Credit: Parisa and London Entertainment/Splash News Photo: Alexis Bellino at Patti Stanger’s Birthday Party on June 14, 2012

Season 7 of Real Housewives of Orange County has been a rough one for Alexis Bellino. Between recovering from sinus surgery and rhinoplasty, she’s also been the target of an “intervention” by her castmates — who thought she was “phony” and “pretentious.”

When Wetpaint Entertainment spoke with the blond Housewife and her husband, Jim, at Patti Stanger’s birthday party on June 14, we asked about her damaged relationship with Gretchen Rossi, her new friendship with Vicki Gunvalson, and whether she’ll be back for Season 8. Alexis also reveals why she was almost a no-show at the Season 7 reunion, as Wetpaint Entertainment was the first to report.

Wetpaint Entertainment: How has it been since being back from Costa Rica and having to confront everyone?
Alexis Bellino: Well, it’s been good with Vicki. The other ones, it’s been the same.

Is Vicki the only one you’re talking to now?
Alexis: Well, after the reunion we did have a little peace-making going on, but we’ll see how that really turns out. I don’t know. I never know because one day they’ll tell me that they’re sorry or this and that and then the next day, “I got drunk in a bar.” I’m just very guarded, I should say.

You almost skipped the reunion. What made you change your mind?
Alexis: I didn’t skip it. I was medically released from it. I finally got the courage to go. Yeah, it’s been a rough season.

Was it really difficult to get through it?
Alexis: They were lighter on me at the reunion, so that helped. I had the Lord with me, so it helped a lot too.

What do you think people most misunderstand about you?
Alexis: I just think that I’m an easy target, because I don’t fight dirty. I’m not going to go to that level. I think it’s easy to just say what you want about me, because I’m not going to attack back.

Do you think you’ll be able to heal your relationships with some of the other girls, like Gretchen?
Alexis: I think there’s a chance I’m going to heal my relationship with Gretchen. I wouldn’t call it completely shut for good. I do love her, and I miss her.

You’ve talked about having another baby. Do you think you’re going to add to your family?
Alexis: [Cover’s husband Jim’s ears and sings “La la la la la”] I want another baby. He is not really up for it, and it takes two for that to happen so I don’t know if I’m gonna get it. He kind of would for about a month when he said that he would think about it and revisit it in a few months, and now he’s just shut it down. “No, not happening.”

Jim Bellino: She’ll get a dog.

Alexis: I’m gonna get a little bitty dog. But he doesn’t like the little rat ones.

You put up with so much this season. Are you going to return next season?
Alexis: I don’t know.

Is a lot of that going to depend on your relationships outside of the show and how you guys mend?
Alexis: There’s just a lot of factors involved. There’s my family. There’s my health. There’s so much involved. The one thing I know is I will be friends with her [points to Vicki], and hopefully Gretchen and I will become friends again and I won’t lose touch with her whether I’m on the show or not.

Overall, how has being on the show changed your life?
Alexis: For the most part, it’s been a very positive experience. It’s just this year that was really difficult. I mean, everybody goes through it so we’ll see. We just finished filming, and now is when I get to heal and go through everything.

Do you think everybody was being unfair with their attitudes towards Vicki’s boyfriend?
Alexis: We have always liked Brooks, and I think no matter what, at the end of the day, she’s 50 years old. She’s going to decide for herself about her husband or boyfriend and you can like him or not like him but once you say your piece, leave her alone. Let her do her thing. If you like him, great; if you don’t like him that’s great. Don’t tell her anymore. Let her do her thing.

Jim: The unfortunate thing, as a man, if you put yourself in this situation on camera then you expose yourself to vulnerability and what happens after so that’s part of the reason why I’ve taken a step back if you haven’t noticed. I don’t do that much. I pick and choose what I’m going to do. If it’s a family even then I’m there. If it’s a Housewife event then I’m not.

Is it really hard for you guys to watch it when it airs and relive all that?
Jim: I don’t watch it most of the time.

Do you watch it, Alexis?
Alexis: Yeah. I have to just for knowledge, but there were a few episodes that I cried a lot through and a few episodes that I fast forwarded and couldn’t watch the whole thing.

Do you think you’ve been fairly portrayed?
Alexis: No, and that was part of the problem.

In what way?
Alexis: They were hard on me last season. I know we don’t like to say the “E word” [editing] in reality — and they know it. I’ve made several calls to my producers so it was a little bit unfair in some of those ways. We’ll just have to see what the future holds down.

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