Did wife’s ‘cringey moments’ steer KWV’s hand?

CEO Boyce Lloyd’s retirement has been speeded up, but company denies spouse’s behaviour on reality TV show ‘Real Housewives’ accelerated his exit

KWV CEO Boyce Lloyd All reports by LEONIE WAGNER



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News | Reality TV

● Anita Lloyd, wife of wine boss Boyce Lloyd, was in the US for the graduation of her best friend’s daughter this week when news broke that her husband’s retirement plans had been hastily expedited. KWV has denied widespread speculation that the CEO’s sudden departure was linked to controversial comments Anita made on the reality TV show Die Real Housewives van die Wynlande. He had been due to step down in July next year, but the company announced he would leave at the end of the month. “We all worship Mammon, the god of money. If I didn’t have any money, I’d jump from a building,” Anita said in one segment of the show, adding that being poor was “really bad”. The wine industry has long been associated with poorly paid workers doing temporary shifts during the grape harvest. Anita has shocked audiences with her vulgar comments and conspicuous wealth since the reality show premiered last month. This week she did not answer specific questions about her husband’s exit from KWV, but admitted she sometimes felt embarrassed when she heard herself on TV. “I have had those cringey moments when I see and hear some of the things I’ve said.” She said some people wanted selfies with her, but others gave her disapproving looks. “I am not known for keeping quiet and sweeping matters under a rug. Just as much as I can acknowledge my mistakes, I will equally address anything I don’t believe in, resolve it and move on. There is much feedback and chatter, positive and negative. It is difficult to read the negative commentary one receives,” she said. In the series, the cast embarked on a spa date where the topic of vaginal Botox arose, eliciting giggles from fellow housewife and former Miss SA Amy Kleinhans-Curd, who was ridiculed and labelled a prude. Unfazed, Kleinhans-Curd said: “When you do life with Anita, and you spend time with her, you realise that she’s got a sick sense of humour. What I love about Anita is that things are black and white — you know exactly where you stand with her through her opinion.” Controversy and conflict are the cornerstones of the international franchise. In South Africa cast members often resort to insults and catfights. This week, as the third season of The Real Housewives of Durban wrapped up, Nonku Williams reflected on her portrayal, telling the Sunday Times she wasn’t accurately represented. She said she’s not vindictive or malicious, but expresses what she believes others are saying but don’t have the courage to say. “In my 43 years of living I have never experienced so much toxicity,” she said of the latest season. “It was a real deal! Evil to the core,” Williams said. Fellow Durban cast member Sorisha Naidoo, who shocked viewers when she said voetsek, also described this season as toxic, adding that her apology for using that word didn’t make the final cut. “I was surprised and stressed. I was disappointed in myself. I apologised but it wasn’t in the final edit. That was a low moment for me. I didn’t choose violence this season, I chose myself and I chose to assert myself.” Unlike Naidoo and Williams, whose experiences were tainted by the toxicity, former Johannesburg housewife Christall Kay is still reeling from being excluded from the third season of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, which premiered on Mzansi Magic this weekend. Kay, who was embroiled in a catfight in season 3, said the Johannesburg iteration was “the most toxic”. She said she was often bullied, put down, and even assaulted, resulting in a black eye. “My career on The Real Housewives was ended; I was dropped. My career was ruined. I was the shining light for the show, I brought the wow factor. If it wasn’t for the Johannesburg version the other shows wouldn’t have happened. We set the mark. I’m the only housewife that got hit in the face, I’m the most prominent housewife,” Kay said. Despite the difficulties, Kay enjoyed the spotlight and brought flair to the show. However, she feels her career was negatively affected, leaving her with mixed emotions. “When you give your whole life to the show and people know you as Christall Kay from The Real Housewives, they ask, ‘Where have you been?’ It’s like you’re a has-been, it’s terrible,” Kay said. Durban housewife Annie Mthembu said she had regrets about the show. “Sometimes I wish I didn’t do this because the trauma that comes with it is a new level of things to work on,” she said. In the latest season, fellow housewife Sane Bhengu said Mthembu was a “lousy PA” who had slept her way to the top. “Our previous seasons were good. They were not as emotionally charged and there weren’t such low blows, it wasn’t ugliness. What happened now was distasteful,” Mthembu said.