One office, so much shade.
In Elite Daily’s It’s Complicated series, we dissect the biggest celebrity drama to find out what happened in front of the camera, behind the scenes, and everywhere in between. In this piece, we unpack all the reasons why Christine Quinn’s relationship with her Selling Sunset cast members is so contentious.
When Season 4 of Selling Sunset hit Netflix on Nov. 24, it quickly became evident the drama had reached a new threshold. While there’s never a shortage of petty action at the Oppenheim Group — the cutthroat real estate brokerage the show is centered around — this season in particular felt more intense. Christine Quinn’s beef with the rest of the Selling Sunset cast was put on full display, and proved old habits are hard to break. Her murky past of shading her fellow cast members reared its ugly head this season and made for one heck of a rollercoaster viewing experience.
So what set Season 4 apart from previous ones? There we so many factors. In Episode 1, a then-pregnant Christine is first seen embracing maternity while trying to squash the beef she had with several agents. Despite her efforts, she was unable to forget the past, especially with Emma Hernan. When the Selling Sunset newcomer entered the picture, Christine was immediately reminded of some painful memories. As it turns out, sharing an ex with a co-worker doesn’t exactly make for a peaceful workplace. Her years-long friendship with Mary Fitzgerald also completely bit the dust, as did her relationships with pretty much all of her other co-stars.
Whether you’ve yet to watch Season 4, or just need a refresher, here’s a roadmap to all the drama.
Christine Quinn Versus Chrishell Stause
Arguably the most drama-filled relationship of all was that between Christine and Chrishell Stause. The two went from enemies to frenemies in earlier seasons of the show, but their bad blood was boiling extra hot in Season 4, when Chrishell insinuated Christine had planted false rumors about her in the press.
“Christine definitely tried to spread rumors and lies, the likes of which would ruin someone. And so to me, that’s so far beyond, ‘You’re a b*tch, I hate your dress.’ That just crosses a boundary that there really is no coming back from,” Chrishell said during a monologue on the show. When Oppenheim’s co-owner, Jason, held a party in the final episode of Season 4, the drama between Chrishell and Christine exploded. Chrishell confronted Christine and was ultimately looking for an apology, but Christine left the bash without giving her one.
It turns out, there was even more drama that happened offscreen. During a Dec. 5 interview with Vulture, Chrishell alleged that false rumors about her relationship with her ex-husband, Justin Hartley, were actually planted by Christine. “[Christine] tried to plant a false story when I was going through my divorce and I had to have both sides confirm that it wasn't true and then threaten legal action," Chrishell told Vulture.
She continued, “[The rumor was] that I was hooking up with someone. Both parties knew that is not what happened ... [the producers on Selling Sunset] had to pull it [from the show’s storyline], but to try and even put that out there at a time where everybody was wondering what happened, and I lost my mom — to me that's so below the belt." (Elite Daily previously reached out to a rep for Christine to comment on Chrishell’s quotes, but didn’t hear back in time for publication.)
According to Chrishell, the fabricated stories from Christine didn’t stop there. "[Christine] did it again recently, trying to say that me and Jason [Oppenheim] were happening before [we actually were], and it's just not true," Chrishell said. "You can understand how that really could take someone down and ruin them when everyone on the internet is trying to figure out what happened. She takes it as an opportunity to fill in some blanks that were blatantly untrue. It was many steps too far for me." (Elite Daily included these quotes in its request for comment from Christine’s team, too, but didn’t hear back.)
Christine Quinn Versus Mary Fitzgerald
Mary and Christine were best friends for years, and in the earlier seasons of Selling Sunset, their special bond was displayed onscreen. However, their friendship unraveled as Mary became closer with other agents in the office, particularly Chrishell, who Christine had issues with from Season 1, Episode 1. By the end of Season 4, Mary had become especially close to Chrishell and Emma, whom Christine repeatedly voiced her disdain for several times throughout Season 4.
“Mary and I were really, really, really, close,” Christine told new Selling Sunset cast member Vanessa Villela in Season 4, Episode 2. “We were really good friends. And then Chrishell joined the brokerage. Needless to say, our dynamic changed a little bit. I felt like her [sic] and Chrishell got really close, and then we got to a point where these cliques started forming where I wasn’t invited to things.”
But it wasn’t just Chrishell who drove a wedge between Mary and Christine. Mary’s friendship with Emma also fanned the flame, since Emma shares an ex with Christine. The kicker? There was some overlap between their relationships (more on that later). “I wasn’t aware that Mary continued her friendship with Emma after the cheating came out,” Christine said. “That was really surprising to me, so it just feels like another betrayal.”
