“It was a very drunken night,” Taylor, 28, explained to Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Thursday, September 14, addressing the rumor that she sent costar Whitney Sudler-Smith a nude photo following her breakup from Shep Rose in 2022.
She confirmed a sexy photo exchange transpired with Whitney, 55, telling the outlet, “I knew what Shep and Whitney had been up to the past few months, gallivanting around Charleston, trying to pick up girls and so, I did that to get under Shep’s skin.”
Taylor confessed the picture debacle was “very childish of me,” but noted that she is “owning it” and trying to move forward. “I’m not proud, but it was definitely a jab,” she added.
The nude rumor first made headlines last month when Whitney’s mom, Patricia Altschul, insinuated in the season 9 Southern Charm trailer that Taylor was getting close to multiple castmates. “Then there’s the nude photo she sent you,” Patricia, 82, said in the August clip, to which Whitney claimed, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
While Patricia didn’t directly identify Taylor as the sender, fans read between the lines. Earlier in the trailer, Taylor’s alleged hookup with another costar — Austen, 36, was brought to light.
Taylor insisted in the teaser that she “never” hooked up with Austen following his fall 2022 split from costar and friend Olivia Flowers. “Swear on my life,” Taylor told Olivia, 31, when she asked her point blank. Austen, however, teased in the video that “something happened” between him and Taylor.
The rumored fling will be featured heavily on season 9 of Southern Charm, which premieres on Thursday. Although news of the alleged hookup initially broke in March, Bravo’s Madison LeCroy exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month that she had an inkling about Austen and Taylor’s connection last fall.
“At the reunion, I was the first one to literally say, ‘This is what’s happening. Accept it or not, but they’re into each other,’” Madison, 32, explained to Us in September, referring to the cast’s season 8 reunion which aired in October 2022. “Why was Austen crying over Shep and Taylor’s drama back last year?”
Madison noted that when she saw Austen console Taylor at the reunion, she “knew” something was up. Despite having her suspicions, Madison “didn’t expect” Taylor to cross the line due to her close friendship with Olivia.
Fellow costar Venita Aspen exclusively told Us this month that she too was “in shock” when she first heard that Austen and Taylor were intimate. “Everyone was like, ‘Venita, how could you be so naive?’ And I was like, ‘I would’ve never thought that this could happen,’” she explained, noting that several of the Southern Charm stars were whispering about a possible hookup at the season 8 reunion.
“I was still like, ‘Whatever, they would never do that. Never,’” Venita, 29, added. “And I was in complete shock.”
Southern Charm premieres on Bravo Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.