by Billy Nilles | Mon., Nov. 6, 2017 9:21 AM
To say that LeeAnne Locken had an eventful second season as one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Dallas would be putting it mildly.
The Bravolebrity weathered fights, failed friendships, and a flesh-eating bacteria over the course of 12 episodes—and she did it all with her trademark sass that's made her (in her own words) "the Mouth of the South" and (in our words) one of the biggest reasons to tune in every week. With the two-part season two reunion special debuting Monday, Nov. 6, Locken sat down with E! News for a wide-ranging interview that covered every inch of her experience this year. We talked her doomed attempt at friendship with Brandi Redmond, her shocking behind-closed-doors comments about Cary and Mark Deuber, and her sweet marriage proposal from fiancé Rich Emberlin. And if you think she held back, you don't know Locken.
E! News: I want to start with the midseason turning point, that moment in your doctor's office when you were caught talking behind closed doors about Cary and Mark Deuber. Do you have any regrets about that?
Locken: It's hard to regret something you don't remember. I took medication before I left my house and then I took medication again when I got to the doctor's office. So for me, I think if you look at the moment on the boat, when Brandi tells me what I said, the look on my face is, "Really, Locken? You can't shut the eff up for five minutes? You don't have to repeat everything you know!" I beat myself, but then you know what? I was like, "You said it, own it." If the information is in my head and somebody tells me that I said it, whether I remember it or not, it's probably true. So I owned it.
Did you even know you were being recorded at that point?
Well, I was naked, but Brandi had clothes on. At the reunion, Brandi said, "I walked out of that room and I looked at the producer and said, ‘Tell me you got that.'"
Oh! Well, that sort of segues into what I was going to ask next. One, were you surprised that Brandi even told Cary? And two, larger question, watching back the season and having sat through the season, where's your relationship at with Brandi?
Non-existent. At the reunion, Brandi specifically said she does not see a future. When Andy asked me, I said, "I choose to live every day with Acts 2:25 constantly in my mind, which is, 'I pitched my tent in the land of hope.'" So, I'm always hopeful. But my mother always said I woke up singing and I went to bed crying and that's never going to change. That's my personality. So, I'm hopeful, but if her stance is she wants nothing to do with me, then that's her and her Christianity to handle. My Christianity is quite safe and sound within me and rests with rainbows and peace.
Before you got to that point at the reunion, when you were just watching the episodes unfold, how were you handling the surprise of seeing her sort of speak out of both sides of her mouth about you at times?
Heartbreaking. I'll be honest with you, while we were filming, I genuinely thought she was my friend. Not that I confided in her. You have to understand that when you grow up the way that I do, trust is not something that you just give right away, so there's levels and doors that you have to pass through. But she certainly was someone that I took the time to defend and to support. It was disheartening to see that through the whole filming I pretty much thought we were friends right up until episode 12. I really thought we were friends. To see in the last scene, what she did and how it got twisted, heartbreaking.
Why do you think she did what she did this season?
I think the show needs twists and turns, and Brandi's willing to do all of those.
In the beginning of the season, a lot of people I talked to didn't necessarily feel like Brandi and Stephanie Hollman's break-up was exactly authentic. I'm wondering your take now that you've lived the season.
I think looking back at it, the saddest part about the Brandi-Stephanie situation—and Andy asks me about it at the reunion and I told him, "I've learned this season I don't have to repeat everything that I know." I know there are some serious fractures in their friendship. Serious fractures. And they did not address them. Whether they've addressed them privately, I don't know. It's none of my business. But do I think their fight in the beginning was authentic? She sure did come for me in season one a lot harder. A lot harder. If you know that she can behave a certain way and she doesn't when she's "so deeply hurt?" I mean, she said a lot of stuff to me about that friendship, that relationship. And I saw none of it.
I want to talk about the fight at Brandi's party.
Yes. A smashing good time. [Laughs]
For me, it was sort of surprising to see Cary turn on Brandi and Stephanie the way she did, considering how she'd been speaking about them all season. Were you at all surprised she turned on them in that moment?
No because they didn't have her back in the cave. And I think at some point, Cary has to realize those two are thick as thieves and Brandi will never let her come between them. Period. The end.
I don't know if I should call it a relationship, but whatever you and Cary have, or had, at that point in that episode sort of seemed irreparable. Is it fair to say there's nothing there between you and Cary?
