'She Pivots' with Lala Kent: Fighting for Her Sobriety—and Her Child

Kent's rise to reality fame started when she moved to Los Angeles from Utah and was discovered at SUR, the restaurant featured on 'Vanderpump Rules.' Entering the Bravo TV world would change her life.

headshot of Lala Kent, reality star from Vanderpump Rules
(Image credit: She Pivots / Lala Kent)

If you’re a reality TV fan like me, you know Lala Kent as the explosive star of Vanderpump Rules. Her co-stars, Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss, have been dominating recent reality headlines after news broke of their months-long affair. But Kent admits being in the spotlight has brought its share of challenges for her own personal life. 

On the latest episode of the She Pivots podcast, Lala talks about everything from fighting for custody of her daughter, Ocean, choosing to get an abortion in her 20s, to her struggle with alcoholism and eventually her journey to sobriety. 

Her rise to fame started when she moved to Los Angeles from Utah and was discovered at SUR, the restaurant featured on Vanderpump Rules. Joining the Bravo TV world would change her life.

“They obviously saw something that they wanted to throw a camera up and record my actions,” Kent tells me during our interview. “...I'm a big personality. I'm a hard pill to swallow. I know, I'm intense. I'm an acquired taste. But once you develop it, you can't get enough, baby.”

As her fame skyrocketed and she launched her beauty brand, Give Them Lala, she felt on top of her career—and the world. But that would come crashing down when her father passed away. It was one of the first moments where she confronted the hard truth: She was an alcoholic.

“I admitted it to myself,” she says. “It was like eyes opened. ‘You're an alcoholic and you're getting help today.’ There was nothing that was going to change my mind. For the first time, I saw the tiniest little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”

With her recovery came clarity, including a year-long battle to gain back custody of her young daughter. “I had the power the whole time,” she says. “it was my own freaking strength.”

To hear about Lala’s relationship with her Vanderpump Rules castmates and more, tune in below.

Emily Tisch Sussman
Contributing Editor

Emily Tisch Sussman is the Founder and Host of “She Pivots,” the podcast in partnership with Marie Claire about women, their stories, and how their pivot became their success. She is a contributing editor to Maire Claire and the guest host of the Marie Claire Instagram Live series “Getting Down to Business.”