Tamra Judge was the guest on comedian Heather McDonald’s Juicy Scoop podcast, where she weighed in on all the drama with Kelly Dodd and shared more backstory on where rumors that Kelly cheated originated. Tamra also dished on the future of Real Housewives Of Orange County, and shared some tidbits about her past, custody issues, and more!
Apparently rumors that Kelly has a secret boyfriend named Frank have been well-known through the OC, and several cast members heard them prior to filming, during, or after.
“This is like not new news in Newport. I’ve heard it; we’ve all heard it… We’ve been hearing it forever,” declares Tamra. “For me, it’s like a rumor, so none of us brought it up on the show.” (Except Shannon…)
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“That’s why it’s so frustrating that she brought up all these rumors! Because we’ve heard allllll these things: her being arrested, the Frank, the running some girl off the road, beating up her neighbor… like there were so many rumors out there,” continues Tamra, “and because it’s a rumor, it’s like that’s just exactly what it is. If you have no proof, than don’t say anything.”
A random woman even told Tamra, “Kelly has a boyfriend in Newport.” That’s when Tamra finally confronted Kelly about the allegations.
“I asked her!” exclaims Tamra, “about 3 months ago” (once filming had already wrapped). “I told her what I heard and she instantly said, ‘You heard this from Meghan!’ Evidently Meghan had asked [Kelly] a couple days prior to that, because someone had asked [her]. So it’s been swirling around.”
Kelly insisted she’s just “really good friends” with Frank and likened their relationship to being as if Tamra were sleeping with her hairdresser, who, Tamra notes, is gay. “Frank’s clearly not gay,” Tamra clarifies.
Frank “actually was at one of our filmings,” reveals Tamra. “At the candle party.” (Kelly confirmed this – and said the plan was to introduce him to Vicki, but she was already dating Steve.)
Tamra says other people – she doesn’t say whom – “have pretty strong opinions they know for sure” Kelly is cheating with Frank. “I should not be the one, or Shannon should not be the one, she’s blaming. She should blame herself. You can’t cheat, and then say, ‘you’re behind this.'”
As for how the story surfaced on Facebook, blogs, and finally WWHL, it originated a purloined group text message thread between Kelly, Michael, and an IT rep named Katie who was attending a work conference with Michael were leaked in a private Facebook group and then shared with Tamra, Shannon, and others. Kelly believed Michael was flirting, and in response lied that she was having an affair with Frank to make Michael jealous.
The texts are basically a ton of bickering between Kelly and Michael. IT Girl Katie eventually bows out of the conversation in the midst of Kelly’s expletive-laden accusations (towards Michael, not Katie), and chastises Kelly and Michael for dragging her into their messy personal matter. Sheesh – how freaking unprofessional, Michael!
Kelly insists they’re 2-year-old texts from when she and Michael were getting back together. At the time Michael was COO of Leapfrog (mentioned in the text thread as a time stamp, per se). However, the person who sent copies of them to Tamra and Shannon is adamant the exchange is from September of this year. Even Tamra questions this, because Michael has been retired for a couple years.
Apparently, the basis for Kelly believing Michael would cheat, is because when she started dating him he was married to someone else! Which he lied to Kelly about! YIKES.
Kelly finally ends the conversation with, “I don’t care! I’ve been f–king Frank Ultimo the whole time!” Frank is a successful OC realtor and property developer, and a close friend of the Dodds. (Is this how he’d also have a possible affiliation with Shannon or Heather Dubrow?)
Shannon was the first person to receive the texts. The sender(s) admitted “I’m a horrible person” and signed the direct message “Team Shannon.” Interesting… Shannon was salivating over the news and immediately told Tamra. That’s when Tamra discovered she too had received them from “a group of people.”
Tamra has no idea if “the Katie-girl” (from the original texts with Michael and Kelly) was involved in them being released to the Facebook group.
Tamra also accused bloggers of being “vultures,” who “just go after everything.” And blames editing for Kelly looking like the victim of mean girls in Ireland. “You know the power of TV and how it can really direct the audience,” she complains.
She goes on to accuse Kelly of having her brother send messages to bloggers and the press claiming to have proof Eddie admitted to being secretly gay.
