‘Real Housewives of OC’ Star Alexis Bellino: Tamra Barney Is the ‘Ringleader of the Mean Girls’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Things got very heated on last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, during which the girls traveled to Costa Rica and confronted Alexis Bellino about her alleged pretentious and materialistic behavior.

Now, Alexis is speaking out about the fight, and taking specific aim at castmember Tamra Barney, whom Alexis referred to as “mean and hateful” during the now-infamous intervention.

“[Tamra] is the ringleader of the mean girls,” the 30-something reality star revealed in an exclusive interview with Celebuzz. “Each season, it seems she has this same pattern of singling one person out. Right before the ‘intervention’ in Costa Rica, Tamra, Heather and I were sitting at the bar having a glass of wine together. They were chatting with me, acting like we were all friends, all the while knowing they were about to confront me. So, you tell me who in this group is fake.”

Fake, of course, has been the operative word on Orange County this season; Heather’s husband, Terry,  described Alexis as phony — a comment Tamra later revealed to Alexis in a heated exchange.

Now that the dirty laundry has been aired, does Alexis — who says this has been the “toughest season” for her to film thus far — wish that Tamra had kept her mouth shut about Terry’s comments?

“I’m always open to considering people’s feedback,” she said, “but this did not feel like ‘constructive criticism.’ She delivered it in such a hateful way and to try and prove her point. I really don’t feel Terry knew me well enough to make such a sweeping comment. But looking back I see that It was somewhat exaggerated by Tamra. Shocker!”

Meanwhile, Alexis also revealed that the fight has taken a toll on her friendship with Gretchen Rossi after Gretchen accused Alexis of sometimes sounding pretentious.

“Our friendship has taken a huge hit this season,” she admitted. “Right now I’m not sure where it stands. I’ve seen a whole new side to her as she’s aligned herself with Tamra. The idea that I’m not authentic loses any legs when you look at how quickly and easily they’ve become BFFs. If she and I were ever really friends and she was having those negative thoughts about me, she could have taken me aside at any point over the past few months and expressed her feelings.”

“The fact that she ganged up with them that night at the table instead was confusing to me,” she added.

As for the intervention itself, Alexis described it as “brutal” and admitted she is still hurting from it.

“The girls are entitled to their opinions, but it all felt very malicious,” she said. “The message was that I am not real and that I talk too much about money … The show is about living a certain lifestyle, so for me to be singled out tells me the girls at that table needed a good long look in the mirror.”

“I have always liked nice things, since I was a little girl,” she continued. “I haven’t denied that and won’t apologize for it. I don’t see anything wrong with working hard and rewarding yourself. My parents did not spoil me; they made me work hard for whatever I had. I bought my very first Prada handbag for myself with my own hard earned cash at 24, and my first Mercedes at 27 years old. All the girls on the show like nice things but my things definitely don’t define me. I still shop at Target and use every last drop of shampoo out of my bottles.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays and 9/8C on Bravo. For more on the series, visit its official website!