Siesta Key star Juliette Porter says that Kelsey Owen’s exit from the show took “a while” to process during an exclusive video interview with Life & Style.
After Kelsey, 25, revealed she was cut from the show with “no warning” in August, Juliette, 25, explains how the exit actually happened.
“I wouldn’t say she was necessarily cut without warning. This is a job,” Juliette says while promoting the season 5 premiere of the MTV reality TV series. “We sign up for a certain amount of episodes and she had finished the time she had signed up for.”
The reality star adds that the producers thought it was the right time for Kelsey to leave the show. However, she says they could have “delivered” the news better. “They told her in kind of an insensitive way at a bad location,” Juliette shares. “But she wasn’t fired. It doesn’t really work like that. If she was straight up fired, it probably would’ve been more of like a scandal and there would’ve been a reason why.”
“I just think it was a little bit of a shock to her. It was a little bit of a shock to everyone, honestly,” she adds. “I was there when it happened. We all were there because we were all filming. It wasn’t like they took her and got coffee and let her down easy. And that’s kind of what was wrong about the situation, but it’s a job at the end of the day.”
Juliette says that the way Kelsey was let go changed the “dynamic” of the other cast members as they finished filming the season. “She was in so many episodes and she was there for a long time, so there wasn’t much after she had left. I think we only had like a couple weeks of filming left,” the JMP The Label mogul explains. “It took us a while to really accept what had happened.”
Kelsey announced she was cut from Siesta Key in a lengthy Instagram post in August. She explained she learned the news while walking in to film a scene at a “strip club,” adding that there was “absolutely no warning.”
“It’s mind blowing and truly disgusting that after working on a show since I was 19 years old — where I’ve shared things about my personal life I wasn’t always comfortable with, revolved my whole life around and put so much effort into — could come to an end in such a disrespectful manner and so abrupt,” she wrote at the time. “Not even a simple: ‘Thank you for sharing the past five years of your life with us.’”
While speaking to Life & Style, Juliette also shares an update about where her complex relationship with Kelsey stands. While the women were once friends and roommates, viewers saw their friendship crumble and slowly start to rebuild during season 4 of the show.
“I think this summer we were really able to let the past be in the past and move on from everything that had happened. Cause we have had a very complicated relationship,” she says.
Juliette explains that a turning point in their relationship came when Kelsey agreed to model in the JMP The Label Miami Swim Week fashion show. “I think that was really good for our relationship. We started to kind of dabble in the idea of hanging out again,” she says. While Juliette and castmate Madisson Hausburg were trying to make plans to hang out with Kelsey, they never got to spend time together because Kelsey “left not long after.”
“I wouldn’t say we’re really like good friends, but I have so much respect for her,” Juliette says of their current relationship. “I wish her nothing but the best and I think her leaving the show is what’s best for her.”
Siesta Key: Miami Moves season 5 premieres on MTV Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m. ET.