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iRealHousewives Exclusive Interview with Slade Smiley

Slade Smiley came into our TV screens back in 2006 when Season 1 of “The Real Housewives of OC” premiered. Slade has been labeled at times as a Housewife Hunter and also as the 6th OC housewife. Slade talks about RHOC drama, behind the scene secrets, Date My Ex: Jo & Slade, his relationship with Gretchen, his career and the success of his lastest new gig, “Radio Slade” exclusively to iRealHousewives

iRH: Hi Slade. Welcome to iRealHousewives, how are you?

SS: Just fine thank you.  How are you?

iRH: Congratulation on your success of Radio Slade.

SS: Thank you very much, I appreciate that

RH: How were you approached to do Radio?

SS: I was approached to do radio by an individual that happened to be at improv show that Gretchen and I did. They were in the process of hiring a mid-day drive person and they wanted to talk to comedians.

iRH: Speaking of the comedy show, do you still plan to do comedy stand up in the future?

SS: Yes absolutely, Gretchen and I already played in Ontario & Brea in California, and we hosted in Gotham Comedy Club in New York.

iRH: Do you plan to do a Comedy Improve Tour in the future?

SS: Yeah, that’s the plan. Once the radio show is up and going we plan to finalizing our show and add to it, and then get going on tour with it.

iRH: What do you enjoy the most Slade, doing reality TV or radio?

SS: oh!  It’s way more fun doing reality TV (laughs), no I’m kidding, I’m being facetious 

iRH: I know you are (laughs)

SS: The radio is the best, it really is, a lot of fun, because there are skits and bits you can work out on air, it’s almost like building a comedy routine for my listeners, it’s a great proving ground for ultimately what I want to do.

iRH: Besides radio and TV I know you manage your consulting company, are you still working on that

SS: I am, but the consulting company is an entertainment based media company, so we consult with magazines, Film and TV producers. I arrange with celebrities for the magazine covers and then I can pull them into other media to do commercials, television film or even be interviewed by amazing Radio Personalities. It’s still all in the same space

iRH: Let’s go back to Season1 of the RHOC, how were you and Jo approached to do the show?

SS: Well the truth of the matter is, there’s a gentleman who created the series, Scott Dunlop who was one of my neighbors and I was participating in an event taking place in the neighborhood where one of the homeowners had just been diagnosed with brain cancer. We had a charity event to help support him and his family, and in the process of doing that I was introduced to Scott and he had mentioned he was producing a new comedic television show called “Behind the Gates.” The show was supposed to be about a wealthy yet eccentric group of individuals who live in a very large gated community and that project was ultimately converted into was it is now “The Real Housewives of Orange County”.

We initially started as an improvisational comedy and Bravo & NBC bought the comedy and then several months into filming they changed the format and they decided to make it into a Docu-drama.  

iRH: At that time when you were dating Jo, do you think “reality TV” had anything to do with ending your relationship with her?

SS: I don’t think reality TV was to blame; I believe that Jo felt that she was a little more may popular maybe than she was, or felt that now the door has been open for her into entertainment that she was going to ride off into the sunset and become some big star, and I don’t think she realizes how much time and work is required to solidify yourself in entertainment. We see celebrities all day long that pop up on our screens and we go wow “they are so lucky. They are big star because they were in this big film”; well usually those actors have been around for 20 years working on projects and working in film and television on shows we’ve probably never seen. They’ve been there working diligently, so I think that was a big mistake on her part. She believed she was bigger than “The Real Housewives” and unfortunately for her, that’s not the case.

iRH: I know you and Jo were the first ones to have the first “Housewives” spin off show called “Date My Ex: Jo and Slade”. How was your experience on that show compared to RHOC?

SS: (Laughs) That was definitely a different experience because the concept of that show was developed together by myself, Scott Dunlop and our production company. What people don’t know was that I was approached to be “The Bachelor” when ABC approached Bravo. Bravo didn’t want to let me out of my agreement, they felt they were better off keeping me as their talent and they were not going to let me go.  We sat down and decided to create what they felt was their version of “The Real Bachelorette” and that’s why they created the spin off show. It was kind of their version of a Bachelor type format. We were actually bound to Bravo under contract and I was not going to be allowed to work for ABC.

iRH: Do you still keep in contact with Jo?

SS: We’ve exchanged a couple text messages but I don’t keep in direct contact with her.  Actually, Bravo wanted to do a second season of “Date My Ex: Jo & Slade”, and they were going to green light the show but Jo was unwilling to cooperate. She had me help her find a guy, but she was unwilling to participate to help me find a girl. (Typical of our relationship, it was about her) and that was the only reason why Bravo decided not to bring the show back.

