'Summer House's Danielle Olivera Explains Falling Out With 'Self-Absorbed' Lindsay Hubbard (Exclusive)
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Danielle Olivera boils down her issues with Summer House co-star (and former BFF) Lindsay Hubbard to one term: self-absorbed.
"What's the opposite of empathy?" she asks over video chat with ET. The two, who used to call each other "arroz con pollo," fell out while filming season 7 of the Bravo hit, airing Monday nights. Lindsay's made it clear, she doesn't understand why their friendship took the turn it did, but Danielle sees it as perfectly clear.
"Maybe most of our friendship was about me helping her and that's why it went so well," Danielle says, "because I was always there for her. Whatever she needed to talk about, I was always there. But now, she's not really checking in. I'm building a business, she's not really asking me questions about it. That's when I started being like, OK, what is this?"
"She never had to go to bat for me, and I've never really stood up for myself with her, like, on what I need until now," she explains, "and she didn't even get it. She didn't respond well, she didn't even understand that it was a possibility that that could be the case, because she's the word I use in the beginning, self-absorbed."
When Lindsay sat down with ET, she suspected things took a turn for the worse when she refused to go out partying with Danielle one weekend night. The two agree they went into the summer on perfectly fine terms.
"The one night did contribute to it, because she's like, 'Why do I have to do in Montauk?' Because I wanted to go to Montauk, where my boyfriend is, where my friends are -- the place that you've always gone with me as my friend," Danielle recalls. "You can't all of a sudden do that because you're in a relationship? I don't get it. It just contributed to the fact that my best friend, she doesn't need me anymore. So I’m being cast aside. What if I needed you to go to Montauk, because... I don't know, it could be anything! Maybe I just need it for me. Can you consider me for a second?"
Season 7 is Lindsay's first summer in a relationship with her now-fiancé Carl Radke, who previously dated Danielle. The trio dubbed themselves "The Three Amigos" before Lindsay and Carl started seeing one another in 2021. Lindsay and Carl have speculated that Danielle wasn't the biggest fan of their coupling, but she says she's been nothing but a cheerleader for the pair.
"I'm always going to be rooting for her and her relationship," Danielle says, "but I have to focus on No. 1, and I finally think that I I found my voice, and ... maybe the timing wasn't what she wanted."
Lindsay's also suspected Danielle felt a certain type of way about her and Carl, because as they moved toward engagement, Danielle's long-term relationship with chef Robert Sieber fizzled out. One again, Danielle says that's not true. She actually finds all of Lindsay's theories about their friendship demise "ridiculous."
"I'm not a jealous person, especially when it comes to my friends' relationships," Danielle fires back. "Like, my friends could be getting engaged right now in front of my face and I would always root them on. I am not that person who, if I'm going through something, I want everyone around me to be miserable. That is just not the case."
In fact, Danielle wishes she had been more involved in the lead-up to Carl popping the question at the end of summer.
"My issue has been with Lindsay," Danielle makes clear. "I thought Carl and I were in a good spot -- turns out we weren't -- I don't know how much of that has to do with Lindsay or not, but my beef is with Lindsay."
"She kept making it about like, I’m not happy for her relationship," Danielle says. "I was trying to express my need, my want to have my best friend back, and what I need out of the friendship, and she kind of made it, 'Well, you're not happy for me and Carl so...' and I'm just like, that's not-- that's not it. Like, I’m never gonna break through here. I’m talking in circles, and I'm wasting my breath and my energy, and I don't need this anymore, like I just really don't need it."
"It's challenging when you feel like you're not being heard, or everything that you're saying is just hitting a brick wall," she says. "I think that we are in two different parts of our lives; she's in gung-ho trying to get a ring on it [mode], and I'm like, I want to build a company and be this bada**. ... I thought that we could still come together and root for each other."
Lindsay's also questioned whether the other women of the house -- which, this season, includes returning housemates Amanda Batula, Paige DeSorbo, Ciara Miller and Mya Allen, plus new additions Gabby Prescod and Samantha Feher -- worked to turn Danielle against Lindsay.
"Think about that," Danielle scoffs. "Poisoned me against her? How many years have we been doing this? And they've never been able to get to me? I just think that that hurts me, coming from Lindsay, because that says that I’m this weak person who can be flip-flopped by any conversation coming from these girls. Like, that's-- no, that's not it."
"The conversation that I had with those girls was just like, 'Hey, I want to have a really fun summer. I want to do it with you guys, but there's always been this unspoken tension between us that I feel like we're not as close,'" she shares. "And they told me that the reason was because of Lindsay. That doesn't mean I’m gonna go over to Lindsay, 'You're not my friend anymore! I want to be friends with these girls!' I'm not in high school."
"If a girl in the house asks me a question, do you think I would be answering it? Yeah, I'm gonna answer it," she continues. "And then immediately Lindsay thinks that I'm talking behind her back, that I'm betraying her. Lindsay, the only reason why you feel that way is because you don't like these girls, and you've never been honest about it. 'Oh, everything's fine. We're good.' No, you're not fine. You're not good. You don't like each other. I'm done being in the crossfire."
When castmate Kyle Cooke tried to diagnose the situation to ET, he suspected Lindsay got upset with Danielle for disobeying her when it came to who Lindsay approves as a friend for Danielle, and who she doesn't.
"What am I, this puppet?" Danielle asks. "Do not mistake my empathy and my kindness for weakness. That bothers me the most. I am just a really loyal friend. I I love Lindsay -- very hard -- and I go hard in the paint, and I'm very protective of my friends. I am not this puppet that everyone can just move around and I’ll do as they say. I have my own opinions. I've been pretty clear on that; I speak up when I feel strongly about something."
