Lisa Vanderpump has a long history with former friend/houseguest Cedric Martinez, and now he’s giving his side of the story regarding their bitter falling out. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans may remember Cedric from the first season of the show. He was like a family member to Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken Todd until they blacklisted him after alleging that he lied about his background.
In an interview on the Reality Life With Kate Casey podcast, Martinez revealed that he knew Lisa and her husband for more than 10 years before they brought him in to assist with the opening of their high-end Beverly Hills restaurant, Villa Blanca, in 2009. According to Cedric, he worked as an unpaid personal assistant and sometime waiter for Vanderpump for the year and a half that he lived with her, despite the fact that he was portrayed as a freeloader on the Bravo reality show.
“This was not real life – I worked 14 hours a day and I wasn’t getting paid,” Martinez said.
— All About The Tea (@AllAboutTheTea_) January 25, 2017
While he had some kind words about his relationship with Lisa Vanderpump early on, saying she was “like family” to him, Martinez said Vanderpump manipulated their already fractured friendship when RHOBH came calling.
According to Cedric, Vanderpump secretly interviewed to be cast on Bravo’s RHOBH and mentioned that she had a “gay houseguest” living with her, which intrigued casting directors. Vanderpump and Martinez auditioned for the show together at her house, but by the time RHOBH producers decided to move forward with them, the two had a falling out over Martinez’ breakup with singer Lance Bass.
According to Cedric, he and Lisa “were barely on speaking terms” because Lisa allegedly expected him to stay with Bass to promote Villa Blanca. But Vanderpump told RHOBH producers that he was still living with her, then later called her former houseguest and “apologized in her way” so he would be on the show.
Martinez says things came to a head after Lisa Vanderpump “flipped” when she found out he was dating another waiter at Villa Blanca and demanded that he break up with him.
“She was very controlling – very, very controlling,” he said of Vanderpump.
“She has her hands on everything. I had to [break up with him] because I was relying on them for a lot of things: shelter, a VISA, money – because 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.”
Still, Martinez said he was Lisa Vanderpump’s biggest confidant back in the day.
“[Lisa] kind of opened up a lot more and I found out a lot more stuff – a lot more than I thought,” he said. “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 said Lisa was heavily involved in RHOBH in Season 1, revealing she scripted her own scenarios and came up with her famous one-liners and zingers ahead of time, even Googling the other cast members to find dirt on them. But things reportedly took another turn when Vanderpump started demanding that Cedric created drama by talking about his troubled childhood on camera. Martinez has said that he is the abandoned son of a prostitute and that he grew up in foster care.
Martinez said that Vanderpump planned “all along” to claim he lied about his younger days so he could live large in L.A. and later allege he tried to extort her when she asked him to move out of her house. There were even rumors that Vanderpump had him deported.
— celebeat (@CelebeatCom) February 27, 2014
According to Us Weekly, in 2011, Vanderpump’s husband said Martinez tried to blackmail the couple by threatening to sell stories about them to magazines and that he even hinted that he could get violent.
“I will sue if he sells any stories about me,” Vanderpump told Us at the time. “I feel absolutely betrayed.”
In a live chat with the Los Angeles Times, Lisa Vanderpump previously said that, despite multiple warnings, she never doubted her longtime friend’s sincerity until the very end.
“I must be stupid but everybody warned me,” Lisa revealed.
In the new interview, Martinez said after he very publicly parted ways with Vanderpump his life was a mess and he even attempted to overdose.
“It was just too much,” he said. “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 would get disinvited to carpets… I could not get work in a restaurant. I had no money!”
Despite all the bad blood, Martinez said he would be open to talking to Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd “away from the cameras” to hash things out.
“I know that they know that what they’ve done is wrong,” he said. “I understand why they did what they did, and I’m not mad at them, and I do love them.”
Take a look at the video below to see Lisa Vanderpump talking about her fractured friendship.
[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for The Trevor Project]