During a recent interview, Taylor, 28, opened up about the new episodes, which tease a reconciliation with her ex, 43, a hookup with Austen Kroll, 36, and claims of a nude photo sent to Whitney Sudler-Smith, 55, and addressed her falling out with Olivia Flowers, 31, as well as where they stand today.
“It’s going to be really tough, it really is. Everybody makes mistakes. I feel like Hannah Montana, but seriously: We’re human. I’m not perfect. I think that after the breakup, I was just a very broken and hurt person and hurt people hurt people,” Taylor said of the new season during a September 14 interview with Entertainment Tonight. “There is just a multitude of different situations, how I handled things, how I handled myself.”
While season nine will see Taylor getting to know Jarrett “JT” Thomas, 42, she confirmed they are just “friends” at the moment.
“We are friends and that is where we want to be,” she explained. “Like, I love and enjoy you, and I enjoy your company, and I know you feel the same way, but what I do does not concern you. So if you are going to continue to bring things up, you got to stop.”
Taylor is seeing someone new these days, but she admitted she enjoys JT’s “fun” and “easygoing” demeanor and said they have a “definite friendship.”
“I love to laugh, so anytime that JT’s around, I know that it’s gonna be a good time and good laughter. Does he want to fight everybody? Both, probably true, he does,” she continued. “We’ve even got into our arguments and had our disagreements, but yeah, you’ll kind of see our friendship unfold.”
“I really have a hard time believing that he was emotionally rattled, just seeing how he handled our entire relationship,” she noted. “I have a really hard time seeing him have any emotion when it comes to us and what our relationship meant, because I know what it meant to me and it meant everything, and when it all came to an end, I felt as though he just was like, ‘Welp, that was a fun run, good to see you, buddy! Onto the next one…’ and so, I didn’t really think it would matter to him, especially considering he had been cheating during our entire relationship.”
Looking back at her encounter with Austen, Taylor suggested it was prompted by the protective energy he exhibited toward her amid her drama with Shep at the season eight reunion.
“It was just a moment of feeling comfortable, vulnerable and a sense of love that you maybe got confused with, because you are so close to this person,” she said of how the lines between her and Austen began to blur.
Still, despite their “moment,” Taylor said Austen was never a “love interest.”
“I always love and respect and have an adoration for Austen but, no, no love interest,” she clarified, adding that the two of them never “hooked up.”
“You know, people say, ‘What does the term ‘hookup’ mean?'” she noted. “When I say, ‘I swear on my life, I didn’t hook up with Austen,’ in my definition, I didn’t.”
But whatever it was that happened between them, Taylor admitted she should’ve “[handled] things differently.”
“I had so many up-and-down moments of just wanting to lay everything out on the table and come clean about all of it, but I held back because I was trying to protect, I guess, myself and Austen and the situation, knowing that what was at hand wasn’t anything,” she explained. “So, I didn’t feel the need to, like, expand upon everything, but as the rumor mill kept turning, I was like, ‘I think that we need to lay it all out there’ … but Austen beat me to the punch.”
In addition to causing drama between her and Shep, Taylor’s time with Austen also caused friction between her and Olivia.
“If you test somebody’s trust or friendship’s trust — I’m such a forgiving person, where I go, ‘If this happened one time I can forgive and forget, let’s move forward,’ and I think that’s what Olivia and I have going on here,” she reasoned. “So, that doorway is still open — it’s not shut forever — and I can only hope that we’ll continue to throw it wide, back open at some point, but we’ll just have to revisit that some other time.”
“We have this special bond, getting to know her when she moved to Charleston was really sweet and special, especially having the four of us, myself, Shep, she and Austen, all hanging out,” she continued. “It was really special, so I hope to rebuild that to some extent. I don’t know if it will ever be the same. I know that I can get there, but it’s just kinda surface right now, or tabled, and will resurface at reunion.”
Although Taylor and Olivia faced their challenges with each other amid season nine, they were ultimately bonded earlier this year by the tragic deaths of their brothers (Olivia’s brother Connor Flowers died in February at 32 and Taylor’s brother Richard Worthington “Worth” Green passed away in June at 36).
“It’s wild to even think about that all happening after I just experienced it with Olivia,” Taylor explained. “And having never lost a person who is super, super close to me, so of course Olivia has been incredible in reaching out to me and, you know, on that level of our friendship where it’s, like, this weird, horrible club to be a part of, but there we are, we’re together in it.”
Of her late brother Worth, Taylor added, “You will get to see a little bit of my brother [on the season] and just know that he is, like, the most awesome, fun-loving, easygoing, caring human being and I’m excited that people get to see that.”
As for Whitney Sudler-Smith‘s suggestion that she sent him a nude photo, Taylor said that wasn’t entirely true.
“It was a very drunken night, I knew what Shep and Whitney had been up to the past few months, galavanting around Charleston, trying to pick up girls and so, I did that to get under Shep’s skin,” she revealed. “And that was very childish of me.”
Also during the interview, Taylor said that despite the trailer teasing a potentially rekindled romance with Shep, they never “dipped into any kind of relationship.”
“You’ll see what happens, but there’s just a level of comfortability I think that everybody kinda goes through that little aspect after a breakup,” she reasoned. “It felt right, I knew it was wrong, but it was comfortable, it was easy.”
Southern Charm season nine airs Thursdays at 9/8c on Bravo.