Even Kristen Doute is cringe-watching this season of Vanderpump Rules.
"I'm not proud of seeing my own actions," Kristen admits to ET. "Emotions run high and logic runs low at times, rewatching all of this craziness."
Fans have watched as Kristen’s friendship with Stassi Schroeder and Katie Maloney-Schwartz, collectively known as the "Witches of WeHo," fell apart this season in the wake of Kristen's breakup from her longtime boyfriend, Brian Carter (who just goes by "Carter"). Kristen says it was hard enough to live through it, and watching it back is only making things worse.
"At this point I'm just ugh... I don't want to be brat and say I'm so over talking about it, but I think that it’s hard enough to try to repair relationships from the show, and then also having to clarify statements I made on the show, just trying to sort of fix things," she remarks. "And this is so long ago -- and I don't want to take the entertainment portion away from the viewers. Everyone, just know we filmed this, what you're watching is last July. So, things have changed immensely and, at the same time, rewatching things can be difficult, because it’s hard to not let it get to you. I’m still wondering, like, I’m watching these two girls call me a psycho, this and that."
Kristen let her feelings get the best of her during a recent episode of the Vanderpump Rules after-show, in which she laid into Stassi.
"In a couple years, no one could give a s**t about her f**kin' podcast!" she said, making co-star Brittany Cartwright grimace. "Who wants to hear a 40-year-old talking about a pop culture podcast? Like, slow your f**king roll. Like, I don't kiss the ring and Stassi Schroeder, you're much younger than me and, b***h, you were nothing a few years ago."
The comment blew up on Twitter, with a back-and-forth between Stassi and Kristen. Kristen attempted to apologize, but Stassi seemed unwilling to accept, saying she would have preferred to keep their discussion about the issue private.
And now you’re just attempting to trash me publicly after we’ve been texting about this for the past hour. 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/DQU3yPfxJF
"I rewatched it, and I wasn't proud of the way I spoke about her work ethic, because I definitely did not mean that," Kristen explains. "I felt the need -- and I told her in a text -- to publicly go on social media and clarify and correct that I do not feel that way about Stassi's work ethic. I think that she's built an amazing brand for herself. She is such a hard worker and because, at that point, we filmed that after-show a month and a half ago. I was watching the show and seeing the things that are being said about me and it lit a fire under my a**, and I reacted rather than try to stay in the moment."
Kristen apologizes to viewers, too, because the Witches of WeHo drama "drags on" through the end of the season; there's at least one more big blow-up to come for the trio at an event for their wine.
"I feel like the more episodes that air, and the more emotions that I have about it, the further we are pulling away from each other," she confesses. "I just don’t have an answer as to whether or not this is something that can be salvaged. I always have hope. I’m trying to just lead with kindness, and own my mistakes and own responsibility, and be responsible for my words and my actions. But, I’m human, too, and I have feelings and emotions. It was really hard for me, not having them around. I’ve said this before -- and I’ll say it a million times -- I’m watching with everyone else, so... I kinda know how the season will end."
So far, Kristen says she hasn’t learned much about why Katie and Stassi feel the way they do about her; and she’s not sure what they were missing when it came to how she felt at the time.
"I definitely see how the toxicity of having a friend go through a hard breakup, and not seeing their point of view," she does admit. "But unfortunately, that was my lesson to learn and I will always stand by, that was my lesson to learn, in my own time. I can respect Katie and Stassi needing time away from that, 'cause at the end of the day, they have their own lives to live, as well, and they can’t be dragged through my mud. It’s just not the way that I am. Something that I’m having to accept is that not everyone is going to do things the way that I do them or see them. I would never ditch a friend, I never have. But we are all different people, so I don’t know."
The trio's next chance to hash things out will be at the season eight reunion for Vanderpump Rules, which was originally set to film this week. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the shoot has been delayed. Kristen predicts the day will be pretty explosive once it comes, because everyone will have more time to stew in their feelings.
"I have a opinion about things that I have seen, and not just in regards to Katie, Stassi and I, but a lot of the stuff with Carter," she says. "In hindsight, I wish I had taken a step back from Carter sooner, and that him and I could've worked it out sooner than we did, and didn’t drag it out for both of us, even though … inevitably, we were going to be completely, permanently broken up."
"But, during the summer -- when I didn’t have my best friends, my brother was sick back home, which is a really big thing, I just leaned on [Carter] so much as one of my closest, best friends in the entire world," Kristen adds. "So whether or not him and I were going to date, it was just nice to have that comfort of home. So, I don’t regret it, but hindsight, I don’t know… hindsight is always 20/20."
For the record, Kristen's brother was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and is doing "much better," she says.
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Kristen Doute Reads an Excerpt From Her Book, 'He's Making You Crazy' (Exclusive)
Stassi, Katie and the whole Pump Rules cast might find some more insight into Kristen’s point of view if they read her forthcoming book, He's Making You Crazy: How to Get the Guy, Get Even and Get Over It, out June 2. The tongue-in-cheek dating guide provides some context when it comes to Kristen's mindset when she's in a relationship, and specifically what was running through her mind as her relationship with Carter was coming to an end. Check out the video to the side for a sneak peek at the book, an excerpt called "The Honeymoon Phase."
"I like to debunk a lot, what I read on social media is, people saying, 'Why would I buy a dating advice book from someone like Kristen?' First off, it's not a dating advice book. It's a lens into every relationship I've ever had since my very first kiss until, even past, what you've seen on this season of Vanderpump Rules," Kristen notes. "[My co-author] and I wrote a lot of this post-Vanderpump Rules, post-season eight."
"We are filming a television show, [and] not everyone gets to see the multi-dimension of all of us, and I had a lot of thoughts and feelings about this breakup," she continues. "A relationship for four years that I truly thought, above all, that was going to be 'the one.' So, I just really urge people to just give it a shot, and give it a chance, and know that I've been through it and you've been through it."
The book is, essentially, a collection of essays that are organized chronologically through Kristen's dating history, with funny learnings and thoughtful takeaways for anyone who has or will ever date. There are also tidbits about Kristen’s time on Vanderpump Rules, including how she got to a good place with her ex, Tom Sandoval, and his new girlfriend -- Kristen’s now-friend -- Ariana Madix, and how she’s grown since wrapping this most recent season of the show.
"We try to show this arc that people don't yet know about after Carter, and after season eight, I had a minute to breathe and think, what’s best for me?" she explains. "Not, what is best for my friends? What my friends think is the best advice. Not my ex-friends who think they know what's better for me. Not what Carter wanted. It was, what do I need to truly love myself and be a better friend and be a better partner to someone eventually? A better sister, daughter, dog parent, everything -- and I finally got to that place, and I work at it every day. I just feel like a very new person, which is really awesome."
"So, yeah, this summer was difficult," she says. "My two best friends broke up with me, and then I broke up with Carter, and there was a lot going on at one time. So, I just hope people will be a little more sensitive to that in reading the book and knowing things have shifted since [what you’re] seeing on TV."
Today, Kristen and Carter are co-parenting their two dogs and trying to “maintain some sort of friendship.” Kristen is dating again, but she’s not calling anyone her boyfriend -- even though she does have a quarantine bae! For now, she’s keeping his identity under wraps (though, Scheana Shay did post a clip of Kristen kissing a mystery man at her surprise birthday earlier this year on YouTube).
"I am very happy," Kristen offers. "We're having a really good time."
"We will see how it goes," she adds, saying she’s not sure when, or if, their pair will go public. "We are having a really great time, he is a great guy, taking it slow, just having fun … Maybe it’s going to be one day during quarantine. I’m going to be, like, I’ve had enough. Here he is."
ET spoke to Kristen via video chat while she isolates at her home in Los Angeles. She says she’s keeping busy by working -- she moved her T-shirt company, James Mae's, operations into her home.
"I'm packing and shipping everything with my own two hands, no one else is touching anything -- I made this pretty apparent to all our customers," she shares. "And then I started working with Cameo, and I'm giving proceeds to Feeding America, so that's fun, to get to connect with people, since we're all doing this virtual social distancing."
Vanderpump Rules airs Tuesdays on Bravo, and Kristen’s book is available for pre-order now, wherever you buy books.