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Raquel Leviss delivered a stunning speech to all of her and then-fiancé James Kennedy's guests at their engagement party featured in the Vanderpump Rules Season 9 finale, which aired on January 18 (clip above). However, it looked like James was feeding Raquel lines behind the scenes as she recounted the couple's love story at the mic.
Scheana Shay even remarked in an interview during the episode, "Is James telling her what to say?"
Raquel took to her Instagram to set the record straight on James' involvement in her engagement speech, for which we saw her get some help from a speech coach during the episode. "If you really knew me, you would know that public speaking is my biggest fear," Raquel's message began. "I put myself in uncomfortable positions so I can challenge myself and become a better speaker."
She went on to explain how she and James worked on writing the speech together. "You’ll see me give a toast on tonight’s episode, which I was so terrified to do I had major writer’s block the week leading up to the party," Raquel wrote. "James helped me come up with something nice to say and we wrote it down on my phone."
And when the big moment finally came, Raquel said that she was happy to have James there to lend a helping hand — literally. "But then, when it was time to give my speech, I was in a dilemma because between the microphone and the wine glass… I didn’t have an extra hand to read my notes. It might have seemed funny but James was there to support me and help me through my speech," Raquel recalled. "I’m tearing up writing this because although we are not together anymore, I really could count on him for moral support during challenging times like this one."
In fact, James was the first to congratulate Raquel on her speech in the episode. "You did it!" he told Raquel. "It was such a beautiful moment."
Raquel also reflected on how being with James has changed her life in an interview during the Vanderpump Rules Season 9 finale. "I have grown as a person since meeting James," she shared. "He's brought out a better, stronger version of myself, and I feel so grateful for that."
As Raquel mentioned in her Instagram post, she and James are no longer together as the two announced their breakup in December. "After these 5 wonderful years we had together, we decided we have two different goals and made the decision to call off the engagement. We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore," Raquel and James shared in a statement on Instagram on December 5, 2021. "We want nothing but the best for each other so please keep any thoughts positive. Sending Love."
During James' appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last week, the DJ confirmed that he and Raquel "still remain friends after the breakup."
We'll take a deep dive into James and Raquel's relationship — including some shocking reveals — when the Vanderpump Rules Season 9 reunion airs with Part 1 on Tuesday, January 25 at 9/8c and Part 2 on Wednesday, January 26 at 9/8c. Get your first look at the jaw-dropping sit-down, below.
Want more Vanderpump Rules? New episodes air every Tuesday at 9/8c or catch up on the Bravo app.
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