Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright open up to ET about all the season eight drama unfolding on 'Vanderpump Rules.'
If Jax Taylor could go back in time to last summer, he would change one thing: not include Tom Sandoval in his wedding to Brittany Cartwright.
"I did change my mind and allow him to not only come to the wedding, but to be in my wedding and do I regret that, yes," Jax tells ET. "I just wish I would've stood by what I said. I felt I was a little bit bullied into bringing him back in."
At the start of Vanderpump Rules’ eighth season, Jax stripped Tom of his "Best Man" duties, which were shared with the other Tom, Schwartz. The exact reasoning behind the demotion was kind of muddy, with no totally clear answer from Jax. From Tom's point of view, Jax removed him from the wedding party because he didn’t attend a pre-bachelor party. Now, according to Jax, there’s a lot more still to play out on the show that will explain why he was attempting to distance himself from his longtime bestie.
"There's some things he did during this season that haven't played out yet that were just uncalled for, absolutely uncalled for -- below the belt, should never, ever happen to a friend -- and I made my decision that I did not want him there," Jax teases. "I don't want to give it away but it's really uncalled for."
In one of the season’s trailers, Brittany can be seen screaming at Tom to "f**k off" after the incident Jax is teasing.
"There's things where … you would always expect your best friends to be on your side and have your back and not question your judgment or your character, and I felt like that's what Tom did," Brittany says of the mysterious moment. "That really upset me, because he knows us very well and he knows the type of people that we are and just to even, like, second guess us at all? It just was very disrespectful, and it really hurt my feelings, especially after how hard I worked to try to, like, keep them together."
ET sat down with both Jax and his now-wife, Brittany, to talk all things Pump Rules. Their wedding will air in the coming weeks.
"I wish he was at the wedding, I just wish he wasn't in the wedding, if that makes any sense," Jax goes on to clarify. "It takes, you know -- everybody up there plays a huge role in my life, huge role from the moment I moved to L.A., 'til the day I got married. That's why I had so many [groomsmen] and I couldn't just pick one. Each one of those guys, I love individually so much, and they've done so much for me, and I just you know the things that I was going through with Tom, it just... it didn't make sense for him to be standing next to me."
"I have a feeling, in five years, if Tom Sandoval was not in our wedding photos that would be very weird for Jax," Brittany chimes in. "Like, they're gonna be friends again, I know it -- and they are friends, it’s not that they're not friends."
"We're just cordial," Jax remarks, bringing up how this seems to be a pattern for Tom this season. He also went after Stassi Schroeder.
Jax says he and Tom are in a "relationship" more so than a friendship; they're like family, and sometimes, families grow apart. Jax, who just turned 40, says he realizes that he and Tom are simply in different life places and want different things.
"I'm trying to get married and start a family, he doesn't want to do that," he notes. "I'm just into different things, and it's OK, it's all right."
Jax also has issues with Tom’s longtime girlfriend, Ariana Madix. He routinely goes off on her on Twitter, much to Brittany’s chagrin, and even implied that she is lying about her sexuality while on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. For the record, Ariana has openly identified as bisexual for years.
"I don't hate her, I just don't agree with her," Jax says, doubling down on his claims that Ariana "hides" her "real life" from the Vanderpump Rules cameras, something Ariana has denied.
Brittany, who is still close with Ariana, admits it can be tricky to navigate their friend group, especially when her husband is so openly against her friend. The couple is also having to deal with the demise of the "Witches of WeHo," Stassi, Katie Maloney-Schwartz and Kristen Doute. Stassi and Katie have, essentially, cut off Kristen, after they claimed she was being dishonest about the reality of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Brian Carter, who simply goes by "Carter."
"I see both sides, and I completely understand why Katie and Stassi needed to take a break, 'cause they were fighting every time they were together, every single time," Brittany shares. "It's good that they are taking this time. I hope they can find each other again, like that would be great 'cause then we can be together again and I don’t have to do this with this person, and this with that person. It’s like our parents are divorced."
Brittany claims that Stassi and Katie's biggest issue with Kristen is the fact that Kristen alleges they were never good friends to her, which could be a disagreement that the trio is never able to overcome.
"I don't think it’s going to happen anytime soon," Jax jumps in, adding that he doesn't think the Witches' issues will be resolved ahead of Stassi's wedding to Beau Clark this fall. As of now, Kristen is not on the guest list. Jax also says that the cast is taking wagers on whether the Witches can ever get back to a good place.
"I think they are still going after each other, and I think Kristen needs to figure herself out and get past whatever she is going through," he adds. "I think Stassi and Katie have had enough of you [Kristen] telling the girls one thing, and you telling your boyfriend, Carter, another thing, and you’re wishy-washy and we’re not getting the straight story from you."
Brittany and Jax say Kristen has finally cut off Carter completely and is dating other people.
"She is a great person and she’s been a great friend to me," Jax adds of Kristen. "She is the one person I will trust with my own kid."
