Eric Ray Davidson/Cosmopolitan
For Lauren Conrad, The Hills feels like a lifetime ago.
Conrad decided to leave the series midway through its fifth season in 2010, handing the reigns to her high school rival Kristin Cavallari. With her MTV days behind her, Conrad—who now runs a fashion empire and is married to lawyer William Tell—reflects on the TV show that made her a star in Cosmopolitan's October issue.
"When I did television, scandal was always around me," says Conrad, who first found fame as a high school student on MTV's Laguna Beach. "And I think one of the best things [about that] for me is that your life becomes more big-picture. You have to develop a thick skin really quickly. It toughened me up, which is good."
Fans of The Hills will undoubtedly recall the episode in Season 3 when Conrad shed zero tears as she told Heidi Montag, "The only thing to do is forgive and forget. I want to forgive you and I want to forget you." In an episode of WE's Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars that aired in 2015, Montag grieved their relationship during a role-playing exercise. "I was the best friend you've ever had. Lauren, I forgive you for being so insecure in your life and so frustrated for everything that you went through that you felt like you had to blame it on me because that was easier," she said. "I forgive you for trying to ruin my life."