In a new interview with the 2 Servings of Fruit podcast, the former SURver opened up about what it was like to be the first transgender cast member on Vanderpump Rules, and she accused producers of orchestrating scenes that made her uncomfortable. She also claimed her ex-boss Lisa Vanderpump issued her a warning after she spoke out about the need for more diversity on the long-running reality show.
“[She told me not] to not talk negatively about the show and that she made my career and she can easily take it away,” Lee revealed on the podcast.
Billie Lee Claimed Producers Encouraged the ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Cast to Tear Each Other Down
In the interview, Lee claimed producers encouraged the cast members to tear each other down and that it made her “extremely uncomfortable” and depressed to be a part of such a toxic environment. She also revealed that she began having suicidal thoughts due to the cast’s cliquey behavior.
“I was around all cis people and they had their own cliques, their own group,“ she said. “It was very catty.”
Lee, who was famously not invited to a Girls Night at SUR when she was on the show, also claimed that producers tried to put a focus on her female body parts and “encouraged” her to talk about her vagina. She also called out now-fired cast member Stassi Schroeder for focusing on her breasts.
“Stassi would talk about my boobs and how they were real. She would just tell people, ‘Look at her boobs. How are they real?’ I was like an object,” Billie said. “I felt like I was dropped back in high school.”
Lee added that she had “heard” that Schroder had a history of saying insensitive things and was “warned to be really careful with her.” Instead, she tried to educate her costars by sending them connections to GLAAD and encouraging them to do media training so if they were “on the red carpet, they would know the right terms and pronouns.”
“No one cared,” Lee revealed. “Everyone declined and that’s a part of being cis privilege, and also white privilege. It’s crazy because all these people I would warn over and over and try to educate them, they ended up all being fired.”
Lee said she constantly invited the Vanderpump Rules cast to events within the trans community but they never showed up.
“The only time they would show up was when it was Pride when it was a party and it was time for them to drink,” she added.
Billie Lee Previously Accused Lisa Vanderpump of Gaslighting Her
This is not the first time that Lee has spoken about her bad experience on Vanderpump Rules.
In a post on her website BillieLee.com, the former SUR hostess detailed the “bullying” she suffered while on Vanderpump Rules. She also opened up on the I Feel Tried podcast, where she revealed that she “constantly felt discriminated against” by some of her castmates and that some wanted her off the show. Lee claimed that she was told that Jax Taylor did not want to film with her. Her calls for a more diverse cast were also ignored.
“During my reunion, I publicly posted that there was no minority on stage with me, none of my cast members were of color or LGBTQ,” Lee said, per Us Weekly. “For me to be silenced and talked over and gaslighted by Lisa was just really, really sad. … I tried to publicly talk about it but I was silenced. Lisa personally called me and said that, you know, she made my career and she could easily take it away.”
As for Lee’s claims about the lack of diversity on the show, Vanderpump has long said that the staff at SUR is extremely diverse and that it is up to her employees to work their way onto the Bravo reality show.
“It’s really up to people that want to be front and center,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I mean, I’m always all about that. Our companies are like the United Nations.”
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