'RHOC's Shannon Beador Reacts to Heather Dubrow's 'Promise, Not a Threat' Moment and What's Next (Exclusive)

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Shannon Storms Beador is still processing that dramatic sit-down with Heather Dubrow.

"I was absolutely floored, I really was," the Real Housewives of Orange County star confesses to ET, reflecting on the moment that played out in the final seconds of season 16's fourth episode: Heather telling Shannon, "I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is how I feel: If you ever come after me or my family ever again, you are going to lose a lot more than just my friendship. This will cost a lot. And I'm not saying this as a threat. I'm saying this as a promise." 

"She did threaten me," Shannon says. "And accusing me of going after her family, taking it to that next level, for the things that she said to me, going through my head was, 'Are you gonna kill me?!' Are you going to try to take away the business that I’ve created to support my children? Because that’s you threatening my family."

"There was another part of me going through this [saying], bravo! How many times did you practice going through this in front of the mirror?" she then quips. "Because it seemed very scripted to me."

The tense warning came after co-star Gina Kirschenheiter pulled Heather aside to let her know that Shannon had shared some information with Gina and castmate Emily Simpson off-camera: That Heather's pal (and newcomer to the group) Nicole James once sued Heather's husband, plastic surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow. Heather admitted to feeling set-up by the reveal because one, she was unaware of the decades-old lawsuit (which was eventually dropped) and two, because Gina exposed the information at the first all-cast event of the season, Heather's first season back since exiting RHOC in 2016. Shannon maintains she shared the information off-camera because she wanted it to stay off-camera. 

Heather Dubrow and Shannon Beador hash things out on The Real Housewives of Orange County
Nicole Weingart / Bravo

"It still bothers me today to hear Gina and to watch the episode, and to see that Heather thinks that I had such bad intentions and that I had deep-seeded, deep-rooted issues with her from the past, there couldn’t be anything further from the truth," Shannon tells ET. "So, it’s a bit frustrating for me to watch, that they think I’m that type of person. But I’m very appreciative to those who have been supportive."

"It makes me feel good, because I’m being authentic," she says of the support from viewers. "I did feel horrible about saying what I said to Gina and Emily. I had no intention of the whole lawsuit thing being put out there."

In a sneak peek at this week's episode, which picks up after Heather's threat/promise, Shannon tears up while offering her apologies to the Dr. and Mrs. Guinea Pig author, but Heather suspects they're crocodile tears.

"Shannon is not crying because she feels bad," Heather remarks in a confessional. "Shannon is not crying because she has remorse. Shannon is crying because she got caught."

"It upsets me," Shannon shares of Heather's explanation. "It makes me angry, because it’s not that I 'got caught.' I didn’t get caught doing anything! I said it from the beginning. Gina gives an explanation that she had to tell Heather -- felt she had to tell Heather -- because at one point in her life, she was at a barbecue and everyone was whispering about her husband having an affair, and I can relate to her. That’s a horrible story. It happened to me, too, people whispering about me at parties, talking about how [my ex-husband] David was having an affair and I didn’t know. But nobody was whispering at Heather’s party. Nobody knew about it. So, it should never have been brought up by Gina, there’s no justification for what she did, except to stir up drama."

"She even said on Watch What Happens Live, she said to Andy [Cohen], ‘You can thank me now, Andy!’" Shannon adds, referencing Gina's Dec. 8 appearance on Bravo's late-night show. "She had a big smile on her face. I didn’t have any smiles on my face for any of it, because I didn’t want it to come out. And for Heather to not know that that’s who I am? It’s upsetting to me."

Shannon says she came into season 16 excited to welcome Heather back and to rekindle their friendship. While they worked toward a good place over the course of the season, Shannon admits it's hard to relive those early days of filming.

"Watching the show is always the hardest thing, because I know what I filmed. I just don’t know what other people are saying behind my back," she says. "So, it’s always difficult to watch those things and, yeah, there are some things that are being said about me that are upsetting." 

Even so, Shannon says she is "cordial" with both Heather and Gina today. "We all get along," she shares. "I'm not in a major argument with anyone today."

There will be more arguments to come, though. Shannon teases that Heather holds her to a higher standard than the other women in the group as the season progresses. 

"You’ll see later on in the season if she does something that I don’t necessarily agree with -- I’m not gonna lie, she comes after me this season that she doesn't come after other people for, and I fight back when that happens," Shannon says. "I’m not afraid of her. My very first season, I had issues with both she and Tamra [Judge] as a first-season Housewife. That was pretty, pretty difficult, but I did it. I handled it. I’m not afraid of her. Or of anyone."

That directly contradicts a comment Shannon's friend, neighbor and former co-star, Kelly Leventhal (née Dodd), recently made on her podcast, Rick & Kelly UNMASKED. "She's afraid of her!" Kelly claimed on a recent episode. "She doesn’t have her real friends to back her up. So she has to kiss [Heather's] a**."

"That bothers me that she says that about me, and I haven’t had a discussion with her about it yet," Shannon admits of Kelly's comments. "No, I’m not afraid of her at all. Not at all. I do feel badly about what happened, that that information from 20 years ago got out there. I thought that if she was friends with Nicole, clearly they had come to some understanding with each other and it wasn’t my place to bring up, dredge up 20-year-old news. But I guess she didn’t know, so I feel bad about that."

There's been much speculation amongst the viewers about how Shannon really came to know that Nicole once sued Terry. According to Shannon herself, the Real for Real Cuisine founder and Nicole were friendly for only about two weeks some 16 years ago, before RHOC existed -- and long before Heather and Terry were reality stars. But Terry had started appearing as a plastic surgeon on TV, making regular appearances on the makeover series The Swan around the same time as Nicole allegedly shared her story with Shannon.

"I mean, I don’t know that I want to get into the details. I knew who he was because he had been on another TV show," she says. "I had been on bedrest when I was pregnant with the twins [daughters Stella and Adeline, now 17], so I watched it. He’d been on another show so I knew who he was."

As for the show they're all on now, there's plenty more drama to come, especially courtesy of new Housewife Noella Bergener, whose seemingly messy divorce from husband James is playing out in real time on social media. Over the last couple of weeks, Noella and James have gone back and forth with contradictory posts about the dissolution of their union. 

"I’ve texted with her a little bit and I just say I’m here for her if she needs anything, because I know how difficult it is," Shannon offers as an update. She says she's the closest cast member to Noellla.

"My position is always not to argue with anyone on social media, because then people weigh in and have opinions and it’s none of their business," she notes. "So, I feel bad for her that it’s public, but I think he went out there and made some videos and I guess at some point you feel you have to respond. It’s a nasty situation."

On Christmas Eve, James posted a series of videos to a newly launched Instagram page sharing his version of events. Fans were quick to notice Shannon was the only current RHOC cast member following the account -- a fact Shannon claims she didn't even realize until ET brought it up during this phone interview.

"I must’ve pressed follow by mistake, because I didn’t intend to follow it. Shoot! I better unfollow it right now," she exclaims, hitting the "unfollow" button while on the call.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo. Fans can also get an extra dose of Shannon on this week's all-new episode of Project Runway, which sees Housewives from across the franchise -- including fellow orange-holder Gina -- become the muses/models for the designers. That episode airs Thursday on Bravo at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

"I just have to say, it was just so much fun to be part of such an iconic show," Shannon gushes. "The cast, the crew, the designers. It was such a great experience!"

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