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The Daily Dish Backstory

Vanderpump Rules' Laura-Leigh's Life Doesn't Include Cast Mates Like Katie Maloney

The actress who left to film a movie with Jennifer Aniston doesn't have much to say to her former SURvers.

By Casey Suglia & Shannon Raphael

When Vanderpump Rules premiered in 2013, viewers got to know the various staff members working at Lisa Vanderpump’s Sexy Unique Restaurant aka SUR. One SURver who made a strong impression on fans — but appeared only on the first season — was Laura-Leigh.

How to Watch

Watch Vanderpump Rules on Bravo Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app.  

Laura-Leigh's time on the show might have been short, but the aspiring actor-turned-SURver certainly made her mark. She got involved with bartender, Jax Taylor, right after his messy breakup with her friend and fellow SURver, Stassi Schroeder.

Read on for everything you need to know about Laura-Leigh's time on Vanderpump Rules and where she is now — including how she infamously left one fellow cast member on read recently.

Who was Laura-Leigh on Vanderpump Rules?

The Juilliard-trained actress made her first appearance on Vanderpump Rules during Season 1, Episode 4 as a waitress at SUR who was picking up the slack while Stassi and her friends were celebrating her birthday in Las Vegas.

Fellow waitress Scheana Shay introduced her as someone that she didn't know too well, adding "her voice is beyond annoying."

"But she's a sweet girl," Scheana added.

The Interesting Voice of Laura Leigh

What happened between Laura-Leigh and Jax Taylor?

Shortly after being introduced on the show, Jax and Laura-Leigh started hooking up — just weeks after Jax's break-up with Stassi, but after Stassi had started a relationship with SUR bartender, Frank Herlihy. SUR manager, Peter Madrigal, made Jax come clean about the new relationship in Episode 5.

"This wasn't supposed to happen, she was babysitting my dog," Jax confessed to Peter. "It just so happened that we got lunch, and then we went for a hike, and then we went to get dinner, and then we went to see a movie, and then we got breakfast, and then we got, you know — I just get along with her and I like her company and we like each other."

Jax initially insisted that his relationship with Laura-Leigh wasn't a rebound, and said it wasn't to get back at Stassi. (He did say that was "the best sex" he'd had in a long time.) Even Lisa was apprehensive, calling Laura-Leigh a "delicate and fragile girl" and warning Jax not to mess with her.

RELATED: Jax Taylor Has Some Shocking Thoughts on Ex Laura-Leigh Today

Still, Jax refused to call Laura-Leigh his girlfriend and insisted the two were not in "a relationship," even as they continued to see each other, attended parties together, went to the sauna, and even hooked up in the bathroom at SUR.

But in Episode 7, Jax told Laura-Leigh that their relationship was moving too fast, especially since he had just gotten out of a two year relationship. "When I date I rush things," Jax explained in a confessional. "I like, jump right into girlfriend-boyfriend mode, and I skip the whole dating part. We don't even get to know each other."

During a conversation with Stassi later that episode, Jax was adamant that him and Laura-Leigh were never boyfriend-girlfriend and that she was a "mere distraction" for him to get over Stassi — and that he would do whatever he could to win Stassi back, including ending things with Laura-Leigh... whom he proceeded to ghost.

Laura-Leigh told Jax was not going to go down without a fight, ultimately confronting him at work because he had stopped texting her and would not talk her anywhere else. "Here's the thing," he told her. "I just want to let this go."

"That's emotionally abusive," she replied. "You are a coward."

Jax admitted as much during the Vanderpump Rules Season 1 Reunion, noting "I shouldn't have done what I did," Jax said. "She's a really nice girl and I wish the best for her."

"I should not have used another girl like that."

Filling Stassi's Role in Jax's Life

What happened after Laura-Leigh and Jax Taylor broke up?

Laura-Leigh insisted that neither Jax or Stassi would bully her out of her job at SUR, telling him that he would have to deal with her every day until she booked an acting job and left SUR permanently.

"And then when I'm walking on the red carpet, and I've got my own TV show, you're gonna look at me and say 'I should have been nice to her,'" she told him. 

Ultimately her prediction came true.

Laura-Leigh left SUR to film a movie.

When did Laura-Leigh leave Vanderpump Rules?

Laura-Leigh quit her job at SUR in the Season 1 finale because she booked a movie role. 

"A huge movie," she told Lisa while turning in her uniform. "A huge movie with Jennifer Aniston. I'm playing opposite of her and I fly out tonight at 10 p.m. and go shoot in North Carolina."

“It doesn’t feel like it’s real,” Laura-Leigh added. “I used to watch [Jennifer Aniston’s] E! True Hollywood Story at home, like on my couch in Arkansas, and be like, ‘I can do that.’”

Lisa was supportive of Laura-Leigh, telling her how happy she was for her.

"It's exactly what she needs," Lisa said in a confessional. "She needs to hightail it out of here and she needs to get as far away from Jax and Stassi as possible"

The movie turned out to be the 2013 comedy We’re the Millers, and Laura-Leigh hasn’t appeared on Vanderpump Rules since. 

Laura Leigh at an event red carpet.

What movies and TV shows has Laura-Leigh been in besides Vanderpump Rules?

Laura-Leigh was an actress long before booking the role that got her out of SUR. She studied at The Juilliard School in Manhattan, where she  rubbed elbows with Gillian Jacobs, who went on to star in Community. "I was about two years out of college and one of the teachers called me and said, 'We have this student who really wants to do indie films. Will you talk to her?' because I was primarily doing very low-budget indie films," Gillian told Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host Andy Cohen in April 2023. "So I had a coffee with Laura Leigh years before Vanderpump."

RELATED: Here’s Why Vanderpump Rules Alum Laura-Leigh Was Mentioned on WWHL

Before joining the Vanderpump Rules cast, Laura-Leigh had made guest appearances in episodes of Gossip Girl, Law & Order, and Numb3rs. She also had a recurring role in the Jennifer Love Hewitt seriesThe Client List, as Nikki Shannon, in 2013. She further appeared in the John Carpenter film The Ward (2010), had a role in the film Lost Angeles (2012), and starred in the TV movie Bad Girls (2012).

She left SUR for her role in the 2013 film We're The Millers as Kymberly, a stripper who works alongside Jennifer Aniston's character, Rose. She then appeared in the 2015 spoof of Taken, called Tooken; in the 2018 film, Under the Silver Lake, alongside Andrew Garfield; and then did a 2019 guest appearance in the TV series, Blue Bloods.

Laura-Leigh and Jax Taylor broke up in episode 7.

What is Laura-Leigh doing now?

Laura-Leigh's last screen acting credit is from 2019 but that doesn't mean that she hasn't been busy since then. The actress has been active on her Instagram account, posting photos of herself, as well as glimpses of her life — including her super adorable dog.

Katie Maloney arrives at the Summer Spectacular Benefitting The Brent Shapiro Foundation For Drug Prevention

Is Laura-Leigh still in touch with anyone from Vanderpump Rules?

On the March 15, 2023 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, guest Katie Maloney — who waited tables at SUR in Season 1 alongside Laura-Leigh — revealed that she had tried to get in touch with her former cast mate. However, Katie said that effort didn't pay off. 

“I have reached out in [the] recent past!” Katie told host Andy Cohen, who also asked if she thought Laura-Leigh would still have been part of the show if she hadn’t booked We’re the Millers. (Katie said no, by the way.) 

Andy followed up by wondering if Laura-Leigh was “not receptive” to Katie's message, and Katie agreed.

“She left me on [read],” Katie responded.

Originally published Mar 16, 2023.

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