Zack Wickham is speaking out in defense of Jax Taylor, Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute. Brittany Cartwright’s best friend fired back at Billie Lee and Faith Stowers after they spoke about feeling disrespected by the cast of Vanderpump Rules.
“I’ve known Jax Taylor since he started dating my best friend Brittany Cartwright. And I will say, there is no one quite like him,” Wickham, who has been featured in the background of the Bravo series over the years, began in a lengthy Instagram statement on Thursday, June 11. “He makes you laugh, he makes you angry, he can be stubborn as hell … Jax is also the perfect TV villain and has played into that very well over the past eight seasons.”
While he wrote that the 40-year-old SUR bartender has “done some bad things” in the past, including cheating on Cartwright, 31, Wickham stated that “there’s a big difference between being a controversial person on TV and an ass on Twitter than being accused of being a racist, homophobic and transphobic.”
Wickham, who is openly gay, went on to address former Vanderpump Rules star Lee’s call for Bravo to fire Taylor after the network cut ties with Schroeder, 31, and Doute, 37, after their past racially insensitive remarks resurfaced.
“Truth is, [Billie Lee] didn’t add much drama or fun to the show, so she ultimately resorted to trying to stir up drama by insinuating that the cast is transphobic, which again is not even remotely true,” he said. “Now, I will briefly touch on Faith. She was our close friend (even after Bravo didn’t have her film anymore).”
After appearing on season 4 of Vanderpump Rules, Stowers, 31, didn’t return for season 5. During the season 6 premiere, she made a brief appearance when it was revealed she had an affair with Taylor.
“Faith intentionally went after Jax to get together with him (and clearly was doing it for press). She did it to try and have a story line on the show,” Wickham alleged. “I am in disbelief as to the claims Faith is now making.”
Stowers made headlines earlier this month after she called attention to a 2018 episode of the “Bitch Bible” podcast, in which Schroeder accused the Challenge car of crimes she didn’t commit. Doute also falsely reported Stowers to the police at the time.
“The implications of calling the police of people of color is an issue that this country is finally addressing as a major problem,” Wickham wrote. “But they didn’t call without facts from an outside source. They didn’t call just to frame her due to the color of her skin like any ‘Karen’ would.”
Wickham added that Doute is “one of the most generous and kind humans” and pointed out that she opted out of her book tour earlier this month “because she truly believes” in the Black Lives Matter movement and didn’t “want to pull focus” from it. Regarding Schroeder’s past offensive remarks made on her “Straight Up With Stassi” podcast, Wickham pointed out that they recorded an episode about her “white privilege” after she lost several sponsors in 2018.
Wickham concluded: “I believe wholeheartedly in holding people accountable for any and all forms of discrimination. But I also believe in giving people the opportunity to realize their mistakes and take true responsibility and take action instead of immediately jumping into this cancel culture.”
Two days after Schroeder and Doute issued public apologies via Instagram, Bravo announced on Tuesday, June 9, that they would not return for season 9. Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also fired for using racial slurs in old tweets.
“Stassi and Kristen acknowledged what they did was wrong, have apologized and been punished,” their new rep, Steve Honig, told Us Weekly in a statement on Friday, June 12. “Without casting aside their actions or the impact of those actions, they want to move forward as part of the solution in ways that are productive, meaningful and sincere. Both of them recognize actions speak louder than words and that is what will guide them as they move forward.”