Still, the couple has their own issues with the James Mae designer. In the last episode that aired, during Brittany's bachelorette celebrations in Miami, Kristen convinced Brittany that a sign brought out at a club that read "Don’t do it, Brittany!" was a direct dig about Brittany and Jax's tumultuous relationship. In reality, the club brings out a similar sign for all brides-to-be, as a joke.
"Kristen loves being miserable," Jax proclaims, saying that she totally threw gas on the fire in the moment.
"I did notice, when the signs first came out I was like, 'Woo!,' pumping my fists and ready to party, and then she said something," Brittany says. "And then I started getting upset, and then it started soaking in, like, oh my gosh. That’s about me. I started taking it personally. I don't blame everything on her, ‘cause I definitely felt my own feelings."
Jax says, watching the episode back, he felt like Kristen was doubling down on making Brittany feel bad after the girls left the club and went back to their hotel. Any time someone tried to move the conversation along, Kristen brought it up again.
"I took it personally because I was so very drunk -- and also, it was my bachelorette party, and I was allowed to be drunk -- but also because of all the comments and stuff I have to see all the time on social media," Brittany admits. "Sometimes you can't help but see the things, the hateful tweets, comments and I think it just irked something. It just hit a nerve and it made me really upset."
Jax and Brittany have had their ups and downs, with Jax even cheating on Brittany within the last few years. Jax has, and continues to, apologize to Brittany for the pain he's caused her. He, however, is not apologizing for some comments he made on the most recent episode of Pump Rules, in which it appeared that he denied having gotten a lap dance at a strip club during his bachelor celebration, when he very much did.
"You got to remember, we film and film and film," Jax says in his defense. "We were filming that scene for about three, three and a half hours. I got one lap dance that my brother-in-law bought me … so, of course, they're gonna clip to the three-and-a-half-minute lap dance that I did, even though I was there for three hours, to say I was having this great time."
Brittany says she was totally OK with Jax getting a lap dance, especially one her own brother paid for; their one rule was that Jax would not go in a private room with a stripper, which he didn't. He says that's what he was communicating to Brittany when it looked like he was denying getting a dance at all.
Jax also made a joke about leaving Brittany for a stripper during that same night out, a moment of humor the reality star admits didn't translate on TV.
"In that industry, the first shift is probably the worst shift to have, because you're in a strip club, right?" he says. "I got the new crowd, the rookie strippers, so I was being sarcastic."
"They weren't great. I'm sorry, but they weren't the best-looking ones I ever seen," he adds. "So, I was like, yeah, I'm gonna go home with one of these ones. Like, making a joke, being sarcastic."
Jax and Brittany say there is more drama to come during the second half of their joint bachelor/bachelorette weekend in Miami -- including Jax walking around in old-age makeup that made him look like “Hulk Hogan in 55 years.”
Then, comes their wedding, which -- as far as Jax and Brittany know -- wasn't drama-filled. The couple has yet to see any footage from their big day, so they're excited to learn about what went down between their friends while they weren’t around. That includes Southern Charm's Shep Rose "ruining" their big day by posting videos on social media (Jax and Brittany have since walked back their comments that he was the worst wedding guest ever) and some surprises courtesy of Tom Schwartz.
"Schwartz was probably, he was wasted, absolutely wasted," Jax reveals. "And his best man’s speech went on a little longer than expected. People definitely, like, their food got cold … [but] It was great."
Next up for Jax and Brittany will be babies. They're undecided on how many they want -- Jax says two, Brittany says three -- but they're being strategic about family planning. They'll be holding off a beat to get pregnant until at least later this year, because Brittany doesn't want to miss Stassi nor Lala Kent's weddings.
"You can’t travel after seven months, and [Stassi's] in Italy," she explains. "I always use this reference, Phoebe from Friends, when she gets stuck behind and can’t go to England with Ross when he is marrying Emily, and I don't want to be Phoebe!"
"That doesn't mean I don't care to be pregnant," she adds, noting that she’d be fine rocking a bump on either of her co-stars' big days. She just doesn’t want to be too pregnant.
Brittany will likely be the first Vanderpump star to become a mom, but chances are her pals won't be too far behind her.
"We all talk about it, all four of us -- me, Katie, Stassi, Lala -- we always say that we have a pregnancy pact," she spills. "We want to have babies around the same time, so we are all trying to make it work."
"We are all transplants to California, our friends are our family," Jax adds. "For us to have kids around the same time and to grow up together, that is a big deal."
Jax says losing his dad in 2017 really changed his whole outlook on fatherhood.
"I couldn't be more excited to be a dad, like I can't wait to be a father like my father and just to give," he continues. "And just to be there for everything, and to just make sure my life is surrounded, revolves around my kids, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do."
In the meantime, Jax and Brittany are working on their business baby -- Mamaw's Beer Cheese, a dip inspired by Brittany's grandma, whom she calls "Mamaw."
"Pray that everything works out, we are working with a company that is in Kentucky, in Lexington, actually," Brittany shares. "So we are praying that everything works out legally … within the next month, month and a half, [and] you should be able to order it all over the U.S. and in Canada."
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo. For more with Jax and Brittany -- including them dishing on Bravo-lebrity hookups and the wildest place they’ve ever done the deed -- watch the full chat above.
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