Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers finally seem to have it together as a couple. "We are exclusive, we are dating, we are together," the Real Housewives of Orange County original tells Us Weekly in a new video interview, confirming once and for all that their on-again/off-again relationship is back on. "It's official."
However, the thing that brought them closer is cause for concern, not celebration—Brooks is battling cancer for the third time.
"I just knew something wasn't right," Vicki says. "He hadn't been looking good." The news that he had been diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma hit Brooks's on-again love like a ton of bricks. "We were standing outside," she recalls. "It was 9:30 at night and I just burst into tears."
Of their relationship today, Brooks says that cancer "either will tear you apart as a couple or bring you together. And with us, without a doubt, it's brought us together."
In fact the couple is now living together. Vicki explains, "In late October, when Brooks had his chemo treatment planned, I felt, 'It's time to get him moved into my home.' I didn't want him recovering by himself."
Vicki said her fellow Housewives have offered support and encouragement—well, at least most of them have. "Shannon was absolutely there for us. Heather also reached out. And [Heather's husband] Terry, Lizzie. Never heard from Tamra. Interesting." Vicki says the situation has put her relationship with Tamra in perspective: "You know what, you really find out who your true friends are when things like this happen."
One person who may have trouble supporting her relationship with Brooks? Vicki's daughter Briana, who famously exploded on Brooks at last year's RHOC reunion, confronting him about his drunken suggestion that her husband use violence to "get her to fall in line."
"My relationship with Briana is really, really good," Vicki says, although she admits she hadn't told her daughter about the recent step they'd taken. "She doesn't know Brooks is in, but I guess she will now!"
Take a tour of Vicki's home below.
•Vicki Gunvalson Receives the Key to Tulepo
•Greg Bennett: Why I Love Vicki Gunvalson
•Woo hoo! Vicki Gunvalson Will Be a Grandma Again
•Vicki Gunvalson and Brooks Ayers Break Up
•Real Housewives Emojis Have Arrived
[Source: US Weekly]