The Bravo "RHOC" star tells TooFab: "She's taking this and twisting it to make her feel like a victim."
"Real Housewives of Orange County" star Vicki Gunvalson is defending herself against co-star Tamra Judge's accusations that she started the gay rumors swirling around husband Eddie Judge and that she and fellow Bravo castmates are "homophobic bullies."
"She's taking it and twisting it, which is what she does," Gunvalson told TooFab in our studio. "Gay is not less than. If you are married to a woman and you are a man and you have had a past... deal with it. She's taking this and twisting it to make her feel like a victim."
Of the rumors that Tamra's husband may have had a romantic past with men, Gunvalson said: "Eddie is a great man. I don't really give a crap what his past is... When you're married in a male-female relationship, and if you've had a past being with the same sex, I would think that would be a conversation you'd have with your wife. The point is — you're married to a woman — why is it such a bad thing that you had a past in that? Own it! Just say, 'I have been with men in the past and Tamra's cool with it,' and move on."
The bitter feud between the "RHOC" stars was reignited last month after Judge accused Gunvalson of staging a scene on the show during her birthday party in which Eddie's sexuality was questioned again. During the scene featuring Gunvalson, Gretchen Rossi, Kelly Dodd and Lizzie Rovsek, party guest Ricky Santana told the ladies he witnessed Eddie making out with a guy after Rossi asked, "Do you know if Eddie's gay or not?"
After the episode aired, Judge ripped her co-stars on Instagram: "How orchestrated and wrong was that? The worst acting I've ever seen. They are nothing but homophobic bullies that think it's okay to try and Out a straight man hoping to humiliate him," she wrote.
Gunvalson -- "The O.G. of the O.C." - sat down with TooFab's managing editor Joseph Kapsch to tell her side of the story of how all this drama began over Eddie's sexuality, respond to Judge's charges during her "Watch What Happens Live" appearance and address backlash from the LGBTQ community.
Watch Gunvalson's interview with TooFab below and then read the entire Q&A after the videos:
On Eddie's Sexual Past and Who Staged 'RHOC' Scene About Eddie Kissing a Man
On Eddie's Sexuality And Why Gay Rumor Scene Caused Backlash
Gunvalson Addresses LGBTQ Fans Upset Over Show Scene About Eddie's Sexuality
On Tamra's "Watch What Happens Live" Appearance Discussing Eddie Gay Rumors
Read Gunvalson's entire TooFab interview here:
TooFab: When did all of this begin?
Vicki Gunvalson: We have to go back to a year ago. We were in Ireland and were all getting along really nicely. I was in a good place and my ex stuff was behind me and everyone was moving forward. We were all good. Then it was 3:00 a.m. in the morning and everyone had been drinking. Kelly was kind of out of it that night because the girls didn't want her drinking. I went down to keep the peace with everyone and I ended up making the wrong decision. I should have probably stayed in my room and Kelly felt like I wasn't defending her. Then we got on the bus and we were all light drunk.
TooFab: What were you drinking? Vodka, tequila?
Gunvalson: I mean it was everything. We were in Ireland and it was 3 in the morning. We knew we had to fly for another 14 hours so whatever right? And some of the girls get nervous when they fly and so we might have been over-served for a little bit. So we get on the bus and it's pitch black out. I got my hat on and everyone has their earphones in and then Tamra goes up to Kelly in the midst of other things prior to that happening on the bus, and the cameras were off, down under the bus. No cameras were up. Tamra says, "Has Vicki ever told you that Eddie is gay?" Now, why in the middle of the night would Tamra ask that of Kelly? Kelly shook her head because we have talked about that rumor privately but never on camera.
TooFab: You and Kelly talked about it or you and all the girls?
Gunvalson: This started in 2011 when Tamra was dating him. So this isn't anything new Tamra just started to bring up.
TooFab: So this thing about Eddie's sexuality.. when Tamra started dating him and this rumor started to go around, did any of you go directly to Tamra and actually address it?
Gunvalson: She did with me. She said, "Could you believe there's a rumor out there that he's gay? I sure hope it's not true because I love him and he loves me." I'm like, "Whatever, if he loves you.." What I want everyone to know is that I don't care either way. I like Eddie. I'm glad she found Eddie, they seem extremely happy. She's the one who has made this a bigger deal than it needs to be. Because I don't care.
TooFab: Why do you think Tamra thinks you orchestrated this scene?
Gunvalson: Tamra can't ever look at herself and address it. Her and Eddie should say, you know what.. There’s a rumor out there and it's not true.. XYZ and be done with it. Now how can I orchestrate a rumor when I was as much in shock as Gretchen, Lydia and Kelly? Look at our faces, we had no idea that her friend Ricky was going to reveal this at my birthday party. It was my birthday party, it wasn’t about Gretchen or Eddie.
TooFab: So it was Ricky... but wasn’t it Gretchen who started the conversation?
Gunvalson: I think Kelly said... Again you're going to have to replay the tape. But something of the fact that... Do you know this rumor? We only know Ricky because Tamra and Eddie introduced him to us. And I became friends with Ricky through knowing Tamra and Eddie and I was in their wedding. Ricky and Tamra went sideways. Tamra and I went sideways. Things have happened through these years. She's got to stop blaming me for something that has been already out there. She's always blaming me.
TooFab: So hypothetically, pretend Eddie had a past with men. Why would this be something any of the girls would feel that they should bring up? Because what it's positioning the group of women here... which I’ve seen the show and see that you do have gay friends, and gay stylists and it's Cali in 2017. So why would it be something that would be addressed on camera because what it sort of feels like is that Eddie is collateral damage. So do you see how its become a big issue with the LGBTQ community? Its bigger than just the Real House Wives of the OC.
Gunvalson: Let's talk about all of that. Our past is our past and we cannot change our past. So if Eddie had a past of being with another man then that was his choice. He's at a place now where he's married. So if you're married and you have a past that you don't want to talk about or that you don't want your wife's friends to talk about, then that means there's something more to it. He's on a reality TV show. If I sneeze, they're going to question it. It's not because I want to talk about it, she's actually the one that kept bringing it up and then Ricky brought it up at my party. I didn't.
TooFab: And Ricky's relation to Eddie is just tangential? He's not actually a friend?
Gunvalson: Their relationship was this — from what I recall — Ricky's partner, his name is Diego, his husband, they have 2 children. Diego worked for Eddie's father's law firm when Eddie worked there. So they were very close and they are not anymore. Ricky is not friends with him anymore. I know Ricky socially and so Ricky, a couple of days before my birthday, reached out to me and asked if he can take me out for a drink and I said I'm actually having a party. Invitations are already out but I'll send you one if you want to come. There was a rumor that I didn't invite Ricky but I did. If I didn't, he wouldn't have been able to get in. I have nothing against Ricky. Ricky and Tamra used to be friends but it also validated me that I didn’t start this rumor.
TooFab: So you're saying to Tamra, to the viewers, to everyone, that you didn't orchestrate it, you didn't start the rumor... Do you think the other girls did? Did the producers?
Gunvalson: No, the Producers had nothing to do with this. We were sitting at a table and we were talking like old times. It was not orchestrated, there was no script. We don't have a script. I'm not the first person to talk about this. Go to WeHo right now and see if people are talking about it. It's talked about. Have you ever heard about it?
TooFab: Of course. I'm a gay man. Surprise. [laughs]
Gunvalson: So are you wrong by saying that you've heard that Eddie's been with men?
TooFab: I don't want to pass judgement because it's personal. Hypothetically, put your son or former boyfriend in this situation. Pretend you dated a man on the show and you knew he had a past and you accepted it, what if your son had a past and he was exposed? Eddie isn't a reality star.
Gunvalson: He married a reality star. He knew what he was getting himself into.
TooFab: He didn't sign up for his life to be.. he's in it as a guest star.
Gunvalson: I didn't sign up for every piece of me to be exposed.
TooFab: So you feel like stuff has come out that you wanted to keep personal?
Gunvalson: I didn't want this to come out. The cameras were off. This wasn’t suppose to air. I had a private conversation with Kelly in her bedroom. With no cameras. When I said that to Kelly, she said all of Cali has heard about that. She said, "Why is it ok that Tamra keeps ticketing you and talking about you and hurting you when she doesn’t want anybody to talk about her?"
TooFab: But why does she have to own it? Why is someone's sexuality anyone's business? Why is that fodder?
Gunvalson: I guess because she's the one that started it. I didn't bring it up on camera. If I did, I would have been mic'd up and I would have said, "Hey Kelly, have you heard that Eddie's gay or had a past?" I never did.
TooFab: So what if Tamra, for instance, is aware of the past or that he considers himself even bisexual now. Where do you go from here with this? What do you want Tamra to say?
Gunvalson: I want to move on because I don't care!
TooFab: Are we looking for an admission here? Do we need Tamra and Eddie to say, "Okay yeah"?
Gunvalson: Listen, as God as my witness. I have reached out to them, I have tried to have a conversation with them, I want to apologize to Eddie and state: "You know what? This never meant to get to this place. I don't really care what your past is, I don't care what your current situation is, I don't care if you guys are swingers, I don't care. But you're on a reality TV show and you're wife has been targeting me as a con woman and all these other things I'm not."
TooFab: Did you watch her appearance on "Watch What Happens Live?"
Gunvalson: No. I can't. I can't handle watching her right now. I'm really upset with her.
TooFab: It was pretty profound because the way she handled it was that it was less about Eddie personally and more just about the whole situation... more positioning that by what you ladies were saying about Eddie is basically saying that gay is less than, gay is a negative. Do you see where she's coming from with that?
Gunvalson: No, she's taking it and twisting it which is what she does. Gay is not less than. If you are married to a woman and you are a man and you have had a past... deal with it! No, I don't dislike gays, I don't dislike lesbians. My best friend's daughter is a lesbian, she just got married. I don't care. She's taking this and twisting it to make her feel like a victim. Eddie is a great man. I don't really give a crap what his past is. As long as he loves Tamra and he's loyal to her and monogamous to her as his wife, I'm good because I care about Tamra. I don't know what she feels about me, but I care about Tamra and I never meant for this to be hurtful.
TooFab: It almost said to me like she was saying "what if he was gay?"... There's was no "He's not gay!" There was no forceful denial, but more that you girls are shining a light on something that's making it seem like if he was gay that it's a negative.
Gunvalson: Well when you're married in a male female relationship and if you've had a past being with the same sex, I would think that would be a conversation you'd have with your wife.
TooFab: So it's more like the deception for you? That you feel like, "We're open books" so if they're going on the show, then he should talk about it?
Gunvalson: Listen, we threw ourselves on reality TV and I never, God as my witness, wanted this to appear on TV, or I would have said it on TV. She's the one who has brought it up and then Ricky and Gretchen and Lydia and myself at the table brought it up again. She's really going after the wrong person.
TooFab: What do you want to say to the LGBTQ fans out there that watch the show?
Gunvalson: To the LGBTQ fans that watch the show, I adore you. I love you. Cory Larrabee, I love you. He's one of my dearest fans for 10 years.. The point is — you're married to a woman — why is it such a bad thing that you had a past in that? Own it! Just say, "I have been with men in the past and Tamra's cool with it," and move on.
TooFab: Do you want to mend fences with Tamra?
Gunvalson: I want to mend fences because I work with her, I care about her, I said in this episode last night with Steve. I've known her 10 years, she did not favor my past relationship and therefore it was the right thing. She had my back, and you know it took me a little while to realize it. That she really was watching out for me. But we have gone through a lot. We've gone through divorces together, we've gone through our kids getting pregnant and having babies. And we live 5 minutes from each other. What are we fighting about? I don't even know what we are fighting about anymore. Cause she didn't like my ex? Well guess what, I didn't either. We're broken up. And guess what? You don't like the fact that I repeated a rumor you had already known? Sorry. I mean stop!
TooFab: Is there anything else you'd like Tamra to know?
Gunvalson: Tamra, as God as my witness, I never meant for it to go this far. You have caused it to go this far.
"The Real Housewives of Orange County" airs on Bravo on Monday nights.