Waring, now 30, has been awaiting his trial in a California jail for almost two-and-a-half years because Peterson refused to pay his $1 million bail. The former reality star explained to Kelly that her "commitment to Josh from day one" has always been, "I will back you financially for anything that you need for rehabilitation."
Behind the scenes of Peterson's four seasons on "RHOC," Waring was struggling with drug addiction and facing trouble with the law. Before his final arrest in 2016, Waring was a full-blown heroin addict who had been arrested some 30 times.
"We all know with addicts, there's a criminal element to it. Just purchasing drugs and possessing drugs -- it's a criminal act," Peterson told Kelly. "With that, of course, he's been arrested many times. And I told him I won't help with [bail], but if he's ready to get clean, I will put whatever funds into that."
"That's my commitment, and I struggle with that," she continued. "In this situation, especially. He was really spiraling and at a really low point, and I felt like actually being incarcerated might help him get sobered up."
Peterson said her son is now one year clean and was able to do so "without any help" or rehabilitation.
Peterson said she began noticing changes in her son's personality and behavior around the age of 14 or 15. She felt her divorce from Waring's father likely had an impact on his behavior but said she was told by psychologists not to worry -- that that was "normal" for a teenage boy dealing with trouble at home. She explained her son started smoking marijuana, and it was a "downward spiral" from that point forward.
When Kelly asked what went through her guest's mind when she first learned her son was addicted to heroin, Peterson replied, "It's just been devastating. It's tragic. This doesn't happen in families like ours -- that I thought. Now, I've educated myself on addiction, which is something that I never thought I would have to do, but there's no boundaries to it."
When Peterson signed up for "RHOC," she knew her son was struggling with drugs and run-ins with the law, but she "didn't realize" the extent of his addiction. Peterson said her decision to leave the Bravo series was an effort to "protect" her boy -- who had just turned 18 -- from the media.
On June 20, 2016, Waring went to a "flop house" -- where drugs are bought and sold -- in Costa Mesa, California. According to court docs cited by Kelly and confirmed by Peterson, there was an altercation. Waring is accused of having returned to the house hours later, where he allegedly opened fire on residents of that house from his vehicle. Waring was alone in his car, but there was another car with him. To this day, he maintains his innocence and claims the shots came from the other car.