Vanderpump Rules fans are learning about a different side of James Kennedy's life. Slowly we're seeing more of the DJ and his complex family dynamic, which includes him playing the role of breadwinner for his mother, two younger brothers, and father (clip above). And in the wake of revealing this side of his life, he's been receiving words of support from fans who can relate to his struggles.
"People judge me and I’m fine with that. I do this show to change people’s perspectives and let them see mine, this makes me so happy to see and this is not the first message I have received, I’ve been sent literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds if not thousands! And I can’t read them all but I see them and I love you all- it’s not always easy but that’s life and I swear if you’ve met me in person... or as a fan or a friend I bet you really liked me in real life. Anyw[ay] I might delete this I prob[ably] will but I’ll leave it up for you guys to see for a bit," he shared on Instagram. "Thanks again and sending love to everyone going through anything in life!"
James' family struggles have not just had an effect on fans, but also on SUR boss, Lisa Vanderpump, who opened up more about her connection to James and his family when she stopped by The Daily Dish offices earlier this season.
"With James and his brother [when he came in for a job interview], they were radically different, really. But James has a lot of goodness in him and I was happy that you see some of that," LVP said. "And that's my frustration with James Kennedy is that I know that he's got a lot more to offer. And drink is the devil to him; when he drinks, he literally changes over night."
While she did note that "hes got to learn to grow up" and not allow himself to get provoked, she went on to add, "I think that it was multifaceted. It's not just him being an asshole. We've all seen that; but then the other layers of how he supports his family [and] how, at such a young age, he's there for his brothers financially, how his mother's been in rehab, and how he's trying to be the glue in the family."
In past seasons, James has dealt with other familial issues, including his parents separating. And Lisa said, "I think the family has been through a lot and they are good people. But they have definitely had their struggles and he has done his utmost to try and pull them all through it."
This season, we've also seen LVP and James' mother interact a bit (clip below) and Lisa offered more insight into how she knows James' parents. "Well, I haven't known them that well. Ken knew [his dad] Andros a little bit previously. And I had met Andros through George Michael... so, we knew them a little bit. But I do feel a certain amount of responsibility. I've taken this young boy and he's suddenly been front and center in a reality show, and I think as a mother and a producer, I do have a little more patience and tolerance with him to try and keep him on the right track... I phone him a lot, I do; he needs that in his life. He needs guidelines."
Below, LVP and James' mom discuss his future from earlier this season. And you can follow James' journey every Monday at 9/8c on Vanderpump Rules.