Bradley Carter trusts Joe Bradley the least out of his ‘Southern Hospitality’ cast mates: “We have to rebuild our friendship”

Things are heating up on Southern Hospitality Season 2, thanks to the group’s explosive Miami trip. The workers at Charleston’s Republic Garden & Lounge deserved a little fun in the sun, but all they got was drama. At the center of it all is Bradley Carter, fitness entrepreneur by day, Republic VIP server by night. No stranger to the hot seat, Carter was accused by VIP manager/aspiring DJ Maddi Reese last season of getting fellatio by the dumpster outside of their work, costing him a budding romance. He maintained his innocence, and Carter was finally vindicated this season when coworkers Mikel Simmons and Grace Lilly spoke up on his behalf and confirmed that they saw nothing tawdry occur in the alley that fateful night.

“It’s satisfying to finally have it all cleared up,” Carter admitted. “Also, it’s just nice to finally see Maddi having to eat her words.” However, Maddi’s outing was overshadowed that same night by another revelation. We learned that VIP manager Joe Bradley shared with Reese a group text from her coworkers/friends talking about her behind her back and questioning her physical health. “Despite whatever other messages were in there, we were genuinely concerned about her,” said Carter. “Someone’s health is nothing to joke about,” he continued. “It’s not funny. But what is funny is how conveniently Joe left out all of the things that he was saying about Maddi, too.”

Can Carter mend his friendship with Bradley after his betrayal of the group? “I got to be careful about what I say around Joe, which sucks because we have such a close friendship,” said Carter. However, fans should have reason to hope that the two will repair things between them. “When you break someone’s trust, especially in a friendship, you have to rebuild that,” said Carter. At the show’s upcoming reunion, Carter promised fans that Bradley will be “held accountable.” Hopefully, Bravo boss Andy Cohen will be able to mend this fractured group.

We spoke to Carter over Zoom about his experience at BravoCon, the disastrous Miami trip, and the current status of his relationship with single mom and certified hottie, Lucia Pena.

DECIDER: I spoke to you briefly at BravoCon on the red carpet. As a relevant Bravo newbie, describe your experience coming to Vegas and meeting the fans.

BRADLEY CARTER: Incredible experience. People always talk about how Bravo fans are next level, and they truly are. The second I stepped into BravoCon, the second I got onto the plane on the way to Vegas, I was swarmed by people wanting to take pictures with me. It’s happened to me a little bit in Charleston, but to the scale of the attention was unprecedented. As a newbie walking in there, you see all of these legends walking by. I had Andy Cohen on my left; I had Kandi Burruss on my right. It’s incredible to be surrounded by so many successful people. I’m really honored to even be mentioned in the same sentences as those people.

Maddi Reese, Leva Bonaparte, Bradley Carter at BravoCon

How has the vibe at Republic shifted since Southern Hospitality started airing?

We feel like kids in a petting zoo at this point [laughs]. Everyone’s coming by and pointing and then whispering to their friend like, “Oh, he’s on that show.” It’s cool. It’s really fun. We like to have a good time with it. Now when we get our VIP tables sold, people know they who they want with their bottle service.

Everyone on Southern Hospitality has a side hustle, be it law school or DJing, etc. What’s next for your personal training business, Body By Brad?

My ultimate goal is to open up a gym here in Charleston. To reach people outside Charleston, I’m hoping to launch an app in the near future. Hopefully in the next couple of months, you’ll be able to purchase my app in the app store and get my workouts online. I want to get people to the next step in their fitness journey, no matter where they are at. The whole point of my business is to help people get better mentally, physically, in any way possible. I’m really excited to share my app when it’s done.

I almost cheered when Mikel finally came forward and denied Maddi’s claim that you were getting dumpster head in the Republic alley. Was that a huge relief?

It was hard watching it all transpire last year. From my perspective, I was like; “I don’t know why I’m getting dragged through this. This isn’t even necessary and it’s not true.” Honestly, if it was true, I would own it. I don’t mind owning my mistakes. If I do something wrong, I step up to the plate, be a man about it, just own it. Because we’re not perfect; none of us are.

My relationship with Mikel really grew a lot over the past year. I wish they showed more of it on the show, but Mikel and I really got close this summer. We were able to lean on each other. Eventually, he felt comfortable clearing the air and admitting the event never happened. Even Grace stepped up at dinner and was like, “I didn’t see that.” It’s satisfying to finally have it all cleared up. Also, it’s just nice to finally see Maddi having to eat her words.

Given her behavior last season, it was no surprise that you and Maddi are on bad terms. How difficult is it to work with someone you’re beefing with?

Not only do we work together, but she’s also my boss. It’s very tough to navigate. We all have that boss that we don’t get along with or that coworker that we don’t like that much. Add on top of that the fact we share friends and are around each other all the time. It’s extremely difficult. Sometimes, I just have to take a deep breath and walk away. I’m a business guy. I like my money. If they’re paying, I’m playing. If anyone tries to interfere with my money, I try my best to really just suck it up, swallow my pride, and just keep it moving.

