I, I do love my dad. He’s great. My mom and I, um, have had some real issues. I finally, I think at 35 let that go, let the whole, “She’s my mom I have to do whatever she, you know, does to me and take it ’cause she’s my mom” I finally let that go when I was about 35, but I took a lot of shit for 35 years, again, you know, I look at life like I would never be the mom I am today if she, my mom was a great mom as far as teaching me how to do my hair, teaching me how to do my makeup. Like, she’s 10 times better in that arena than I am with my girls ’cause it’s like, “How do you not know how to curl your hair?” But I think all of these things, my parents really, you know, like, instilled in me and, and you know, it made me who I am today. Like I don’t, I don’t look at my parents, like, I think everybody does make mistakes. I don’t look at them and have any hate in my heart, um, I just have a lot of, uh, gratitude because I’m, I’m a really great mom, you know? And I think that because of them, I am who I am. So…

MIKE: But…

KIM: …I try to take the same thing with Housewives, you know, like, one day it’s going to come out that like who I am as a person, you know, they’re playing the whole Big Poppa story and all this bullshit when they’re always at the house, like they’re acting like he’s, was legally married but you know, you guys are hanging out at his house all the time with me but when we start filming, like, you guys are different people! And so I struggled with that and I kept saying, “Some day…” I always believe, and I think I’m witnessing this firsthand as we speak with certain people but the truth will come out and what goes around comes around. And no matter what—I tell my girls this too—like, you can watch somebody today not, not be authentic steal, lie, cheat, whatever, I’m telling you firsthand it will come back to get you. I like my life as authentic as I can be every day, but it’s, it’s not even a thought. You know? It’s just something that…I don’t know if, I don’t know. It, it’s just me, I guess, I don’t know, but, so it will come back. And so here I am, eight seasons into my own show and who wouldn’t love to get paid to film with your family? Like, that’s the real fuckin’ dream, eight years later, you know what I mean? So, I always look at it that way. Like, people blow my fucking mind these days. They blow my mind. The cyberbullying, the comments, the, and then you wonder why you’re fucking miserable, like, you’re miserable, your marriage is unhappy. Your kids are unhappy. Like, your fucking thoughts create your reality—if I could beat this into every single person—I spent years on myself. I spent every week, one hour a week two hours a week with Angie to this day—I have a call on Friday with her—because we all get stressed or “Angie, I’m so irritated” she keeps me on the straight and narrow, and I have no shame in saying that And I’ve spent so much time on me to get where I am today to get this thought process. How the fuck can you not do that, too? Figure it out. 

MIKE: Mmm.

KIM: You know? And that’s why I started House of Kim, was to share this knowledge with people which, you know what, Kroy says to me, like, “Kim, you can’t hammer it into people,” right? They either want the information or they don’t.

MIKE: Yeah, it’s almost like attraction rather than promotion, right?

KIM: Hundred percent. Yeah, hundred percent. Yeah.

MIKE: And, and, let me, let me—I’m curious because knowing that you ran, you, not ran but you left the house at 15 you said, and said, “I’m out of here” and your dad…

KIM: Eighteen. I, I…

MIKE: Eighteen.

KIM: …did run away…

MIKE: Okay.

KIM: …three times, um, my mom, my daughter just picked up a bunch of stuff from my mom’s house ’cause we’re moving, and there was literally a runaway note in there and was like, “I cannot deal with Dad’s shit, anymore. Love you Mom.” And my mom dated it and it was “15 years old, the third time Kim ran away.”

MIKE: Oh my God.

KIM: But I left at 18. I finished high school. I got kicked out of a couple high schools, uh, finished and then left at 18.

MIKE: And how, how in terms of being in a household where there was physical abuse and then being, bringing the family around, your dad and reconciling and healing-like…can you just tell me…

KIM: There’s no healing, there’s no healing…

MIKE: No healing.

KIM: …uh, there’s been no, there’s not even a, there’s not been a talk of that. I do think…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

KIM: …now that I’m older that I definitely, like, I have lower back pain, right? And so I read a lot of these books, Emotion Code and, like, basically when you do have trauma as a child you hold it in your lower back, you know, I see a chiropractor every week, so I think, and I always tell Kroy and I say it on the podcast, like, I do think I need some form of therapy from a standpoint of, it’s not that I hold onto it, it’s that things trigger it and how to manage that, if that makes sense.

MIKE: Well yeah, and I think what you’re saying, too, is, and it makes sense why someone, getting physically uh, physical with you would trigger you in such a way that it would be completely traumatic because that was the very thing that you were scared of and…

KIM: Right.

