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The Daily Dish Vanderpump Rules

Lala Kent and James Kennedy: A Complete Friendship and Relationship Timeline

Get a detailed breakdown of the Vanderpump Rules duo's many ups and downs over the years.

By Allison Crist & Casey Suglia

To say that Lala Kent and James Kennedy have a storied history would be a major understatement. 

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Since first meeting in 2015, the Vanderpump Rules castmates have been friends and more-than-friends, enemies and frenemies, and everything in between.

Read on for the complete timeline of Lala and James' relationship, as well as an update on where the two currently stand.

When did Lala Kent and James Kennedy first become friends?

When Lala joined Vanderpump Rules during Season 4 — which was was filmed in 2015 —it didn't take long for her and James to become friends (and then begin flirting). James was still dating Kristen Doute at the time he met Lala but, before long, they were broken up and James had become "the dude I'm making out with and making music with," as Lala put it on Season 4, Episode 6

Lala and James' flirtationship wasn't all fun and games, though. As Season 4 progressed, James' jealousy — which was more often than not directed at Jax Taylor, who frequently flirted with Lala despite being in the early stages of a relationship with Brittany Cartwright — turned Lala off.

By Episode 14, she had issued him an ultimatum. "We're friends that make out, and you can have anybody touch your peep, [but] you can never get mad if anything happens, because I've laid it out," she said before adding a final nail in the coffin: "No sleeping together."

Lala Kent and James Kennedy at Watch What Happens Live.

When did Lala Kent and James Kennedy hook up for the first time?

However, the pair then hooked up the night of Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz's engagement party in August 2015, which played out on the Vanderpump Rules Season 4 finale.

Lala revealed as much in 2017, admitting that while she doesn't remember the details of the hookup, she does recall feeling like she "was cuddling a teddy bear — a very bony teddy bear." 

RELATED: Does Lala Kent Regret Anything About Her First Season of Vanderpump Rules?

In 2019, Lala returned to the topic of the hookup on the Vanderpump Rules After Show. "I don't regret sleeping with James," she said, revealing that she really only has one major regret from that time period. "The only thing I regret is body-shaming Katie. Everything else is a part of my story; It's a part of my life. Like, what are you going to do about it?" 

Lala Kent and James Kennedy are photographed on a photographed.

James Kennedy and Lala Kent then both got into serious relationships with other people

James met Raquel Leviss at a New Year's Eve party in January 2016, and one month later, they made their relationship Instagram official. Lala, at the time, was with her now-former fiancé.

Lala Kent and James Kennedy released the song "Feeling You"

Did James Discover Lala?

Fans first heard snippets of "Feeling You" on Vanderpump Rules Season 4 and, in April 2016, the song officially hit iTunes.

At the time, Lala told The Daily Dish that she and James had been working hard on some other songs as well. "He is so extremely talented and has a great ear. I bring soul to his house music and I think it works," Lala said. "We are working on a couple songs right now. He is a perfectionist, so I just let him [work] until he is happy with the product."

At one point, James and Lala even performed "Feeling You" together in Las Vegas.

Lala Kent and James Kennedy hooked up despite being in relationships 

Lala Kent and James Kennedy photographed at a pool party.

Lala dropped a bombshell about her and James during Vanderpump Rules Season 10. Speaking to Katie, she revealed, "James and I, when we were both very new in our relationships, definitely hooked up.”

The two were apparently visiting Chicago at the time. “We started drinking before we got on the plane,” Lala said of the 2016 trip.

James, for his part, added, “A lot of guys make mistakes, OK? Obviously, half of Lala wanted it to happen too, right? So let’s not dillydally.”

Lala Kent and James Kennedy had a "pasta" fight

The Truth About That Pasta Fight Between Lala and James

After taking a few rounds of shots, James snapped at Lala for making a joke about eating his then-girlfriend Raquel's pasta even though "she didn't give us permission."

His speech, in which he repeatedly said, "It's not about the pasta," was captured on Vanderpump Rules Season 6, Episode 7 — which aired in 2018 — and remains one of the show's most memorable moments to date. It was also a signifier of the trouble to come in James and Lala's friendship, as they continued to butt heads throughout Season 6 over each other's treatment of their respective partners. 

Lala Kent and James Kennedy's friendship was on the rocks for three years

Lala Kent and James Kennedy photographed together.

Things appeared to be looking up for the two at the Season 6 reunion, where James issued an emotional apology to Lala and she ultimately forgave him. But, by the time Season 7 rolled around, Lala was engaged to her then-fiancé and she and James were once again at odds.

At one point, Lala said of James, "You don't even deserve my friendship anymore."

RELATED: James Kennedy Just Made a Bold Statement About the Vanderpump Rules Cast

The pair's drama continued throughout Season 8 but, by finale time — which aired in May 2020 — they were once again on better terms. And, in May 2021, James and his then-girlfriend Raquel got engaged.