"The fact that everyone thinks that I could be easily persuaded, or whatever it's just-- it's annoying," she admits. "It's frustrating. Maybe for the first time in a long time, we can consider that I was putting myself first. Yeah, that comes with a little bit of messiness, and you're not gonna like what I have to say, or who I say it to, but right now, I have to do what's best for me. A lot of the time, I was doing what was best for Lindsay, or for another friend. So sorry, but it's not-- it's not about the other girls. It's about me."
Lindsay also questioned whether Danielle may have been gaming the house, teaming up with the other women to secure sympathy/a storyline for season 7.
"I've been called the most boring cast member because I don't strive for a storyline, like, the storyline happens to me," Danielle responds. "I have never, ever been someone who reaches for a storyline, and Lindsay knows that, because we have talked about it in the past about other people. She knows that I would never, ever in a million years be that person to contrive something for the sake of a storyline. To be honest, it was actually quite lovely, being more the supporting cast member, and not, like, all up in the trailer."
That trailer teases a series of tense exchanges between the two pals. They have not spoken since a final, blowout argument while filming the series. Danielle confesses to being especially hurt by the fact that Lindsay did not reach out to her as rumblings of her breakup with Robert hit the internet.
"I really expected that something like, 'Hey, I know we're not speaking... I know things are, like, really bad right with between us right now, but if you need me...' kind of thing, but I didn't get it," she reveals.
As Danielle's relationship with Lindsay imploded, her friendships with the other women of the house blossomed, something she says is only partially related.
"I don't think the girls and I have this vendetta against Lindsay," she says. "I'm in a friendship breakup with Lindsay, and I have other new girlfriends. Why can't that happen? Why does it always have to be, like, 'Well, it's the mean girls against...' -- I hate that narrative. I absolutely hate it, because it's not the case. They have their own individual beef with Lindsay, as do I now. But I’m not going over and saying like, 'How do we plot against her? How do we make everyone on the internet hate her?'"
"I am not in high school, that's not how I operate," she adds, "but I’m also allowed to stand up for myself against someone that, it just so happens, everyone else has a problem with."
Danielle sings the praises of her fellow Summer House ladies, admitting she's "obsessed" with "all of them."
"Mya and Ciara, they have been a source of, like, I don't know, necessary venting with everything that's happening with my breakup with Robert," she shares. "They've really been there as a source of, OK, everything is going to be OK. Paige, she will text me stuff, like a hype text -- a paragraph! -- and I am just like, 'Girl, you are going to make me cry.' Like, so supportive. Gabby and Sam, we drink our faces off every chance we get and it's the best release ever, and Amanda is the most huggable person -- and I don't even like giving hugs!"
Danielle says "right this second" she's closest with Mya, who also helped her navigate the Lindsay situation as it played out in real-time, alongside Gabby and Sam.
"They also were having friendships with Lindsay and Carl, so they were offering a different perspective that I kind of needed so that I didn't like completely sink into this like, 'Oh my god, this is terrible...' kind of thing," she says. "And also, seeing another side is something that I enjoy, because maybe I am navigating this wrong. Maybe I am the one who is like, 'Did I say something wrong here?' So I just needed to understand the other side, and Mya, Gabby and Sam were there for me in those moments."
The friendship she's been most pleasantly surprised by, though, is the one she's found with Ciara. The two got into an intense argument in season 6, with Ciara launching a (full) wine glass at Danielle's chest as they shouted back and forth over Ciara and Lindsay's love triangle with Southern Charm star Austen Kroll.
"I don't know, I feel like we had some genuine conversations, like helping each other out," Danielle offers of how they found their way to friendship. "We relate on a lot of things, and we have more in common than we ever thought. We are both Capricorn queens. I mean, our demeanor is very similar. Like, when she reacts to something, I understand it. So, yeah, it became a beautiful, beautiful thing."
Moving on with Ciara gives Danielle hope that she and Lindsay can repair things, too; the timeline, however, is unclear.
"I think that [Lindsay and Carl] want to watch the show back and make that choice, which is in my opinion kind of s**ty," Danielle admits. "You shouldn't have to watch a show back, but OK... we'll see."
While Lindsay's said in interviews that she hopes to invite Danielle to her and Carl's nuptials later this year, Danielle isn't sure she'd accept.
"This is after she told me that I am not invited by the way," she points out. "Right now, I would be very hesitant. I think it would be, like, a fluff invite, and I don't do fluff."
That said, Danielle believes "anything is possible."
"There's just so much history when it comes to Lindsay and Carl, especially Lindsay, that that's why it feels so broken beyond repair," she says. "I just need a little self-reflection from that side of the house. I don't know, maybe some changes would be mad. Maybe verbalize, 'I would be a different friend going forward...' Like, some acknowledgment and accountability for what went down needs to happen."
"I am hopeful for a future that includes them, because why throw away so many years of magical memories?" she asks, "but, I mean, I am going through a breakup right now, and No. 1 is the most important. So, I am going to do in the moment what is best for me, and whatever that is... I don't know. I have hope, I have faith, but I am also going to be a little selfish."
That includes throwing herself into work; Danielle says she's in the final stages of having her long-in-the-works wardrobe styling app ready for testing, hopefully by her Summer House castmates. She's also excited for the show to be back on air, and for fans to see sides of her she's never been able to share before.
"I think my personality really comes out this season a bit more," she says. "I think because I am trying to prioritize myself and my happiness, mixed with [new housemate Chris Leoni] being there, having a fellow Hispanic person, it really does change how you can present yourself. It's almost like another wall comes down."
"You put on a different face when you are around a certain type of people, and in the Hamptons, it's very white," she notes. "So, now that we have a lot more of this diversity, and I'm kind of being more open about things, I get to let more of myself show and more my silly, funny side."
Summer House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
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