ET chatted with the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star via video chat to learn all about season 10, premiering April 15 on Bravo.
Erika Jayne calls The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ 10th season the show’s most “treacherous” season yet.
"I think that this season is the one season that could have a real impact on people's personal lives, do you know what I mean?" she asks ET. "It could be the one season where it can really impact someone's personal life."
That "someone" would seemingly be Denise Richards, whose name has been plastered across tabloid reports about what goes down during season 10. Early this year, stories surfaced that claimed Denise and one-time RHOBH star Brandi Glanville had been involved in a years-long affair; Denise vehemently denied the reports, while Brandi played coy. Erika says the "revelation" shocked the cast.
"I do think that you're gonna be surprised with the Denise-Brandi thing, 'cause it does kind of come out of nowhere," she teases. "It kind of comes out of left field and, you know, it was something that I didn't see coming at all."
Erika admits that the conversation around Denise and Brandi comes "late in the game," as the Housewives didn’t learn about the story until around the time of their cast trip to Rome, which happened at the end of last year.
"It is a slow build," Erika says. "It's a slow build, and there are some hints that are dropped. Like, looking back on them, I could see why some people were reacting to some things. Not because they knew ahead, but it all makes sense now."
"It all makes sense now, like, why it was so massive," she adds. "I think that people criticize us sometimes for not moving fast enough. You know, Beverly Hills is a slow burn, but I just... I worry. I don't know if Denise… I don't know…"
When ET spoke with Denise in March, she called the discussion about her personal life "disgusting." Erika wouldn’t give away whose side she landed on at season's end, but did offer that Brandi "is coming with the receipts."
"Brandi's part of the story is backed up by receipts," she repeats. "But, there are always two sides to every story, and both women will have the chance to tell their complete story."
Judging by the trailer, it appears that Erika finds herself in the middle of some of the Denise-Brandi saga, as she's seen facing off with Denise's husband, Aaron Phypers.
"I mean, I would prefer it if husbands stayed out of the women’s drama, I really do," Erika notes. "I think every woman is smart enough, bright enough and intelligent enough to work out her own things within the group. I think when men come in, oftentimes, they feel like they're protecting their wife. When, at least in our group, it actually in some ways makes it worse. That's my personal opinion."
"I think it makes it worse," she continues. "And then all of the sudden it just changes the whole tone. It changes the whole tone."
Erika says, at the end of the day, she thinks that Denise has "gotten herself into a strange place here." As seen in the trailer, Denise reportedly sent cease and desist letters out to try and shut down the discussion around her personal life.
“Let me say this -- I'm gonna go on the record -- sending a cease and desist to [the network and your co-stars], that's like trying to break the house in Vegas,” Erika says. “The house always wins. Don't be stupid. Save your money.”
With that said, Erika says the ball is in Denise's court for what happens next. It's unclear where she currently stands with her co-stars.
"It's really on her if she wants to be part of the group or not," she says. "No one dislikes Denise. We actually had a lot of fun with Denise last season. But this season it's different. So, I mean, everybody in this group has had to repair and go on. I mean, Dorit [Kemsley] and I are friends."
"Listen, you've got a group of women that are friends and, hey, we had a conflict, but it can all be solved," Erika adds. "There's nothing that can't be solved."
That group of women has expanded in season 10, with the addition of a new full-time Housewife, Garcelle Beauvais.
"I think Garcelle is gonna be a really good Housewife," Erika surmises. "She's opinionated. She's not afraid to be herself. She's been in the game a long time, and she's got a story to tell. She's got a story to tell. Mother of twins, you know, a working actress -- balancing all of that."
When Garcele’s casting was announced, it came along with another new 'Wife being named: Sutton Stracke. But, when the trailer dropped, Sutton was simply a "friend of," despite filming full-time. Reports suggest Sutton’s ex-husband not wanting their minor children to appear on the show is to blame for the shift in status.
"I feel bad about what happened to her, and it sucks," Erika shares. "But she's gonna be a great 'friend of.'"
"I've actually enjoyed getting to know Sutton," she adds. "She's a very sweet person [and] she has some great points of view."
Sutton and Garcelle joined the cast after Lisa Vanderpump's exit from the series after nine years, much to some fans' dismay.
"I'll tell you this, she wasn't missed during filming," Erika says, bluntly. "There wasn't a time where we turned and looked at each other and said, ‘You know what? You know who we're really missing?’ You know, there wasn't that."
"Everybody's replaceable and interchangeable at the end of the day," she adds.
As for what fans will see from Erika this year, expect her to get a little more personal than in seasons' past, plus her preparation to make her Broadway debut in Chicago. Erika had to end her limited run in the show early when Broadway shut down in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. She's since returned to Los Angeles, where she spoke to ET via video chat.
"I'm good, I'm inside, I'm social distancing. I'm, you know, doing the quarantine," she says. "I'm [already] itching to get back out on stage, for sure. I mean, Erika Jayne needs some new music. I need to get back into that mode and see what comes up."
"I've been home for two weeks now," Erika notes. "I have not yet reached the inspiration marker, but I hope to [soon]. You know, I filmed a season of Housewives and then went right into Broadway, so I'm tired, you know? Like, actually these couple of weeks have been nice, but it's time to pull it together and I’m sure that I'll start, you know, put my creative thinking cap on here pretty soon."
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premieres Wednesday, April 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.