“We have had a lot of conversations about it. You know, it’s taken up a lot of headspace for us because we don’t understand it,” Jennifer, 46, exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, July 27. “I’m so grateful Ryan manages it the way that he does. I can just head spin about it. Like, ‘This doesn’t make sense. I don’t know this, I don’t know.’ But he keeps me a little bit more grounded with it, and he sees it for what it is. And we, thank God, are just in a great space. Everybody says ‘the [Housewives] curse,’ you know? And we think that’s not gonna happen.”
Jennifer’s romance with Ryan, 46, raised eyebrows among her costars when she joined the cast for season 17. The RHOC stars, led by Tamra Judge, criticized the twosome for allegedly getting together prior to Jennifer’s 2021 split from ex-husband William Pedranti. Tamra, 55, even referred to Ryan as the “town whore” in the July 5 episode of the Bravo hit and accused him of infidelity.
Tamra further claimed during the Wednesday, July 26, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that the couple had used the scandal to get cast on RHOC. “Jen was going through the casting process when she actually found out that Ryan was cheating on her — and she chose to stay with him because she’s afraid she wouldn’t get cast on the show,” Tamra alleged, noting she had “a lot” of conversations with Jennifer about the dilemma.
Jennifer, however, denied the claims while speaking with Us.
“What? I mean, what are you even talking about? Like, you think I’m gonna stay in a cheating relationship because I’m worried I’m not gonna get cast?” Jennifer — who shares five children with William, 51 — told Us. “That’s like the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not trying to be rude, but, no, and you know, that whole time, sometimes I’m like, ‘Does Tamra forget? Does Tamra remember conversations she and I had when that time was actually happening?’”
Jennifer claimed that she and Tamra would frequently check in with one another while they were waiting to hear from producers about whether they’d be joining the season 17 cast. In fact, Tamra’s husband, Eddie Judge, would frequently hang out with Ryan at that time. “It was very much, like, Eddie and Ryan are buds, and it was not that tone at all,” Jennifer said. “So, I don’t even know where that comes from.”
When asked whether Tamra ever warned her about Ryan’s alleged infidelity pre-RHOC, Jennifer theorized that her pal had “saved it for the cameras.”
“There was plenty of days and hours spent in the gym together. I mean, Tamra jumped in and trained with me and my trainer for a long time — and three years is not a short amount of time,” she added on Thursday. “It’s not like Tamra and I had, like, two months in the gym and then we started filming. There was years where all these conversations could have happened.”
“It’s super unfair to Ryan,” Jennifer said, refuting Emily’s claims based on his past relationships. “I have never been more loved or prioritized in my life and he’s such a good partner. It’s so unfortunate that they just wanna listen to talk from past, and that’s who they’re gonna judge him to be.”
She continued: “Leave me alone [and] leave us alone. If something happens and it all falls apart and I eat crow or I do something to Ryan, then that’s our path. But I’m not on Emily, and I’m not on Tamra, and I’m not on Gina [Kirschenheiter]. Like, let me be. I’m so happy. Can I just be happy?”
While Jennifer’s friendships with her fellow Housewives are on the rocks over her romance, her relationship with Ryan is faring much better.
“I don’t know if I ever said I didn’t trust Ryan. I’ve not experienced that [with] Ryan. I understand Ryan’s past 5+ years ago and the only reason I know about it is because Ryan has shared with me himself about everything,” she revealed to Us. “He’s very open with me about everything. … Do I trust Ryan? 100 percent. Do I think for a second I ever have to worry about Ryan? Never. I never think about it. I don’t have to worry about it. It’s not the relationship that I’m in with him.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi