'Summer House's Samantha Feher Confirms Kory Keefer Romance! Why They Had to Keep It a Secret (Exclusive)

'Summer House' newbie Samantha Feher gushes over her guy, Kory Keefer, and explains why they had to keep their romance under wraps.

Bravo's Summer House is proving itself to have a pretty solid track record when it comes to matchmaking, as newcomer Samantha Feher joins the ranks of housemates who fell in love while filming the show.

"Kory is my boyfriend, and that is crazy to say!" Sam confesses to ET over video chat. "I, like, almost haven't told anyone yet."

Kory is Kory Keefer, college buddy of Southern Charm star Craig Conover, who is also part of a Summer House romance with Paige DeSorbo. Now-married couple Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula's relationship began on camera, too, as did soon-to-be married pair Lindsay Hubbard and Carl Radke's love story.

While all those couples were able to share the news of their relationships on their own terms and in their own time, Samantha and Kory's big reveal had to be kept under wraps thanks to contracts and the possibility of spoiling storylines that were still playing out on TV. See, Kory filmed season 2 of the spinoff series Winter House before he and Sam met. However, that show didn't air until after he and Sam filmed season 7 of Summer House.

"We started dating when, like, the Jess stuff was going on TV," Sam notes, referencing Kory's Winter House hookup with Jessica Stocker. "We have dated through rumors about him hooking up with other people online, and I've just kind of, like, sat it out, had to like wait my turn. So, it's nice to kind of finally be like, yeah, it's been--it's me! It's been me. I'm here."

The signs were there, though, if fans were paying close enough attention. An Instagram Reel posted by Kory in January features a number of blink-and-you-miss-it snapshots of the two.

"He did Watch What Happens Live with Craig [in November] and I was there in the audience," Sam also reveals. "I hadn't even been announced as cast on Summer House yet. So, you know, we can't talk about a relationship at all, and he has to talk about that relationship, and I will say, to everybody's credit, like Andy [Cohen], Craig, Kory -- all of them -- in between takes of that episode, came up to me, and they were like, 'You're such a good sport.' Like, 'This is probably really hard to watch and listen to...'"

Kory and Jess' time together on Winter House bordered on NSFW territory, with Jess recounting some of their bedroom antics in explicit detail. Sam's aware of those conversations, but didn't watch the show. 

"At the end of the day, everybody has exes," she notes. "Like, everybody's got those relationships. They're not all on television, but ... if Kory and I don't work out, like, you either break up or you get married, right? So if Kory and I don't work out, we're going to be the exes that are all over TV, you know?"

When Kory and Sam first met, captured by cameras and aired on the most recent episode of Summer House, he was still sort-of seeing Jess. That obviously changes over the course of what's still to come this season. 

"No hard feelings to anyone," Sam declares. "They're not each other's people, that's fine; but that said, I feel like I have sat through a lot of kind of the rumors and the talk and his other relationships that are public, because he started doing this before I did, and so I think I'm just ready to kind of watch our love story play out, because it really is special for me to relive those moments."

"I think you can tell when it's real, and when it's deeper than just like a fling or a crush," she adds, "and I really hope that comes through for the audience."

The midseason trailer previews what's to come for Sam and Kory, including her hesitancy to get involved with him, after Paige warned Sam that Kory is "destructive." 

"My first impression of him was that he was a total d-bag," Sam admits. "I literally was like, 'I dated and dumped 10 of this guy in the last year!' So, I will say I was really surprised to kind of peel back the layers and find out that he's got a lot more going on underneath that."

"He's got this big, tough guy exterior, like loves to party," she rattles off, "but you know, he surprises me every day. He is so layered. He's got a lot more going on. He's very deep, and you don't always get to see that side of him on camera."

By this point, the two have been together for the better part of a year, and are taking notes from Paige and Craig on how to pull off a long-distance relationship that works. Sam lives in New York, while Kory calls North Carolina home.

"One of the things that is captured in a recent episode of Summer House that Paige says is, she says to Craig, 'We make the rules,'" Sam recalls. "Like, we don't have to follow anyone else's map on how to do this, how to navigate this thing and I think Kory and I are a lot like that."

"I've done long distance before, and I will say 'til the day I die, I never thought I would be in another long-distance relationship," she adds, "but it took meeting Kory for me to understand that the reason that prior relationship didn't work out was not because of the distance, it was because of the guy. And so, when you're with the right person, it doesn't feel hard."

Sam admits she "of course" misses Kory when they're not together and she wants him "right next to me all the time," but she also sees the value in time apart. 

