The Mad Men star once joked he'd divorce the actress if she signed on for a show like Real Housewives, but he had a change of heart when he learned what producers were prepared to pay his wife.

But he wanted no part of the show.

"I don't participate in it," he says. "I hired a lawyer and fought to get out of it, so I don't really have to do it unless I want to.

"I never signed anything... but they insisted that I be on it... It's not my cup of tea."

Harry has made the odd appearance on the show, but he's glad he doesn't have to be more of a regular - because he sees what the Real Housewives does to his wife.

"It's a little stressful for her from time to time," he tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "but I think she's having a good time. She's surviving, put it that way."

"We get the show in advance and we watch the advance copy of it and then kind of deconstruct it a little bit and then I don't watch it."

And the veteran actor wasn't fazed when his wife hurled abuse at fellow Real Housewives star Kim Richards during a recent Beverly Hills reunion show for suggesting Hamlin had done something unforgivable.

Lisa went ballistic, and challenged Kim to tell everyone what she had heard, but Richards refused, simply stating, "I think she (Rinna) knows. I'm not going to do that."

"That is so chicken s**t!" Lisa screamed. "Has he f**ked the dog? What has he done?"

Rinna then tossed a glass at Kim and and lunged for her throat.

She later said, "She (Kim) violated his (Harry Hamlin's) character. It was a total injustice and I blew my f**king lid.

"I am a fiercely protective woman and mama of my family."

The spat meant nothing to Harry, who says, "People do that all the time... and they insinuate that you did something. It was fine. She was standing up for me. She busted this glass on my behalf.

"(My kids) knew it was hogwash. They've grown up in L.A., so they're pretty sophisticated when it comes to that stuff. They don't buy into it."