Exclusive

Bling Empire's Andrew Gray Accuses Producers Of "Manipulation" and Bad Editing

In an exclusive chat with E! News, Bling Empire stars Andrew Gray and Kelly Mi Li discussed filming the Netflix hit, online criticism and more.

By Alyssa Ray Jan 29, 2021 12:11 AMTags
Watch: "Bling Empire" Star Kelly Mi Li Reveals Relationship Status

People change.

That's the very message Bling Empire couple Kelly Mi Li and Andrew Gray highlighted during an exclusive chat with E! News. As fans of the Netflix hit will know, season one of Bling Empire documented the highs and lows of Kelly and Andrew's on-again, off-again relationship. What fans may not realize? Filming for the show took place between the end of 2018 and 2019.

While the pair indicated that it has been difficult to relive this dark period in their romance, Andrew also claimed it's not an accurate representation of their relationship, even at its lowest point. Viewers may recall that, in one episode, Andrew exploded at Kelly over the phone for leaving him alone in their Paris hotel room.

"To set the record straight, what was captured in the show doesn't reflect our relationship at all," the Power Rangers Megaforce actor expressed. "I don't believe the audience—and this is my opinion, Kelly's gonna say her piece—really saw anything other than the absolute worst part of a time, a short time, that was put on camera."

As he continued, Andrew called filming "a set-up," "a trigger" and "a manipulation." Regardless, seeing their relationship struggles play out on screen left both Andrew and Kelly in tears.

Kelly echoed his sentiment: "There were definitely some things that were really difficult to watch. You know, but for me, I feel like…really proud how far we've come since filming."

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A Closer Look at the Bling Empire Cast

Kelly further stated that they "grew from the show and became better versions of ourselves."

Per Kelly, she and Andrew took a break in 2020, where they both worked on themselves.

Still, the twosome has faced immense criticism as fans have dubbed their relationship toxic due to troubling fights documented. As he took accountability for where he's fallen short, Andrew said he hoped that fans would tune in to see his growth. Yet, both Kelly and Andrew revealed that they try to not engage with criticism on social media.

On the negativity he's faced online, Andrew reflected, "It's surreal because you have hope that people will fact check, respond, reply but, time and time again, we see reactions, we see common hate, we see common anger through people who've also been affected in some way shape or form from a person, place or thing."

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"With the fans, I get a little mix of support as well as negative," Kelly stated, "That little sliver of what they saw reminded them of something. So, just really heartbreaking that so many people are going through trauma."

Kelly also has a different response to haters: "Sometimes, I do want to write back, 'Are you the same person you were two-and-a-half years ago?'"

However, it's not just fans who've sounded off on their relationship. We're, of course, talking about Kelly and Andrew's co-stars. In fact, after the duo's troubling fight in Paris, Anna Shay commented on the show, "There ain't no dick that good."

From Kelly's perspective, her co-stars have been very "supportive" about her reconciliation with Andrew. This wasn't necessarily how Andrew felt about the Bling Empire cast.

"First of all, I'm a transparent guy, ok? I don't know these people. I don't know their favorite color, I don't know their middle names, I don't know their nicknames," he relayed. "I know Kane, and I know Anna a little bit. But we just met Anna—Paris was the first time we did anything with her…They never knew our relationship. They're just being fed. They're like, 'Say this, we're going in an interview.' And they're like, 'Oh ok!' So, I don't know how they really feel about it."

Netflix

Doubling down on this comment, Andrew further accused the Bling Empire producers of telling his co-stars what to say about him.

Andrew concluded, "They're probably tired of talking about it because producers are in their ear every day. 'Can you just say this?' And they're like, 'Ok, yeah. How do you want me to say it?'"

Bling Empire is streaming now on Netflix.

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