As a matter in fact you should go to my Radio Slade web page on and all of my previous interviews are posted there, I recently interviewed Andy Cohen and he spoke about “Date My Ex”.

iRH: Speaking of that interview with Andy Cohen, I listened to the interview and I found it interesting when he mentioned it, he believed if “Date My Ex” would of aired on a different network, it would have worked. Do you agree with him?

SS: I do agree with him. It probably would have worked. People were very interested in the drama that happened in the house, not to mention having to deal with an ex. That’s good TV.  You know what, we all have an ex. You have exes'; I had exes' and how many times have you been with someone or dated someone and you’re at a restaurant and you see your ex with someone else or you bump into them at a party, is something everyone is forced to deal with. It Made “Date My Ex” relatable. Their concept was good but Bravo is known for. Four primary categories, they are food, fashion, design and pop culture and every show they create whether it’s Top Chef or Project Runway, they all have a format that fits the network. They all have to focus on food, fashion or design. Housewives has become a pop culture icon which is why it’s still there.  So if you look at their programming, that’s the fame in which they’re focusing, and Date My Ex is something that doesn’t fit into one of those categories. Andy is right, and Andy is right about most things, so if it would have been on another network, it would have done very well.

iRH: You and Gretchen were friends for many years before you guys started dating. Do you think being friends before has helped the relationship?

SS: Yes. We had a 10 year friendship prior to, and that has been the best foundation you can imagine in having a romantic relationship and she really is my best friend because of that. I love the romance and the sexual aspect of the relationship, but that’s just the icing.   I mean Gretchen and I enjoy each other’s company so much that we hate being apart and you know, you can have sexual contact with anyone but really how long is that going to last? 45 minutes to an hour? For us, it is about the other 23 hours of the day that you need to be concerned with.  When you’re in a relationship with someone that you adore in every aspect (mentally, physically and emotionally) basically any other way but sex, chances are your going to have a pretty good relationship for a very very long time and that is exactly what Gretchen and I are looking for.

iRH: So the big question Slade, who made the first move, you or Gretchen?

SS: Definitely me, Oh yeah, I would say it was totally me. Honestly, I have to say the way it happened it was a very organic thing.  When Jeff became sick, Gretchen had called because she knew my son had been struggling with brain cancer and I’ve been dealing with cancer for quit sometime since Grayson was 5, so we had a lot of conversations about his condition and diagnoses to what should happen.

After he passed, Gretchen was devastated. We stayed in contact for about 7 months and I felt like I needed to talk to her weekly to see how everything was going just because of our friendship.   I was just trying to be supportive in what she was going through. And it was about 9 months after, that she finally called and she said “Hey, I really need to ask your help, I have this business meeting and I’m trying to get myself back on my feet, I don’t have Jeff going with me anymore. Normally he will be present in a lot of these meetings but I really need someone’s support on the business side of things. Would you come down and meet with me?” I was living in LA at the time and I said “Sure” so I went down to meet her and we took a couple of appointments with business partners and we started working together on some of her projects and I it was at that time when things were changing between us. I don’t think we would of ever looked at each other in a romantic way, cause we had always been friends. I was dating but technically single for about 2 years at that time. It had been about 9 months I think that she was without Jeff and something just changed in our relationship and we’ve been together ever since and it’s been 4 years now.

iRH: How do you handle the negative attention you have received which ultimately people attack you as a person, as a father and as a boyfriend due to editing and comments made by your cast members of RHOC?  

SS: Well that is the hardest part that we have to deal with. I mean, I guess you just have to realize they are making a show. Production responses will always be “We cannot control what cast members say about other cast members”, even though production knows that every penny I made from Housewives, I forward to my son. When I will call them saying “Do you know you are empowering the cast to be able to lie and say derogatory things about me as a person” and they say “we are not a news organization, we are not making news, we are making a reality show” and they need that controversy. It is very difficult when you’re the one being vilified by them, but Gretchen and I always talk about this too. We are just honest and true to the core of things, no matter how much we believe they edited or they stop a portion of the conversation.  If they let the scenes play out, in time ultimately who you are as a person is going to come out and I think by now after 6 or 7 years, people will see who I am as a person.