At the reunion, I kind of had an epiphany and that is that Cary truly wants to be an alpha and I'm just born an alpha. That's just who I am. I'm that way because of what I've gone through. I'm either going to lead the pack or not be in the pack, that's just who I am. And I don't mind sharing the lead, but Cary's not a person who shares. I think that my epiphany at the reunion is: Cary wants to win at all costs. And I'm just typically, I win almost every situation. I don't win at all costs. I own everything, I want things to be fair, I want things to be right, and I want things to be truthful. And I think at this point, after the reunion, my mindset is: If Cary really needs to win some to feel better, then I think maybe now is the time to let her have a few wins. I'm just too old. I mean, I'm very secure with who I am and where I am, and at this point, I realize forcing her to be 100 percent honest with me isn't going to happen, so I'm just going to let Cary do Cary. I'm just going to have to let her win some.
The state of Cary's marriage with Mark this season has really been surprising. What is your take on watching those scenes?
The first time that they had their on-camera argument, I called up D'Andra [Simmons] when I saw the show like, "Are they going to be OK?" I was concerned. I've watched divorce, divorce, divorce on Housewives. I understand. And I called D'Andra and I was like, "Are they going to be OK? Do we need to step in? Should we say something? What do we do?" And D'Andra goes, "Oh, no. That's just them." So I truly believe that's their relationship. They think that's love and that's funny and that's how they are with each other in real life. It's not for me, and I don't think it's for a lot of people. I mean, I can tell you, if Rich walked in and said, ‘" thought you were going to have a glass of wine for me." I'd be like, "Duck, bitch. Here comes the bottle." And that would be it. Carly would be lapping up the wine on the floor. No, you don't talk to me like that. I'm a human. I believe in trying to speak to people like they are human until they absolutely push you do something else.
Going back to what you said about Mark and his sexuality in your doctor's office, I'm assuming at the reunion, you're probably held feet to the fire over that?
You don't have to hold my feet to the fire. I hold my own feet to the fire. That's the thing about me, and I think that's what irritates me. I hold my own feet to the fire. On the boat when she told me what I said, I held my own feet to the fire. I was pissed as f--k at myself. Like "Seriously Locken?" I don't have to say everything I know, I don't have to hit below the belt. And I was really trying this season not to. And it upsets me because the two times I've really lost myself, I was medicated behind a door and did not realize Brandi was mic'ed and you know, [the party,] people have to understand I was still in the middle of battling a flesh-eating bacteria. That IV that I got that day, I got that IV that morning to go to the party that night. Do you see these two veins? Those are good veins, right? They collapsed. That's how dehydrated I was. Five veins collapsed before she could get this vein to accept and she gave me two bags. I should've been in a hospital. Instead, I took two bags of an IV and went to a Housewives party. You know what's so sweet? Someone tweeted me last night and said, "You're not strong, LeeAnne. You're Texas strong." And I'm like, "That's it! That's it! I'm Texas strong."
Speaking about your medical situation, were you surprised watching back the footage of your surgery?
I was disappointed. I imagine that stuff happens in Mark's operating room all the time. No, I wasn't concerned. I was a little irritated because I specifically told the crew I don't want you to film. When I go out, you're out. And they stayed. But then again, I'm not in control, you know? So I was a little peeved about that because I want my doctor focused on me, not on a camera.
How did the recovery from the infection go?
I got a lot of tweets saying, "Maybe your doctor wasn't good." And I'm like, "I got the bacteria in Mexico!" The part that you didn't get to see on the boat in Mexico, I was saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I said it so many times, the producer came from the other boat onto our boat to tell me that if I said I was sorry one more time, he was going to throw me over the boat. At that point, the bacteria had taken in and I wanted to die. I was OK, I mean, I'm like, "Bite yourself, bleed, dribble a bit, wait for the shark to come, go over. Just throw the f--k over." I'm not going to tell you I taste good, but just get it the f--k over with.
It was fun to see former cast member Tiffany Hendra for a few seconds this season. Do you miss having her on the show?
I do because I love her loyalty and I love her ability to calm me and comfort me. But you know, it's nice to have to have D'Andra who's sort of stepped right in and along with her ability to control me, she also controls the others, as well, which is a huge relief for me. I think last season, Tiffany just wanted all of us to get along, so she was willing to give everyone a chance. Well, D'Andra's like, "You're wrong. No. Don't say that about her." And that is a breath of fresh air for me. I can exhale for two seconds before I inhale for the next sword fight."
