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Kyle Richards announced Saturday that her best friend Lorene Shea died on May 1 after a battle with mental illness. She was 52.
“I never imagined I would be posting something like this …this is my best friend Lorene … my best friend since I was 7 years old. My other half,” the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star captioned a series of photos on Instagram of the pair as children and adults.
Richards, 53, wrote that she and Shea “spoke every day” and “did everything together,” from losing their baby teeth in elementary school to having babies of their own.
“She was kind, thoughtful, funny, smart, beautiful , sentimental… The most important thing in the world to her was being a good Mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt & friend (dog Mom too),” she continued.
The Bravolebrity told her 3.8 million social media followers that “not that long ago,” Shea had “started to suffer from debilitating depression.”
“She had always been a happy person. How did this happen?” she wrote. “All who loved her rallied around her and did everything that could be done to get her help. But the system is broken. The system made it impossible to get her the help she needed. This past Sunday we lost Lorene. The system failed her! The system failed her loved ones who are now left in unbearable pain.”
Richards vowed to “do whatever it takes to try & help change the laws that are in place that prevent people from getting the help they need.”
She concluded her post, “I love you Lorene 💔 🙏 Rest In Peace Please keep her & her loved ones in your thoughts & prayers,” adding various hashtags about mental health.
The “Halloween” actress’ half-sister and “RHOBH” co-star Kathy Hilton wrote in the comments section that she was “speechless” over the loss.
“I loved her very much such a sweet happy person. I just can’t believe it,” Hilton, 63, added. “I know how lost you feeling eel [sic] right now just know what a wonderful friend and sister you were to her and she will always be with you. She will be your guardian angel. I love you so much and it breaks my heart to watch suffer. All you can do is be there for children and family and pray. 🙏😇❤️.”
“Real Housewives” including Cynthia Bailey, Dina Manzo, Melissa Gorga, Garcelle Beauvais and Crystal Kung Minkoff also sent their love.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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