“I definitely feel, like, a protectiveness over Taylor,” Austen, 35, said during the Thursday, September 15, episode of the Bravo series. “I don’t want to see Taylor walked all over.”
The Kings Calling Brewing founder explained during a confessional that he wants Taylor, 27, to “end up with a faithful man and that makes her happy.” He added: “Someone that treats her with respect. I’m not saying that Shep doesn’t treat her with respect, but I’ve definitely been there when he hasn’t.”
Throughout season 8, the 42-year-old’s relationship with Taylor has gone from great to falling apart at the seams. The duo, who began dating in March 2020, hit a bump in the road during the August 25 episode after the Average Expectations author called his then-girlfriend a “f—king idiot” while playing a game of egg toss.
In the weeks that followed, they seemingly made up. However, Austen confessed to Taylor during Thursday’s episode that he was worried about the way Shep treated her on a daily basis.
“I feel like he has built up a lot of walls over time. He’s kind of hardened himself. If I call him out on something, he thinks I’m attacking him,” the clinical assistant told Austen while out shopping. “He said, ‘I want to work on that.’”
The North Carolina native, for his part, wasn’t buying it, saying, “Shep being a d–khead is not a wall.”
Taylor agreed, adding: “You have a valid point there. For a very long time I just kind of rolled my eyes and let it go. I think we’re getting more serious. Here we are at the beginning of working on things. Time will tell. I see his heart and what an amazing human he is.” (Us Weekly confirmed in July that Taylor and Shep had called it quits after more than two years.)
Craig Conover also caused a stir on Thursday after he yelled at his ex-girlfriend Naomie Olindo while the group was out to dinner on St. Simons Island in Georgia. After Naomie, 30, asked Craig, 33, why he called her “crazy” during their Friendsgiving dinner, he freaked out.
“Just stop, please. Move on with your f—king life,” the Sewing Down South founder said before storming off. “Seriously, move on with your f—king life and stop bringing me into this. It’s crazy.”
Leva Bonaparte, who told Naomie about Craig’s comment, chose not to go on the trip due to all of the group’s drama. “I don’t think I have the bandwidth for the boys and the bulls—t,” Leva, 43, explained. “Maybe their hearts are in the right place, but I need y’all to grow the f—k up.”
Southern Charm airs on Bravo Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
Scroll down to relive season 8, episode 15’s most explosive moments: