Teddi Mellencamp says the alleged Brandi Glanville-Denise Richards affair "is not the story" of the season on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
"I mean, that's juicy and people are interested in it because, it's, you know…" she tells ET. "But there's definitely more that involves all of us, that affects everybody differently. I mean, whatever they're doing on their own time really has nothing to do with me."
News broke early this year that Denise stopped filming with her RHOBH co-stars after rumors of a sexual relationship between her and Brandi started circulating in the tabloids. Denise has denied the claims, even going so far as to call the discussion around her personal life "disgusting" while speaking with ET last month.
"I think it's so annoying when too much plays out in the press because that’s that person’s intention to kind of get the audience to see whatever it is that they wanna see prior to watching the show," Teddi says. "So I think by both parties doing that, it made it harder, because now everybody's going into the show assuming it's one thing, when really it's not."
Denise not filming with the group was confirmed on the season 10 premiere in a three-minute montage that capped off the episode, showing Denise storming out of a group event and, in another scene, shouting, "Bravo! Bravo! F**king Bravo!" at the cameras, seemingly in an attempt to make the footage unusable. According to Teddi, most of what fans saw in that tease went down before the Brandi affair allegation was made. She promises there’s something bigger going on with Denise than that rumor.
"A lot of things were going down with Denise," she teases. "That's really the issue, what happened with Brandi, I mean, that's just, like, what they've played out in the press, but that's not what any of us, or myself, had any situation with Denise about."
Teddi says viewers will have to wait and see what the group's "situation" is with Denise, but she recommends paying close attention every episode, comparing this year's drama to an episode of Law & Order. There will be a lot of clues along the way.
"I can't really say too much, but what I can say is, when you sign up to do the show, you show the good, the bad and the ugly," she says. "And if your primary focus of being on the show is what the audience is gonna think about you, and not what us, what each one of your friends is feeling? That always ends up backfiring, because you're trying to control a situation that can't be controlled and the people that are living it with you can feel it."
Teddi says she wishes the "Bravo! Bravo! F**king Bravo!" moment seen in the premiere was the only time Denise pulled that move during season 10, but confesses it happened more than once. On premiere night, Teddi called Denise out on that on Twitter, writing, "Bravo Bravo Bravo always keeps it rolling even when you try to control things." Denise, somewhat confusingly, wrote back, "You were that someone that told me .[Kyle Richards] about it."
You were that someone that told me .@KyleRichards about it.— Denise Richards (@DENISE_RICHARDS) April 17, 2020
"I was like, was that Denise writing me or Casamigos? I'm confused," Teddi jokes. "I mean, obviously I would've written something sassy back if I understood what she was saying."
Some followers interpreted Denise’s message as Teddi and Kyle having given Denise the heads up that she could shout "Bravo" at the cameras to get out of a tricky situation, but Teddi says that's not the case at all.
"I never said [that], and I can assure you if I had [done that before], they would've used it," she says. "It's not like I’m living it up in the happy life of everyone loving me every time."
Teddi notes that Kyle has talked about doing that before, though; apparently, in the early days of Housewives, Kyle and her original co-stars would shout things like "Hi, Bravo! Hi, Andy Cohen!" at the cameras when they wanted to touch up their makeup, but it was always a joke. They didn’t use the trick to get out of uncomfortable moments.
Part of that premiere-ending montage was a conversation between Kyle and Lisa Rinna, in which they predicted Denise was done with the group and wouldn't show her face at the season 10 reunion, which will be filmed close to the end of the season airing. Teddi says she thinks Denise will show up at the reunion, but is mum on whether she believes there's still room for the Wild Things actress in the group. Teddi says Denise's energy definitely felt different this year, as compared to her first season.
"I think she saw what people like to see in her and then tried to double down on it and then maybe it didn't… maybe it didn't work out so great," she notes. "Because here's the thing: all of us can be jerks from time to time. All of us can say things that we're gonna regret. … [But] if you're only trying to show one part and you're OK with kind of putting it off on other people, it just doesn't work out."
Denise notwithstanding, Teddi says the cast opened up more than ever before this year.
