Tamra Judge is best known for being a longtime cast member of the “Real Housewives of Orange County,” the original “Housewives” show in the mega-successful franchise.
The 49-year-old mother of four joined the hit Bravo show for its third season, and she’s now entering Season 12.
That’s a lot of on-screen drama.
Aside from her issues with the rest of the women on the show, Judge has been especially open about the most intimate parts of her life: her faith, her family history, and her relationship with her children. In fact, her Season 11 tagline was:
“My faith is strong … and my ass isn’t bad, either.”
Followed by her Season 12 tagline:
“I’m pint-sized, baptized and highly prized.”
In Season 10, Judge, who is notorious for her short-fused temper, revealed that she found Christ. The born-again Christian went on to televise her baptism to the world, and with millions of witnesses, she dedicated her life to the church and all its values — one of which is forgiveness.
And with two ex-husbands, a formerly estranged father, and plenty of “frenemies,” Judge had a lot of forgiveness to work toward.
Her last marriage to Simon Barney, with whom she shares three children, was explosive. During filming, the two frequently exchanged venomous words and eventually decided to divorce.
Sadly, a nasty custody battle ensued, and Judge is now dealing with the very painful aftermath.
During the show’s Season 10 reunion special, she revealed that her eldest daughter, Sidney, wasn’t speaking with her anymore and had opted to stay at her father’s house full time — despite the fact that she and Simon legally have joint custody over their children.
Judge shed plenty of meltdowns over the estrangement throughout the next season but remained hopeful her daughter would let her back into her life someday.
In October, she told The Daily Dish:
“I am very hopeful that my situation with Sidney and Spencer will be fixed. I want Spencer to have a relationship with his father. I don’t think it’s good for kids not to. But I can’t. I’ve tried to force him, I’ve tried to make him, he doesn’t want to. So it’s been very, very difficult.
And I pray every single night. Just God, please, just watch over this family. Help them, get us all back together. I think that it’s gonna happen. I think that everything happens for a reason. Everything does. So if it’s a learning lesson on my side or on his side or the kids’ side, everybody’s gonna come out [a] better person.”
And now, in a sneak peek of this week’s episode, Judge has dedicated her platform to the tragedy of estranged and shut-out parents.
She was the guest speaker at an event honoring the film “Erasing Family,” which is a documentary shedding light on how common alienated family members are in the U.S.
Judge, alongside her father, her son, and her brother, spoke through tears:
“These are three generations of alienated people. I am honored, and deeply saddened, to be standing here tonight. I have lived the past three-and-a-half years in what I call silent pain. People tell you all the time, ‘Don’t worry, she’ll be back. She’ll figure it out.’ Every time someone tells me that, I want to punch them in the throat and say, ‘Don’t worry. It won’t hurt long.’ And then I want to punch them again.”
She continued, saying she does have hope for not only her own family but all those out there who have been shut out:
“I do believe that my daughter will be back one day, just like I believe your children will all be back one day.”
And she ended with one heartbreaking piece of advice:
“I just want to say, love your children more than you hate your ex.”
During the event, she was heard telling people that although she was never alienated by a parent, she did so to her father:
“I wasn’t alienated, but when my parents got divorced, I chose sides. I chose my mom’s side. I just kind of walked away from my dad. My dad was my hero.”
She also reflected on her pain from broken familial bonds:
“I divorced Ryan’s dad, my mom and dad divorced; divorce does horrible things to families. Every single day, it hurts…”
It’s obvious why Judge feels passionate about the film, especially considering the rocky relationships she’s had in her life, but she also clearly feels for the countless others in the same situation:
“Being erased from your child’s life, you instantly feel like a bad parent. People don’t realize it’s happening to 22 million people in the world.”
Thankfully, it seems that her hopes and prayers have been working. On June 14, Judge posted a photo to Instagram of her and her children at her daughter’s high school graduation:
Her caption read, in part:
So many things to be proud of this month. Our family has come a long way and I couldn’t be happier. Simon and I are so proud of these amazing, smart, funny, beautiful & crazy kids. Congrats Sidney, your smile lightens up the room and your future is so bright.
Judge said she’s never going to give up when it comes to her daughter, and judging by the smiles at her graduation, their relationship seems to be getting better day by day.