“[That evening] drastically changed our friendship,” Leva, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly about her blowout fight with Craig Conover, which aired on Thursday, September 29. “It drastically changed my friendship with Craig and with many of the cast members, immediately.”
During the Thursday finale of the Bravo series, Leva hit her breaking point with Craig — and several other castmates — while attending the Sewing Down South holiday party.
The Republic co-owner showed her frustration toward Craig, 33, after she learned that he banished his ex-girlfriend Naomie Olindo to a non-cast table for his event. “I literally cannot [do this] anymore,” Leva told Naomie, 30, at the dinner.
“I don’t even know why I’m friends with some people,” she added, seemingly referring to Craig and his crew. “So f—king toxic.” Leva previously voiced her issues with the Delaware native after he called Naomie his “crazy ex-girlfriend” at their Friendsgiving.
“Throughout the season, [you could see] that Craig has sort of been speaking in a really, like, aggressive manner, like, [there’s] just a lot of emotion. He’s sort of unable to navigate it himself,” she explained to Us this month. “I’m obviously innately protective of Naomie. She’s like a little sister [to me] and he’s like a little brother, you know?”
Leva noted that Craig has “big feelings,” but she confessed that he needs to have better “boundaries” when he speaks to others, especially her and Naomie.
“I also don’t like getting yelled at and I don’t think Naomie likes that either,” the Southern Charm: Leva Land star continued. “I don’t let my husband speak to me that way, [and I’m] as sure as hell I’m not gonna let Craig talk to me that way.”
Things escalated during the finale when Craig overheard Leva chatting with some of his Sewing Down South coworkers, many of whom she’s known for years. The Pillow Talk author crossed a boundary in Leva’s eyes when he yelled at her and eventually tried to kick her out of the event.
“I was really just going over there to have my own conversation and be like, ‘You know, I love you guys dearly. I don’t know what’s happening tonight … what’s [going on] between me and Craig is not — don’t take that personally,’” she recalled to Us about the incident. “I don’t know how that spiraled into something else, but it did.”
When the two did go head-to-head, Leva explained that Craig’s response was “not OK” with her. Amid the fight, the restauranteur recalled seeing some of her costars adding fuel to the fire, which is why she unfollowed many castmates on social media in December 2021.
“I’ve lost respect for some of the people who piled on, particularly the women. I’m not one to yell at women, like, I just don’t do it. So the ones that supported him and, like, clapped and stuff, I unfollowed those girls,” Leva told Us. “And then Austen [Kroll] did not clap, but I was just disappointed because I feel like Austen could have wrangled him in and he didn’t. He was quiet.”
The Bourbon N’ Bubbles co-owner revealed that not all of her friendships were affected by the party drama, pointing to Naomie, Olivia Flowers, Taylor Ann Green and Shep Rose as being among her allies. “I think they all have my back,” she said.
When it comes to Craig, specifically, the India native told Us that the finale “really changed the nature of the friendship.” Leva teased that fans will have to watch the season 8 reunion next month to see just how broken the dynamic between her and Craig has become.
She added that while she “rooted for Craig when he didn’t root for himself” and she does “really love that kid,” she felt disrespected at the holiday bash. Leva concluded that the “reunion’s very, very raw” and has “a lot of crying.”
Southern Charm’s two-part season 8 reunion airs on Bravo Thursday, October 6, at 9 p.m. ET and Thursday, October 13, at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi