'Real Housewives of Orange County' star Lauri Peterson's troubled son is dead at 35

 April 9, 2024

Josh Waring, son of Real Housewives of Orange County star Lauri Peterson, has died at 35 years old, Breitbart reported. No cause of death has been released, but Peterson said her son's "challenge was too great" and hinted that it might be related to his substance abuse problem.

Peterson posted the news to Instagram Saturday in an outpouring of emotion for her late son. "No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss," she wrote.

"Every fiber in my body hurts. Josh fought every single day for most of his adult life, for his life, but this past Sunday, the challenge was too great," Peterson wrote.


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Past Struggles

Peterson didn't explicitly share that her son's untimely death was linked to his drug problem. However, she expressed gratitude in her post to those "offering kind words of encouragement..by sharing their stories of living with substance abuse disorder and the many parents that have shared their stories over the years with me about the children they have sadly lost due to this illness."

Waring has had several encounters with law enforcement over the years due to his drug use. Most recently, he had tested positive for methamphetamine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl on Aug. 7, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Because he was already on probation from previous offenses, Waring faced additional charges for failing to allow a court-ordered GPS device to be fitted in accordance with the terms of his probation. He faced what would be his last court appearance on Nov. 7 and was released from a 90-day sentence on Dec. 12.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Waring had been in and out of jail over the past several years, including for a 2022 case of felony possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine. He was sentenced to two years in prison, with 106 days already served while in custody

Waring had two previous drug arrests in 2021 and 2020. However, Waring's criminal record reveals that his struggles went beyond just being a drug offender.

Murder Charges

The most significant charges Waring faced included three counts of murder. He was tangled up in the drive-by shooting of Daniel Lopez outside of a California home in 2016.

Although Waring faced a sentence of 65 years to life, he was let out with just time served. After his release, Waring received a settlement of $595,000 with the county after alleging that he was set up while in jail by sheriff's deputies.

At the time, Peterson said her son wanted to become an attorney after seeing that aspect of the law. Unfortunately, the trajectory of his life remained off course due to his continued drug use.

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what leads a person to substance abuse. Still, a family's involvement in reality television shouldn't be discounted for exacerbating existing troubles and creating new ones.

The pressures of becoming a public figure coupled with the increased scrutiny are a toxic mix for some people. It's a tragedy that Waring's life was cut short, but it should be part of the conversation about the effects this so-called entertainment has on the people who create it.

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