While Episode 3 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 13 (available to watch on Hayu) was set to be all about Crystal Kung Minkoff's 40th birthday celebration, Sutton Stracke pulled focus when she walked out of the Magic Mike show in Las Vegas.
After Erika Jayne organized for the girls to go to the show, Stracke seemed upset that she wasn't chosen to go on stage, initially stating that she, "wore pants for f—king nothing." But then she said she was uncomfortable with the show, referencing her position on the board of the American Ballet Foundation.
Looking back at that moment, Minkoff revealed it was a struggle for her to navigate what to do in that situation.
"I struggled between going after her and staying, because it was a birthday party being thrown for me and I was actually having an incredibly fun time," Minkoff told Yahoo Canada. "I [didn't] want her to think that I am not worried about her, so I really was kind of going back and forth."
"So I stayed a little bit longer, then I eventually left, but I didn't want to leave. I was hoping everyone would have a good time. But it was so loud and we were sitting in a row, so I didn't really know what was going on. You see someone leave and then there's a little bit of commotion, but then I kind of go back into the strippers."
Crystal Kung Minkoff defending Garcelle Beauvais' desire for boundaries
Before we got to Minkoff's Vegas birthday celebration, the season started with a particularly poignant moment between Garcelle Beauvais and her children. Her 16-year-old son Jax opened up to her about how she wasn't always the most present mother throughout their life, due to her work commitments.
This comes on the back of a moment that shook the cast in Season 12, when Jayne swore at Garcelle's then 14-year-old son during his mother's birthday party.
Now, Beauvais has admitted to the rest of the cast that she doesn't feel comfortable sharing personal information about her family with them, which resulted in some pushback from the group in the latest episode of the show.
Minkoff revealed that what wasn't shown was that she was defending Beauvais throughout that conversation.
"They're like, 'Well it was a year ago,' and I said, 'You know, if you guys did that to my kids, I would never forgive you. I don't think I would ever open up to you,'" Minkoff said.
"At the end of the day, these are our friends and we're filming a show, but family's family. ... So I very much understand wanting to protect yourself when you feel like some of these girls are not willing to understand you or respect your boundaries. Then what you have to do is, you have to truly create your own boundaries, in a way that is almost more extreme than in other groups."
Minkoff has had issues being particularly open with the rest of her Real Housewives cast mates in the past, including their response to her opening up about her eating disorder. Minkoff said she has learned a lot about how to guide herself through these relationships built on the show.
"Navigating friendships in this environment is extremely different," Minkoff said. "I have a lot of different groups of friends, I'm louder in some, I'm quieter in some, but in this environment, because there's cameras, there is a sense of making sure that your voice is heard."
"I've learned that I do have to speak out. ... And I do believe that, not everybody, but a few of the girls who want me to speak more, it's actually for my benefit. So that's something that was kind of a learning curve."
Kyle Richards, Morgan Wade rumours on display
In terms of speaking up, that includes Minkoff being honest about her perspective on one of the most highly anticipated Real Housewives of Beverly Hills storylines, the separation of Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky.
Even more specifically, the rumours that Richards is dating, or possibly had an affair with, music artist Morgan Wade. The rumours were amplified after Richards starred in Wade's "Fall In Love With Me" music video where the pair get very close on camera.
At BravoCon over the weekend, Minkoff said what many fans believed, which was that the music video was a sort of announcement of the pair's relationship. Richards denied that being the case, saying that the music video was filmed before these rumours and her family knew she was making the video.
"I will say, while we were filming it wasn't the focus, at least from my perspective," Minkoff said. "Now I'm watching the ... episodes, there was a lot being discussed about it, in her home and the tension, but I wasn't privy to that. I'm only getting to see that now with the audience, ... I might know a little bit more, but I don't know much."
"If you're not a conspiracy theorist, anyone that watched that music video would question it ... or what does this mean. So I am just like, oh, well, now this information is out and they're releasing this video, maybe this is them sort of letting everybody know. Before I would have been too afraid to say that, but now that's how I feel and it doesn't come from any ill will, that's just what anyone would think."
'I'm not going to yell, or yell on your behalf'
While things have been seemingly tame for Minkoff, and largely for the rest of the group so far in this season, we're waiting for the moment teased in the trailer where Minkoff seems to get particularly upset with the cast.
"This group wants me to scream all the f—king time," she's shown saying in the trailer.
"I have very strong opinions. I'm not afraid to have them. But I'm also someone that takes my time and I'm very thoughtful about the things I say," Minkoff teased.
"I don't need to speak to hear myself speak in a group. So when I'm quiet, I felt like there's a lot of pressure of like, 'How do you feel?' ... And I'm like, well I already told you, but I don't have to do it in a way that's yelling at people, and I don't need to make a moment for myself. It's just not my personality. I think it's also cultural, we just don't do that. So I just kept getting like pounded on. ... I think that was my breakthrough of, I'm not going to yell, or yell on your behalf. I was just pushed into a corner."
Where to watch 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 13 is streaming weekly on Hayu on Wednesdays.
The full series is also available to watch on the streaming site.