Kelsey Owens set social media ablaze when she claimed (via Instagram) that she was fired from Siesta Key: Miami Moves during a cast night out in August. However, the show’s star, Juliette Porter, says there’s more to the story. “What I think got very misconstrued in the media and on Instagram is…this is a job. We signed contracts and we sign on for a certain amount of episodes,” Juliette explained to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She was signed on for a certain amount of episodes and she had finished that cycle. She had known what she was getting into.”
Juliette agreed, though, that the situation wasn’t handled totally fairly. “The way it was delivered to her…I don’t think she was quite prepared to leave [that night],” Juliette admitted. “But it wasn’t shocking news. She knew what she signed up for, but the way it was delivered to her was not right. It shouldn’t have been in that way and I think production knows that. I wish her the best and I did feel for her in that moment, and I still do, but she knew that she was only going to be on for a certain number of episodes.”
Juliette confirmed that Kelsey will still be in “a lot” of the show’s fifth season, which premieres on Oct. 27. “I don’t think there was much for Kelsey in Miami, and the show is in Miami now,” she added. “So it just wasn’t making sense. That’s just the reality of it. But she’s definitely on it a lot this season and you’ll see a lot of her story. I wish her the best and I hate that it had to happen this way.”
Kelsey and Juliette went through a lot during their time on the show. They started out as enemies, but then became very close friends and roommates. Their friendship began to struggle, though, when Juliette started dating Sam Logan, and Kelsey accused her of only being with him for his money. It resulted in a physical fight between the pair, but they were able to get on amiable terms by the end of season 4.
“We don’t really have a relationship now,” Juliette admitted. “You’ll see her and I speak a lot this season, and she walked for [my swimsuit line] at Miami Swim Week, which was really special. But I wouldn’t say we’re really friends. We’re at a moment in our lives where things are changing, and now that she’s closed this chapter, I probably won’t see her nearly as much. We started doing this when we were barely out of high school. So I don’t think there’s much of a relationship now, but maybe in the future I’ll see her again and we can reconnect.”
See more from our interview with Juliette below!
On her boyfriend, Clark, being hesitant about filming: I think in the beginning he didn’t quite understand what it meant that I’m very much in the public eye and people in my life kind of have to be also. You’ll see how it plays out a lot this season, but it’s tough on him. It’s a learning curve. I’ve been doing it for six years and I still struggle with it sometimes. It definitely adds a little stress on our relationship, but it’s a give and take. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do and you definitely see that play out with him and I.
On how she and Clark are doing now: You’ve seen me go through so many relationships that were toxic for me. This time, I’ve really learned from my mistakes. I try to take the trauma I’ve experienced and turn it into learning. With Clark, I finally found a guy that is different than the guys I’ve dated in the past. I really hope people see that. We’re really happy. I feel like I am stable. That’s something I was really craving.
On filming with her ex, Sam: We actually didn’t have to film together that much. I love that the show does keep it really really, and the reality of the situation is that we wouldn’t hang out. I wouldn’t hang out with my ex. We do see each other sometimes but it’s a situation at a group party. I wish Sam the best. I personally don’t like being around him. I didn’t love having to film with him. I feel like he is so different now than when we first started dating. The show and filming is definitely something that changed him. It’s a huge part of his life now andI think he might not want to admit it, but he really likes it. I’m fine with him being on the show, but in an ideal world…he wouldn’t be on it as much. He’s harmless, but no one ants to be around their ex, let’s be real.
On where she stands with Jordan [Barnes] now: I feel like I’m a very forgiving person. I like to move on. I did start to create more of a friendship with Jordana. I kind of relate to her a lot. You’ll see this season that she kind of goes through a lot of the things I went through because she gets very close to Sam. Sometimes when I hear Jordana talk I’m like…oh my God, I had this same problem before, please learn from me!
On where she stands with Cara [Geswelli] now: Cara is just such a character. She doesn’t put up with any BS and I really admire that about her. I HATED Cara so much [in earlier seasons]. She’s matured a lot and she’ll admit to you that she loved getting under my skin. I used to be really easy to pick on — and I kind of still am — but one of her favorite things to do was just piss me off. Her and I have definitely come a long way.
On what she’s most excited for viewers to see this season: I’m so excited for Miami Swim Week! That was the most stressful but amazing week ever. It was so huge for JMP The Label and I feel so grateful and excited for people to see it. That was a moment that really felt real to me. A lot of times I don’t feel like something feels important and my job is just going to a bar and seeing how things play out. This moment, actually having my swim brand there, was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done on this show. I’m excited for people to see that.