"I think that this season is real, the most real I have ever felt on this show," she shares. "I think everything's completely stripped down this year."
"I feel like, in the past it would be one person would share something and then everybody else would jump in with their opinions, and so it still kind of stayed surface," she continues. "Now, it's like we're all kind of digging deeper, getting into real, deep-seeded problems or issues, or things that are great in our lives, or I just don't know that it felt that way to me before."
Teddi won’t attribute the group’s openness with one another to Lisa Vanderpump's exit from the group, but does admit "that immediately from the time we started filming this year, it felt different. And it felt like everybody's guard wasn't up."
"I think there's parts of yourself that you have to see and that’s hard, regardless," she says. "I can be judgy, and I can be outspoken and opinionated and all those things, but I would rather be that than be somebody who's not myself, so everybody would think I was agreeable and likable all the time."
The cast owning more of who they are onscreen also leads to some blunt moments with one another. As seen in the trailer, Dorit Kemsley calls Teddi out for being "judgy," while new "friend of" the Housewives Sutton Stracke tells Teddi she's boring to her face.
"There's more that she says that actually really sets me off," Teddi teases. "But I was like, Sutton, c'mon! Do your research somewhere other than Twitter. Like, maybe try talking to me for more than 10 seconds and not about couture and let’s see where we go."
"She came in hot," she adds. "She said some kind of outlandish things that I was like, dang! So, maybe I was boring to her, because I wasn't speaking to her much. I was like, I'm gonna keep my distance from this one."
Teddi is well aware of the conversation surrounding her online; she knows she has to win back some viewers after the season 9 "puppy-gate" drama and "brutal" backlash.
"I just don't think I've been forgiven, so I kind of have to laugh at it and be like, you know, at some point they're gonna see who I am and be OK with, I made a mistake," she says. "Some people gravitate to it and some people are gonna hate on it, and I really have had to take a different point of view this year."
"Here's the crazy part, I really thought my second season, 'cause you're living it and [I was] like, well, I think it'll be OK, because I was honest and I came forward with the truth," she continues. "And then I was like... nooo! That was a brutal beating. That was a beatdown."
Teddi says she's still the same person, though. Once again, she finds herself in the middle of the mayhem when it comes to tracking down the truth. She was pregnant while filming, which meant she was sober and became the "memory bank" for the cast.
"I'm paying attention to everything," she says. "Here’s the thing: Once you say something in this group, it’s out there. So, if somebody asked me a question, ‘What happened at that dinner?’ I didn't have one sip of alcohol. I'm pregnant, I know!"
"Some days it felt like a burden, some days it felt like therapy," she quips.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is currently isolating at her home in Los Angeles with her family, including her 2-month-old daughter, Dove. She says adjusting to "quarantine life" with a relative newborn and three older kids homeschooling has been an adjustment, for sure.
"I have really good days, and then I have days where I feel super emotional and I'm like, you know -- especially for a control freak like me, not knowing what's happening can be challenging," she shares. "The unknowns, there's so much uncertainty ... but I mean, all things considered, my kids are definitely doing better than I am."
Part of Teddi’s new normal is also filming her "confessionals" for RHOBH, the interviews viewers see intercut with the action of the show, from her bedroom via video chat with producers, and running her health coaching company, All In, remotely. Ironically, business is better than ever for Teddi and her team of accountability coaches, who help keep clients on track with their health and wellness goals through daily check-ins.
"I mean, more so than people having the time to focus on themselves, people are wanting the support from somebody," Teddi says. "So, if you're going All In, then you're having the support of your coaches, a team of coaches who are there for you and, yeah, I mean, we're sold out this whole month. We're trying to fill spots and promote some coaches so that we can take on more people for next month, because it definitely is, this has been our busiest month to date."
"I know that the last thing you wanna do is, like, vent to your husband at the end of the day, when you both are kind of in the same spot," she adds, explaining why All In is in demand right now. "But, if you have a coach that you’re constantly texting with, then something happens, you vent to them and then you feel better and you're not carrying it around to your kids or your husband or your job, so it's really been amazing. And it's held me to my goals, as well."
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.