‘People Think Me And Jason Are A Publicity Stunt’: Selling Sunset’s Chrisell On Her Post-Divorce Happy Place

‘It was a surprise. I don’t think either of us was each other’s type before this.’

Selling Sunset Chrishell Stause

by Bonnie McLaren |

We haven’t had a new series of property porn reality show Selling Sunset in over a year, yet this summer, a story from the centre of the hit Netflix show sent shockwaves rippling through its fans. No, it wasn’t that Davina Portraz still hasn’t sold that $75m house (though that is true), it was the news that Chrishell Stause and her boss, Jason, owner of The Oppenheim Group, are an item.

Taking inspiration from Jennifer Lopez – who confirmed she was back with Ben Affleck in a holiday post – Chrishell, 40, announced the news in a ‘photo dump’ on Instagram in July, captioned ‘the J-Lo effect’, while the pair were on holiday with the rest of the cast in Italy.

The pairing might have come as a shock to followers of the show, which returns to screens later this month, but Chrishell and Jason, 44, have been friends for years, and were dating for months before the news came out. ‘I wanted to feel like I could hold my boyfriend’s hand at dinner and not feel like I’m doing anything wrong,’ she tells Grazia, ‘or [have it come out] from some salacious place that looks like we’re hiding something we’re not proud of.’

Still, the real estate agent ‘didn’t expect’ to tell the world while they were on holiday, but she could ‘feel the walls closing in’ around their relationship. ‘Italy is one of the most romantic places in the world,’ she says wistfully. ‘So we were like: this is stupid. We’re not doing anything wrong, we’re so happy. Let’s just get it over with and tell people.’ She then jokes, ‘And not look at our phone for a long time.’

Many sceptics assumed the relationship was one big publicity stunt (co-star Christine Quinn previously told Grazia she wasn’t sure if it was the real deal) but, speaking on the phone from LA, Chrishell sounds happy and in love. ‘I knew that some people would think that,’ she says nonchalantly, ‘but the greatest part about being where I am in my life is that it doesn’t bother me.’

'We were like: this is stupid. We’re not doing anything wrong, we’re so happy. Let’s just get it over with and tell people.'

Regardless, this happy storyline is a huge contrast to last season, during which a devastated Chrishell claimed she found out via text that her then-husband, This Is Us actor Justin Hartley, was filing for divorce. When season three was set to be released, she found herself gearing up for ‘public humiliation'. 'It felt like a shameful thing and such a messy thing,’ Chrishell says. ‘And it was certainly not how I would have chosen to deal with anything private like that, but I felt like I was put in a position where I didn’t have much choice. I didn’t want to quit my job – one of the few things that I felt like I had left.’

But, she says, there was a silver lining – the public warmed to her and she was flooded with support. ‘The reaction was the opposite of what I was bracing for,’ she says. ‘It was a beautiful reaction of connection.’

The new series of Selling Sunset will bring with it the usual high-octane glamour, ludicrously expensive houses and cat fights. (On her feud with Christine, Chrishell admits, ‘I don’t think there’s anything I’ll ever do that Christine will approve of, and that’s old news at this point.’) Considering the show’s success, there will be a few celebrity clients too, although Chrishell actually can’t tell Grazia too much, as Netflix hasn’t allowed her to watch the final edit yet. She is ‘excited to watch’, however, in case producers caught the early stages of their relationship. ‘I’m curious if they caught anything before we knew [we’d end up together]... he really is my best friend,’ she says. ‘It was a surprise. I don’t think either of us was each other’s type before this.’

‘Selling Sunset’ season four is available on Netflix from 24 November. Chrishell’s book, ‘Under Construction’, is out next year

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