MIKE: …you experienced and then when somebody does it in a way that is completely unfounded and irrational and doesn’t make any sense, your panic button is gonna go really off…

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: …because, ’cause you’re like, you know, either fight, flight, freeze or appease…

KIM: Yep.

MIKE: …and you’re like, “I’m outta here.” Like, “This is crazy. I’m out.” And, it sounds like you’re making a decision that it’s not worth it and not putting up with what is highly inappropriate led you to then actually carving out, creating a show that is your show when you’re an executive producer with your husband. You coming out with a lot of products and businesses, you coming out with the podcast, House of Kim, you coming out with Salty K bathing suits because of you making the decision to do what’s right by you and not, and walk away from millions of dollars and walk away from something that maybe a lot of people       would’ve stuck with and I gotta imagine you’re pretty proud of that decision.

KIM: When I walked away, so my husband, I’m married at this point, I um, when I was pregnant with KJ, which was the, right before the next season I ended up having, season 4, um, I was pregnant with KJ and I started having, in like, April, he wasn’t due until June 19th, I started having contractions from the stress, I ended up in the hospital, they stopped the labor—it was a big thing. And my husband was like, “Dude, fuck this show” like, “No,” you know, “This is not happening.” So I kind of took it easy with that and then the next year I was pregnant with Kash, and um, they wanted to go, they were going to Anguilla. I’m 32 weeks pregnant and they’re going to Anguilla. The only way to get to Anguilla from here is to St. Martin and take a little plane or a boat—or a helicopter, I’m sorry…

MIKE: Mmm…

KIM: …or a boat to Anguilla. Like, I’m not getting stuck on a fucking island 32, almost 33 weeks pregnant, I ended up having my son four weeks later but long story short…um, when I walked away from that show that day, I was having really bad contractions. My husband called Andy Cohen crying and was like, “We’re done. We’re done. My wife is 32 weeks pregnant with our son. She’s having severe contractions.” My OB/GYN who’s delivered five out of my six kids at this point has become a family friend, I called him, he said, “Come to my office right now.” Like, it was way too serious for me to not walk away, but I will tell you my kids are, I’d fucking take 100 bullets for my kids, there’s no question, but I was walking away from the fame, right? In my head, that I wanted so bad. My lawyer said, “Kim, if you were my wife, I’d sue the fuck out of everyone. This is inacceptable. You’re eight months pregnant getting glasses thrown at you? Production is screaming? Like, this is crazy.” And, I just said “That’s not who I am, man. I just can’t.” Like, “I don’t wanna do that, I just wanna go on with my life.” But it was, for a month, this is when Kash was born August 19, so this is like July. My husband goes off to football camp, I got home, I’m not filming, everybody else is and I was like, obviously I’m pregnant and so excited with, to have this baby and my husband’s ama-my husband’s fucking amazing and…but I’m, it kept popping into my mind, like, “Why would you let these people destroy this for you? This is what you wanted. Why…” it was tough. I’ll tell you, it was tough.

MIKE: Yeah, I imagine…

KIM: Very tough.

MIKE: …and I imagine, I imagine it’s tough because the negativity…

KIM: It’s like I gave in…

MIKE: Well yeah, you were feeling like maybe you were allowing the bullying to actually, um…

KIM: Mm hmm.

MIKE: …’cause you not to live your dreams.

KIM: Hundred percent right. It’s like they won, finally they won, and so…one of my producers had said, um, I need to go to Anguilla and I text and said, “I can’t go. My doctor won’t give me the clearance” and so he told he ladies that I said I could go. So the ladies pushed the trip up a week or two and it was all just a production thing where they lied. The guy literally got fired that year, thank God, but I felt like they won. It was an ego thing for me, like, I let them win. If I wasn’t pregnant, I woulda never done it, I would’ve—but my son, my healthy was way more important. My blood pressure was so fucking high. Um, and it just wasn’t worth it. So about four weeks later, so, Kroy calls Andy Cohen crying and says, “We’re done. Fuck you, fuck this show” my husband was very upset. He’s screaming, “My wife is eight months pregnant and I gotta take her to the fucking hospital” like “This is unacceptable! How dare you let this happen?” and blah blah—my husband, I don’t think, to this day, honestly, have I ever seen him that upset.

MIKE: Mmm.

