Lala Kent is literally closing her last chapter. The outspoken Vanderpump Rules star is leaving the past behind with a new book, her memoir, Give Them Lala. While it might seem odd for a 30-year-old to pen an autobiography, for Lala, it was necessary.
“I want to say that my life story so far was so interesting that I had to share it with people, but it was more of me needing to release things that had happened to me, stories that for me were life changing and defining, but that were affecting me every single day,” Lala shares with ET of the book’s origins, speaking over video chat. “I just found myself feeling like I had a scarlet letter on me and walking into rooms up until really recently where it was like, ‘Hi, I’m Lala and, by the way, this is how [Randall Emmett] and I really got together…’ and, ‘This is what really happened….’ And it was like, it’s time to purge and move on from this.”
“These things happened, but I’m not going to let them weigh on me every day,” she adds, “It was perfect timing, because I purged and now I’m in a whole different realm of life becoming a mom, and I can now move forward with motherhood with not a clean slate, but just feeling more light.”
Give Them Lala tracks the journey from Lauren Burningham to Lauryn Burningham to Lauryn Kent to Lala Kent, the number of personas Lala’s taken on over the years. She’s sometimes all four women wrapped into one, at other times just one.
“I feel like it’s something that I fall into without even knowing that I fall into it,” she admits of passing between her different identities. Lauren is family-oriented, Lauryn is the actress with a dream of stardom and Lala is the “warrior” personality she pulls out to face the harsh truths of the world.
“Lala comes out when a camera turns on and it still is me,” she notes, “but it’s almost this version where I can protect myself a bit — and it may just be in my head, but I don’t care — because I feel protected by Lala. She’s super bad-ass. And I don’t know, if it helps me navigate through this crazy life of being vulnerable, but not too much to where I’m affected and feel like I want to run away and hide, then that’s what it is. And I actually encourage everyone to have a little alter ego.”
For those who are curious, Lala switched from Lauren (pronounced la-ren) to Lauryn to make her name more memorable when auditioning, then swapped her legal last name for her dad’s first name, Kent, which proved easier for people to spell than Burningham. “Lala” was her childhood nickname, which her friends from home used to introduce Lala when she moved to Los Angeles, meaning more people in California knew her as Lala than Lauren/Lauryn.
Give Them Lala gives readers who only know Lala through the lens of reality TV or Instagram the chance to learn about her life before fame and tabloid attention took over, and that means sharing vulnerable stories that Lauren may never have let out into the world, like the abortion she opted to get when she was 22.
“The thing that I went back and forth with, do I write about this? Do I not? Is the abortion chapter,” Lala admits. “It’s just a conversation that, for me, amongst my friends, we all have the same outlook on that topic, but not everyone else does. And I ping-ponged back and forth and finally it was like, this is something that needs to be spoken about. And I feel like we are where we are in this world because people are so nervous to talk about things that make them uncomfortable. So we’re mentioning it, we’re talking about it and people can love it, hate it, or learn something from it. It is what it is.”
Lala had an unexpected pregnancy with an ex-boyfriend, and decided to terminate it when she realized she wasn’t ready to be a mother at 22. Her mother endorsed the idea, telling Lala, “I would do if I were you.”
“It was not the right situation to bring an innocent life into,” Lala recalls, as at the time she was a struggling actress who spent a lot of her free time partying and dating around, living between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. “And people may try to cancel everything that I try to do, they may label me as a ‘murderer’ because people love to throw that word out. It’s an uncomfortable topic, people have very strong opinions about it, but like I said, it happened whether I wanted it to or not. It is what it is.”
“I’m still nervous for people to read that chapter,” she confesses. “But at the end of the day, this happened, it’s not something I’m proud of. I didn’t share it because I’m proud of it. I shared it because it needs to be spoken about, and I’m not the only one that’s had to face that decision. And also it’s not black or white. It’s such a gray topic, which is what makes it so hard to discuss.”
Lala says she did not give the man who impregnated her a heads up that the story was in the book, quickly cracking, “You couldn’t even answer the phone when I was going through it, you think all these years later I’m going to give you a heads up? No.” She did, however, give her mom Lisa a warning about it: “I’ve told her, ‘I do mention you in the abortion chapter and I don’t want you being harassed.’ People can harass me all day long, do not f**k with my mom. So, I just gave her the heads up like, ‘Ignore people.’”