“I was pretty disappointed,” Taylor, 28, exclusively told Us Weekly while discussing the Thursday, October 12, episode of Southern Charm, referring to Austen, 36, telling Shep, 43, they “kissed” after weeks of them both denying the hook up.
Taylor explained to Us that she originally felt like she and Austen needed to “come clean and just come out with everything” but Austen allegedly convinced her to keep the secret. (Taylor swore to Olivia Flowers earlier this season that she and Austen never hooked up. However, Austen admitted on Thursday’s episode that he shared a smooch with Taylor after Taylor and Shep split. Austen then claimed that nothing else happened between them.)
“He was like, ‘That’s not the important part.’ He was like, ‘A drunken kiss, doesn’t really matter. A conversation that we had [about dating]. OK, we can do that,’” Taylor recalled. “But then of course he was like, ‘I feel liberated and free and I don’t care.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I’m glad you feel liberated, because I just lied to one of my really good friends and I felt really, really bad about that.’”
Taylor — who dated Shep for two years before splitting in July 2022 — couldn’t get over the fact that Austen hung her out to dry. “I was like, ‘I wish we were on the same page with this because I stuck to what you had advised me to do,’” she told Us.
While Austen finally confessed to kissing Taylor on Thursday’s episode, Taylor held her ground and only told Austen’s ex Olivia, 31, that they chatted about possibly being boyfriend and girlfriend.
When Olivia — who dated Austen in 2022 before calling it quits that October — previously asked Taylor point blank if “ya’ll ever hooked up,” Taylor denied it.
Taylor confessed to Us that she felt “a little bit” betrayed by Austen when he changed the plan. Ultimately, she forgave him because she is “glad that it came out” and was no longer hidden.
During Thursday’s episode, Taylor finally told Olivia that she did kiss Austen shortly after Austen and Olivia broke up. The timing, however, was terrible as Olivia and Taylor were among their friends about to sit down for a fancy dinner party.
“Looking back, I’m like, ‘I wish that we had just kind of [waited],’ but I was so eager to be like, ‘I don’t want you to hear it from anybody else. I want you to hear it from me.’ So I was like, snag her at the [moment] when she walked in, I’m like, ‘Hey, welcome,’” Taylor said of the awkward exchange. “I was like, ‘I should have probably taken her off and pulled her aside,’ but I just was like, ‘I have to tell her.’ … Austen got to feel liberated with his friend. I want to feel liberated with mine.”
Taylor shared that she was able to breathe once she told Olivia the truth, but it was obvious she didn’t pick the right moment to clear her conscience.
“Olivia’s the type of person where she has to process things, and that’s why I was so wanting to meet up with her that morning and let her process it,” Taylor explained. “But of course, you can’t really have it your way when cameras are in town. I felt really bad that she wasn’t able to really process it. And there we are with all of her friends, and she is just sitting here like she said, she’s like, ‘What twilight zone am I in?’ So I wish that she had had a little bit more time.”
When it comes to their current friendship status, Taylor told Us that she and Olivia have “tabled” their drama for now. After they both lost a sibling this year — Taylor’s brother died in June, while Olivia’s brother passed away January — the women have “been able to put all things aside and be there for each other as friends.”
“I feel very confident and secure in our relationship, so I don’t feel like we’re both two separate people,” she told Us, noting the duo “made things official” about a month ago. “We do our separate things and when we come together, it feels very natural and easy.”
Southern Charm airs on Bravo Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi