Alexis Bellino Responds to Being Called “Jesus Jugs” by Tamra — Exclusive!
We just couldn't get throught the Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8 premiere without someone bringing up the 'Jesus Jugs' comment, could we? Remember that whole drama from last season? Let's take a look back at what Alexis had to tell us about the offensive nickname.
Reunion shows are notoriously catty, but the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County outdid themselves during Part 1 of their Season 7 reunion, which aired on July 9 (Part 2 airs on Monday, July 16, at 8 p.m. on Bravo). And although Alexis Bellino is used to squaring off against Tamra Barney, this time Tamra was joined by Gretchen Rossi and newcomer Heather Dubrow, who all called her out.
Among their accusations: Alexis treats the crew poorly, brags about her wealth, tried to sabotage Gretchen’s career, has a bad reputation at the local Nordstroms, has a husband who treats her like a child, and much, much more. Speaking first with Wetpaint Entertainment, Alexis finally breaks her silence about the hurtful attacks… and whether they’ll keep her from signing on for another season.
Wetpaint Entertainment: We have to ask, what’s your reaction to being called “Jesus Jugs” by Tamra?
Alexis Bellino: She really shouldn't use the Lord's name that way. It's blasphemy. And now she's taking it to a whole new level by selling wine glasses on her website with ‘Jesus Jugs’ on them to make a profit. She really shouldn't use religion to make nasty remarks about me or take the Lord's name in vain.
Between Tamra, Gretchen, and Heather, did you feel like it was three against one?
Absolutely. But it wasn’t just the reunion, they were like that all season. Until Costa Rica, I let it slide. You can call me names, make fun of my marriage, make fun of me, whatever. But in Costa Rica, they ganged up and bullied me. And that’s not okay. Bullying has many faces — it can happen at any age, in every walk of life — and it has to be stopped.
There were comparisons made between what happened in Costa Rica and the way you confronted Vicki in San Francisco during Season 5. What’s your take on that?
There are two main differences between San Francisco and Costa Rica. Costa Rica was premeditated. They had a pow-wow about how they were going to do it, how it was going to go down. That was not the case in San Francisco. In San Francisco, I was hurt because of comments Vicki had made to me. We were both feeling heated. I did end up confronting her but not in a premeditated way.
Do you think your friendship with Gretchen will ever get back to where it once was?
What happened to our friendship really pains me. Can we get it back? I don’t know, stranger things have happened. I mean, she’s made up with Tamra so anything’s possible. But right now, I’m not sure I want to put myself back in that relationship.
If Gretchen loved me so much and was so concerned about me as she claims, why didn't she just come to me the minute she found out I got the job with Fox5? Why wait until we were on camera to reveal the information in such a dramatic way? Prior to joining the show, I considered Gretchen a good friend of mine. If there were things that bothered her, she should have come to me for a candid talk. Instead, she chose to jump on the bandwagon that night in Costa Rica.
I'm a big girl. I can handle constructive criticism. But she had three years to address these issues with me in a loving, friendly way and she didn’t.
What else would you like to clear up about the Fox5 situation between you and Gretchen?
I just want everyone to know what really happened. Gretchen and I both went on the show two weeks apart to show off our businesses. I went for my dress line and she went for her handbags. All good.
After my segment aired, the producers called and said, “We’d like you to do another segment with us, would you and Gretchen want to do it together?” I jumped at the chance and said yes. Gretchen did not. So I did it by myself. After that, I was offered a once-a-week spot on the show.
The Fox5 gig was never a competition between Gretchen and me until she made it one. When Fox5 offered me the job, I asked for exclusivity, and received it.
Are you still working with Fox5?
I'm not. The executives decided not to mix the news with the drama of a reality TV show. They felt it was hurting the integrity of their news brand. I have to respect that and understand.
So now everyone’s wondering the same thing: Will all the nastiness from Season 7 keep you from signing on for Season 8?
The truth is, I don’t know if I’m cut out for this anymore. I’ve been called phony, fake, mean, and hateful. But the thing is, there’s zero footage to back that up. If there was, don’t you think they would have run it? I don’t know if I’m cut out for such a hateful environment.
At this point, I’m just trying to recover. I want to turn this into a positive experience. I’m now doing a lot of speaking on bullying, which I feel great about. God put me in the place I am for a reason. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I’m a lot stronger today than I was at the start of Season 7. So I guess, in a way, I’m thankful. Very hurt, but thankful.