“Honestly, we really wanted to prove a point,” Sessa tells TooFab.
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fans are on pins and needles awaiting the results of Lisa Vanderpump’s lie-detector test, but her right-hand man seems to think she’ll be vindicated.
TooFab caught up with Vanderpump Dogs executive director John Sessa Saturday at World Dog Day in West Hollywood, where we chatted about whose idea it was to recruit a polygraph administrator to help prove Lisa’s innocence against claims she leaks stories to the press.
"Well, I think it was both Lisa and I," Sessa told us. "But I do think that, honestly, we really wanted to prove a point and really strike it home that this is the truth and this is exactly what has been going on with us. It’s a lot more than just reality TV; it’s what our reality really is."
"I was really just defending Lisa," he added of his involvement in PuppyGate, the season’s biggest storyline. "I don’t think that many people have been in her corner, and I think that someone needs to do it. I really think that she’s been a part of ‘Beverly Hills Housewives,’ and I think that she deserves a little but of a credence in that."
But John’s efforts to be in Lisa’s "corner," as he says, go far beyond Vanderpump Dogs and "RHOBH." During a recent episode of "Vanderpump Rules," Ariana Madix wasn’t loving the way Lisa was portraying her boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, while discussing his involvement in the latest Vanderpump-owned lounge, TomTom. Ariana said she felt LVP was minimizing the work Sandoval and partner Tom Schwartz had put into the bar, so she approached Lisa about it on camera.
But Sessa didn’t like that and took to Twitter to call Ariana "disrespectful and disloyal." On Saturday, he doubled down.
"I think that Ariana made a comment on a public platform, and I do think that there hasn’t been a lot of support from Lisa’s castmates on a public forum, and I really would like to do that," Sessa said. "I think it was just off-kilter that Ariana would say something to her boss, who has essentially given her a platform for eight years. Someone needed to stand up."
TooFab also caught up with "the other John" involved in PuppyGate — John Blizzard — who at one point was friendly with Teddi Mellencamp, but after she exposed one of their text messages and started accusing Lisa and the Johns of orchestrating a scheme to paint Dorit Kemsley in a bad light, the two cut off communication.
"We all know what happened, and the way that some things have been portrayed are not necessarily the way that we kind of remember things or the way they actually happened," Blizzard told us. "I know my truth, and I know what happened. You know, it’s really down to editing and things like that."
Blizzard revealed he hadn’t been watching the show this season because he had lived the drama firsthand. While careful not to put words in Lisa’s mouth (again), he also shaded her co-stars — on his own merit.
"I haven’t watched one episode, and I really don’t know what’s going on [on the show]," he told us. "Obviously, I have things like [World Dog day] going on, so I actually have things to do. Like, some of these other ladies, they don’t really have that much to do sometimes. I’m doing events for a major foundation… I’m busy, unlike some people."
As for the pup who caused all the commotion — Lucy Lucy Apple Juice — Blizzard says she’s "living her best life in Santa Monica" under a new name: Lulu.
When we caught up with Lisa, we asked her about the rumors that a Vanderpump Dogs show was in the works.
"Well, there’s also some rumors that Lisa Rinna was gonna sue Bravo for that, right?" LVP said, referencing her co-star’s announcement that she’d be taking legal action if she was "servicing a spin-off" without compensation. "That’s rumors, but right now, let’s just concentrate on today and what we have and the tangible things that we can see, touch, hold and celebrate."
When we asked Lisa, "What’s one thing you wish you could tell your dogs that they’d understand?" she unsurprisingly replied, "Oh, they understand more than one thing. I could have a conversation with them! What are you talking about?
"Now, if I could say one thing to my castmates…" she trailed off, laughing. "I think you know [what it would be]; we just can’t put it on air."
"Vanderpump Rules" airs Mondays and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" airs Tuesdays, both at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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