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Tamra Judge on Why Simon Barney Decided to Share His Cancer Battle

The RHOC alum shared an update on her ex-husband after he finished cancer treatment.

By Hannah Fusaro
Tamra Judge Simon Barney 1

Tamra Judge's ex-husband, Simon Barney, announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer in February. At the time, The Real Housewives of Orange County ex shared, “Doctors have said I’m doing really well so far. They look at me and they go, ‘Man, you don’t look like you’re going through chemo.’ So that’s good, the prognosis is good."

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Tamra also shared that the experience has improved her relationship with Simon.(The couple divorced in 2011 after 13 years of marriage and the family experienced a major rift, with the couple's eldest daughter, Sidney, now 21 years old, not communicating with Tamra, and their son Spencer, now 19, not speaking to Simon.) "Our conversations now are so different than they were before,” she said. “Before there was always such hate behind them. Not that we would always say nasty things towards one another, but we both came from a place of hate. And now we’re coming from a place of concern. It just put everything in perspective and helped us remember [none] of that other s--t means anything.”

She recently gave an update on Simon's health battle when she appeared on fellow OC alum Vicki Gunvalson's podcast, Whoop It Up with Vicki

"He's doing the best he can. He finished treatment," Tamra noted. (Simon previously detailed his intense cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy every three weeks and radiation every day, five days a week, for a total of seven weeks.) "We've all been there for him. The whole family has rallied together."

She also shared why Simon decided to share his diagnosis publicly, first announcing the news to PEOPLE.

"He gave his statement solely because people were starting to figure it out," she said. "And he had contacted me and said the guy at valet had said to me at the hospital, 'I didn't know you were from the Orange County. There [were] a couple of patients who came out and said they saw you getting chemo.'"

Luckily, Tamra's experience in the public eye came in handy in this situation.

"I said, you know what, my advice to you is to get behind the story before somebody else does," she said. "So he was very brave to tell his story and he's had a lot of support, people reaching out to him."

And ultimately, as Simon said, the family has found a silver lining. “It’s kind of like a new beginning for me and my family,” he previously shared. “It’s really brought everyone closer together.”

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