"I was sad for him," she says of the scene of him in the jewelry store.

on Jul 11, 2012 - The Dish

Slade Smiley on Real Housewives of Orange County

Slade Smiley asking a ritzy Orange County jeweler if it'd be possible to plop a fake diamond into an engagement ring until he could afford a real one was painful for everyone to see -- especially the person who would have been on the receiving end of that ring: Gretchen Rossi.

In an exclusive clip of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion finale, a fan asks Gretchen about what it was like seeing the scene play out, prompting a quick "Oh dear" from Heather Dubrow, who accompanied Slade on said shopping trip. Gretchen thought about her words carefully, and said: "It was hard for me to see him do that, not because I care, I was sad for him."

While Slade's pride might have been swallowed at the moment, Gretchen thinks it was a pretty impressive move.

"I know that was probably a difficult thing for a man to have to say -- to realize he can't get me the type of ring he wants to get me -- it was hard," she says. "At the same time, I think it takes a real man to say something like that. I think it really shows he's a stand-up guy and he's not trying to be anybody he's not."

Celebrate the man himself with our Slade Smiley retrospective gallery!