Tamra Judge’s Ex-Husband Was Diagnosed With Cancer Before She Left ‘RHOC’ — How Is He Now?

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Jun. 8 2023, Published 5:20 p.m. ET

(l-r): Simon Barney and Tamra Judge
Source: Getty Images

She’s baaack! After a two-year hiatus from The Real Housewives of Orange County, the series’ resident spitfire Tamra Judge is back to reclaim her orange. As viewers of the show recall, Tamra was fired from the series in 2020 after 12 seasons. Thankfully, she returned for Season 17 with a new attitude and openness to making amends with some of her former friends.

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Before Tamra’s RHOC exit, the Vena CBD CEO had a challenging year in her personal life, which she kept from fans until February 2020. In February, she and her ex-husband, Simon Barney, revealed Simon had been diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer.

His prognosis was incredibly rough for the Bravo star, ultimately affecting her job and friendships. Since the news, Tamra has updated concerned RHOC lovers about Simon’s health.

Tamra Judge Season 17 'RHOC' outfit
Source: Bravo
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Tamra Judge gave a health update on her ex-husband before she returned to Bravo.

Simon confirmed his throat cancer diagnosis to People in February 2020. He told the outlet he had “taken this fight on with optimism” and remained hopeful that he would recover. Two years after he began treatments, Tamra shared on Watch What Happens Live that her ex was improving and is still “fighting” his illness.

"He's doing OK. He's doing OK," Tamra confirmed to host Andy Cohen in February 2022. "I mean, he's still fighting the fight. He's doing OK."

Simon also updated his social media followers on his health. In 2020, he posted a three-panel collage of himself “before, during, and after” his cancer treatments.

Since then, Simon has continued posting photos of his cooking and holiday celebrations and is seemingly in good spirits.

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When Tamra made her RHOC debut in Season 3, she was happily married to Simon, a business consultant and the executive sales manager for Fletcher Jones Motorcars. The pair were married in 1998 and had three children together — Sophia, Sydney, and Spencer. However, after 13 years of marriage, Simon filed for divorce.

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Simon and Tamra’s divorce soon became nasty, as Simon accused his ex-wife of everything under the sun, from infidelity to damaging claims about how she raised their children. Tamra also moved on during their separation and began seeing her third husband, Eddie Judge, who she married in 2013.

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Simon’s illness drove a wedge between Tamra and Shannon Beador’s friendship.

Although their divorce didn’t go smoothly, Tamra and Simon’s relationship significantly improved when she put their differences aside to help him heal. Unfortunately, her friendship with Shannon Beador nearly ended when her ex became sick.

Tamra and Shannon had a seemingly unbreakable bond on RHOC as two-thirds of the Tres Amigas. However, when Tamra got fired from the show, she claimed that Shannon “ghosted” her and their other amiga, Vicki Gunvalson, who made her exit the day before Tamra.

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Shannon denied ghosting her friend, and the drama followed the BFFs on social media and in interviews for over two years. When Tamra returned to RHOC for Season 17, she explained that she was still devastated by Shannon’s perceived lack of support, especially when Tamra was supportive and loyal to her pal years before Simon’s condition.

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“I needed somebody to tell me, ‘You’re gonna be OK, Simon’s gonna make it,’” Tamra said in a confessional of Shannon. “‘Your kids are gonna be OK.’ And when she wasn’t there for me — it was a dealbreaker.”

While discussing her and Shannon’s issues with Heather Dubrow and Gina Kirschenheiter in the season premiere, Tamra said she was open to discussing their problems face-to-face. She didn’t mention Simon’s improved health being a reason for her willingness to reunite with her friend, but we’re sure it helped her see what’s most important in her life.

Catch new episodes of The Real Housewives of Orange County Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.

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