Lala Kent and James Kennedy both ended their engagements 

James Kennedy Says Raquel Leviss' Family Never Fully Accepted Him


Lala called off her in engagement in October 2021, and two months later, James and Raquel did the same. All three cast members shared details about their respective splits at the Vanderpump Rules Season 9 reunion. Shortly after, Lala revealed that James hadn't reached out to her following her breakup — though Raquel did.

RELATED: This Vanderpump Rules Crew Member Reveals What He Thought About the Cast During His First Season

“I didn’t hear from one person on my cast except for Raquel to say, ‘Hope you’re doing OK.' That was very telling for me," Lala said. "I’m not saying that this group of my friends are bad people in any way. Just because I’m going through something doesn’t mean the world stops."

"But I was visibly upset on the reunion, and for not one of them except for my little Bambi to reach out and say, ‘I just want to say I’m sorry for what you’re going through,'" she added. "[It] was, like I said, eye-opening."

Lala Kent and James Kennedy became close friends

Lala Kent and James Kennedy in New York City

Lala and James' friendship had found a steady rhythm by the time production on Vanderpump Rules Season 10 began in July 2022. Throughout the season, James often turned to Lala for advice about his relationship with his new girlfriend, Ally Lewber — to whom Lala has given her full approval

Lala Kent's advice for his girlfriend Ally Lewber, however, irritated James Kennedy

Vanderpump Rules Season 10 Recap

That's not to say that Lala, James, and Ally didn't experience some growing pains at first. Toward the beginning of Season 10, Lala initiated a sit-downs with Ally to discuss her relationship with James. 

One conversation came at Scheana Shay's bachelorette party after James had stirred up drama during the previous evening's wedding festivities and eventually caused Ally to storm off. As a result, Lala wanted to check in with Ally and issue a warning based on her own past relationships. "Just based off of what I've dealt with, you can wake up one day and go, 'Who the f-ck am I? What happened to my life?' and I don't want that to happen to you," she told Ally. "I really like you. I want you to always maintain your power."

Ally began to explain that she "love[s] James, prompting Lala to respond, "I know you do. [But] last night was relatively tame compared to what you could see in the future."

"You have to be able to tune him out," she added, "and remember that you're not responsible for the way he acts."

The conversation with Ally ended on a positive note, but James wasn't exactly thrilled to hear about it later on, thus creating some slight tension between him and Lala.

Lala Kent and James Kennedy grew as friends when they rallied around Ariana Madix

Vanderpump Rules cast during the season 10 reunion.

However, any lingering drama between the two went out the window in March 2023, when news broke about Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval's split, which was the result of him having a months-long affair with James' former fiancée

Lala and James were both quick to show their support to Ariana and, when it came time for the Vanderpump Rules Season 10 reunion, they even made a point to frequently team up to defend Ariana.  

Lala Kent has said James Kennedy is a “soul mate”

Lala Kent smiling in a black bikini in front of a pool.

Lala and James have remained good friends through all of the Season 10 chaos. Sharing an update on their status in June, Lala even described James as her soulmate "in a sense." 

"Soulmates come in many forms," she said. "I don’t think that ‘soulmate’ only means an intimate partner. So yes, James is one of my soulmates.”

Lala further ruled out a romantic connection between her and James in an interview with Rolling Stone, while also reiterating how important his friendship is to her. "I don’t picture him as the stepfather,” Lala joked, referencing her 2-year-old daughter, Ocean Kent Emmett. “And I love Ally. I think he finally has a good one.” 

RELATED: Where the Vanderpump Rules Cast Stands Now After the Season 10 Reunion

“I know neither of us feel the romantic connection,” Lala continued. “I believe any intimacy we had was alcohol-fueled. I don’t think we ever made out sober. But we’re always gonna be homies for the rest of my life.”

When the time comes for her to get married, she even wants James to play a special role. More specifically, Lala noted, “I always say to him, ‘If I ever get married, you will be the man of honor.’”

James Kennedy's girlfriend Ally Lewber told fans at BravoCon 2023 that she supports his friendship with Lala Kent

James Kennedy and Lala Kent talking during a panel at BravoCon 2023.

Ally, manwhile, dished on her boyfriend’s relationship with Lala during a panel featuring famous Bravoleb couples on Day 3 of BravoCon 2023. Ally said that she had been a little apprehensive of James’ relationship with Lala at first, but now understands them and how they work.

“I think I was nervous going into it,” she revealed. “But then when I met her she was really amazing. And she’s been like a big sister to me, and I really love her and appreciate her and respect her a lot.”

“I feel like at first I was a little hesitant, but now I love her,” she added. “And I tell her all the time, I’m like, she’s literally James in a girl form. And I love James, so I love her too.” 

Originally published Aug 4, 2023.

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