In an interview with Showbiz Cheatsheet, Mary opened up about never knowing whether to try to make amends with Christine, or to finally let their friendship go.
“In the beginning [of Season 4], you’re going to see me kind of battling my feelings about it because I don’t want to give up on her,” Fitzgerald told Showbiz in November 2021. “I want my old friend back, but the things she keeps doing and the comments she makes to press and what she’s doing to all of my friends, I’m just like… I can’t have someone in my life like that.”
Christine Quinn Versus Heather Rae El Moussa
Heather Rae El Moussa and Christine were also besties once upon a time, but are far from it after everything that went down in Season 4. Heather accused Christine of talking negatively about her relationship with Tarek El Moussa to the press, and their friendship was never the same. In a July 2020 interview with The Sun, Christine called their romance “ridiculous.”
During Season 4, Christine continued her criticism of Heather, saying she thought Heather wasn’t a loyal person. “Heather, she comes across as so sweet, but she’s very easily swayed,” Christine said in Season 4, Episode 2. “I just found her being very jellyfish-y with me, you know, ‘cause jellyfish have no spines.”
Heather used the Oppenheim party in the season finale to try to clear the air with Christine, but that didn’t exactly go as planned. Christine showed up late to the party and didn’t seem ready to sit and hash things out. Her reluctancy caused Heather to storm out of the event with her husband, Tarek, in tow. Every dramatic moment was captured by the Selling Sunset cameras, and Heather later defended herself in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"I wouldn't say [I had] a freak-out," Heather said about the situation, before adding that there was more to the story than played out for viewers. "I mean, a lot led up to that moment that was not shown. There was a lot that happened hours before, and we all were there hours and hours and hours before Christine showed up. And I was going to take that time to have a really nice conversation with her and just clear the air with a lot of things that have obviously been spewing and, ‘She said, she said, she said,’ and so I just wanted to clear the air in a nice, calm way with her.”
Heather added that she won’t be putting energy into their friendship moving forward. “Her [sic] and I had not had a close relationship for probably over a year,” she said. “There's just a lot of things that she had said and done to not only me and my husband, and talking sh*t and just things to my close friends that I just, at some point, you can't keep supporting someone and making excuses for them and being the neutral person."
Christine Quinn Versus Emma Hernan
Quinn’s relationships really crumbed after blonde bombshell (and empanada aficionado) Emma Hernan joined the Season 4 cast. A longtime part-time staffer of the Oppenheim Group, she decided to make it her full-time gig this year, and made fast friends with the entire cast — except for Quinn. The reason? Emma and Christine have a mutual ex, which fueled their tumultuous relationship throughout Season 4.
On the show, Christine claimed her former boyfriend, who wasn’t named but was revealed to be Peter Cornell by several sources, was caught “red-handed” cheating with Emma. “I was with him for two and a half years, he proposed to me!” Christine said on the show, adding that the proposal happened several months before she caught him with Emma. However, those who were closest to Christine at the time said the proposal never happened. Both Emma and Mary claimed they never heard about a ring, and thought Christine was embellishing her story to make herself look better. Christine said she told one person (Davina Potratz) about the proposal, but she also denied that conversation, which resulted in her falling out with Christine.
On Selling Sunset, Emma did admit to having a dicey run-in with Christine sometime in 2016. However, she said she thought the pair had been broken up for a while. Ultimately, Emma wound up being engaged to Peter (although they have since split), and it incited drama that spilled onto the show years later. In one episode, Emma accused Christine of sending her fake Instagram DMs from a random account asking about her current relationship.
“So, the fake DMs have started again from you-know-who,” Emma told Mary and Chrishell in Season 4, Episode 8, during a boat party. “There’s only one person in the entire world it could be. From a fake account, of course.” Emma claimed the message said: “Curious if your friend Emma has a boyfriend? I may have information.”
When Vanessa addressed the situation with Christine on camera, she denied doing anything to start drama. “The problem I see right now, is they say you’re continuing to do it,” Vanessa said in Season 4, Episode 9. However, Christine shut her down immediately and said, “I’m so sorry they feel that way, but that’s certainly not the case.”
Emma became close with the other castmates and they bonded over their mutual disdain for Christine, who started to feel like the women were ganging up on her. In the final episode of Season 4, she called them out for collectively giving her the cold shoulder.
“This is my life. When I walk in and there’s a group of six girls who don’t even acknowledge my presence, who don’t even look up and smile, or even pretend to say hi, that’s so horrible,” Christine said through tears during the final episode of Season 4. “You guy are horrible. I would never put anyone in that situation.”
Christine Quinn & Davina Potratz
While Christine is definitely still beefing with Heather, Mary, and Chrishell, she’s managed to secure a few allies on the show, despite her short temper. The first of them is Davina Potratz, who left the Oppenheim Group after Season 3, but eventually made her way back midway through Season 4. “She’s one of my closest friends,” Christine told her colleague Vanessa in one episode.
Like Christine, Davina is also often portrayed as a villain on the show, so perhaps she’s able to sympathize with her co-star. She remained friends with Christine even while the majority of the women didn’t, so her return to the agency was a welcome one for Christine (even if the rest of the cast was reluctant). Still, she’s attempted to maintain a middle ground stance on the drama, without choosing sides. Unfortunately, even Davina and Christine were left on shaky ground when Davina denied her infamous proposal story.
“I am compassionate and loyal to my friends, but I also ultimately stand by my beliefs, which I think became clear,” Davina told Showbiz Cheatsheet. “Filming a reality TV show requires a certain amount of trust and vulnerability, which can be complicated. I was able to let my guard down more but also appreciate the editing, so it was a combined effort.”
Christine Quinn & Vanessa Villela
Vanessa Villela was another one of Christine’s few allies throughout this season. The show’s newcomer quickly established a friendship with Christine, but because she was friendly with the other girls as well, she got caught up playing the middle man. Generally, Vanessa didn’t take sides in the drama and consistently tried to help Christine when she could. At one point in Season 4, Vanessa coordinated a meeting for Christine with her life coach in hopes it would help fix the broken relationships in her life. Spoiler alert: It didn’t.
While Christine wasn’t quite able to rectify her past with the girls, Vanessa tried endlessly to get her there. As a newcomer, Vanessa wasn’t privy to all the past drama, so she had to form her own opinions quickly. She gave Christine the benefit of the doubt even though Chrishell, Mary, and Heather all warned her not to.
Christine Quinn & Maya Vander
Traditionally, Maya Vander has always been the laidback, drama-free cast member. The reality star spends much of her time flying between Miami and Los Angeles to maintain her long distance relationship, so she’s managed to steer clear of the drama the majority of the time. However, even Maya seemed slightly fed up with Christine’s drama throughout Season 4.
“It’s not fair of Christine to expect everyone to have her back 100% at all times, at all costs. [It’s] so dramatic,” she said during the last episode of Season 4.
In the press, Maya maintained her neutral-ish stance. In a December 2021 interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, she reiterated that she’s been in Miami most of the time and could not care less about her co-stars’ personal relationships. "I didn’t understand honestly why everybody was so passionate about this. I get it, Christine claimed she was engaged. You know, everybody thinks she wasn't. I was in Miami when she claimed she was engaged. So I don’t know what happened really," Maya said.
Christine Quinn & Amanza Smith
Amanza is another one of Christine’s few allies. She has consistently showed up for Christine even while others exiled her, and Season 4 showed just how close the two friends got. Seeing as the two weren’t friends in seasons prior, this was a big change. In one episode, there was a heartfelt moment in which Smith went to visit Christine after the birth of her baby. The pair also frequently met for lunches and happy hours. “I am the only one, aside from one other person in the office, that gets along with [Quinn],” Amanza said in an interview with DailyMailTV. “I will probably be the only one that actually goes over and sees the baby, holds him and swaddles it.”
Their friendship is going strong, but Amanza recognizes that Christine has wronged other people in the Oppenheim office. “I adore her. But you hear so much,” Amanza added. “If some of the stuff she has done to others she ends up doing to me, then obviously we will not be friends anymore.”
By the end of Season 4, no reconciliation had been made between Christine and the other women, which apparently won’t be changing anytime soon. “We are not on speaking terms,” Emma told Harper’s Bazaar in November 2021. “I don't think anyone is surprised or blames me. At the end of the day, like I said, I always take the high road, and I have for years now, and I will continue to do that.”
Christine also shared her thoughts, and much like Maya, she thought the show touched upon their personal relationships a little too much. “I was annoyed every single day doing it because it’s not something that I would actually talk about,” Christine told Page Six. According to Christine, the drama was inflated for the cameras. “It’s not something that I would actually care about. Part of being on a reality show is you have to talk about things that you wouldn’t necessarily even give a sh*t about in real life.”
Christine has since announced her forthcoming book, How To Be A Boss B*tch (coming May 2022). If you’re fully invested in the drama, you know exactly where to unpack more of it.