The time has finally come: Stassi Schroeder, 32, sat down for her first interview since being fired from Vanderpump Rules on the September 17 episode of the Tamron Hall Show. Three months after Bravo made the life-changing decision, Stassi spoke about the events surrounding her firing — which includes, “racially insensitive comments,” as well as an incident with Faith Stowers, a Black former cast member of VPR, whom she falsely reported to the police in 2018.
Before Stassi explained what happened during the 2018 incident, Tamron reiterated the “generic details” that both Stassi and Kristen Doute, who was also involved in calling the police on Faith, had knowledge of at the time. “This story comes out in a tabloid, and this individual, a suspect was described as in fairly generic terms. The suspect was a Black female, who weighed approximately 120 pounds, believed to be around 5’6″,” Tamron said, noting, “That could be anyone, that could be me, that could be a number of my staffers. You saw a grainy photo — why did you think that that was Faith Stowers, or did you really?”
Stassi replied, “It wasn’t just the photo. Kristen and I had received texts from multiple people about this,” which led Tamron to press about who sent the reality stars information regarding Faith.
“The bottom line is, people that Kristen knew, who were texting her and said there’s this girl who has stolen from us and we think it’s this person in the article and she’s saying she’s on your television show [VPR] and her name is Faith,” Stassi recalled. “And when you’re on a show like Vanderpump Rules, your existence on that show is kind of dependent on sticking your nose in other people’s conflict, or creating conflict that might be woven into a storyline. — This is completely my fault because I was absolutely wrong, but it wasn’t just a photo that we saw,” she said. “There were other reasons why we thought that.” Later on, Stassi added that at the time, “I legitimately thought we were solving crime and I was completely completely wrong.”
She continued, “I’m someone who messed up quite a few times. I am the reason why I am in this situation. And, I think a lot of people wanted me to focus on, this ‘cancel culture’ and whether I was a victim or not and it’s not how I feel at all.”
She went on to admit that being labeled as a “racist” has been “absolutely the hardest part” of the controversy. “Just going out to the grocery store or a restaurant and wondering if that’s what people think and throughout this whole thing, I’ve recognized that I never felt like I was a racist,” she said, explaining, “I don’t have hate in my heart. But, I have recognized that I wasn’t anti-racist, I wasn’t. That’s something I’ve been learning throughout all of this.”
As for why she waited three months to explain herself, Stassi admitted that she spent the past 90 days educating herself about Black history. She said that she meets with a “diversity teacher/coach” once a week, via Zoom, where she completes “homework” assignments about race.
“I’ve spent the last three months, yes, working with a teacher about everything and there’s so much that I didn’t know,” she said, explaining, “I didn’t understand that just because something wasn’t about race for me, that doesn’t mean it’s not about race for the other person, because I’m bring my experience of a white privileged woman to this situation and she’s bringing her experience as a Black woman into this situation, and because it’s about race for her, it is about race and that’s something that I’ve realized.”
Tamron also brought up a separate time when Stassi came under fire for making comments about the Black community. “The comments you made on your podcast about ‘Oscar so white’ — a hashtag that people were using to call out the lack of diversity during the Oscars nominations. You said in part, I want to read it here, you said: ‘I’m really sick about everybody making everything about race I’m kind of over it. Everyone giving their impassioned speeches about race and all of that stuff I’m like why is it always about African Americans.’” Tamron followed up with, “Wow.”
Stassi agreed and admitted that she’s “been wanting” to talk about her controversial comments made on her podcast. “… Because going through these past few months and working with a teacher and learning about Black history — just the obstacles that Black people face every single day — I look back on that podcast, and I’m so embarrassed that I even had those thoughts and put it out there,” she said, admitting, “I was that Karen. I was a Karen who basically said, ‘What about all lives matter?’”
When asked why she believes Black Lives Matter, Stassi said, “Because Black people are dying because they’ve been oppressed for 400 years. All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter and that’s something that I’ve realized in doing classes.”
Stassi later revealed that Bravo did not give her an opportunity to explain herself when news of the controversy first broke. “I got a call from my producer and my lawyer that morning,” she said. “I understand why I didn’t have a chance to explain myself. I’ve messed up a lot.” Additionally, Stassi confirmed that there is no chance she will return to VPR following the controversy.
Stassi, who is pregnant with her first child, said she wants to be a “better person” now that she’s starting a family of her own. “I’m pregnant and I want my daughter to be proud of me and I want to be a part of the solution. I’ve been a part of the problem for years now and I’ve recognized that and that’s why I say, ‘I’m not a victim of cancel culture,'” she explained, adding that “people want me to be mad at it and I’m not — I needed it.”
The author went on to explain that she plans to educate her daughter about what she’s learned from this experience. “I ask my coach all the time about how to best talk to a child about this, because I mentioned earlier — I think the weeks we focused on Black history, a light went off in my head and just learning about everything for a couple weeks straight, all at once, I had never thought about the oppression that Black people face in that way,” she explained. “I didn’t understand. It’s my fault that I didn’t educate myself.”
Stassi, along with her co-star Kristen Doute, were let go from Vanderpump Rules in June of 2020, after it became public that the Bravo stars once reported Faith to the police for a crime she did not commit in 2018. “There was this article on Daily Mail where there was an African American lady. It was a weird photo, so she looked very light-skinned and had these different, weird tattoos. They showcased her, and I guess this woman was robbing people. And they called the cops and said it was me,” Faith recalled in an Instagram Live session amid the Black Lives Matter movement in June — a few days before Stassi and Kristen were fired.
Two days after the Instagram Live session, Stassi took to Instagram with a public apology. She first apologized for “racially insensitive comments” from her past, and then addressed Faith directly: “I also want to address my former castmate, Faith Stowers. My emotions over something that happened between our friends outweighed my logic, and there is no excuse for that. I did not recognize then the serious ramifications that could have transpired because of my actions. What I did to Faith was wrong. I apologize and I do not expect forgiveness.”
However, Faith exclusively told HollywoodLife that Stassi nor Kristen did not personally reach out to her before putting out their public statements, saying, “I would’ve heard what they had to say because everybody deserves forgiveness.”
Stassi had been eager to break her silence on the Tamron Hall Show, beyond social media posts in the wake of the controversy, a source close to the Next Level Basic author told HollywoodLife, exclusively. “Stassi has taken this time to learn and grow from the situation, and she is in a different place in her life,” the insider said. “She’s so excited to become a mother and is looking forward to the next chapter.” Part of this new chapter will be her first baby with fiancé Beau Clark, 40, whom Stassi announced shortly after she was fired.