Cedric Martinez appeared on season one of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as Lisa Vanderpump’s houseguest. Viewers were surprised to learn at the season one reunion that Lisa and Cedric had a huge falling out. Now, years later, Cedric is speaking out to Kate Casey on her podcast Reality Life.
Cedric explains that he had known Ken and Lisa for over a decade when he moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to help with the opening of Villa Blanca. He admits he was completely dependent on Lisa and Ken and was asked to be portrayed as a houseguest for RHOBH. “This was not real life – I worked 14 hours a day and I wasn’t getting paid,” he said, adding that he was like an unpaid personal assistant.
Prior to the show Cedric asserts that Ken and Lisa were like family to him. “She has a very generous spirit and a very generous heart and when she heard my story, she felt like she wanted to protect me,” he explained. “So she welcomed me into the family… It was wonderful.”
Lisa interviewed for RHOBH “without telling anyone,” according to Cedric, and also informed casting about her “gay houseguest,” Cedric. “It piqued the interest of production, so she got a call back and they insisted that we do the audition together at the house.” For a year they heard nothing. When they finally got word Lisa and Cedric “were barely on speaking terms.” But production wanted them both, so Lisa told a “white lie” that he was still living there. She then called Cedric and “apologized in her way” so he would agree to be part of the show.
Cedric reveals that their falling out was over his relationship with Lance Bass. He alleges Lance cheated and he broke up with Bass, but Lisa expected him to stay with Lance to promote the show. “I understand her thinking process because she has made a lot of sacrifices in her life and she chose a certain path over something else, and I wasn’t willing to do this.” Instead, Cedric started dating a Villa Blanca waiter, which Lisa didn’t approve of, he claims. “She was very controlling – very, very controlling. She has her hands on everything. And this is how she becomes a success. She’s very smart, so clever.”
Cedric also alleges Lisa tried to convince him to join the show to keep him quiet. “Before the show, I think, they felt threatened. Lisa, at the time, was a bit lonely,” says Cedric. “I’d been around her life for like 15, 16 years, so I became a confidante and she confided in me, and I was there for her and I loved her, and I still do. She kind of opened up a lot more and I found out a lot more stuff – a lot more than I thought. Any marriages have their struggles, any friendship has their struggles. I’ve never divulged anything private.”
“This is one thing about Ken and Lisa – despite whatever happened between them, they are an amazing team. They will stick together no matter what. Nothing could break them up. They have this force – and they will just crush anything that comes in front of them. And I was one of the casualties. I had seen that happen before with other friends of 30 year relationships, and her parents.”
Cedric says Lisa was “very anxious” about the show being successful to help grow their restaurant business. He claims Lisa plotted from the beginning to ensure the show’s success by creating scenarios, rehearsing lines and jokes, and digging for storylines. Lisa was “the director of season 1 – and she was amazing! And to be honest, and to be fair to her, it worked.”
“She used to Google all the girls and see what kind of dirt she could find on them, so this is how all those stories were being generated.” Cedric adds that “everybody was at it.”
“She’s an incredible woman. She’s smart, she’s so careful, she’s so rehearsed,” says Cedric. “She was so focused – it consumed anything and everything. There was no other conversation other than that.”
According to Cedric, Lisa “flipped” when she learned he was still dating the Villa Blanca waiter and demanded Cedric break up with him. “I had to,” Cedric insists, “because I was relying on them for a lot of things: shelter, a VISA, money – cause I wasn’t getting any, I was completely broke. I had nowhere to go – going back to London was just not an option. So she really had me under her thumb.”
Cedric also alleges that Lisa did not want him to “outshine” her on the show so halfway through season one she started concocting an exit strategy for him. He claims production reported that the storylines were stale and requested Lisa’s help boosting the drama so she requested he talk about his childhood more. When he tried to refuse, “She just went mad.” Finally he caved, sharing the story of “eating cat food” during a scene with Kyle and Lisa, even though he felt “so uncomfortable.”
Cedric insists he never lied. Apparently before s1 filmed Bravo, production, and their attorneys had a “conference call” with his former foster parents to verify that Cedric’s story was true “for legal reasons.” Court records were also provided to prove it, but none of this was shared with viewers.
Cedric says he is still in touch with some of the ladies from the show. “I’m not gonna say who on the show and they have since “seen Lisa’s “true colors” and see he was used then “tossed aside.”
“The producers are worth every penny they earn,” Cedric says. “They had this whole backstory without me knowing already figured out. Because I trusted her I thought this was going to be a lotta fun. And everybody was so nice. I had no reason to doubt.”
Cedric also shared some interesting information about the late Russell Armstrong. He says he was friends with Russell “off the show” and had “secret” lunches with Russell and Taylor after his issues with Lisa.
“The week before he hung himself he came to me, we were in Santa Monica, and he said, ‘Cedric – I don’t know what I’m gonna do – they’re coming after me like they came after you.’ But I did not hear what he was saying. He was scared.”
“In front of me he never touched Taylor. No one saw, that’s all what she said. Maybe he was not a perfect husband. Maybe he had his demons – we all do,” acknowledges Cedric. “Of all the things I’ve seen on the show, what they’ve done to Russell – all the women pushing him under the bus to the point that he had no other option to hang himself – that for me is something that I could never forgive!”
Cedric said his life was also in shambles after RHOBH. “It made my life so impossible. I was pushed so hard that I did try to OD. It was just too much. For me, after where I come from, and I loved them so much; I trusted them so much and after what happened nobody wanted to hire me. I was even talking to Days Of Our Lives – that went down the drain. I would get disinvited to carpets – which is not a big deal, it’s just what it represents. I could not get work in a restaurant. I had no money!”
Cedric has returned to London where he has a small close circle of friends along with a new lease on life and fame. He would love to have a conversation with Ken and Lisa “away from the cameras” to discuss everything that happened. “I know that they know that what they’ve done is wrong. I understand why they did what they did, and I’m not mad at them, and I do love them.”
Today Cedric works as a guest relationship manager for a global hospitality company. And he’s created a food-based game show, which has some agencies interested. “Nothing’s happened with it yet, but I’m very hopeful! I do love showbiz, I’m not gonna lie about it, but I want make the right decision. I don’t want to be famous without something to back it up.”
Wow! Do you believe Cedric? Comment below.
A special thank you to RealityTea for transcribing this podcast.
Photo Credit: Bravo