I got to say, I feel like the revelation that Maddi lied about you got overshadowed by the other bombs that were dropping. Do you feel like you got the vindication you deserved?

No, and I’m glad you said that, because they completely breezed right over it. They were like, “Oh, okay, yeah, whatever.” The worst part of it all, Maddi says something like “Oh, well, it doesn’t matter that it’s not true.” I’m thinking, you started this lie, you fabricated these rumors just to make me look bad. I still don’t get it. I promise you, when Maddi was just trying to sweep the whole mess under the rug, I made sure everyone knew what had happened. I said: “Hey, we’re not missing the point here. I literally caught her in a lie.”

Joe Bradley and Bradley Carter, Southern Hospitality

Joe showing Maddi the group text out of context was obviously a huge betrayal. Did you expect that of him?

Honestly, yes [laughs]. Joe has a problem in that he tries to please everyone. He wants to be friends with everyone. When you do that, you stretch yourself too thin. His mistake was sharing information that was private. He can’t say he’s trying to be a middleman or trying to be not on anyone’s side if he’s running around telling everyone what others are saying about them. You can be friends with two separate people, but you have to make sure that you’re keeping what they’re saying confidential. Otherwise, you’re just being messy.

Joe unintentionally really hurt Emmy [Sharrett] because it’s clear she shared her concerns about Maddi’s health with the group out of concern and nothing else. She really valued that friendship.

It was really tough to watch because Emmy has a heart of gold. Also, she experienced something similar to what I went through. She got framed for bullying someone when she really was just sharing her concerns with the group. Now don’t get me wrong, we were concerned about Maddi’s health, but at the same time, were we talking shit about her job and other things? Absolutely. That is what a group message is for. You talk about people that are not in that group message.

Whatever other messages were in there, we were genuinely concerned about her health. Someone’s health is nothing to joke about. It’s not funny. But what’s funny is how conveniently Joe left out all of the things that he was saying about Maddi, too. It’s really odd to show someone a group message, and then claim innocence. He was literally participating, so he’s not innocent in this.

Do Joe’s words come back to bite him?

Joe’s definitely been held accountable all the way through the finale. He’s will be held even more accountable at the reunion. That’s all I have to say about that.

What was going through your mind when Grace dropped the bomb that Maddi’s ex-boyfriend, Trevor, was in Miami?

An image of him sprinting on that bike taxi down to Miami from Charleston. That’s what immediately flashed through my mind [laughs]. The second feeling was just honestly shock. I knew the relationship was on the rocks. Maddi really runs that relationship, so I was very surprised to see Trevor go out of his way to try and be there for her, which in turn made it worse. She ran back to him for that feeling of comfort. When you feel like you’re being attacked, of course you go back to what’s familiar and where you feel safe.

Speaking of relationships, where do you and Lucia stand now?

Right now, me and Lucia are not together, unfortunately. Things ended up not working out. It’s a little bit more my fault. I’ll take responsibility for that, definitely. Needless to say, I can’t say too much, but all questions will be answered, I promise.

That’s a bummer to hear, but you’re both doing okay?

Yes, we’re still friends. We still have a great relationship. I literally just got off the phone with her a couple of hours ago. Things didn’t end up working out the best way, but we’re doing okay. We’re good.

Bradley Carter and Lucia Pena, Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality did have its first official reunion this season. What was that experience like?

Oh my gosh, surreal. It was my first time in the Watch What Happens Live studio. It was lot of our first times there, actually. Andy is an amazing guy. He stuck around and hung out with us for a little bit after the reunion. It was really cool. I know he’s excited about the show. I know Bravo’s excited about the show. We know what an honor it is to get a reunion, so we were definitely very gracious. The reunion is just as juicy as the rest of the season, so be ready for that.

In the grand tradition of the Real Housewives Of Miami, I want to ask: after the reunion, who do you trust the least and why?

That’s a tough question. Honestly, I’m going to have to go with Joe. I can’t trust Joe for as far as I can throw him. It goes back to the Miami trip. If I share something with him in private, there’s a chance he could share it with anyone else. I got to be careful about what I say around Joe, which sucks because we have such a close friendship. When you break someone’s trust, especially in a friendship, you have to rebuild that. Trust is not just given automatically. You can’t gain it through words. It takes actions. It takes steps to actually get my trust back, and we’re still not there yet. We have some work to do.

Who do you trust the most after the reunion and why?

I would probably have to go with Will [Kulp]. Will’s been someone I can really lean on recently. He’s been a great friend to me, and all while he’s going to law school and really doing well. He finished in the top half of his class in the first semester. If my lawyer’s doing that well, I can trust that guy. I know he’s got me.

What can you tease about the rest of the season?

On the 4th of July, there is more than just fireworks. I’ll say that. It was a really fun end of the season. It’s been really great watching our summer unfold in the winter months, definitely been keeping us warm. We had a great time, but there’s drama all the way through to the finish line.