Danny and Melissa Break Down 'Real World: New Orleans' Drama With Julie (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
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The season 9 cast of MTV’s long-running reality TV franchise, The Real World: New Orleans, has reunited after 22 years to continue the social experiment of finding out “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” On the third installment of The Real World Homecoming, David “Tokyo” Broom, Melissa Beck, Jamie Murray, Danny Roberts, Matt Smith, Julie Stoffer and Kelley Wolf all have moved back into the same Big Easy house -- but in the premiere, it quickly became clear that this group has a lot of unfinished business to deal with.
While speaking to ET’s Lauren Zima, Roberts and Beck break down the explosive drama with Stoffer that led to a falling out between the housemates. “I don’t think we meant to disconnect from each other, but it just naturally happened. And as time carried on, it just became more and more of an experience and relationships that were tucked away in an envelope somewhere,” Roberts says.
Halfway through the premiere, however, that envelope was ripped open as Beck and Roberts were forced to confront problems with Stoffer that started over two decades ago. Fans of the franchise may first have caught wind of this fight when Beck brought it up to Stoffer during their season of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes that aired in 2003, but it wasn’t made clear until Homecoming what happened between the three roommates.
Right after their season ended, the cast mates became in-demand stars, who earned money in various ways, including speaking at college campuses and to organizations all across the country. And at the time, Stoffer or her agents allegedly wrote disparaging letters about both Beck and Roberts, preventing them from booking similar engagements over Stoffer.
“Julie has a controversial history with many of us,” Roberts said in the premiere, before explaining that he and Stoffer were once hired to mentor high school students together before she wrote “trashing [his] character to the organization, saying that [he] essentially has no morals.”
He added, “And the same stuff happened with Melissa. This happened multiple, multiple times and I never heard from [Julie] again.”
Howard then recalled how the last time she saw Stoffer was in Jamaica while they were filming Battle of the Sexes. “I had just cussed her a** out because I found out that she was doing shady sh*t to me,” she said of also learning that Stoffer apparently wrote these letters.
While Stoffer initially arrived at the house with no drama, it wasn’t long before the group found themselves sitting together on the couch revisiting memories from the show when accusations over the letters came up. During their argument, Stoffer quickly confessed to writing the letter about Roberts, explaining she was trying to save herself from getting in trouble for not taking the job seriously at the time. However, she wouldn’t admit to her or her agent writing a letter about Beck.
“Those actions were done against marginalized people. You did it to a gay person and a person of color. That's what was f**ked up about it,” Beck said, explaining that Stoffer took opportunities away from them while also “disparaging” their character.
After the two demand an apology, Stoffer attempts to say that she’s sorry. But both of them said it was too soon and that it would take time for them to figure this out, leaving audiences to wonder if the three will ever reconcile.
Reflecting on what happened in the premiere, Beck said that after she had addressed it on TheChallenge, she never spoke about it again. “I felt like I said my piece about it. I felt like she knew exactly what it was,” Beck explains. “I have not had any confusion about it. I felt like once I addressed it and I put it under the bridge, that’s where it stayed.”
Roberts agrees. “We had both had the same experiences and addressed it back in that time and moved on,” he says.
However, what they both didn’t realize at the time is “that it happened to both of us in tandem,” Roberts continues. “There’s something just quite pathological about that sort of behavior. And if a person, especially who you believe is close to you, is actually sabotaging you, there’s something deep and dark going on there that’s not a safe person, to me, until you prove me otherwise.”
Now, decades later, that’s what Stoffer has to do after avoiding the confrontation in the years that followed their time together on New Orleans.
As for what happens next, Beck says, “There’s going to be, sometimes in the house, where we have genuinely strong conversations” and address the accusations made against Stoffer. But as to where things stand now, “You’ll have to watch the show,” Beck teases.