Julie Stoffer Talks 'Real World: New Orleans' Reunion Drama and Leaving the Mormon Church (Exclusive)

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Homecoming New Orleans
Paramount+

As one of seven strangers picked to live in a house, Julie Stoffer quickly became the breakout star of The Real World: New Orleans, season 9 of MTV’s long-running reality TV franchise. At the time, she was a wide-eyed 21-year-old Brigham Young University student exploring life outside of Utah as the first Mormon on the series. Despite her conservative upbringing, she wasn’t afraid to embrace the new and unknown, even befriending roommates Danny Roberts and Melissa Beck, who helped expand her horizons.  

Now, over two decades later, Stoffer is reuniting with her former roommates, including David “Tokyo” Broom, Jamie Murray, Matt Smith and Kelley Wolf, as they move back into their Big Easy home for the  third installment of The Real World Homecoming. However, issues stemming from her time in Louisiana have followed Stoffer, including unresolved drama with Roberts and Beck, which played out in the premiere and set the tone for their reunion. 

While speaking to ET’s Lauren Zima, Stoffer addressed what happened between the three roommates and what life has been like after leaving the Mormon Church. 
 
“That was a huge life change for me,” Stoffer says of leaving in 2008 after realizing that her beliefs no longer aligned with the religion. “Basically, I stopped believing in the Mormon Church.” 

But after her time on The Real World, which led to her being suspended from BYU, Stoffer says she “doubled down and was more Mormon.” It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that she felt herself “coming out of Mormonism completely changed,” she says now. “I kind of had this rebirth. That was a horribly painful process for me and it involved a lot of things that we can talk about in a different forum.” 

The Real World Homecoming
Paramount+

That said, Stoffer, who is now married and has three kids and identifies as an atheist, has “changed a lot” since her time on The Real World, as well as appearances on multiple seasons of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, including 2003’s Battle of the Sexes, where Beck confronted Stoffer over drama that would end up playing out on Homecoming

As a result, on the Paramount+ series, “You’re going to see the process of us rediscovering each other and you’re going to see a lot of midlife crises and banging heads with each other,” Stoffer says of the tension-filled reunion that features many ups and downs just in the first episode. “I did not expect grudges could last that long and especially for what the issues were.” 

As previously mentioned, Stoffer’s reunion with her roommates comes after decades of not speaking or seeing each other. And not long after she was back together with Beck and Roberts, issues over what happened nearly 20 years ago resurfaced as the two accused Stoffer or her agents of allegedly writing “disparaging” letters about both of them, preventing them from booking speaking engagements and appearances over or along with Stoffer. 

“This happened multiple, multiple times and I never heard from [Julie] again,” Roberts said in the premiere. 

During their argument, Stoffer confessed to writing a 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. 

Homecoming New Orleans
Paramount+

“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 attacking 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. 

Later in the evening, Stoffer sat down with Broom, who explained to her that she had to take accountability for what happened to them regardless if she or someone from her team wrote the letter. “You’re right. The buck stops with me,” Stoffer said, realizing that she had to do better with apologizing to Roberts and Beck. 

Looking back on the premiere, Stoffer says she didn’t expect to get such a cold reception at the beginning of the reunion. “I was trying to make connections with these roommates and the roommates were not making that easy,” she recalls. “I was being called horrible names. I was being called racist, homophobic. They were coming at me with anything they could.” 

When it comes to the labels thrown at her, Stoffer says she “crawled away from those things in my life, and it was not easy. So, it is hurtful to hear that somebody would say that because I was there, trying to do my best trying to be vulnerable.” 

Real World Homecoming
Paramount+

She adds, “If you knew anything about my life experience you would see that these are not words that people should throw around lightly. I think we live in a society where people do that and it’s hurtful and I don’t know why they would say that. That makes me really sad. But that is the story of my life with these people.” 

When it comes to the letters, “It happened 20 years ago,” Stoffer says, adding that “it’s something that’s been blown way out of proportion.” In fact, she thinks the argument of the letters is covering up “some actual beef that is not wanting to be admitted to.” 

In the end, “I don’t know what we are to each other. I really wish I knew,” Stoffer says. “I thought I was going down there to have a high school reunion or something where you catch up and see where they are and have fun together. But these people didn’t come down there to have fun. That wasn’t their motivation.” 

She adds later, “Then some stuff happened that I didn’t even get to see the end of. So, I’m gonna be tuning in with you to see how that all finished. So, it’s gonna be a wild ride.” Whether or not that means Stoffer left the reunion early is unclear. “I don’t know if I can speak to that. But what I can say is that it’s suspenseful, and I have questions,” she teases. 


New episodes of The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans debut Wednesdays on Paramount+. 

 

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