“I do think they would make a good couple,” Madison, 32, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting season 9 of Southern Charm. “I mean, maybe they’ll just live their life and screw what everybody else thinks. But at the same time, you are hurting a friend.”
Austen, 36, and Taylor, 28, made headlines in March when rumors surfaced that the Bravo costars secretly hooked up after their respective splits from Olivia Flowers and Shep Rose in October and July of 2022. In a teaser for season 9 of Southern Charm, Austen hinted that the fling speculation was true.
Taylor, however, denied the affair, telling Olivia, 31, in the August clip she “never” hooked up with Austen. “Swear on my life,” Taylor insisted.
Madison — who dated Austen on and off for years before their December 2020 split — told Us that she wasn’t exactly surprised to hear about the alleged hookup. (Madison moved on with Brett Randle, whom she wed in November 2022.)
“At the reunion, I was the first one to literally say, ‘This is what’s happening. Accept it or not, but they’re into each other,’” Madison said, referring to the cast’s season 8 reunion which taped in fall 2022.
Madison recalled being confused as to why Austen appeared so invested in Taylor’s split from Shep, 43, last summer. “Why was Austen crying over Shep and Taylor’s drama back last year?” Madison asked, telling Us that was the moment when she “knew” something was up.
Despite having her suspicions, Madison was taken aback when news of Austen and Taylor’s alleged scandal broke. “I was like, ‘No, not one of your best friends.’ So that was kind of hard to hear. More so for Olivia’s sake,” she told Us. “I mean, girl code. We know the guys are going to break it, but the girls, I don’t know. And I didn’t expect it out of her, honestly.”
While Madison said that Shep and Austen appear to be OK after the drama, Taylor’s relationship with the girls on the show isn’t back to normal.
“I think the girls especially were just shocked because the side of Taylor that we see is this kind, nice best friend vibes, and then to then see this, it was not so refreshing,” she explained, noting that she’s “friendly” with Taylor but still doesn’t “trust” her at the moment.
Madison later hinted that she thinks Austen and Taylor did more than kiss, teasing, “I don’t know if we’ll ever find out the truth.” She added: “I still have questions.”
Southern Charm premieres on Bravo Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi