Josh Waring, former 'Real Housewives' star Lauri Peterson’s son, dead at 35

"The Real Housewives of Orange County" alum Lauri Petersons son Josh Waring has died at age 35. (Getty Images)

Former "Real Housewives of Orange County" star Lauri Peterson's son Josh Waring has died. He was 35.

On Saturday, the 63-year-old reality TV personality announced her son's death in an emotional post that she shared to Instagram.

"It is with a shattered heart that I write this post to let you know that my sweet Josh left this earth Easter Sunday," Peterson wrote alongside a slideshow of photos capturing Waring at moments throughout his life.

She continued, "No one can ever prepare you for this feeling of such deep loss. 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."


"Josh’s childhood was filled with deep intellect, humor, pranks, athletics, snow boarding, body boarding mountain hikes, reading, friends and his love for music. Even during adult hardship, Josh continued to maintain his sense of humor, continued to be optimistic, continued to be kind to others, defended those that were unable to defend themselves and continued to love his family so so much!"

Peterson reflected on the special relationship that Waring shared with his daughter Kennady, writing that he "received the most joy, pride and purpose" through his child and watching her "grow and thrive over the years."

She also expressed her gratitude to those who had offered their help and support to Waring, who struggled with substance abuse. 


"Thank you to all of the people that have tried to help Josh along the way," Peterson wrote. "I am witness to many Angels on earth. Not everyone understands those suffering from substance abuse disorder, but I am forever grateful for your understanding and the impact you made on his life."

"I also thank those who have supported me through this journey and 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," she continued. 

"Josh I love you so much and I will miss you terribly! I will forever be your "Mama Bear & Mama Dukes" and every time the clock turns to 11:11, I will expect your call to tell me to make a wish! What will I wish for now?" 

"My heart is with you and I pray you have found the peace that you so deserve. Heaven has gained the coolest angel and you have gained your freedom at last sweet boy. Love always and forever, Mom," Peterson wrote at the end of her post.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Peterson for comment.


Peterson shared the news of her son's passing in an emotional Instagram post. (Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Peterson shared Waring with her ex-husband Phillip Waring and the two are also parents to daughter Sophia. The former model also shares daughter Ashley with her ex-husband Howard Zarlin. 

During the finale of "The Real Housewives of Orange County's" third season, the former reality star married George Peterson. Peterson was a member of the show's original cast, starring alongside Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson and Jeana Keough. 

Peterson was a regular cast member during the series' first four seasons from 2006 to 2008. She returned for guest appearances in later seasons. 

After Peterson announced her son's passing on Instagram, her post was flooded with supportive comments from her former co-stars and friends.


Peterson was a member of the show's original cast, starring alongside Kimberly Bryant, Jo De La Rosa, Vicki Gunvalson and Jeana Keough. (Chris McPherson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

"Oh Laurie, my heart breaks for you so much. I know how much you fought for him and always wanted nothing but the best for him," ‘RHOC’ alum Gretchen Rossi wrote, adding a red heart emoji.

Rossi continued, "May the Lord surround you with his angels and give you strength through this incredibly hard loss. I love you friend."

"My heart breaks for you, i know how hard you worked to be his advocate . Big hug and prayers for your family at this sad time," Peterson's former cast-mate Keough commented.

"Lauri I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking. You tried so hard to save him, and by sharing Josh’s story you would up educating people around the world about the tragedy of addiction for those who are touched by it," "Real Housewives" executive producer Andy Cohen wrote.

"Remember he was so lucky to have a mom who never gave up. RIP," former "RHOC" star Heather McDonald commented.

"I'm so incredibly sorry, Lauri," wrote De La Rosa. "Sending you all my love and praying for your heart. Here if you need anything."


The former reality star married George Peterson during the show's season three finale episode. (Dave Bjerke/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

In 2008, Peterson told the Orange County Register that she decided to leave the show to focus on her family amid Waring's struggles with addiction and legal woes. Peterson and George adopted Waring's daughter Kennady in 2015, the former reality star previously told Bravo's "The Daily Dish."

In 2020, Waring took a plea deal after spending four years in prison for attempted murder following a 2016 arrest.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Waring was arrested in June 2016 after he allegedly shot a man in Costa Mesa, California, and then engaged in a car chase with authorities. He initially pleaded not guilty. 

In 2022, Waring was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to drug charges, per the LA Times. Waring had been found in possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine, according to the outlet. 

LINK: Get updates and more on this story at