Jeff Lewis Shares Update on “Contentious” Custody Battle With Ex Gage & Compares Himself to a “Hostage,” Plus He Explains Why He Opted Out of Filming RHOC With Shannon

by Lindsay Cronin Comments

Jeff Lewis Compares Himself to a "Hostage" Amid "Contentious" Custody Battle With Gage, Says Lawyer Labeled Ex "Vindictive" as He Explains Why He Opted Out of RHOC Filming

Jeff Lewis opened up about his ongoing custody battle with his ex-boyfriend, Gage Edward, on a recent episode of his radio show.

Before explaining why he opted out of filming scenes for The Real Housewives of Orange County season 18 with longtime friend Shannon Beador, 59, Jeff, 53, looked back on a run-in with Gage that was unexpectedly pleasant and appreciated. He also shared details of a dispute between them over their seven-year-old daughter Monroe.

“My ex and I, it’s a bit contentious. We have to communicate on our family wizard, which is this app, and then we also have to communicate through our attorneys,” Jeff began on SiriusXM Radio’s Jeff Lewis Live.

While Jeff and Gage aren’t in a good place at the moment, they did have a moment of solidarity weeks ago after Monroe fell ill amid a drop-off between them.

“Monroe, when I dropped her off, she was telling me in the car, I drop her off on Sunday at Gage’s, she’s like ‘Daddy, I don’t feel good.’ She didn’t eat all morning. And I’m like, ‘Do you feel nauseous?’ And she’s like ‘Yeah.’ I go, ‘Oh my God. Don’t throw up in my car,’” Jeff recalled. “Then she goes, ‘I threw up in my daddy Gage’s car and he didn’t get mad.’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna get mad, but can you please give me a warning because I can roll down the window or I can pull over.’”

After making their way to Gage’s residence, Jeff opened Monroe’s door and she “[threw] up everywhere.” Right away, both dads rushed into action.

“We don’t really look at each other. We don’t speak or whatever, but we immediately jumped into daddy mode and we were, like, getting napkins, wiping her face, like, ‘Are you okay?’ Together. We were like taking care of her, which was awesome,” Jeff shared. “I was like, ‘I wish we could co-parent like this all the time.'”

Even after leaving Monroe with Gage, Jeff received regular updates from his ex regarding her condition.

“I texted him later like, ‘I’m really worried about Monroe. How’s she doing?’ He gives me a full update. Then later, I text him again, gives me a full update, then without me texting him on Monday, he sends me a text … We haven’t texted since January. He sends me a full-on text, how she’s doing, everything, and I so appreciate that so whenever things go well, I always want to give him props and thank him. That said, so I really appreciate that,” Jeff noted.

Unfortunately, after Monroe recovered, things took a turn for the worse between Jeff and Gage as Jeff sent a “very nice message” to Gage on their family app regarding his plans for spring break.

“[He] doesn’t even open the family Wizard. He still hasn’t opened it. It’s been two weeks. So then unfortunately I had to engage with the attorneys and then the attorneys had to reach out about spring break. One thousand dollars an hour to figure out the dates for spring break,” Jeff revealed.

After putting his request in writing, Jeff received a message that said, “We are not currently in a position to respond to Jeff’s request. Given the debacle surrounding the parties’ last vacation, there is a need to define what constitutes vacation time. Furthermore, we had begun discussions regarding certain holidays, which I feel we should resume before embarking on a vacation schedule that potentially overlaps the Easter holiday.”

Jeff then reached out to Gage directly about his potential trip with Monroe, stating that Gage would only have to sacrifice one of his custodial days. However, Gage did not want to work out an agreement without their attorneys involved.

According to Jeff, even his attorney is frustrated with Gage’s antics and told him, “Gage is top two most vindictive, unreasonable, unrationable people I’ve ever dealt with. He’s closing in on top one.”

“I’m a hostage. I’m in handcuffs,” Jeff added.

As for his planned cameo on RHOC, which he first spoke of on Watch What Happens Live, Jeff confirmed he’s since pulled out of the appearance.

“I was supposed to film today for The Real Housewives of Orange County and it was like a big lunch with Shannon,” he shared. “They wanted me to do it because I’m very close with Shannon. I know all the details of the [DUI accident and arrest], the John Janssen relationship, I know everything. We’re pretty close. So it was gonna be kind of an important deal, I think, for us to sit down and discuss these things.”

But after the filming release came into play, Jeff was unhappy with the terms.

“When we did the release, they wouldn’t indemnify me. And in turn, I wouldn’t indemnify them,” he explained. “So what that means is basically if I say something and I get sued, they’re not gonna protect me and then in turn, if I say something, they’re expecting me to be responsible if they got sued. So my attorney’s like, ‘I don’t know what you’re getting out of this. You’re not getting paid, you got a TV show, you got a radio show. Why do you need to do this?’ And I said, ‘Well, I wanted to help Shannon but if they’re not gonna protect me…’ and then I was thinking, if in the edit, they could make me… They may not protect me in the edit because they have nothing to lose. I have everything to lose. So I’m like ’No. I’m not doing this. Why would I do this?’”

“I need to know that they’re on the hook too. That way, in the edit, God forbid I say something defamatory, that they’ll keep it out so nobody gets sued. I don’t feel protected. I don’t feel safe. I’m not doing it,” he added.

Jeff went on to confirm that Shannon “totally understands” why he’s not doing the show due to Jim Bellino‘s $1 million lawsuit against her and Tamra Judge, 56, which accused the two women of defaming him on Heather McDonald‘s podcast.