Before reacting to the timeline drama he faced with Lindsay Hubbard and Carl Radke, sharing his thoughts on a future rekindling with Olivia Flowers, and explaining his frustration with Madison LeCroy and Brett Randle‘s engagement, Austen looked back at his mindset going into production.
“Coming off of last summer, I had a lot of things that I wanted to work on with myself and my behavior and the way that I wanted to act moving forward, and so when we filmed Southern Charm, I really got to get back to, you know, me, and moving forward with my life and my new home and my business,” Austen explained during a recent interview with Us Weekly. “That’s what I wanted to focus on and then meeting Olivia, and she was such a positive light and influence in my life, like, literally the opposite of my last, and so it was just like a breath of fresh air.”
Months later, as he returned to Vermont for Winter House, Austen felt “very, very confident that [he] knew who [he] was” and how he “wanted to act.” He was also excited not only to have a good time but also to atone for his past misdeeds with Ciara and other members of the show.
But while Austen had unfinished business with Ciara, it wasn’t of the romantic kind.
“It certainly was interesting to go back to the exact same house where so much had gone down with her. She’s a beautiful girl, but no. There was no like, ‘Oh man, I’m having some feelings here.’ I think that we honestly were really just trying to work on our friendship and trying to progress with that,” he revealed.
And when it came to Lindsay, who was the third point in his love triangle with Ciara last year, Austen insisted he didn’t intend to cause drama with her and Carl when he told some of their castmates that they had been involved with one another around the time that Lindsay and Carl got together.
“Prior to Lindsay getting there is when I told the girls and then the girls kinda like put their heads together and were like, ‘Wait a minute. There’s a timeline issue here,’” he recalled. “I never meant for that to happen.”
As Austen explained, he already wasn’t on the best terms with Lindsay and wasn’t trying to “meddle with their relationship” at all. In fact, going into the season, he hoped to mend their relationship.
“That’s what I feel bad about,“ he stated.
Luckily, months after filming, Austen and Lindsay are on better terms. And when she and Carl got engaged in August, he did reach out to congratulate her.
“She and I talk and we text,” he revealed. “It’s not as much as we used to because she has a new person and Carl is that person for her, but she reaches out when she sees things and hears things. After the reunion, she was like, ‘I’m sorry to hear that you and Olivia didn’t work out. Let’s chat soon.’”
“I think it’s super cool now that those three franchises are now like intertwined, the Toms, and I know that a few more of them have gone to the Hamptons to hang out with them and stuff, but for them to come to Winter House kinda like solidified that relationship,” Austen noted.
Regarding where he and Olivia stand today, Austen said he’d “never say never” to rekindling their romance.
“She’s such an important person in my life and she was huge for me this year to kinda get back to who I think that I am,” he admitted.
Also during the interview, Austen explained why he was so annoyed that he didn’t get a heads-up prior to Madison’s engagement announcement.
“This is the next guy that [Madison] dated, and for me to see it on the internet first, and especially to know that she tries to get a rise out of me with everything, right, it’s like, I just know that she wanted to show up to a party being like, ‘Look at [my engagement ring],’” he said.
According to Austen, he thought the two of them were “cool” and would’ve appreciated a “quick little” message prior to the news being shared publicly.
“She didn’t have to call me and be like, ‘Hey, I have some crazy big news for you.’ I don’t know… We’d been through a hell of a lot of craziness together. So I just thought, like, a courtesy heads up,” he added.
Winter House season two airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Bravo.
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