Warning: Spoilers ahead for Netflix’s Bling Empire. Kevin Kreider’s parents on Bling Empire on Netflix were a mystery for most of season 1, so, as expected, a lot of viewers want to know if he’s any closer to finding out who his birth family is.
Kevin is one of eight main cast members on Bling Empire, Netflix’s new reality TV series about a real circle of crazy, rich Asians in Los Angeles. The show, which premiered on Friday, January 15, follows Kevin, Christine Chiu, Anna Shay, Kane Lim, Kim Lee, Cherie Chan, Kim Mi Li, Jamie Xie and other über-rich Asians in L.A. as they party, shop and sort out their personal relationships. Most of Kevin’s storyline centered around his birth parents and his journey to find them.
As he explained on the show, Kevin was born in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a young child after he was adopted by a white family. But other than that, Kevin doesn’t know much about his parents. During Bling Empire, Kevin takes a DNA test and learns that he in fact was born in Seoul and has both Korean and Japanese heritage. He also learns that his birth parents gave him to grandfather who later put him up for adoption. Later in the season, Kevin sees a regression therapist, who has him tap into emotions as a child that he’s forgotten about to see if he can remember his birth parents.
The session is intense, with Kevin remembering his plane ride from Korea to the United States and one of his first birthdays with his birth family. But the most emotional part of the session came when the therapist asked Kevin if he could remember what his soul felt when his birth mother was about to give birth to him. That’s when Kevin starts to break down in tears recalling his mother’s fear and feelings of not wanting to be pregnant. Though Kevin doesn’t find out any concrete information about his birth parents, the session gave him a sense of closure about why they made the decision they did.
“There’s a lot of stuff that got brought up that I did not expect at all. I really thought regression therapy was going to be bullshit. I thought I was going to have to fake it so it didn’t seem like I was wasting [the therapist’s] time,” Kevin told Newsweek. “But then the moments hit like when I remembered who and where I was before I was 3 years old. It just overwhelmed me, realizing my birth mother’s fear of having a child. It made me really empathize with her, but it also made me feel really insecure. I waned to know why somebody would give their kid up. And even worse, my grandfather—why would my grandfather give me up too? I wasn’t just abandoned once—it was twice. And after all of that, I realized how my insecurities come up in relationships even now.”
Kevin also told Newsweek about he was hesitant to talk about his adoption, but convinced himself when he knew how much his story could help other adoptees. “I was resistant to share this part of me at first. I remember telling one of the producers that I didn’t really want to do this adoption stuff,” he said. “I thought it was going to be cliché. I’m one of those Korean adoptees that’s happy with my adoptive parents”
He continued, “But when we started getting into it more, I was like, Wow, this might actually mean something more to me than I thought. It’s like this deflection that I’ve lived my whole life, this denial of the missing piece. My whole life I was trying fill that missing piece with alcohol or parties or girls or shopping, but then it became clear that maybe this is the piece that I need to go and discover and find for myself. And if sharing that can help some other adoptee go out and do the same, all the better.”
Bling Empire is available to stream on Netflix.