They all seem to have forgotten that I adore my children, and that I went after full custody and they were living with me at that time we filmed the first 2 season of the show. There is a reason Jo and I ended our relationship, it was because she still wanted to party and I wanted her to be at home with my kids. So for people to now switch it around and say “oh, he doesn’t take care of his kids” I mean who just turns off loving their kids? It doesn’t work like that.

iRH: Speaking of your children, can you give us a update on how Grayson is doing?

SS: He’s unfortunately is still struggling with his condition (Diffuse Fibrillary Astrocytoma) and has to have ongoing surgery; I may have to travel with him within the next week or so to see some more specialists. Having a rare form of cancer that it’s non-curable, he hasn’t been given a great prognosis; unfortunately we struggle with that every day.

iRH: Is there a charity or foundation that my readers can donate to a foundation for Grayson or a similar charity that you support?

SS: The Beckstrand Cancer Foundation is someone we are working with, and I appreciate you asking this question. They are located in Newport Beach, California; The Beckstrand Cancer Foundation is an organization that helps support families who have a cancer patient within the family. They support all the expenses, the cost and all the steps for chemotherapy. If you get sick and you can’t work, they will pay your mortgage for you while you get back on your feet or if you’re going to start chemo and your insurance is not covering the cost of your expenses or medications, they will help you cover these expenses. They are a great organization; the face of the organization is Eva La Rue from CSI Miami.  There are  alot of celebrities that support this foundation because of the amazing amazing work they do.  The foundations director Lil Spitzer is amazing.

iRH: I believe this season was your redemption and Bravo finally decided to give you a good edit, which you deserve this season, would you agree?

SS: They definitely showed more of who I am as a person for sure.

iRH: What are your thoughts on the latest 20/20 Segment on Brooks Ayers and Vicki?

SS: Unfortunately, I really don’t know much about what the truth is on this particular subject. I can tell you that Gretchen and I went out of our way to be very authentic and real and we were never hiding the fact that I was having these conflicts and issues, Vicki hasn’t been honest obviously since day 1. Since we have been on this show, she was pretending she was in this loving relationship with Donn, she faked the renewal of the wedding, and all while she was exchanging text messages with Brooks. I just don’t find her in that relationship to be really that authentic. I don’t know who to believe. He is saying “I’m all caught up with my Child Support”, then if that’s the case then why is his ex going on 20/20 and saying he’s not? Because organizations like 20/20 have access to public records, so if you’re not paying, the deficiency in what you owe that’s going to show. You know Gretchen and I just choose not to really communicate with them. We really don’t want to be involved in whatever shenanigans they’re into.  I mean Brooks seems like a nice guy but there’s also some shadiness that goes on, so I don’t know. I don’t know what to say about that relationship.

iRH: During the “Lost Footage” episode we watched you and Tamra meet and you two made amends, was it awkward for you to watch this scene?

SS: Very awkward (laughs). But seriously here’s the thing; I’ll give Tamra some major credit because we are still trying to get to know each other. Tamra apologized on multiple occasions both on and off the camera, so it wasn’t just something Tamra was doing for filming purposes which I totally appreciate. The other thing is that Tamra has stuck to her word; she’s been very sincere in her friendship with Gretchen. Gretchen truly enjoys the relationship that they are building, I think Eddie is a great guy. I’ve spent the weekends with him on some occasions and we go out for a bike ride with a group of cyclist and I find Eddie to be a very sincere guy as well.  So our whole thing is that Tamra has really stuck to her word. She realized what she said before was wrong, she admitted to being influenced by outside forces, she never verified the information, she realized how damaging it was, and she has really apologized for that and from that point forward, she has been a really good friend to Gretchen and I

iRH: I’m glad to see that almost everyone is getting along now, don’t you think?

SS: I know right? And I kind of want to speak of Jim and Alexis. Gretchen and I don’t wish them any ill will and we wish them all the best in whatever they choose to do. Our challenge has always been the fact that we never heard the true story. Their stories always change so when you say one thing and then you do something else, when you profess something to me, and then it’s completely different what Alexis has professed to Gretchen, it just gets very exhausting to try to maintain that friendship. I know Jim has recently done a video saying that “I’ve done so much for Slade, I’ve often donated money”. Well first off, I question what he has done for me. We were always friendly, and he certainly offered to donate funds should the network (Bravo) be interested in bringing him to the reunion show but the truth of the matter is, the network rescinded their offer and confirmed he was not coming to the reunion so your offering to donate money you never received. So why are you bringing it up? You didn’t donate money, it was a nice gester for Jim to offer to donate money that he never got, but that doesn’t really do anything for anyone. I don’t know if you have seen the video I’m talking about, that doesn’t make sense to me. The bottom line is he said he donated money, which he didn’t.

