Christine Chiu Was Almost Cast as the First Asian on RHOBH (Exclusive)

Years before Bling Empire, Christine Chiu was offered to be a diamond holder on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!

PEOPLE caught up with the fashionista/entrepreneur, 41, at the Gold Gala on Saturday, May 11, which honored Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander excellence in entertainment, sports, business and more.

Chiu cleared up longstanding rumors that she was supposed to join the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for season 5 (2014).

“I actually got the contract for it,” Chiu told PEOPLE exclusively. “At that time, somebody on my father’s side passed away, and then my dog was on the verge of passing away, so emotionally I don’t think I was quite ready.”

“And my husband’s family was very much against reality TV, so I actually had to back out,” she added. “NBC Universal [the parent company of Bravo] was very gracious in allowing me to do so.” Christine is married to Dr. Gabriel Chu and a managing partner at his plastic surgery practice.

Bravo did not have comment on previous seasons’ castings.

Christine Chiu on the Netflix reality series Bling Empire.
Netflix

The eventual cast for season 5 ended up being Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Brandi Glanville, Yolanda Hadid, and newcomers Eileen Davidson and Lisa Rinna.

RHOBH would not have an Asian cast member until Crystal King Minkoff joined in season 11. Kung — who is a friend of Chiu’s — announced her exit from the show last month following the season 13 reunion.

With Kung Minkoff’s exit, there is only one AAPI woman across the entire Bravo franchise: Real Housewives of New York’s Jessel Taank.

“I look at the statistics and I look at the ratio and I feel like there really needs to be more Asian American representation,” Chiu noted. “I think Crystal did a great job and I’m so sad she’s no longer on. We were just in Japan together.”

When asked if Chiu — who ended up participating in Netflix’s reality series Bling Empire — would ever join RHOBH, she replied, “I don’t know if I would ever go on. That requires a whole other set of balls.”

Chiu also gave an update on her son Gabriel aka “Baby G,” whom viewers met on Bling Empire.

“Baby G is almost 6,” Chiu said proudly before sharing plans for his upcoming birthday. “We just joined Club 33 at Disneyland. So maybe we’re planning something there but he’s obsessed with Pokémon. That’s the reason we went to Japan. To track down Pokémon. So likely something Pokémon!”

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