Gina Kirschenheiter's divorce from husband Matt wasn't as amicable as she first let on, the Real Housewives of Orange County revealed on Tuesday's episode of the Bravo series, claiming to Emily Simpson that her husband Matt had cheated on her with another woman ahead of their split.
Breaking down in tears, Gina told her friend, "I've just been carrying it around for so long and not being able to talk about it. It does feel good at least to just say it and try to heal from it."
While Matt does not appear on RHOC to tell his side of things, Gina alleged that he began an affair when their family first moved to California from New York. Despite going to therapy to work through their issues, Gina claimed Matt and his mistress were still seeing each other, having found a Valentine's Day card written to her husband in his car.
"I found out that he was still seeing this woman and has been for the past six months, and he didn't tell me," Gina told Simpson. "It hurts."
"Finding the card felt like the day that I found out about the affair in the first place and it brought me immediately back to that moment," she added to the camera. "So I got really scared because I didn't want to go back to that bad place that I was in when it all first happened, because I can't go back there."
As for why she played off their split during her first season of RHOC as so friendly, Gina confessed, "I thought I was doing the right thing, to protect my kids, and that's all that really matters to me. I don't want my kids to think their father is a bad person, because he's not. I don't want to be the reason that anyone would look at him badly. He's not a bad person, it's just hard."
Still wanting to coparent their children together, sons Nicholas, 7, Luca, 4, and daughter Sienna, 5, Gina admitted she was wary of any kind of relationship with her estranged husband, whom she feared was "in love" with his mistress.
"I hate her so much," Gina said of the accused other woman. "Can we just send her to an island?"
Since filming, the couple appeared to have reconciled in June, sharing a number of photos with each other on social media. Later that month, however, Gina was granted a protective order against her estranged husband, after she claimed he attempted to kill her. He is now required to stay 100 yards away from both her and their children.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
Photo credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images