by Candice Chandler, photographed by Jim Jordan
Inside the World of Yolanda & David Foster
Yolanda Foster is not new to Beverly Hills, but she is the freshest face on Bravo’s mega-hit TV show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Celebrating her first wedding anniversary with 16-time Grammy winning husband David Foster, Yolanda juggled a new business venture and serious health concerns while being filmed. The Holland-born model also has three children, and her down-to-earth, motherly nature stands out on the show. Drama aside, Yolanda chats about her take on RHBH, her favorite LA perks, and what’s to come.
It’s your first season for “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” How has starring on Bravo’s hit show impacted you and your family?
Overall it has been a great experience. The Bravo train is an extraordinary platform and seems to be going to great destinations. Unfortunately I slowly fell off the face of the earth and wasn’t able to participate in promoting the show the way I would have liked, due to my battle with Neuro Borrelia Lymes disease. Besides my husband, nobody knew how sick I was during the making of the show. I had barely finished filming my Dutch show and went straight into RHBH, unfortunately with a lot of symptoms of Lymes disease which at that point I did not know I had. My brain started to really let me down. Doctors said I worked too much and juggled too many things at once, but I was raised with so much discipline and was always taught to work as hard as you can and sleep when you”re dead. Juggling is what I used to be so good at, and what I’ve thrived on my whole life, so I played tough-ass and kept pushing and pushing until my body said no more and crashed the day after our final shoot, the opening of Kyle’s new store.
I will never forget the brutal moment of walking into the party and having Taylor Armstrong come at me and me having an absolute failure of my brain, meaning I had plenty of words to defend myself floating in my head but I wasn’t able to form a sentence and articulate what I had to say.
Having already known Lisa Vanderpump, what was it like meeting the other housewives?
Lisa and I are woven from the same cloth. Our moral compass is the same so that alone was a solid foundation for a great friendship. Meeting all the other housewives has been an interesting process because I chose to meet them all in real time rather than watching them on the previous seasons of RHBH. That would have been faster and probably more effective, but I was stubborn and wanted it to be more organic so that I could experience real friendships rather than pretend ones just based on their behavior on the show. It’s just like the real world. You’re naturally not going to connect with everyone in a new group. Some of them reached out to me and wanted to get to know me, and some of them didn’t.
How do you handle the turbulence that often plays out on the show between the other women?
I take everyone for their face value. I had to learn that what you see on TV is who we all really are as human beings. Sometimes the editing might not favor one or the other. but overall it’s a pretty fair picture of who the players are. The turbulence that I see among the woman is all about past issues. For some reason, instead of looking each other in the eye, resolving them and moving on, most of them choose to stay stuck in the past which has made it quite difficult to create new memories. I grew in the barn. I’m far from perfect and I’m not a shrink, but because of my life journey and coming from a different culture I believe I look at things very differently. I felt my role in this group has been to be the voice of reason to those who were open to me.
What are your goals with your business, Hopelessly Romantic? How does your husband feel about your new venture?
David is excited. He knows my determination and believes I am onto something great, he has seen me in action for the past 6 years and loves the passion I have brought into his life. His music is the soundtrack to our lives and he is my muse and inspiration in all that I do. I have been driven and fascinated by romance my whole life. Why does it come so easily when we first meet and why does it become a job once you get used to each other? At Hopelessly Romantic by Yolanda we provide simple but fun and sexy ways for lovers to stay connected. At the end of the day, it’s the intimacy that we all long for. That’s what keeps us happy. I started branding the slogan “get wise, keep their romance alive.” #getwise
How has your first year of marriage been with your husband?
David and I have been together for 6 years but we just celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Even though this first year has been a tough year for health reasons, it has been the absolute perfect year for us because I have gotten to know a part of him I’d never known before. His love, empathy and patience with my illness is something I have never experienced. I went from super woman, wife, mother and friend to staring at the bedroom ceiling lights for the past 4 months. Becoming dependent on his strength was hard for a control freak like me, but I had no choice. I feel honored and blessed everyday to be married to my husband, my lover and my best friend.
Who is your favorite fellow housewife on the show?
Lisa and Brandi, by far. When the chips are down, it’s a good time to take inventory in your life and realize who cares about you and who your true friends are. Since we finished shooting the show they are the only two that knocked on the door and came to check on me, and you know what? That simple gesture says a lot about who they are, and it meant the world to me.
Having grown up in Holland, do you ever miss it, or think about one day moving back?
Living in Holland is a faint and distant fantasy. I love my country and my whole family still lives there, so part of my soul is always with them, but my life is in America with my children Gigi, Bella, Anwar, and the beautiful extended family I have collected along the way. David loves Europe for about two weeks every summer, so moving back to Holland doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us.
Will we see you in future seasons of “Real Housewives?” What’s next for you?
I think that if God is willing to restore my health and give me back my brain, I would love to do another season of RHBH because people have only seen the shell of the woman I used to be. Building my Romance company, making money to stay financially independent, making a difference, and trying to leave this planet a better place than when I came into it are the goals I have set for myself to hopefully be accomplished in the future.
YOLANDA’S CITY SECRETS
Beach of choice:
Most romantic spot in town:
Nobu on the beach
What makes Malibu special?
Being connected to nature and the “small town” feeling.
Favorite “secret” spot?
My bedroom in my husbands arms. Guess it’s not a secret spot but what goes on there is secret!
Where do you go to relax and Rejuvenate?
Beverly Hot Springs in Korea Town
Favorite place for a snack:
Best place to watch the sunset:
From my backyard