If you’re worried about “Southern Charm” star and Hilton Head Island native Shep Rose’s partying, don’t be, he said in an interview this week with Bravo’s The Daily Dish.
He’s the same person he’s always been and the same person he will continue to be.
The problem, he says, is that this season he allowed viewers into his life more than ever and they got to see a lot more of that person “warts and all.” Unfortunately, his openness appears to have backfired with what he describes as a “piling on” of fans’ opinions and he’s received far more criticism than ever before.
It also appears to have had an effect on his friends and family, who haven’t enjoyed his portrayal on the show these past few months, he said in a Tweet to a fan Monday.
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“You have a million people watching you now,” he told me at a brunch in Charleston last month celebrating the show’s fourth-season finale, where we discussed public perception and how it affects individual cast members, including himself. “There’s more scrutiny, and you have to think about that.”
On the show and in real life, Shep is generally affable, self-possessed, gracious and kind — he is also often described as a bon vivant — but in this past season his grumpier and sometimes less forgiving moments were captured. He mercilessly picked on his friend and fellow cast member Craig Conover. He tried to kiss the woman that another cast member was seeing. And he drank ... a lot.
It is this drinking that has had some fans worried, Twitter critics judging and his cast members staging mini-interventions in the way of speaking their piece when the on-air opportunities to do so arise.
During the season, he had a drinking-related health scare and tried sobriety for a little while just to see if he could do it. He also had his BFF and real estate agent Cameran Eubanks on the hunt for a beach house he could buy that would put him far away from the temptation of late-night parties in Charleston.
There’s no denying it, the guy likes to have a good time and for those around him to have a good time.
When it comes to his on-screen persona, Shep, whose own show, “RelationShep,” premieres this fall on Bravo, has typically held himself to a higher standard than most reality stars in terms of accountability and authenticity. And while he acknowledges that editing can influence how each cast member is perceived by the audience, he has often been quoted as saying variations of “Yes, I did the thing you saw.”
In the interview with The Daily Dish, he said, “Everybody gets their turn to be the villain. Or, I hope that’s not, I hope I’m not the villain.”
Though he hasn’t hidden from the facts, this season he did seem slower to come around to his friends’ assessments of his behavior. And during Monday night’s “Watch What Happens Live” with a seemingly concerned Andy Cohen, Shep became unusually defensive, claiming to have been “doing this” for 37 years, which is his exact age now.
“I’m a fun-loving guy,” he tried to explain to Cohen and “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Tamra Judge.
But he is not fully in denial.
On part one of the reunion episode, Shep said, “I hate that I don’t have self-control. I hate that after a few beers everything sounds like a good idea.”
And on part two, which airs at 8 p.m. July 17 on Bravo, he’ll have to answer to accusations that he’s an alcoholic.
For a preview of next week’s episode, see the video below. For my recaps of season 4, click here.