Bravo didn’t offer you the money; he didn’t get paid to come and do the show, so the fact that you offered that is pointless.  After Bravo decided to not bring Jim in last year for the reunion show, he responded by saying “If you hire me to come I will donate the money”. Bravo said “No thank you”.

iRH: So going back to RadioSlade, any surprises that we can expect in the near future?

SS: For radio, I just see the show expanding with great numbers. Our numbers are increasing weekly, and I have been blessed with great guests. I’m really appreciative everyone that has come on to the radio show; from Bob Sagot to Alex Kurtzsman to Andy Cohen. We have a lot of celebrity guests lined up that will coming on air in the next several months. People are really taking about the show. We are getting great sponsors, sponsoring the radio station so it’s just going to get bigger and bigger. So the next thing we are going to do is get syndicated across the country. 

iRH: I’m actually happy for you, I actually tweeted you and suggested to have Mary Amos from RHODC as a guest on RadioSlade to promote her charities Labels of Love and Love Not Label, so I wanted to say thank you for taking my request and making it happen, this showcases you do pay attention to the fans.

SS: Of course, of course!!  It was our pleasure!

iRH: What was your first reaction when you heard Gretchen’s song “Unbreakable” which she did inspired by your son Grayson?

SS: Well I will tell you this, obviously it’s a very humbling thing to have her embrace Grayson’s condition which is amazing to me.  Most people disappear when people get sick.  Gretchen tackles life’s challenges head on, but secondly to have her write this song and use it as an inspiration to others was brilliant because it has empowered so many people. I came home, the first day Ryan Seacrest did the world premiere of the single on his morning radio how Kiss FM, Gretchen was on the ground in the bedroom leaning by the dresser and she was crying, and I said “what’s wrong?” and she goes “I got nearly 2,000 tweets the last hour after Seascrest aired my song and there’s not a single bad tweet”. She spends a lot of her time dealing with people making gross accusations or saying negative things; To her on Twitter or Facebook which it shouldn’t be about, and during the “Unbreakable” release not one person said anything bad. They were all very sweet, very supportive, and now on a daily basis we see videos from people who taped their kids dancing to “Unbreakable “ or Military Service people saying “we want to use this song in our wedding” or “I wrapped my daughter to bed with my husband’s t-shit because he’s in Iraq and we listen to “Unbreakable “ right before we go to sleep”. I mean just the messages of support we get for that song has inspired a lot of people…its incredible and that’s why she wants to keep making music.

iRH: I must say Gretchen did an amazing job. I love Unbreakable. It has a great message and it’s a great dance track as well.

SS: There’s actually 7 new mixes coming. Most importantly besides her vocals, she’s a very talented writer and she loves writing. Her goal really is to have other artist sing her music. I mean she’s the first one to tell you that “I don’t have the greatest vocals in the world, I’m not trying to be the next Christina Aguilera”. She really loves to write and that’s where the talent really comes from.  We had to talk her into singing the songs that she’s singing, because she really feels that it could be done better by other artist with better vocals but, she’s very passionate about writing and creating this content and if this continues inspire people,  I’m going to do whatever I can to support her 

iRH: Any word on Season 8?

SS: I will tell you that, I’m pretty confident that it’s going to happen. The numbers of the show were up some 20 percent, and being its seventh season, I hear the network is beyond ecstatic.

iRH: One last thing before you leave, what would you like to say to your fans?
SS: I just want to tell them, thank you for their support of “Radio Slade”, and their support of RHOC and Gretchen, and you know… we love that we can entertain people to a certain degree and we hope by the time it’s all over, you will have come to realize who we truly are as people.  We wish everyone the very best and thank you for allowing us to coming into your homes and entertain you. 

Stay Connected With Slade
Tune in to Radio Slade at or use Live 365 Phone App, Search Keyword: Playlist

Follow Slade on Twitter: @SladeSmiley

Like Radio Slade on Facebook:

Visit Slade's page:

Visit “The Beckstrand Cancer Foundation” for more information regarding this charity and make a donation here:, Like their Facebook Page here: Beckstrand Cancer Foundation | Facebook and follow them on Twitter @beckstrand

Join Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley on a very special event on September 23, 2012 from 7pm-10pm for the Magic of Giving, benefiting Beckstrand Cancer Foundation for more information visit and purchase your tickets. Also follow @VictorPaulSalon on Twitter. See Flyer below:

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