Crystal Kung Minkoff is getting ready to make her debut on the highly-anticipated next season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. As the first Asian Housewife, she’s part of a refreshing shake-up, injecting some much-needed diversity into a conventionally all-white cast. She joins RHOBH’s first Black Housewife Garcelle Beauvais in changing the face of what wealth looks like in the 90210.
But joining a show like this, much less rocking the status quo, can come with hesitation. Crystal says it was her good friend Kathy Hilton that got her to commit. “Kathy called me — and I’ve known Kathy for so long — and she said she was considering it, and what if we did it together? That really took me over the hump for sure,” she says. “I just love and trust her so much. It made it much easier.”
Who is Crystal Kung Minkoff?
For RHOBH fans, Crystal may be a new face, but she’s no stranger to the Beverly Hills social scene, well-known as an entrepreneur and wife to Academy Award-winning filmmaker Rob Minkoff. Though she’s used to rubbing shoulders with Hollywood elite, deep down, she says she’s an LA girl at heart whose values are rooted in her culture and family. “I like to share my food, events, my culture and traditions — that’s really fun,” she says, adding that she may have helped expose the other women to more of her Chinese culture. “I was really surprised that with so many of the girls being in LA so long — I feel like LA’s such a melting pot — that it was their first Chinese New Year they’ve ever been to.”
Crystal got along with the other women, but wasn’t besties with everyone
Crystal got a chance to get to know each of the women one-on-one, but found that each of her relationships were a bit different. “Each relationship for me developed at a different pace and it was sort of just the result of [what happens] when you’re in a big group. It’s harder to get to know someone personally,” she said of how her relationships played out. She goes on to describe what tends to happen in a large group of friends. “Not everyone can be your best friend and that’s okay. For me it’s about, if you’re open to me and I’m open to you, that’s a good start. But I don’t think everyone is going to mesh well and perfectly. I think if you lead with respect and kindness, you can get far enough.”
Let’s be real — kindness doesn’t get you very far in this group. Luckily, Minkoff isn’t a pushover. “I like to think of myself as someone who leads with kindness, but if I’m backed into a corner, I’m going to stand up for myself,” she affirms. “But I would not come at people for no reason. If I feel really strongly about something or if my integrity is being questioned, I’m going to defend myself. If I don’t speak up, how would anyone know where I stood?”
I like to think of myself as someone who leads with kindness, but if I’m backed into a corner, I’m going to stand up for myself.
Of all of the women, Crystal didn’t have many issues with Dorit who she points to as the most welcoming. “I think she could sense my reluctance and nerves being new to the group. She has young kids, virtually the same age, so she had a different perspective in welcoming me — knowing that I’m a mom of young kids and what this all meant.” Now, even PK and Crystal’s husband Rob are friends. “I didn’t know how to start this whole thing, and they were the ones who really reached out from the beginning.”
What to expect from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11
Crystal predicts that this season is going to be one to remember. “It’s very dramatic,” she warns. “More drama than I’ve ever experienced in my life — that’s for sure.” She even surprised herself this season with how the drama could affect her. “There’s a mix of the roller coaster of emotions. I go through them and I’m not an emotional person. I can’t even say that anymore,” she jokes. “And they all laugh at me that I even said that from the beginning. But these girls really pull it out of you.”
Watch the next season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills May 19 at 9T/PT. Stream all your favourite Slice shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand.