In March, a judge dismissed the case brought by Bellino, who claimed Shannon and Tamra said false statements about him and his divorce from their former "RHOC" cast member Alexis Bellino on Heather's podcast "Juicy Scoop" in June 2019. Shannon won her case, while Tamra's is still pending.
Despite Heather's case being thrown out, the fallout continues, as she still hasn't spoken with either of her friends.
"[Lawyers] really do encourage and insist that their clients don't talk to other people involved in the party of the lawsuit, me being one of them," she explained to the Hollywood Raw Podcast with Dax Holt and Adam Glyn. "So my understanding was that they were advised not to communicate with me anymore and so I respected that."
"So, no, we have not talked for well over a year. Through other parties, we've wished each other well. If I know she's going to go do a show with a friend of mine, I'll be like, 'Will you please let Tamra know I love her,'" she continued, before pausing as she choked up.
"Now I'm gonna cry," said McDonald, audibly emotional. "I was friends with these people for a long time. It was a great part of my business. And I thank God I can still get people to come onto my show, but by having it I know that it was more of a struggle because some people, I believe, associated my show with, 'Oh don't go on her show, she'll get sued.'"
Jim sued Shannon and Tamra first, then filed a defamation suit against Heather, claiming she was at fault for publishing the interview. McDonald admitted she was worried about the lawsuit, as there was no precedent when it came to first amendment rights for podcasts.
"It stressed me out. It was creatively debilitating. I got anxiety," she explained, saying she constantly wondered when she'd be served. "It's extremely stressful. I'm still stressed about it."
"There was no precedent before," she added, "I was like, if I don't win this, good f--king luck to the rest of you."
Looking back, she said she does regret the interview, despite what the case's dismissal means for her and other podcasters. "Nobody needs to go through this," she explained. "Yes, everything happens for a reason and maybe in two years I'll say I'm glad it worked out that way. When everyone's been paid back their legal fees and everyone's thriving, maybe I'll say I'm glad I did it."
"At this point, no, it caused too much pain and stress in everybody's life," she added, saying she had "no intention or awareness that this would ever happen."