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RHOBH 's Crystal Kung Minkoff Opens Up About Enduring Online Harassment: 'I Can't Stay Away From It'

·3-min read

Crystal Kung Minkoff is opening up about the online harassment she faced after becoming the first Asian American cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

During a reunion episode of season 11, the reality star revealed to her costars and Bravo host Andy Cohen the racist hate she experienced from viewers while being on the show, including "hundreds of messages a day" attacking her for being Asian.

Speaking to PEOPLE at Gold House's Gold Gala event on Saturday, Kung Minkoff, 39, shares an update on the situation, saying, "It's gotten better."

RELATED: Crystal Kung Minkoff on Being RHOBH's First Asian American Housewife, Tackling Racial Issues on Show

"But our season just started, so I noticed a little bit more, but I am more prepared to handle it," she explains. "And what I realize is I always grew up in Los Angeles. I grew up obviously in a very Chinese household, sort of in a bubble."

"I didn't realize that many people out there have never seen an Asian person on TV, integrated, mixed marriage, mixed kids," she adds.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: (L-R) Crystal Kung Minkoff and Rob Minkoff attends Gold House's Inaugural Gold Gala: A New Gold Age at Vibiana on May 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Gold House)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: (L-R) Crystal Kung Minkoff and Rob Minkoff attends Gold House's Inaugural Gold Gala: A New Gold Age at Vibiana on May 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Gold House)

Stefanie Keenan/Getty for Gold House

Despite the "negativity" she encountered, Kung Minkoff is also grateful for the support she received from her fans after her RHOBH debut in 2021.

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"It's also incredible I get so many positive messages," she says. "'I wanna see more of your culture…,' 'I didn't know about dumplings or Chinese new year,' and all these things that I got to share last year, so I really lean into it this year."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: (L-R) Crystal Kung Minkoff and Rob Minkoff attends Gold House's Inaugural Gold Gala: A New Gold Age at Vibiana on May 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Gold House)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: (L-R) Crystal Kung Minkoff and Rob Minkoff attends Gold House's Inaugural Gold Gala: A New Gold Age at Vibiana on May 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Gold House)

Stefanie Keenan/Getty for Gold House

Admitting that online harassment is something she can't entirely avoid, Kung Minkoff has decided to continue using her platform for a good cause.

"Look, it's gonna be there. I can't stay away from it," she affirms. "But my job in my heart is to express our culture positively."

At the event to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, Kung Minkoff — the co-founder of Real Coco, a coconut-based food and beverage company — was accompanied by her husband, prolific filmmaker Rob Minkoff. The couple share two children: Max, 9, and Zoe, 7.

RELATED: Michelle Yeoh Says 'Don't Wait for Hollywood' to Change the Course on Asian Representation

Minkoff joined RHOBH in season 11, a year after Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke debuted on the show. Meanwhile, season 12 introduced Diana Jenkins as a new addition to the group.

When asked about which costars in the Bravo franchise she feels the closest to, Kung Minkoff tells PEOPLE, "I am gonna say, Sutton, Garcelle because I see them a lot."

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS -- Season:12 -- Pictured: (l-r) Diana Jenkins, Crystal Minkoff, Erika Girardi, Kyle Richards, Garcelle Beauvais, Dorit Kemsley, Lisa Rinna, Sutton Stracke — (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS -- Season:12 -- Pictured: (l-r) Diana Jenkins, Crystal Minkoff, Erika Girardi, Kyle Richards, Garcelle Beauvais, Dorit Kemsley, Lisa Rinna, Sutton Stracke — (Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Bravo)

Tommy Garcia/Bravo

"We see each other a lot off-camera, so yeah, but I am getting along with everyone," she adds.

The mother of two also shares she "understands" there is an inevitable divide between the "OG members" of the show and newcomers, including herself, Stracke, and Beauvais.

RELATED: RHOBH's Crystal Kung Minkoff Opens Up About Her Bulimia: 'I Always Felt Like the Ugly Kid'

"They have been filming a long time together. They've had established their friendships, and that's okay ... I understand that," she explains. "I want someone to understand that if I have another closer friend, I am not gonna try to move my way. I am just gonna show who I am, and if you like me, love me, and if you don't, then your loss."

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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