KIM: Andy was very professional, said he understood. And uh…four weeks later, I get a phone call, “You want your own show? What do you wanna do? You want your own show?” And I was like, “That’s a lot of pressure,” like, “I don’t know. That’s a lot of pressure. I have five other people on Housewives so if I can’t film on Tuesday at five, then NeNe would.” NeNe and I had a pretty cushy schedule versus the other ones, like, you know, “Okay, I’ll do it.” And so, they filmed Kash’s delivery, some of it, whatever, and that was it. Here we are, like, eight seasons later. The new season will air in October and um, and I fucking love it. And it’s the best and I…it’s the fucking best. I mean, it’s just as, I filmed with my family literally and we all make great money, you know? Like and it’s fun and my crew is my family, my sound guy Dougie Fresh, he’s been with me like every year—I just, I don’t know, I love it. It’s the best. It’s the best. Like we really look forward to it. COVID has messed it all up, obviously, but um, yeah. But for four weeks, uh, it was tough. My husband’s like “Kim it’s not worth it” you know? My husband’s a very black and white person. He’s also a man so he’s not like emotionally invested in things like, “Why would you ever wanna go back?” like, “They threw stuff at you! They’re screaming at you” like…

MIKE: Y-your husband was like, “Why would you wanna go back into working essentially with the same network probably, right? Uh, and the same people…

KIM: Yes and no, you know, uh, yes and no. My production company is different than Bravo and, and their, you know, they’ve been great and so they understood and uh, they were very fair upon my exit and so, you know, it is what it is and everybody understood, you know? Um…and then our own show it was like, it’s a lot of pressure to carry your own show, you know?

MIKE: Yeah.

KIM: I mean, it’s a lot of pressure. Like it’s, are you that invested in my family or is it about all six of us collectively, you know? Like, is this gonna, it’s very stressful but it, but it wasn’t. That was my initial thought and I, I’ve never thought about it again, to be honest.

MIKE: I’m curious your thoughts since now there’s been so many of these shows and Real Housewives in production that have taken place—um…

KIM: Housewives of Atlanta’s still number one.

MIKE: Wow. Do, do you, do you think um, people that get into it now, do you have any advice for them?

KIM: I don’t think now that there’s been so many shows that people, and I’m, I don’t know anybody that’s, I don’t watch the show, to be honest, or any franchise…

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

KIM: …but I just think that everybody’s got this façade-everybody’s trying to keep up with the Joneses, like, you know what? You should really try to be authentic ’cause we all bring something to the table and if you would just be fucking authentic and stop trying to like one-up, like some of the girls on Housewives before the reunion would have calls from other pe-family members that said, you know, “Phaedra did this” or “Kandi did that” and it was like, “What the fuck?” and they would call me and like I, I’m, I don’t give two fucks. Like I, I don’t, I don’t wanna listen to these calls. It was so random, so much energy into bringing other people down. That’s kind of what I think these shows turned into, honestly.

MIKE: Mmm.

KIM: Um, I think that people, if they’re truly authentic, I think we all have some sort of gift and you can really share it with the world. And if you try to keep up with the Joneses, I mean, you’re just a fucking number, you know? ’Cause Bravo’s seen it all. They’ve all seen the Rolls Royces, they’ve seen the fucking cars, they’ve seen all these things but it’s the one that just lives and is authentic. We all go through shit, right? My life isn’t happy every fucking day and it’s a bed of roses every single day—be authentic, share those ups and downs. People are, you know, they can relate to you.

MIKE: Why do you think someone who has, ’cause at the time, like, you didn’t have, you were married but you know, you were with someone who had money and…

KIM: Yeah.

MIKE: …what, what do you think is the driver for a lot of people to be on Real House—like, like I look at some of these people, they already made it, right? Like…they’re set. So…

KIM: Right.

MIKE: …I’m like, what, what’s the reason…

KIM: The fame…

MIKE: …you know, they’re in their, they’re in their 50’s, right? It’s not like…

KIM: I know (LAUGHS).

MIKE: …it’s not like they’re, they’re in their 20-late 20’s trying to do this. So…

KIM: Right.

MIKE: …what’s the psychology behind it?

KIM: Fame. I think a lot of the relationships are, you know, the husband makes a lot of money, the wife’s at home bored, she’s taking care of the kids and that’s that. They want some kind of identity, you know? And that’s not the fucking answer. Like, it’s not. Uh, you know, even though I was with someone who is very wealthy um, at the time, I still worked. Like, us women, honey, have to hold it down for ourselves and our own families. Like, there is no fuckin’ way I’m gonna be a stay-at-home mom, it’s never gonna happen. It’s, it’s never happened once before, it’s never gonna happen again. Like, I go back to work after all my kids seven days later. KJ—back on Housewives seven days later. Kash filmed his delivery and worked right up after. The twins, I did have six weeks off, but you know, um, I think they try to find some sort of identity but then you’re—Atlanta, I can only speak for Atlanta—it’s authentic, it’s true—what happens, happens. But you can slice, dice and edit it however…

MIKE: Mm hmm.

