Maybe there's something to that warm ocean breeze, because Gretchen Rossi and Vicki Gunvalson's once chilly relationship has recently thawed. The Real Housewives of Orange County alum confirmed to The Daily Dish that she and the OG of the OC have reconciled. "So ironically Vicki and I made up this last year, which was really cool and nice," Gretchen explained. "And we talked a lot in the last season and I stayed in touch with her just to check in with her and see how she's doing."
Gretchen notes that while people have found their new-found friendship "very odd" the women were able to bond over the one thing that once tore them apart. Before his death in 2009, Gretchen's then-fiancé Jeff Beitzel was was dealing with cancer and Vicki criticized her for appearing on the show while he was sick. Then, last season, Vicki faced an onslaught of criticism and questions from her RHOC castmates over the validity of then-boyfriend Brook Ayers' cancer diagnosis.
"A lot of people found that to be very odd because she was going through a lot of scrutiny that she herself and Tamra [Judge] put me through in regards to my relationship with Jeff and with [current fiance] Slade [Smiley]," Gretchen said. "And the truth is, what kind of person would I be? I would be just as much a hypocrite if I all of sudden did to her what she did to me. So I chose to rise above that and say, 'You might have done this to me, but it doesn't matter.'"
Gretchen also weighed in on the ongoing questions surrounding Brooks and what Vicki may or may not have known about his illness. "I really just told her I felt bad for her, that's the bottom line," she said. "I felt bad that the women attacked her as much as they did. I know what that feels like. It's a horrible feeling. And from my perspective, the only thing she really did wrong was fall in love with a man — and that's what I felt happened to me, too. I felt like everyone was harping on me because of the man that I fell in love with. It's really not fair, and if people are your friends they support you no matter what. I don't know if Vicki knew or not about the situation, but from what she's told me she didn't. So as a friend, you have to believe that person."
As for the rest of the RHOC crew, Gretchen is on good terms with everyone — for the most part.
"The Dubrows and us, it's not like we go out for coffee or anything but we like them very much and we don't have any qualms with them," Gretchen explained. "I still talk with Lydia [McLaughlin] a lot. Alexis [Bellino] and I just recently had a mending of fences, so that was kind of nice. When she wrote that letter into Tamra on the reunion show, I reached out to her and told her I was really proud of her and I really liked what she did. And we talked a lot, through that whole thing, that was great." Gretchen recently teamed up with Lizzie Rovsek on a swimwear line, Gretchen Christine for SunKitten Swimwear. "At the beginning of this year we started talking about collaborating and doing something together," she said. "When Lizzie and I started talking, we decided it would be a perfect match because we have the same kind of style and we work well together and we're definitely girly girls. We like sexy, functional type looks."
She's even connected with the newest member of RHOC. "I've met Meghan [King Edmonds]. Meghan actually texted me at the end of last season about some stuff she was going through with Vicki and we talked through that," Gretchen continued. "Shannon [Beador] and I have met a couple times and then when we met on Watch What Happens Live we kind of butted heads, so that was funny. But it was because [I told her] she was drinking the Tamra kool-aid. But she'll figure that out soon enough. Tamra turns on everyone eventually."
Based on Gretchen's words to Tamra, it should come as no surprise that the two are still not speaking. "Clearly Tamra and I don't talk and whatever," Gretchen said. "It's not like I hate her; it's just that she's a non-issue in my life."
Now that you're all caught up, take a trip back in time with some throwback Gretchen photos.