Tamra accuses Vicki of having her friends call into WWHL last week (when Shannon and Tamra were the guests) to “say shit about Eddie.” She snarks that she should have had the Facebook group contact Vicki, when they asked her for advice on how to get through to WWHL.
Tamra goes on to chat about Ireland, specifically that bus ride! The entire trip was maybe 4 days, max!!!! “We literally get there and we film as soon as we get off the plane,” shares Tamra, which explains some of the extreme behavior! Heather and Tamra snark on Meghan’s Heritage Journey as the ridiculous reason given for going to Ireland.
“I blame Vicki more than I blamed Kelly,” says Tamra about the craziness on the bus, “because… this is not the first time I’ve heard her spread rumors about my family and my husband. This is like for for years she’s been doing this and I never bring it up. Yes, we’ve had our moments, but I’ve never done anything to her.”
Vicki also reportedly spread rumors about Heather [Dubrow], which Tamra claims she can’t remember the content of, because of the chaos during the bus ride. To give perspective: All the bus footage was taken with an iPhone by a producer sitting on the bus with them! “It was cringe-y. It was really bad,” sighs Tamra.
Tamra describes screaming in Vicki’s face “a huge release” after all the lies Vicki constantly spews. ”
Moving on to discuss the season finale, Tamra wouldn’t have invited Kelly or Vicki to her real-life party, but “we’re filming a show together.”
Tamra and Heather posit that Vicki lies for attention (and casseroles!) and doesn’t remember half the things she says, which is why she makes such outlandish statements (such as David beats Shannon). “The one thing Vicki is very consistent on is that her story changes all the time,” complains Tamra.
Tamra says that what Shannon confided in Vicki “will all come out in the reunion and make sense.”
“Shannon’s somebody who wears her heart on her sleeve and she likes to share,” describes Tamra. “And I think that that definitely taught her a big lesson. Me and Shannon talk about everything and I would never repeat. Same with Heather, too. When you have respect for someone and they treat you right, you can trust that person. But if you have somebody like Vicki that loves to gossip … ”
“I mean we’re on a reality show, we all have a certain level of gossip. But I have a policy: if you tell me something about my friend in front of a camera, you bet your sweet ass I’m gonna tell them. Because it’s gonna come out. It wasn’t like I told a secret! I’m not a shit-stirrer, I’m just keepin’ real.”
Tamra believes Vicki’s true character was exposed when she kept mentioning how worried she was about Shannon during the finale party. “If you have a friend that you’re worried about, you don’t spread rumors about them and make it worse. You go to them and talk to them. That was just her way of acting all innocent and victimized…” (I DEFINITELY agree with Tamra on this one!)
This segues into a discussion about the controversy over Kill All Cancer. “The rumor is… you had to put all your information in to get a bracelet and then [Vicki] was probably gonna use it to solicit you to sell insurance,” describes Tamra. “It was a way to get leads. I don’t know… ”
Tamra is shocked Vicki would “touch anything with the word cancer on it!” after the drama with Brooks and believes it was just another scheme to convince people she was innocent in Brooks’ lie. “It’s like she purposely did that just to prove it.”
After being disgraced, Brooks has been in hiding. “He tried to contact me through somebody else saying ‘I have so much dirt on Vicki…'” but I don’t care.”
“He was charming,” Tamra admits. Heather McDonald recently saw Brooks at a Black Tie event with a blonde woman – another Vicki-type. “I think he latched onto another successful woman,” she predicts. “Probably,” agrees Tamra. “It’s all so shady.”
Tamra shades that , “Suddenly Vicki is a die-hard Christian and she’s eating healthy. And I’m like can you just please find your lane and stick to it – stay out of mine.”
Going WAY, WAY back Tamra is asked about what really happened in the bathroom between Gretchen and Tamra’s son Ryan on Naked Wasted night. Apparently they made out. Did we know this already?
Speaking of Naked Wasted, Tamra is adamant she’s changed her ways. “I forgive really easy, unless I’m drinking. Which is why I limit my alcohol. I’m just not a person who can handle my alcohol – I’m like a big asshole on alcohol.”
