Kristin Cavallari's ex-BFF Kelly Henderson says Jay Cutler cheating rumors were a setup

Kristin Cavallari’s ex-BFF Kelly Henderson has no plans to make up with the star — now or ever.

Henderson — a fixture on Very Cavallari the first two seasons, but also the target of gossip after viewers speculated she had an affair with Cavallari’s husband, Jay Cutler — spoke about their falling out in an interview on podcast Behind the Velvet Rope, hosted by David Yontef. She also weighed in on Cavallari and Cutler’s divorce, calling the day of the announcement “one of the worst days of my life,” due to being branded a “home wrecker” and getting “death threats” as a result.

Kelly Henderson with Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler in 2018. (Photo:  Kelly Henderson via Instagram)
Kelly Henderson with Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler in 2018. (Photo: Kelly Henderson via Instagram)

Asked about the rumors of an affair, the celebrity stylist said, “Let’s pause there,” before saying, “There really weren’t any rumors — just a couple of trolls on Instagram and a couple of trolls on Twitter.”

However, when the online gossip popped up, Henderson said Cavallari — a close friend of eight years — advised her “not to address” the speculation, because if she did, it would “make it a story” when it “wasn’t true.” So Henderson didn’t say anything. And then, to Henderson’s surprise, she said Cavallari suddenly became upset with her for not denying it — with Cavallari later telling the press was an attempt for Henderson to “get attention” and use the situation for “personal gain.”

Henderson blamed another E! TV scandal — on Keeping Up With the Kardashians — at the time for making social media speculate that she was making a play for her best friend’s man.

“Our season aired right after the Jordyn Woods, Khloé Kardashian [and Tristan Thompson] scandal... so I think that was already in people’s heads,” she said. “And Jay and I were really close, but more in a brother/sister, I'm gonna f*** with you, you f*** with me like joking. We knew how to push each other’s buttons kinda way, ‘cause we’ve known each other for a really long time,” having been friends years before she ever met Cavallari. ”And we know how to make each other laugh. That was literally it. Some people decided they thought that was flirting. But it wasn’t and there has never been anything remotely close to that kind of stuff.”

Henderson called the whole thing an instance of people “wanting to make something into something it’s not for the drama of it.” And as someone who had been cheated on in her life, she would never be the other woman — especially with her best friend. Asked if she thought it was producers drumming up drama to make the show more interesting, she said, “I didn’t at the time, but now I wouldn’t put it past anybody. I don’t trust any of them anymore, so...”

Henderson said she had no clue there were any issues with Cavallari until the week before Season 3 started shooting. She got a text indicating that Cavallari was upset with the way she handled the Cutler rumors.

“I was told it was a huge issue” and that Cavallari “had been mad at me for months,” said Henderson. She tried to call her friend directly to “make it right,” but was met with “unwillingness” to talk. She was left “completely shocked.”

Henderson added, “Honestly, can I tell you the truth, I still am. I still don’t understand. I’m still shocked. I’m still shocked by some of the press stuff I see her saying. The whole thing is shocking to me. I don’t understand it.”

Despite the rift, Henderson started to shoot Season 3, but after shooting once, she realized she was being “set up.” So I was like, “I can’t do this again, they’re gonna to totally f*** me,” which she said “they did anyway” by editing what she said to make her look bad.

“They’re never going to make her look bad,” she said of Cavallari, whose name was on the show and who served as executive producer, “so they have to have someone else to throw under the bus.”

Asked if she thought it was a “total setup,” she replied, “I do.”

Henderson said the whole thing hurt because, “Kristin and I were real friends. This wasn’t a fabricated thing for a reality TV show... I was super upset... I felt very betrayed.” And her attempts to sit down and discuss it off-camera and in-person were rebuffed by Cavallari.

She also slammed Cavallari for calling her a “social climber, or whatever she accused me of,” saying she already had a celebrity clientele before being on the show, which she was conflicted about doing from the start.

Henderson said that when Cavallari and Cutler announced their split early in the pandemic, it was “one of the worst days of my life” because it just dragged her back into the saga she had worked to put behind her.

“I was getting hit up by every tabloid,” she recalled. “It’s like running on Good Morning America that I’m a f****** home wrecker — as I’m sitting next to my boyfriend and his two kids trying to quarantine... It was devastating to me. It was awful.” She also claimed she received “death threats” over it.

Henderson said luckily her real friends helped her get through the terrible time — and it seems she’s washed her hands of Cavallari and Cutler. Asked what she would say if she bumped into Cavallari, she said, “Nothing. I have nothing to say.”

And she wouldn’t take her back as a friend because, “I don’t trust her at this point... I’m still pretty angry, and there’s been some interviews she’s done lately that have been really frustrating to me… I had heard some stuff and I’m just like: ‘Why? Just leave me alone at this point,’” said Henderson, who hasn’t given interviews about it.

She added, “I don’t really have any desire to bring her back into my circle.”

As for the ex-NFL player, she hasn’t spoken to him and has “no idea” what he thinks her role in any of the drama was and doesn’t really care.

However, she added, “It actually makes me really sad — two really long-term friendships that got broken up over a stupid TV show.”

Cavallari and Cutler announced they are divorcing in April. While it was initially bitter, the pair has smoothed things over for the sake of their three children and reunited over the weekend to spend Halloween with the kids.

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Halloween 2020

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Very Cavallari ended with the couple’s divorce. The show’s third season ended in March, and after their split it was announced that there would be no fourth season.

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