"We've, so far, not had a single problem with it," she says. "It has been nice, I think, to start this relationship, maintaining our own independence as people, and not having to kind of change our lives that much. It's hard to miss him sometimes, but it really does make every time we spend that time together so much more valuable and special."


Sam is aware that a relationship in the public eye comes with a whole other set of concerns, but she's ready for the challenge after the nine months or so of waiting to share this with the world. 

"There are definitely some moments in our relationship that I look back on, and I’m like, 'This is the moment I knew that I cared for him...' and it's gonna be funny to see that from an out-of-body kind of way," she says of getting to watch their story play out on the show. 

"I'm also excited to see like what he's been saying about me behind closed doors," she adds. "Like, before we had really gotten close, I'm sure he's talking to other people in the house about me and our relationship, and what's going on. So I’m excited to see that."

Sam's already learning things about her and Kory's origin story, like that Ciara Miller had confessed to being interested in him before his arrival. A clever edit on a group dinner outing built a little competitive tension between the women, Ciara appearing jealous of Sam for snagging the seat next to Kory; but Sam says, there was never a rivalry there.

"I was not aware of that happening," she confesses. "I didn't know there was any like romantic interest, and I will say, I think we didn't feel competitive about it. ... I don't think, Ciara and I ever felt weird or competitive, or had any animosity about it. It was just kind of, you know, the natural sequence of events."

Before Kory arrived, Sam was keeping tabs on what she called her "roster" of dates, which included a boxing trainer named Josh Popper. The same week his appearance on the show aired (on which Sam basically dumped him), photos of Josh and Madonna -- as in, Queen of Pop Madonna -- popped up on social media, sparking dating rumors for the two. Sam's jaw dropped when she saw the headlines. 

Instagram / Josh Popper

"I said, I'm jealous of him, because he gets to date Madonna!" she exclaims. "What do you think he knows that we don't know about her, you know? Like, I mean, good for him. If that's true, then I support it. Josh and I are friends, we were just DMing the other day. I was like, 'OK, please tell me this is true!" And he was like, shrug emoji. So, who knows?"

"He's a great guy, and I hope he finds someone amazing, because he absolutely deserves it," she adds. "He's a great, great person."

Sam's also a big fan of her housemates, especially Mya Allen. Early on in the season, Mya pulled Sam aside to tell her she "talks too much." While some viewers took the conversation as a mean-girl attack, Sam says it was actually Mya having her back and helping her navigate the new waters of filming a reality show.

"A lot of people have wondered if I was offended or hurt by that, but there is literally one room in that entire house that doesn't have cameras and that's where she chose to have that conversation with me," Sam explains. "So I took it, in the moment and now, I still consider it, like, a big-sister move, or she was trying to take care of me."

Sam broke into tears during the exchange, but they were not "because I was mad at her or felt like she'd hurt me."

"I was crying because the things that hurt the most are the ones that are a little true, you know?" she shares. "Like, I have been told my whole life by people who were not necessarily 'my people' that I’m too much, and so it kind of opened up this waterfall of emotions, and that one's hard to contain for me. That was the one, little spot that would make me emotional, and she she got it right away."

"It made me feel like she really saw me, for who I was," she says. "She makes me feel so safe."

Sasha Israel / Bravo

There's more housemate bonding to come this season, but also drama. As viewers are well aware, longtime besties Lindsay Hubbard and Danielle Olivera fell out over the course of the summer, a friendship breakup the entire house was forced to navigate.

"It's hard, because you want to let your friends vent, and you want to let your friends talk about their lives and their problems, but you also don't want to tolerate anything past a certain point," Sam reflects, having formed friendships with both women.

"I think all three of us are holding out hope that there's a future for their friendship, and that there's a resolution coming towards us," she says. "I think we'll all have a chance to sit down and talk about it as a group at the reunion in a couple of weeks, and hopefully, that will kind of fill in the blanks for people, and hopefully, we'll find some common ground there."

"The two of them are some of the most important people in each other's lives," she points out. "I think that when they step back and remember that it's not them vs. each other, it's them vs. the problem -- on a team, together against the adversity -- I think once they kind of get back to that mindset, that everything is going to be fine."

From love to feuds and all the mess in between, Sam has no regrets about her Summer House experience.

"I would sign myself up for it in every lifetime," she declares. "I went in there with no expectations, I had never watched the show before. ... I think going in with an open mind really allowed me to have the experience of a lifetime."

"Like, no matter what happens in the future, I'm never going to forget this summer," she adds.

Summer House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.