The Valley Stars Jesse and Michelle Lally Separate After Nearly 6 Years of Marriage as They Discuss Reason for Split and Deny Faking Things for Show, Plus Jax Taylor Reacts

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The Valley Stars Jesse and Michelle Lally Separate After Nearly Six Years of Marriage, Cite Pandemic Struggles and Deny Faking Things for Show as Jax Taylor Admits Marriage is "Not Easy"

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Jesse Lally and Michelle Lally have confirmed their separation ahead of this week’s premiere of their Vanderpump Rules spinoff, The Valley.

Following the news of Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright‘s separation, which was announced last month, Jesse and Michelle refrained from walking the red carpet with one another at their series’ premiere party last Thursday after calling it quits on their marriage of nearly six years.

“It was very hard to have your first kid during the pandemic … mid-lockdown, no nannies, no grandparents helping out,” Jesse told Us Weekly on Thursday. “It takes a toll on a couple in that situation.”

Jesse and Michelle got married in October 2018, and they welcomed their first and only child, three-year-old daughter Isabella Bunny, in April 2020.

Looking ahead to the debut season of The Valley, which Michelle said they filmed “a while ago,” Jesse confirmed his and Michelle’s marriage struggles will be apparent.

“There’s a major story line about our life where I try to work on myself throughout the entire summer to be the best version of myself,” Jesse teased. “And if the best version of myself aligned with the best version of herself, then our marriage would make it. People evolve. If your marriage and relationship doesn’t evolve with it, it will never work no matter how bad you want it.”

During her own interview, Michelle reflected on the scenes they filmed and denied faking things amid production.

“People said, ‘When you watch the show, you’re going to realize how you guys actually are,’ because when you’re in it, you don’t actually know,” she said. “Taking a step back and looking at myself, I’m like, ‘Oh wow. It’s obvious we have some marital issues.’”

“I want fans to know how real we were. We’re very authentic,” she added. “We didn’t fake anything and we said if we’re going to do reality TV, we’re really going to open up our lives — the positive and the negative.”

Also at Thursday’s premiere party, Jax weighed in on his castmates’ split.

“Marriage is not easy,” Jax told PEOPLE. “It’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of ups and downs. [And] everybody handles this kind of situation differently. In fact, you know, [it’s] not just Jesse. I have about a dozen people going through this right now. There’s a lot of people going through what I’m going through right now.”

According to Jax, “it’s been interesting” to hear from friends like Jesse, who he’s known since his days working as a model, because he knows how “tough” marriage can be.

“But we’re handling it the best way we can,” he explained.

And just as Jax has offered support to Jesse, Jesse has offered support to Jax.

“I told him, like, ‘Listen, I’ve been through the miserable part of it. Now we’re in mediation and we’re doing this… Whatever support you need, I’m happy to be there for you,'” Jesse said. “We’re all here to support each other. We’re all going through different things.”

Of his marriage to Brittany, Jax said they’d been “going through some things for a while now,” and they decided it would be best for their family to take “a little bit of a breather.”

“I’m not sure what the future holds for this, but you know, as of right now, this is just the best case scenario,” he explained.

The Valley season one premieres on Tuesday, March 19, on Bravo.