Lauren Conrad, Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti Come Clean With Laguna Beach Bombshells

In her first sitdown with Stephen Colletti and Kristin Cavallari since Laguna Beach ended, Lauren Conrad reflected on the MTV series, including the truth about their infamous love triangle.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 08, 2022 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Lauren Conrad & Kristin Cavallari Discuss Laguna Beach FEUD

Lauren Conrad is ready to go back, back to the beginning.

For the first time since they filmed Laguna Beach, Lauren ConradStephen Colletti and Kristin Cavallari publicly reunited for Stephen and Kristin's rewatch podcast, Dear Media's Back to the Beach. But they aren't the only ones who have come full circle, as Lauren now lives in the coastal California town she grew up in with husband William Tell and their two sons, Liam, 5, and Charlie, 3.

"I'm the only one who's still there," the fashion designer said on the Nov. 8 episode. "I wanted my kids to grow up there, because it was so nice."

During their reunion, the trio was ready to set the record straight about what really went down behind the scenes of the MTV reality series, which premiered in 2004 and made the then-high schoolers household names.

"I've referenced so many times," Kristin explained, "'If only we could have Lauren's perspective on this.'"

Laguna Beach: Where Are They Now?

And now, finally, we've got it. 

Lauren, who rarely talks about her reality TV career, held nothing back, divulging the truth about the show's infamous love triangle, her secret romance that was never aired and the scene she really didn't want to film.

Here are 11 juicy secrets Lauren revealed during her interview with Stephen and Kristin: 


The Truth About the Love Triangle

In the mid-aughts, the Lauren Conrad-Stephen Colletti-Kristin Cavallari love triangle on Laguna Beach was the millennial reality TV version of the Jennifer Aniston-Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie saga. Seriously, Hollister even sold "Team LC" and "Team Kristin" T-shirts.

But Lauren revealed the issues between her and Kristin were "done" before the MTV series began filming.  "We got into it and then made up," she explained on the Back to the Beach podcast. "I mean, I don't think we were best friends. But we were like, 'It's fine.'"

"You and I really never had any beef," she told Kristin. "Obviously there was a little truth to what happened. I felt like MTV coming kept it alive and made it way worse than it ever would have been."

While Kristin said the two "never had an issue with each other," Lauren countered, "I mean, we had an issue with each other. But it had been squashed! They ran with it. It made for an interesting show."

Lauren and Stephen's Long History

While they had grown up going to school together, Lauren explained she and Stephen didn't really become close until their senior year because all of the upperclassmen boys she had been friends with had graduated. And Stephen was broken up with Kristin when he hooked up with Lauren, who explained, "I don't think I realized you guys were boyfriend and girlfriend. I didn't know you guys had a whole relationship. So then we started hanging out again." But Lauren and Stephen never dated—at least not during high school.

"We did date, seventh grade!" Stephen insisted. "Do you remember this? For two weeks? You broke up with me after two weeks. I remember because you were in your Halloween costume. I think it was Supergirl or something." 

Lauren didn't remember their short middle school relationship, going on to reveal she had another pre-teen romance with Dieter Schmitz that she had forgotten about. 

Lauren's Secret Romances

Lauren revealed she had several boyfriends during season one, even though the show made it seem like she was in love with Stephen and jealous of his relationship with Kristin. "Like, I'm often kind of off in a corner, just creepily watching you guys," Lauren joked.

And, in fact, she was hooking up with another cast member, though the romance was never shown on-air. 

"This is terrible, but honestly, I was hooking up with Talan [Torriero]," Lauren shared, with Kristin adding, "We all were!"

But Lauren said producers didn't seem to "care" about their fling. 

"They would fabricate a story with [Stephen]," Lauren explained. "But you would be like, "Everyone's actually hooking up with him!"

What Happens in Cabo...

Kristin was ready to set the record straight about the cast's infamous trip to Mexico and the scene in which Stephen yelled at her, "Keep dancing on the bar, slut!"

"That was my thing," Kristin said, "I was like, 'I was not the only one dancing on a bar, thank you!'" Lauren added, "I mean, I didn't do it on camera!"

Lauren explained she had actually gone down to Cabo San Lucas the week before the rest of the cast, so by the time they had arrived, she was already over partying. 

The trio then reminisced about how intoxicated Stephen was during one dinner on the vacation, with Lauren saying, "Truly, like one of the drunkest we've probably both ever seen him." Stephen thanked Lauren for getting him out of there safely, though the same couldn't be said for some of the production crew's equipment after he "jumped in a fountain." 

