Lisa Vanderpump was unfortunately attacked on American soil by a horde of rabid jellyfish with over-active stingers. In response to the lashing she took on this week's episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa takes to her Bravo blog to pose a question to viewers: "Who do you believe: Brandi or me?"
And she begins by explaining her history with Brandi Glanville.
"First, I have to give you the history of this contentious subject regarding Scheana. So two years ago, at the opening of SUR Lounge, Brandi was there. I knew her a little from her being involved in the show. I was wary of her as she said she was a friend of Cedric [Martinez]'s. We discovered later that was not true, but really, apart from that, had very little knowledge of her and her ex-husband."
"The group of staff who wanted to be in the pilot that is now Vanderpump Rules had already been assembled and were working that night of the finale party," Lisa recalls. "They were not mic-ed as they had no connection to that event. But I had to have servers and it seemed logical to put people in who were going to be comfortable in that situation."
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"Scheana had worked for me at that time for about three years. At that point, I had roughly 150 staff. She was also a friend of Pandora's, as many of the staff are and were all invited to her wedding. Did I know Scheana well? As a waitress, I would say yes, personally not at all. I had heard that she had acted and that is about it. Even today I could not tell you where she lives or where she is from — but I do know her to be a lovely girl and an excellent employee who has rarely let me down in five years."
"Scheana approaches me, from what I recall, saying there had been words between her and Brandi. I believe the cameras barely caught it and a subtitle was put up on screen to explain. Nobody at SUR had a clue that there was any connection or knew that several years ago there had been a relationship with Brandi's ex-husband, whom I had never heard of," Lisa insists.
"So the only plausible thing for me to do was to remove Scheana from the situation as quickly as possible out of consideration for Brandi. Not that Brandi was a friend of mine (In fact I remember her being so inconsiderate at the same party, shouting for me to give Cedric a kiss, obviously not knowing me at all), but more because she was one of my guests. If, as Brandi is suggesting, that any of us knew, trust me in that situation, she would have been asked to stay."
Lisa explains that her relationship with Brandi evolved because of Adrienne Maloof's planned gang-up during the S2 reunion.
"Over the next few months, I didn't see Brandi, as I obviously didn't know her much at all. My daughter got married. I moved house and life went on. The reunion came," Lisa shares. "Brandi enlightened me that there was some kind of plot to take me down and she wanted no part of it. I remember being grateful that she had not wanted to join in what transpired to be an ugly affair."
Lisa says Brandi agreed to film with Scheana for her own gain, and was not manipulated into it. "Brandi was not friendly with any of the women and desperately wanted to be part of the group. However she knew Scheana was a faithful employee and part of the cast of my new show. She very much understood that. I liked Brandi's spirit and supported that — so we slowly became friends. She would pop into Villa Blanca and on quite a few occasions, I would change Scheana's section so they would not meet again."
"The next year RHOBH and Vanderpump Rules were almost finished with production and it was suggested that Scheana and Brandi sit down for a heart-to-heart," Lisa reminds us. "That was the crossover. Brandi agreed. We all knew it would be emotional and hoped that maybe it would be cathartic and also going forward that they could at least acknowledge one another,as they tended to cross paths quite frequently. I remember for the first time seeing a vulnerability in Brandi that we all warmed to."
Fast forward to today, Lisa is confused by Brandi's sudden vitriol towards her. "I have no understanding of why after all this time Brandi would think we knew from the beginning. It's ridiculous and she knows it," Lisa seethes. "I understand from her comments and tweets she felt a little jealous at the fact that Kyle [Richards] and I were on friendly terms. We had enjoyed planning the party together. Any way why shouldn't we be? So she decided to create a wedge between us — fabricating a story that would question our friendship. . .Creating a lie that would have severe consequences."
"On the beach when Kyle asked if I had put the trashy magazine in Brandi's bag, I told her the truth: No. I had arrived last at Brandi's house. I knew that there was a nonsensical story coming out, as Brandi had told me, about Mauricio in the same magazine that had stated I had a sex tape, which I also didn't buy or look at," Lisa maintains. "I preferred to go on that weekend knowing I hadn't seen it or bought it, so I wouldn't have to comment on it. Carlton [Gebbia] was there and was adamant she didn't see it either. . ."
"But it begs the question, why would Brandi buy it anyway?" Lisa wonders. Lisa states that she does not believe the stories in the tabloid were true, although she did question if there was validity when she talked with Ken earlier in the season…
Lisa explains that she backed away from Brandi at Brandi's request. "I had been given the message loud and clear that my reprimanding Brandi and looking out for her best interest was redundant. Her resentment at my begging her to see a doctor, knowing her hand was broken. I had defended her when her actions were indefensible. . .And then she states she is scared of me."
"But my sin was not calling her for a week. Correct. I was starting to pull away and maybe she felt it. I had been chastised by Yolanda [Foster] and her, who were very close, and I backed off. . .But I would never have compromised my loyalty to her, as I stated when I walked into that fateful dinner."
Lisa is shocked by what transpired with Yolanda as well. "And yes, Yolanda, I do know where my moral compass points to. Mine is due North and yours is somewhere else. My moral compass has kept my marriage, friendships, and business in good stead. I don't try to take my friends down and criticize them behind their backs, blogging nasty comments constantly which I have chosen to ignore."
"I have tried to take the high ground, but now the high ground seems unattainable as the journey there has been too weary. I do not see a feeble woman, who as she says in her own words is 'every day fighting for her life.' I see a woman fighting for something — but not that." OUCH!
"It has been difficult witnessing her constant snipes, but I have to disregard it as my love for Mohamed and her children superseded anything she could possibly say," Lisa continues. "In her first season there were derogatory comments about all of us — now she vociferously focuses on me and I don't understand it. . .Doesn't she have more important issues to focus on?"
Finally, Lisa discusses the terrible dinner in Puerto Rico.
"I had vehemently denied any involvement with the magazine and felt it unnecessary to discuss it again," Lisa states. "But maybe that wasn't good enough. It would be better if I was questioned publicly. Maybe there was safety in numbers? So they all joined together united by a common enemy. . ."
"Finally Kim [Richards] being inexplicably rude to Ken and so opinionated about something she had no knowledge of (as she wasn't there) was just disgusting and that is why we left. Ken did not deserve that and there was no reason for us to stay."
Joyce [Giraud] had warned me at the beginning of this season that Yolanda and Brandi were less than loyal and I had foolishly ignored it. Hindsight is 20/20," Lisa acknowledges. "It was a painful couple of days, but it is brought into perspective by the loss of Joyce's father, which was a very sad time for her. She unselfishly carried on with the trip so as not to disappoint us."
Still reeling from the bankruptcy and deportation allegations, Lisa describes these as difficult weeks. "So really the essence of this episode is who should you believe? Brandi or me. . .It's a simple as that. There is definitely a puppeteer in this scenario. and I trust that you will figure it out."
[Photo Credits: Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo]
TELL US – WHO DO YOU BELIEVE: BRANDI OR LISA?