Spoilers ahead! The stars of Netflix's 'Bling Empire' weigh in on their castmates ditching the show after their history came to light.
Spoilers ahead! This article contains plot details from Bling Empire season 2.
Adieu mon chèri! Well, more like, adieu to Chèrie Chan. The Bling Empire star disappears from the show at the end of season 2's third episode almost out of thin air, her absence unaddressed in the five episodes that follow. Chèrie and her now-husband, Jessey Lee, announced last July that they would not be returning to the Netflix hit (the first season of which ended with Chèrie proposing to Jessey), so it may come as a shock to some viewers that Chèrie and Jessey are very much at the center of season 2's story, at least to start.
In the first episodes of season 2, Jaime Xie's friend, Leah, drops a bit of a bomb and claims Jessey has a second family. The group investigates to uncover that Jessey seemingly does have a wife (later confirmed to be an ex-wife) and two daughters in Texas, information no one -- not even those closest to the couple, like Kane Lim -- knew. The cast is still unclear on the timeline of things though, speculating that Chèrie and Jessey may have gotten together while he was still married, possibly even conceiving their first child together, daughter Jadore, during that timeframe.
But, when they attempt to bring these questions to Chèrie... Paula Abdul interrupts. Yes, that Paula Abdul. The singer is a surprise guest at Anna Shay's party, and her entrance throws off Kane and Jaime's planned moment with Chèrie. Anna ultimately tells them to table the chat (it's not fit for a party, she says), but it's never revisited over the course of season 2, implying Chèrie caught wind of the gossip and pulled out of the show.
"When they left the show, I was really disappointed because I really was wanting them to tell their story and to complete their story," Christine Chiu tells ET. "I mean, they signed up for this project and trust me, there were a lot of times and a lot of moments where I wish I could have just quit and walked away, but I had to pull up my big girl panties and continue with the commitment that I had made."
"Having said that, I also understand from a mother's perspective, from someone who has a family, that your natural instinct is to protect your family," she adds. "So I have to respect her decision, which I am assuming was in the best interest of her family."
"I think Chèrie, to be honest, she was afraid of the truth and that is how I honestly feel about people choosing to just step away from things," Jaime echoes. "I don't know Chèrie very well, to be honest, but her reaction was just a little bit strange to me. ... I find that as a way of her trying to avoid the subject because she didn't want to confront it or face it."
However, Jaime implies she was pushed to bring the gossip to the larger group, and ultimately regrets it. "You shouldn't be gossiping about people's families and their kids," she says in hindsight.
"There's drama, and then there's gossip and gossip is what hurts people to a degree that they don't know," Anna chimes in, saying the Chèrie-Jessey discussion falls under the latter umbrella. "I think that the question should really be, what was the purpose? Not changing the question. The question should be directed at the person."
Anna suggests Leah may have had ulterior motives (also not explored or addressed in season 2) in bringing this information on camera. She's more interested in answers from her than from Chèrie.
"Would [Leah] like it if we said something that we didn't really, really know about them so that it would hurt their families?" she asks. "I don't think so."
"I think it was very unfair because look, everybody has the closet, but open the person's closet that said this before they go into somebody else's closet," she quips.
The heiress says she's spoken to Chèrie since her swift exit -- "Everybody's good" -- but the rest of the cast seems to have received the cold shoulder from their one-time friend (though newcomer Mimi Morris tells ET they recently exchanged Mother's Day gifts).
"I bumped into them at an event one time, and they didn't really have much to comment on, even talking to me," Kevin Kreider confesses. "I think they're kind of just waiting to see how this unravels a little bit. Because, I mean, they were OK with me, but they weren't like the best... I just don't think they know what to expect, just like us, at this point. That's all."
"I think it was the same event [as] Kevin, I said hi to them," Kelly Mi Li recalls. "I walk up and said hi to them, they just say hi. And then they kind of just walked off."
"All I know is that she unfollowed everyone," Kim Lee offers. "You didn't hear it from me."
"I actually texted her," Kane reveals. "I think there was a tabloid that wanted to know info. I'm like, 'Look, I'm just going to direct you directly to her instead of me speaking on her behalf' and I told her like, 'Look, I never want to interfere with family issues and I have so much respect for her kids.' And so, I think she was grateful for that. Although she didn't reply, but through friends, I think she was grateful for that. But haven't heard from her since, so..."
ET has reached out to Chèrie and Jessey for comment. All episodes of Bling Empire are now streaming on Netflix.