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VPR’s James Kennedy Says He’ll Split ‘Sloppy Joe’ Merch Proceeds With Jo Wenberg After Backlash

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James Kennedy, Jo Wenberg. Charles Sykes/Bravo ; Courtesy of Jo Wenberg/Instagram

James Kennedy is owning up to his mistakes.

The Vanderpump Rules star, 32, came under major scrutiny from some fans after sharing “very limited” edition merchandise on his online store targeting VPR newcomer, Jo Wenberg. The merch features the words “Sloppy Joe” on a sandwich with the phrase “there’s something about her” underneath it.

The design is a reference to a joke he made on the Tuesday, March 26, episode of the long-running Bravo series, in which he teased costar Tom Schwartz about his fling and ongoing friendship with Wenberg while the group did a sandwich tasting at Katie Maloney and Ariana Madix‘s Something About Her sandwich shop.

After fans called the merch “cruel,” “a big miss” and “mean,” Kennedy posted an Instagram Story featuring girlfriend Ally Lewber, who apologized for his actions. Kennedy also apologized.

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“Sorry about my ‘Sloppy James,’ I did not approve this message or the T-shirt,” Lewber, 28, began in the clip.

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Courtesy of James Kennedy/Instagram

“She didn’t approve the T-shirt. I already boosted the post somehow so I can’t delete it, but I’m sorry and I love Jo. Nothing against her,” the See You Next Tuesday DJ added. “I just thought it was a funny joke. I’ll split the dough with Jo.”

During this week’s episode, fans saw Wenberg break down crying after having anxiety from being at the same event as the Pump Rules cast, some of whom fans accused of being “mean girls” with the way they acted toward the hairstylist.

Kennedy’s joke on Tuesday’s episode wasn’t the only thing that got fans – as well as the cast – talking.

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Courtesy of James Kennedy/Instagram

While going on a juice date with Lala Kent, Schwartz, 41, revealed that he kissed longtime VPR costar Scheana Shay while he was dating Maloney, 37.

“Everyone has cheated. We have all cheated. Like, I have done stupid s—t. I was a makeout slut,” he explained. “I made out with Scheana like 12 years ago in Vegas. No one even knows that. It was so long ago and it was the most innocuous thing ever.”

He continued: “It was somewhere in Vegas. Me and Katie were dating but it was a rocky moment. I just wanted to put it out there and let the record show that we are all human. We all do dumb s—t sometimes. This is the summer of forgiveness.”

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Later in the episode, it was revealed that Maloney had hooked up with her ex-husband’s good friend Max Boyens, who appeared on season 8 of VPR before getting fired in 2020. (Maloney and Schwartz called it quits in March 2022 after six years of marriage and their divorce was finalized later that year.)

Shay’s husband Brock Davies spilled the beans to Schwartz about Maloney and Boyens’ hookup. Shay, 38, explained that she had tracked his location to Maloney’s home after a night out and that when she checked again in the morning, Boyens was still there.

“Max is the former manager at TomTom and he is also a really good buddy of mine,” Schwartz said in a confessional. “This has all the tell-all signs of a revenge bang.”

Maloney briefly addressed the hookup on her Instagram Story on Wednesday, March 27, while promoting the new episode of her “Disrespectfully” podcast, which she hosts with VPR alum Dayna Kathan, who had a fling with Boyens during season 8.

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“We recorded this week’s episode of ‘Disrespectfully’ before the most recent episode of VPR aired,” she wrote. “Yes…we will absolutely be discussing it on the pod next week, stay tuned.”

Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Peacock the next day.

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