Every reality show likes to tout episodes that have the "most. dramatic. moment. ever." (we're looking at you, The Bachelor). But season 3 of Netflix's real estate reality soap Selling Sunset had more than one of those, culminating in an epic confrontation that saw Chrishell Stause storm out of castmate Christine Quinn's wedding.
It was, admittedly, trés dramatic, but what you didn't see on the show was possibly even more so: Both Mary Fitzgerald and Amanza Smith stood up for Chrishell before she left.
"I just felt really bad for her. I was trying to protect her and make sure no one else was coming at her. I just knew what she was going through and wanted to protect and comfort her as much as possible," Fitzgerald told Refinery29 over the phone in early August.
"They edited the crap out of that scene, because Mary and I both stormed off. I'm pretty sure Mary got in the producer's face, maybe dropped an F bomb or two. She was very heated," said Smith, via phone. "And if you notice, I don't say anything. I literally sit there. Somebody asked me yesterday in an interview, they're like, 'That's like the quietest you've ever been.' … In that moment, because I was so in disbelief of the conversation even happening, I knew that if I opened my mouth it would have been like a Bravo show. There would have been a table flipped and a wine glass thrown. I couldn't even believe that the conversation was happening. So I just sat there and I didn't say anything."
Attending a wedding less than a month after your spouse blindsides you by filing for divorce was already going to be a difficult, dramatic process on its own — especially the wedding of a colleague who seems to take joy in antagonizing you. But Christine didn't actually cause any of the wedding day drama — she was too busy living her goth Phantom of the Opera-themed wedding dreams to participate. Instead, it was Christine's BFF on the show, Davina Potratz, who instigated the argument.
After news broke that Chrishell and her This Is Us star husband, Justin Hartley, had split, Davina and Christine began to float the idea that there were always "two sides to every story" and that perhaps their coworker wasn't quite as surprised as she claimed to be. But at the wedding, it was the first time one of them confronted Chrishell with the argument to her face — and it was Davina, whom one cast member noted had never actually met Justin, who did it.
"Watching it back, I didn't forget that [Chrishell] left, but I had forgotten what had led up to that," Smith said. "I believe that it was the discussion about the two sides to each story."
Smith and Fitzgerald had both spent plenty of time throughout the season comforting their friend. Both have gone through divorces of their own, and knew how painful an experience it was. To attend a wedding so soon after filing for divorce was already a tough prospect, Smith said.
"It was just so much for her already to be there, and it was just, like, she could only take so much," Smith said. "This was days after her divorce had hit the national press. She's still hurting, and she just sat through this wedding, to be quite frank, for someone that she hasn't been the biggest fan of since season 1."
On top of having to attend a wedding so soon after her divorce, and then having Davina poke at a very raw wound, costar Heather Rae Young had discussed Chrishell in an interview even after the group had decided not to speak about anything publicly. That, too, was a factor in Chrishell's decision to leave.
"We all made a pact with each other that we weren't going to talk to press or anything like that. None of us know what's going on. We're going to allow Chrishell to deal with this privately. She already has enough eyes on her and paparazzi following her," Fitzgerald said. "Heather kind of got trapped when she was doing an interview with Tarek, and they questioned her and she wasn't prepared for it. She didn't say anything bad at all, but she made a comment and I was like, 'Heather, we talked about this,' and then Davina chimed in. So Chrishell was just like, 'I can't, I'm sorry.'"
But ultimately, it was Davina's comment that ultimately made Chrishell storm out of the party.
"[Davina] made a comment that was, I believe, inappropriate," Romain Bonnet, Fitzgerald's husband, told Refinery29. "She didn't know her ex-husband, and then making this comment when Chrishell is supposed to be your friend. The comment wasn't really cool at all. When you think about it, it wasn't crazy, but it was enough to push Chrishell over the edge. Knowing what she was going through, being so fresh, and then being at a wedding and going through the opposite."
Bonnet isn't the biggest fan of Davina, and banned her from his wedding because of comments she'd made about the engagement ring he gave Mary when he proposed.
"It might be the worst part: I just don't know if she even realizes when she does it. She might not even think about it. I just feel like she always makes comments at the worst time, and she was almost taking the defense of someone that she didn't know over her friend. I would never say that," Bonnet continued. "But even the comments she made to us, for example, about the ring. If you think that way, you don't say it. It's just stuff like that I don't understand, how you can say it out loud. There's things that I think, I don't say it because I know it's going to hurt. She's the one that always end up saying it."
Added Fitzgerald, "Yeah. Honesty is one thing, but sometimes she takes it a couple of steps too far."