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Alexis Bellino Is 'Excited' for 'RHOC' Viewers to Better 'Understand' Her Romance With John Janssen: 'This Isn't the Easiest Path'

Composite photo of Alexis Bellino.
Source: Bravo

Jul. 8 2024, Published 7:00 p.m. ET

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Alexis Bellino is back and ready to give her side of the story.

The Real Housewives of Orange County star made a splash starring on Seasons 5 through Season 8 of the beloved Bravo series, but now she's returning as a "friend of" and wants viewers to fully understand her deep relationship with her boyfriend, John Janssen.

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alexis bellino returns rhoc
Source: @alexis_bellino/INSTAGRAM

Alexis Bellino is back on 'RHOC' and is ready to give her side of the story.

Bellino chats exclusively with OK! about making her big comeback, her evolving friendships with Tamra Judge and Heather Dubrow and setting the record straight about how she got together with Shannon Beador's ex.

"Getting back with the girls has been so fun," the blonde beauty spills. "When I was on years ago, there were a lot of friendships that ended up strained. I was trying too hard. I was not myself. You'll see a different version of Alexis this time."

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alexis bellino returns rhoc
Source: Mega

Alexis Bellino is excited for viewers to see a 'different version' of her.

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"I'm more mature. I'm a woman now, not a girl anymore. I was a girl back then," she explains. "A lot has changed in that 14 years. But I think that you will get to see a strong, independent woman this time."

Bellino may be good on her own, but she's got Judge and Dubrow to back her up after smoothing over their past rifts. "I left the show with broken relationships with Heather and Tamra," she explains. "Tamra and I had been friends off and on when I was filming. Heather and I started as friends — but that was severed during filming. Then Heather went on an apology tour with me when we weren't filming."

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alexis bellino returns rhoc
Source: Bravo

Alexis Bellino's friendships with Tamra Judge and Heather Dubrow have been repaired.

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"I was off the show. She was off the show, and we were running into each other around Newport, Calif. She was just so apologetic about the whole season," Bellino adds of the actress. "She's like, 'I've learned a lot. I'm so sorry. I want to try to be friends.' I eventually forgave her. It took a while. I was kind of snarky. I had to apologize to her too. But enough time went by and I started to see that she was true."

As for her relationship with the Traitors alum, they couldn't be closer — for now! "We really do adore each other, but that could change tomorrow," Bellino laughs about Judge. "I'm sure there's going to be some turmoil or something that's going to tick me off or her off. But the friendship is real."

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Source: Mega

Alexis Bellino and John Janssen have been together for nearly a year.

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Another very real aspect of Bellino's life is her partnership with Janssen. "We were friends, we fell in love, and that's what it is," the mother-of-three gushes. "By the time the season ends, we'll have been together for a year. Then it's like, 'Okay, will people just finally let us be?' Maybe then we'll just get a breath and be able to live happily."

"It's exciting, but it doesn't go without also understanding that this isn't the easiest path that John and I decided to take," she admits. "We could have dated anybody else. We tried to keep it like that. That's something that I'm excited for everyone to understand. We tried to keep it as a friendship only because we both knew. We're not stupid. We've both been in this industry. We both know what this is going to look like and what could be said about it. We're going be scrutinized, we're going to be shamed, we're going to be cut down. But at the end of the day, our feelings were too strong to not move forward."

The Real Housewives of Orange County returns for its 18th season, kicking off with a supersized premiere on Thursday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

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