Settling into a new normal was no easy feat for Braunwyn Windham-Burke, her girlfriend, Jennifer Spinner, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Sean Burke — but they’re making it work.
The trio convenes on camera for the first time in an exclusive joint interview with Page Six, breaking down their rare dynamic and their commitment to co-parenting seven children.
“Obviously, it’s uncomfortable and awkward, but we do spend time together,” Braunwyn, 45, tells us from her Newport Beach, Calif., house, nestled next to Spinner, 38, on a massive L-shaped sectional with Sean sitting nearby.
“They get along pretty well,” the “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum continues, admiring the friendship her estranged spouse and current partner have built.
However, she adds, “Things between [Sean and I] have not been great.”
Braunwyn — who came out as a lesbian in December 2020 — finally filed for divorce from Sean last October, opening the door for them to argue over everything from finances and future custody arrangements to cleaning habits.
“Braunwyn’s excessively OCD,” Sean claims. “I can clean this house for hours … I have been doing it for the entire day before she gets back because I know her level of [cleanliness] is insane, like Q-tip-in-the-corner kind of insane.”
The businessman elaborates, “And then she gets back and just blows up at me for two hours. ‘Everything is destroyed!’ There will be, like, one piece of clothing left on the chair.”
In moments such as these, Sean is grateful to have support from Spinner, who helps him “balance logic over craziness” amid chaos, he says.
“I like Sean,” offers Spinner, who began dating Braunwyn in the summer of 2022. “We approach things very similarly and I find him very easy to problem-solve with. Like, if anything comes up, we can just tackle it.”
Sean boasts that he and Spinner are “pretty grounded,” while referring to Braunwyn as a “volcano.”
Meanwhile, Braunwyn only feels ready to erupt when chagrined by this alliance, she tells Page Six.
“They have a tendency where the two of them gang up on me and I hate it,” the blonde beauty admits before addressing Spinner directly, “Because he puts me down a lot and then you’re like, ‘Yeah.’ And I’m like, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ I hate it.”
This assessment compels Spinner to respond. “Well, I think it’s not ganging up,” the nonprofit exec says. “I think it’s just two people of the same approach trying to coach someone.”
As a child of divorce herself, Spinner feels equipped to offer emotional aid to Braunwyn, Sean and their expansive brood in times of dissension.
“My parents are divorced and I know what it’s like to be a little kid when your parents are in the midst of figuring out what a divorce going to look like,” she says, taking a beat to applaud the parents for always putting their children first.
“They’re always focused on the kids, that’s their No. 1. That’s what they share,” Spinner notes. “But it’s really easy in the heat of a moment to have a conversation and not realize that the kids are necessarily absorbing all of that.”
When tensions flare, she is happy to mediate or play “referee,” as several members of the Burke clan have described her.
Although Spinner advocates for everyone — especially the exes children, Bella, 22, Rowan, 20, Jacob, 17, twins Caden and Curren, 9, Koa, 8, and Hazel, 5 — she clarifies that she is “Team Braunwyn,” even when it doesn’t seem obvious.
“I love her to death, I will always defend her and take her side,” she says.
“[But] I can see when she’s creating a dynamic that isn’t fair or giving Sean the space that he needs to actually have a conversation and she lets me cut her off and be like, ‘We’re not doing this right now.’”
Braunwyn confesses that she does “listen to” Spinner, whom she respects for considering her children when conciliating conflict.
“You put the kids first. No matter what, you’re always on the kids’ [side],” she tells Spinner, visibly emotional. “You say you’re on my side, but you’re always on the kids’ side first. And I love that about you.”
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Although Spinner helps Braunwyn and Sean maintain peace at home, she has no legal pull as the pair fleshes out a custody agreement in court.
“I want joint legal, but [sole] physical custody of the kids because I want them to be in Tennessee,” says Braunwyn, who is gearing up for an April move to Franklin, Tenn., with her youngest children and Spinner.
The plan is for Sean to stay at the new home when the women are away, a form of “nesting” the family has become accustomed to since Braunwyn decided to separate.
“I want them during the school days … getting them to school on time, homework, after-school activities. I want that because I’m good at it,” she says. “I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 22 years So I actually excel at that part of parenting.”
Meanwhile, she wants Sean to be there for the “weekends and trips and whatever” because “he’s a really fun, great” dad.
“I want him to be able to do what he does best, which is cook pancakes and have a great time,” she tells us. “And then I can do what I do best, which is the scheduling, the remembering, the permission slips and doctors appointments.”
Spinner — who exchanged vows with Braunwyn in a “fake” Las Vegas wedding on Valentine’s Day — then chimes in to defend Sean, “Let’s not minimize Sean’s parenting.”
He then shares his own take on the matter, asserting he has “had a much stronger role in the kids’ lives than” Braunwyn gives him credit for.
“I see them pretty much every day, even when Braunwyn’s in town. Which I love. I love being with them. There’s no complaints there, but I am there a lot,” he says. “And I always have been.”
Sean feels that he took on even more responsibility throughout Braunwyn’s many pregnancies and her previous addiction struggles. (She has been sober for more than three years.)
“[That] has made me be in a role of being a significant parent for a long time,” he says, justifying his desire for joint physical custody.
Again, Spinner tries to restore harmony.
“I think you both complement each other … I think you guys will get to a place where it will be joint. I think you’re both great and should have equal time with the kids,” she says. “But it’s not my decision.”
Regardless of how things shake out, Braunwyn and Sean’s kids can appreciate all the love in their lives.
“It’s like three adults that are crazy about them,” Spinner notes. “So they’re getting love from three places and attention from three places — and candy from three places.”
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