KIM: …the fuck you want.

MIKE: Yeah that’s the thing-that’s the fascinating thing with editing is you can literally make someone be a monster that’s like Mother Theresa just through editing and a voiceover and a few other people chiming in. And they want, and I know it’s…

KIM: But that one lady, that one housewife—shit, I don’t know who it was—the, the editing producer came out and said, “Yes, I edited her to be terrible because I don’t like her.” Like, she just recently, like the last six months came out and said this shit. And so it’s like, “Oh, that’s why I look like shit,” ’cause I went back to Housewives, right? I’m thinking “Housewives of Atlanta has changed, season 10, big year, right? Everybody’s bringing Kim back, everybody’s changed, I’m gonna go back—this is gonna fucking great. I’ve talked to NeNe on and off. Shereé and I will always be friends, she was in my wedding, this is gonna be fucking great.” How the fuck, five years later, have none of you motherfuckers grown? Not one ounce of you. You’ve not changed. You’ve not grown. How? I cannot to this very minute wrap my mind around the fact that you have not invested in yourself and grown. You’re the same fucking       person you were 10 years ago. The same nasty…

MIKE: Why do you think that is?

KIM: …negative, tear you down.

MIKE: Why, why do you think that is?

KIM: I think it takes effort, man, to work on yourself, you know? People, it’s uncomfortable to feel sad or to feel, you know, all these feelings and so for me, it’s a trigger like why do I feel this way? You know, how can I correct this? Like, everybody has triggers. These girls just wanna, it’s about the money and the fame.

MIKE: Yeah.

KIM: That’s it. The rest of it, like, it’s not, it’s not really fair.

MIKE: Yeah. I think, I think some, I always say it’s uh, “It’s,” uh, “lazy to be miserable, it takes work to be happy” you know? Anyone, anyone…

KIM: I agree.

MIKE: …anyone can sit there and be depressed and complain or blame others, but it takes real work and effort to actually grow and make changes and you’ve grown abundantly throughout what you’ve done, uh, since you made a decision to get out a situation that’s just not healthy for you and you’ve had a lot of businesses and now you have a swimsuit line…

KIM: Well I started Kashmere Kollection, which is named after Kash, I started that in 2016, it’s my skincare line. We sold over 20 million…

MIKE: Wow.

KIM: …you know, and I have over 300 employees. Um, I love skincare…

MIKE: Three hundred—you have 300 employees?

KIM: Yeah.

MIKE: WOW—that’s wild!

KIM: Yeah. And, uh, I have a great business partner who, you know, it’s him and I. He does it day-to-day and I do all the packaging and the products and I’m obsessed with skincare and that was my first, um, and that really pissed the ladies off. And then they couldn’t wrap their mind, I think at that point I had sold 10 million, they were like, “What, are you Kim Kardashian?” It’s like, “Well sweetie, Kim Kardashian’s still probably sold a hundr-a hundred million” but yeah 10 million’s really easy to achieve when you sell a good product, bitches…

MIKE: And didn’t you, like…

KIM: …so…

MIKE: …and by the way—but, but by the way, you also, this is, just a side note, you also decided to come out with a song and it actually became a hit.

