Why Ousted Real Housewives Vet Braunwyn Windham-Burke And Her Husband Finally Decided To Split Up

screenshot brauwyn windham-burke real housewives of orange county
(Image credit: Bravo)

43-year-old mother of seven and Real Housewives of Orange County vet Braunwyn Windham-Burke officially came out as lesbian back in December, amidst Season 15 airing on Bravo. That shock was coupled by the admission that she and husband Sean Burke would remain married and living under the same roof. Fans were no doubt hoping her story would continue on the reality show – that was until she was fired ahead of Season 16. But life still goes on, with or without the Bravo cameras, and Windham-Burke is now revealing why they have finally decided to split up in a more official way.

During an Instagram Live session on Monday, Braunwyn Windham-Burke was joined by her husband Sean Burke to provide updates on their currently open marriage. The two are still technically married and will not be getting a divorce or annulment (as of yet), but it seems the couple are splitting apart to live in separate houses. Windham-Burke said,

He is moving into a furnished rental for a few months and I am taking the kids to Hawaii for a while. So we have decided jointly that we are going to take a few months apart.

The Real Housewives of Orange County star has shared in the past that being under the same roof 24/7 during the pandemic has caused problems in their marriage, which is definitely not a situation exclusive to that pair. But Braunwyn Windham-Burke stated in the Instagram Live that her unexpected exit from the show has also contributed to the split. Apparently, they had planned to keep their house together as one to film in but that is “no longer an issue.” So while she says that this break is just a temporary one, it doesn't seem like things are going to suddenly turn back around.

The controversial reality star claims to have been looking for an Orange County house of her own for some time, with no success. Supposedly, Mary Fitzgerald from Netflix’s Selling Sunset has been helping her. But in even stranger realtor news, Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s current girlfriend Fernanda Rocha evidently helped Sean Burke find the house he’s moving into.

The separation is a stark departure from Braunwyn Windham-Burke and her husband’s portrayal of a cohesive unit that fans saw during the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion. In their recent Live, though, the two admitted they “don’t know” what they’ve been doing in this journey. She revealed they even have hopes to own a farm in Hawaii to help raise their grandchildren together one day, so maybe that'll happen eventually. For now, they want to continue to co-parent their 7 kids, just in separate houses now, while still supporting each other’s true desires. Windham-Burke said,

We still do have those dreams of doing that and growing old together, only now it would be nice to have a woman by my side and for him to have a woman by his side. I’ve been lucky with Fernanda. She has been amazing and just understanding and honoring this whole thing and I would love that for Sean.

As for the Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn Windham-Burke conveyed that she didn’t know until the day of the announcement that Bravo wasn’t bringing her back for Season 16. Kelly Dodd, who has since gotten into a lot of off-camera drama of her own, was also fired. Alum Heather Dubrow is coming in as a replacement after a 5-year absence.

With the change of addresses, Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s dynamic with her husband is still clearly as complicated as ever. Sean Burke kindly asks that the ladies DM him, but only “if you can handle all of this.”

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.