Summer House star Carl Radke had a lot on his mind when he was gearing up for BravoCon 2023 in Las Vegas. While he tells Rolling Stone he was “incredibly excited” to attend because he’s proud of his eight-season run on the Bravo reality series, he also had not publicly addressed his breakup from his ex-fiancé and fellow cast member Lindsay Hubbard.
After the two split over the summer while filming the most recent season, they hadn’t seen each other until sharing the stage at BravoCon.
“There’s a lot going on personally and I’m just trying to move forward with respect,” Carl explains to Rolling Stone. “I’m trying to really do what’s right for myself but at the end of the day, it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve been through.”
Carl broke his silence for the first time on Friday but Lindsay has been vocal about the couples’ split. Prior to BravoCon, Lindsay told Us Weekly that she was “humiliated” and “completely blindsided” by Carl. He ended their engagement months before their November 2023 wedding date was set. She also said that Carl “call[ed] up producers and then set up cameras to manipulate me into sitting down… after we’d already wrapped.”
From Carl’s perspective, though, he doesn’t think Lindsay should’ve been blindsided by their relationship ending. He says he and Lindsay entered couples therapy in November 2022 a few months after they were engaged “working on foundational things.” He also shares that over the summer he and Lindsay were not on the same page, which he believes was apparent to the rest of their castmates as well as producers — who are the ones who made the call to set up filming one last conversation between the two after their regular schedule already wrapped. Carl maintains he didn’t initiate calling producers to film a breakup scene.
“The way things were the last two weeks of filming, the way our Sunday, the last day went, I personally felt like I couldn’t believe that we ended like that. Producers also were like, there’s something more to pick up here,” Carl says. “I don’t decide what is being filmed on Summer House. We’re a Season Eight TV show that has a lot of moving parts. When a producer calls you on Tuesday and asks you if you’d be willing to film, you do.”
Carl adds that “it’s a very scary thing” for he and Lindsay to have walked away from “the same experience” with different interpretations of what actually happened.
“I don’t even know how Lindsey described what she said. I’m sorry that she feels blindsided but I think when people watch the season they will see the nuances of filming and all that. That’s not my choice or decision. I don’t call the shots on films. That’s a big conversation that has nothing to do with me,” he says. “I’m so glad that people are giving love to both of us because I feel like we both need it. Breakups are incredibly painful and difficult and I’m just glad that everybody’s supporting us both. It’s just a difficult situation.”
When the news first broke about Carl and Lindsay’s breakup, fans and viewers online were quick to compare the situation to Vanderpump Rules’ Scandoval since cameras allegedly were rolling while the couple split up, anticipating Bravo’s next major scandal between cast members in a relationship. As far as the comparison to Scandoval, Carl doesn’t see any similarities except for the fact that they were both two couples on reality TV.
“We were engaged. We were getting married. We had a date set. They were not engaged. I didn’t cheat on Lindsay. I did not have an affair. I’m not using hard drugs,” Carl says. “I feel like our relationship was just in a different space than Sandoval’s was but at the same time, because it’s Bravo, I do think there’s a huge appetite for another scandal.”
Carl did say that the breakup happening while filming for Summer House took place added “an element of excitement of the scandal,” since he says the camera crew was at their apartment when the news broke online.
“I hope people also realize on the other side of the scandal are human beings, people who are going through something in real time, and that’s very, very emotionally difficult,” he offers. “You have a lot of people weighing in about false or not truthful things going on in that situation.”
Many viewers turn to reality television — and specifically Bravo — for escapism; a break from the hardships and difficulties of their daily lives. The irony of the joy and entertainment shows like Summer House bring to fans, though, is that it comes at the expense of cast members who endure their own hardships on camera. Throughout his tenure on Bravo, Carl has lost his brother, gone through his sobriety journey, and has now publicly dealt with a breakup from his fiancé. Despite all of this, Carl says it feels gratifying to reach fans by sharing his own experiences onscreen.
“It is a weird dichotomy. I think there’s some beauty in it and I found that beauty after my brother passed because the connection that you can make with how many people you touch going through something so difficult and traumatic is overwhelming,” he says. “I’m so proud that I’m allowed and able to be open and vulnerable about a very difficult topic. That’s why I want to be a part of something so special because if I can make an impact and one person watches a Summer House episode who lost their brother, sibling, sister, or whoever and goes, ‘I’m less alone,’ that’s what it’s all about for me. So I will continue to come back to this program as long as they want me to be here.”
For Carl, there is a path forward to continue filming Summer House even though he and Lindsay are no longer together.
“I’ve been part of the show since day one,” Carl says. “I love that I’ve been able to evolve and grow and still be a part of it. Yes, it may look different in the future. But I also think it’s very relatable that a 38-year-old who started Summer House when he was 30 doesn’t drink anymore because he had a problem and watch that journey. I want to continue to grow in my life. I feel like I’m becoming my own individual.”
What would filming future seasons look like, exactly, if all of the cast members aren’t necessarily on the same page or even speaking terms? Carl reasons after this upcoming season airs it will be more feasible to figure out logistics and next steps.
A premiere date hasn’t been announced for the next season of Summer House on Bravo. While it won’t be easy for Carl to watch, he says he’s always watched the episodes from every season because he wants to learn and grow. This time around, he’s hopeful this season “will offer some clarity.”
“It’s a very weird way to do therapy,” he says. “It’ll offer maybe some peace and closure and also reflecting. Are there things that I wish I would have done differently or handled differently? I’m sure. I’m always willing to learn and try to grow and understand my mistakes. I’m a human being. Was I perfect? No, I’m not. But I’m really proud of how I showed up for Lindsay and the relationship.”