In an interview for Dave Quinn’s tell-all about the “Housewives” franchise, “RHOBH” executive producer Chris Cullen confirmed that Lisa Vanderpump intentionally brought up the story about Dorit Kemsley’s adopted dog being temporarily placed in a kill shelter after Kemsley decided she didn’t want to keep the pup. The “Puppygate” scandal dominated the ninth season of the Bravo reality show after Vanderpump was accused of leaking the story to the tabloid Radar Online.
In the book, Quinn claimed that Vanderpump purposely brought the story up on camera and tried to make Teddi Mellencamp look bad.
“When Lisa lost the narrative in the show, and she realized that it wasn’t going the way she wanted, that’s when she leaked the story to the press,” Cullen said, per E! News.
Evolution Media President Alex Baskin also claimed that Vanderpump went so far as to ask another “RHOBH” producer to “sit the cast down and tell them they needed to believe her” when she denied the leak, but that she was told that couldn’t be done.
Vanderpump quit her long-running role on the Bravo reality show at the end of that season.
Vanderpump Has Repeatedly Denied Leaking the Story to the Tabloid
Vanderpump’s former “RHOBH” co-stars have long accused her of leaking the story to the tabloid. On her blog for Bravo, Kemsley wrote, “When I saw the Radar Online article, my initial thought was that the information had been supplied by Lisa V or her team because most of it was described in Lisa’s voice. What solidiﬁed my assumption was the fact that there are certain points addressed in the scathing article that only Lisa V and her team were privy to.”
On camera, Vanderpump swore on her children’s lives that she was innocent, and she later had it out with Kyle Richards over the leaked story. After Richards approached her about her possible role in the tabloid leak, Vanderpump became upset about being called a “liar.” Vanderpump’s husband famously kicked Richards out of the couple’s Villa Rosa mansion with a “Goodbye Kyle!”
On her Bravo blog, Vanderpump wrote that fans saw Richards “come to my house and accuse me of lying.”
“Then, for me to put my hand to God and swear on my children’s life and still have my friend disbelieve me is unacceptable,” she added. “I assure you, if any of my friends were as vociferous in their statement of innocence, holding up their children’s life … guess what? I would believe them. That is where the show started but is ultimately where our friendship finished.”
Vanderpump also said that when she told Vanderpump Dogs executive director Dr. John Sessa that she didn’t want the story of Kemsley’s puppy to be brought up, he told her that the foundation’s events coordinator, John Blizzard, had already told Teddi Mellencamp about it, paving the way for the season-long gossip about the situation.
“He was often in contact with her and a gossipy text had been sent, which I witnessed later,” Vanderpump revealed of Blizzard.
Blizzard Previously Claimed Sessa Was Behind the ‘Puppygate’ Scandal & Hinted That Kemsley Wanted to Create a Storyline for Herself
In an interview on “Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef” podcast, Blizzard explained how the story blew up.
“Regardless if I had told Teddi, via text, she was going to find out,” he told the podcast. “Our adoption coordinator was dating her brother [and] a week into filming, Dorit’s dog is not there. Everyone’s going to be like, ‘Where’s the dog?’”
Blizzard also claimed that it was Sessa who instructed him to text Mellencamp.
“[John Sessa] told me three times to text Teddi,” he said. “He wanted it out there. He wanted to take Dorit down [and] he used my friendship with Teddi to create a whole storyline. He didn’t want to give Dorit a free pass because it was the first time a dog had ever been dropped off at a kill shelter, and for somebody that was supposed to be Lisa’s best friend, to drop it off, it just wasn’t OK.”
Blizzard also backed Vanderpump by saying she never wanted the story brought up on camera because she wanted to protect Kemsley, and he questioned the Beverly Beach founder’s timing in getting rid of the dog.
“[Lisa] was really pissed at [Sessa] because she didn’t want it brought up,” Blizzard said. “We were like, ‘Dorit is a horrible person for doing this. Your friend is awful. … Why are you protecting her?’ … I think it’s weird that [Dorit] had this dog for nine months, and then you just get rid of it the first week [of filming]. It’s weird.”