"I ruined a mic pack," Stephen admitted. "MTV was pretty pissed about that."


Lauren and Kristin's Mutual Remorse

When talking about her biggest regret, Lauren pointed to the Cabo episode, during which she called Kristin a slut. 

"I'm so sorry," Lauren said to Kristin. "I couldn't believe I did that. Because where I'm at now, I would never call another woman that. And it was the most embarrassing moment. I was like, 'Oh, gross.'"

Kristin also extended an apology back to Lauren for calling her the same word in a later episode. 

"I said some really dumb stuff," Kristin admitted. "And I look back and that's like my biggest thing. When I watch it now, I wasn't confident at all. I was actually so insecure. I took it out on you in a lot of ways."

Both women acknowledged the "awful" tendency for women to blame one another and not the man in the situation, with Kristin saying, "Hindsight's 20/20. If I could go back, I probably would have directed a little bit more towards [Stephen], instead of [Lauren]."

But, according to Stephen, "Oh, you did. You did. It just wasn't on camera!"

Kristin and Lauren's Fun Night Out

In case there was any lingering doubt about where Lauren and Kristin stand now, the women revealed the details of the last time they saw each other, which was off-camera and at the home of Doug Reinhardt, a recurring figure on The Hills whom Lauren briefly dated in 2008.

"You were trying on his clothes and we were, like, crying laughing," Lauren said. "And you were doing impressions of him in his closet."

Kristin continued, "We had so much fun together. I just want everyone to know we've had a handful of really great times!"

The Scene Lauren Didn't Want to Film

The Catalina camping trip was not a fun memory for Lauren, who admitted she "didn't want to go" and production only got her to go by saying her best friend Lauren "Lo" Bosworth would be joining her.

"And then Lo bailed on me, she made up an excuse," Lauren recalled. "But really, she didn't want to go."

Reflecting on the trip, Lauren said, "I was honestly just pouting the whole time. I was like, 'I don't want to be here.' And then you guys were all having fun. Dieter and I were doing shots in the tent. Because he was like, 'It's gonna be okay!'"

The Voice of Laguna

"I was just sort of told I was gonna be the narrator," Lauren said of doing season one's voice-overs. "I don't really remember it being a conversation. And I don't think I understood what that meant. They were like, 'We need you to come in and do some recording,' which was sort of odd, because when we went to San Francisco, I was basically commuting back to L.A. every weekend."

While she acknowledged she eventually began pushing back on the scripts "all the time" during The Hills, Lauren said, "I don't think I understood I was allowed to" during her time on Laguna

"There was probably a few things I would say, 'I don't think this is right,' or, 'I feel uncomfortable,'" she explained. "But because you're so young, you were like, 'Well, this is what I signed up for. This is your job.' No."

"I don't say a lot in this show," Lauren noted. "So, the most you hear me speak, I think, really is in that intro. So, it's funny that most of my words are actually written for me."

Lauren's The O.C. Crush

In a sweet moment, Stephen asked Lauren if she still had the Ben McKenzie autograph he got for her because she "loved" The O.C, the Fox teen drama that was the inspiration for Laguna Beach. "Maybe? It's not displayed," Lauren said. "It was so nice of you to do."

While he procured McKenzie's signature, Stephen went on to reveal Lauren's "number one crush": Adam Brody

Producer Input

Though Kristin noted that the production team could be "very persuasive," Lauren said, "I don't think I ever felt taken advantage of."

Still, she added, "I was definitely surrounded by a bunch of adults saying, 'Well, this is how it went. This is how viewers feel.' And you know what? They did a good job. Like, they were writing a show. And I think we did need that push in order to make it more interesting."

Ultimately, Lauren doesn't regret her time on reality TV.

"It gave me so many opportunities and I wouldn't be able to build the career I have without it," she explained. "That's definitely the best part. I think the hardest part is that I feel like we didn't really get to go off and have a normal college experience. It was worth it."

No Sartorial Shame

Lauren has no regrets about any of her outfits while rewatching Laguna Beach, including the Ugg boots and layered tank tops.

"Here's the thing: We lived in a beach town. It was very casual," she said. "I don't know that you would look at me and say, 'Oh, she's definitely interested in fashion.' Because I just sort of dressed like everybody else. It was dress for comfort. So it wasn't great, but it was what everyone was doing. I'm not so embarrassed."

Dear Media's Back to the Beach is available wherever you listen to podcasts.

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