KIM: So, so I wanted to be a one-hit wonder, right? And Brielle wrote a song called “Don’t Be Tardy” with, or “Tardy for the Party” with her guitar instructor when she was nine years old. And I was like, “I just wanna be a one-hit wonder” like, I love music. Music makes me feel happy, it makes me feel—I love music. I love country music, I love, whatever, I love Madonna and all that, Janet Jackson. I love Brett Michaels, Kroy really hates that. But um, so I wanted to be a one-hit wonder. I physically said, “I wanna be a one-hit wonder. So you try performing, dancing in front of these bitches at the reunion, your song, that became number one on iTunes, number three on iTunes by 6am that morning. I cried my eyes out, “Don’t Be Tardy” is number fucking three on iTunes—are you kidding me? Then I went on Ellen Degeneres and performed on her 12 Days of Christmas. I was on Wendy Williams. I traveled all over to the best gay clubs, I stopped doing straight ones ’cause they weren’t as fun, to be honest, three weeks in, I said, “No more.” From Splash to whatever, for 90 days I traveled this country. And I had the most incredible experience of my life. And that’s what I wanted—a one-hit wonder. I got it. It did so well. So if I’m gonna do something, I’m gonna do it 100%. So, Kashmere’s done great. My girls, Brielle’s 23, she’s my first born, love her to pieces. Ariana’s 18, didn’t know how the fuck her and I were gonna eat, and Brielle, when I had them. And so as they get older I’m like panicking, like, “How am I gonna fuckin’,” like, “they’re gonna go to college?” Like, “Thank God” well this sounds terrible but Brielle’s like, “I’m not even gonna go to college.” Nobody knows how she graduated high school but somehow she did and she was like, “Mom I’m not doing college, it’s not my vibe” and I want Brielle to be who Brielle is. So Brielle sticks around, Ariana is my straight-A student. She was supposed to go to ASU but she’s gonna stick around here in Georgia but about a year ago, a year and a half, I said, “What can I do with my girls that can keep them, like, around me forever?” Like, I wanna build them houses on my street. I want all six of my kids to have a house, like, I dream of this. It’s funny Khloe Kardashian is one of my dear girlfriends and her and I, she’s like, “You’re fucking nuts, like my mother” like, “you guys want the same weird things” but like I genuinely want that. And I said, “Well, let’s start a cosmetic line—KAB Cosmetics,” right? Starts-stands for Kim, Ariana and Brielle. Like we did a preorder and sold out, of 10,000 units per color in less than I think it was like, 12, something crazy, 12 minutes. It was insane. Sold out.

MIKE: Wow.

KIM: Super successful, we were a year and a half in and have a lot going on with that, um, I feel like when you do something you’re passionate about, it’s gonna be successful. You may have some, like, bumps in the road or, but that’s my other thing, like, what are you feeling you got right? Do you wanna make curtains? Do you wanna fuckin’ build houses? Do you wanna write a book? What the fuck—what do you want to do? Listen to that little voice and figure it out. And during the quarantine I feel like, I hope that a lot of people have had the time to say, “You know what? I really wanna write a book. I really wanna be a mother” or something. “I really wanna get marr—” whatever it is, I, I feel like a lot of people, a lot of my friends who’ve had their own revelations, I think the quarantine has been great for people. Um, and it’s made us all kind of slow down. Um, but I think if you’re, you know, if you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, it’ll be successful, usually. And then Salty K was just something that I love. I love bathing suits, I own over a thousand of them, I can never get the fit right, I want my boobs to look bigger, my butt to look bigger, my stomach to look flatter, how can I do it? And I launched June 1st Salty K—Brielle named this one, too, just like she did KAB ’cause she always tells me I’m salty—and I sold out within a few hours. I launched the second collection June  17th and I was on the phone doing something really big for my other company after KAB and I hung up the phone, I launched at 3, I hung up the phone at 4 and I looked on my account and I was sold out of everything. And I, “OHHH!” crying my eyes out, like I’m a human being, you know? Like I’m a human being and so I did. I shared it and I didn’t care how people took it. And everybody was so inspired and so, it was incredible. It was like, the best, it was the best. It was the fuckin’ best. And I, that’s, like the most fun. I had the most fun doing bathing suits.

MIKE: I love it. Well thank you for coming on Always Evolving with me and uh…

KIM: You’re the best! We need to have talks. I’ll be out there soon for a few weeks.

MIKE: Yeah.

KIM: So we need to, we need to meet up.

MIKE: When are you coming out to LA?

KIM: I will be out in LA…September 17th for like two and a half weeks.

MIKE: Awesome. Well hit me up, let’s hang out. Now we text and you leave me voice memos and I send you…

KIM: Oh, for real.

MIKE: …videos of me in Speedos, so…

KIM: No, we need to definitely do that. Well you’re such an inspiration, I love what you stand for. I love what you’re all about. I love your energy, I love being around you—thanks so much for having me.

MIKE: Oh, thanks Kim! We will be hanging out soon.

KIM: For sure.

MIKE: All right—thank you, Kim. Everyone follow Kim Zoliak-Biermann and check out Salty K and her House of Kim podcast and I’d love for you to check out my free empowerment group on Facebook, uh, we meet every Tuesday on Zoom. To learn more you can go on social media at CoachMikeBayer.com, add your email and uh, it’s a great empowerment group. It’s completely free. Also follow me on Instagram, @CoachMikeBayer, and stay in touch, stay safe and keep it magical.

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