On new Housewives joining the show, Tamra announces, “They are casting right now!” She thinks it’s best when producers hire women the existing girls would have a “natural” connection with, or already know, instead of throwing wild cards into the mix.
“They start casting every single year, well before we even get asked back,” explains Tamra. “If somebody during negotiations drops out, or if somebody gets let go, then they have all these back-ups of people… because going through casting, it’s time-consuming.”
‘New recruits’ drop out all the time. Producers and Bravo want people whose families will also participate “unless it’s like Kobe Bryant’s wife, or somebody like that,” declares Tamra. Apparently RHOC has been trying to get Vanessa on the show for years, but she’s never been interested!
Tamra doesn’t know if Meghan is coming back, but hints probably not.
Also, the reunion is a three-parter, “which is good, because we always like extra money,” laughs Tamra.
Onto personal matters!
Sarah and Ryan are “together. This week. They live together,” sighs Tamra. “It’s good one day, bad another… They’re sticking it out. Ryan is working full-time and going to school at night.” Sarah, Ryan, and ALL FOUR little girls live together in a 2-bedroom apartment since
Eddie Tamra cut-them off financially. Then Tamra claims “money’s not a huge issue” for them because Sarah had two jobs, and Ryan also has a full-time job as a machinist.
“Honestly I feel like [Ryan] just really had a bad rap on the show. Because he was a kid who got in trouble once in a while. He hates the show because they always want him to look like an asshole and he’s not! He’s like super chill, hangs out at home…”
Tamra goes even way-wayer back to discuss how she first joined the show. She filled out the casting application without telling Simon. “I did it as a joke!” She was shocked he agreed to do it since “he’s really private,” but Simon initially encouraged her. They had watched the show before joining, but it wasn’t very popular yet and was a very different show, so they had no concerns about participating.
“I think he enjoyed it in the very beginning… but our relationship, the longer we were married, the worse it was getting. And it was bad before we even started the show. And then, after we filmed, of course it was taking me away and he didn’t like that,” recalls Tamra. “I had never been away from him. I was really, really a stay-at-home mom, that had my real estate part-time. He just never was good in front of the cameras. He’s just a very serious person.”
Tamra says initially being part of the show “didn’t take a lot of time away” but Simon acted as if she was ignoring the family for fame. “He took advantage of it. He was trying to make me look bad.”
She describes their present-day custody drama as “pretty screwed-up.” Sydney lives with Simon full-time, and Spencer lives with Tamra; they share joint custody of their their youngest, Sophia.
Tamra says, “I’ve tried everything I can – she won’t budge. She’s not seeing my family either – it’s not just me. My mom’s really hurt too.” Sadly, Spencer and Sydney barely communicate with each other and seldom see each other. “They pass each other in the hallway,” Tamra reveals.
Tamra still texts Sydney “as if we’re still talking.” She turns 18 this month, which Tamra hopes will bring a turn-around in their relationship. Tamra’s trainer Mia has been really supportive of helping her deal.
Tamra isn’t worried about her, Shannon, or Heather’s jobs being in jeopardy for next season, and thinks the close and real friendships between them makes the show better because it’s more natural drama.
Interestingly, Tamra has never been to Heather’s new house! She’ll be making her first pilgrimage to the Mecca of Materialism next week.
There was some weirdness that happened with Jeff Lewis decorating Shannon’s new house. Tamra dishes, in a spurious voice, that the scenes were filmed for RHOC, but were cut.
“Shannon wasn’t too happy about that. I’m sure Jeff wasn’t either. The rumor is so much happened… Like we filmed with Ava [another new castmember who was cut last minute] all year and they showed a glimpse of her, so I’m thinking there’s gonna be a ‘Secrets Revealed’ or ‘Lost Footage’ episode that’s really kind a light and fun, and not too much drama.”
Also, Tamra is planning to write a fitness bible about her journey.
TELL US – IS (OR WAS) KELLY HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH FRANK? DO YOU WANT TO SEE TAMRA, HEATHER, AND SHANNON BACK NEXT YEAR?
[Photo Credit: Instagram]