You've had a relationship with D'Andra for so many years. Has her joining the show had any effect on your friendship?
Made us stronger. Made us closer. Made us trust each other more. D'Andra and I will always be tight. We'll always be thick as thieves. I'm the one who nicknamed her mother Mama D. That's me because I was trying to get adopted…No, we're fine. I've talked to her twice today, talked to her yesterday.
I want to get your take on a feud from this season that doesn't involve you.
I'm talking about Brandi and Kameron Westcott. What's your take on their inability to connect?
My take on it is that Brandi loves to have fun, and I love that about Brandi. The fact that Brandi is a fun girl? Anybody who drinks and wants to have a good time is going to have a good time with Brandi. Until Brandi hits a certain drunk level, and then Brandi doesn't have a meter to know what's funny and what's not. She just doesn't. And so, at some point, you're crossing a line and I'm trying to not help you cross this line. And now you're getting mad at me. The thing is, Kameron stood at that table for a long time, until Brandi started trying to beat her in the head with it. She whacked D'Andra in the face with it. I was not drinking, neither was Kameron, so it would've been easy for me to catch it. I think with Brandi, she's fun up until—My philosophy with fun is everybody's having fun. When someone stops having fun, it's no longer fun for everybody. And then Cary sure the f--k wasn't defending Kameron, so I felt like it was my job to step in because the girl was genuinely over it…You know that drunk friend when you're just like, "Honey, it's not funny anymore" and they're just like, "[Nonsense words]!" And you like, "You're s--t-faced. I'm putting you in a cab. If you don't make it, good luck."
Let's talk about your proposal from Rich. That was such a thought-out plan he set into motion. How special is it to watch that back and relive it on camera?
It's everything to me because I grew up on a carnival and I grew up believing nobody wanted me. No one, not even your own mother, wants you. And so for him to come there, where I had probably some of the hardest days of my life and say, "I want you. I love you. I'm going to take care of you for the rest of your life." I mean, look, it was everything. I can watch it for the rest of time. When I'm 80 and I'm pissed off that he didn't take the trash out, I can just put that on and be like, "But he did that." Trust me, he's got a good card to pull out for the rest of his life. He really does.
How's wedding planning going?
Good. Fun! You know, everybody keeps asking me, "Do you have a date? Do you have a date?" Seriously, I just got to tell people I'm engaged, so you know. I'm 50, so I have a bunch of friends that I've been friends with for, like, 20 years and they're all like, "Oh, no. We were with you through this dick and this dick. We have a say in your wedding." And I'm like, "What?" So there's like 12-20 girls that are all like, "I'm a part of it too!" So I'm letting them battle it, and I just told them, "Just tell me where to show up, if I need long or short, and where we're going for the honeymoon." And I want a couples honeymoon. The away that D'Andra said that: "I found mine and it's so nice that LeeAnne found her." Because D'Andra and I had this fear for a long time of: "We're going to grow old alone." We don't have kids. And that's why D'Andra and I, when we first met, she kept saying, "I'm going to buy an island and we'll grow old together." I'm like, "Great. I'll supply the Viagra and the hookers." I don't know what else to say.
Let's talk about that big season-ending blowout.
I'm really disappointed in the finale. I'm disappointed in how they made my engagement party because I tried so hard all season to bring us all together as a group, and I know not everybody could see that, but I really did try to bring us together and make us a cohesive group. And I mean, I can't even tell you how many times I said to D'Andra in the beginning, "But you've got this with Brandi. Talk to Brandi about military. Her brother was in the military. You've got this in common." With Kameron, I was like, "You've got this in common." I really tried to give everybody a way to connect, and at my engagement party, I really felt like I had been successful with that—and that's not how it [played] out. It's very disappointing to me."
But we did get to meet your mom.
I will say that there's a moment between my mother and I that, had I known it 40 years ago, it would've done me a world of good. When I chose to do anger management, I told her, "I want to have an epiphany every time I'm in here. Push me, break me, put me on a wall, beat me with whips and chains. I want to be better. I'm not an easy person, I know that, so you have to push me to make me better." And I think in the season finale, the scene with my mother is a moment of clarity that, at 50, I wish I had had a long time ago.
The Real Housewives of Dallas' two-part season two reunion special begins Monday, Nov. 6 at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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