'Vanderpump Rules': Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz spill on 'whirlwind' season 6
"Vanderpump Rules" has taken the drama to the next level for its current sixth season, and the Bravo hit's only married couple, Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz, recently stopped by AOL to dish on the latest happenings in everyone's favorite group of SURvers.
After being firmly in the spotlight all throughout last season in the dramatic lead-up to their wedding, Maloney and Schwartz have clearly made a conscious effort to keep things a little more calm during their first year of marriage, but that doesn't mean that they haven't been involved in their fair share of scandal this year.
Between Tom's alleged drunken make out with another woman, Katie's continued tiff with Scheana (and Tom uncharacteristically chewing her out as a result) and Katie sharing a harrowing story from her past, season 6 of "Vanderpump Rules" has been a wild ride for the couple.
Check out my full conversation with Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz below, where we talked all things "Vanderpump Rules."
See photos of Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz together:
How's it going this season for you two so far? It's a far cry from last season when you were constantly in the spotlight leading up to your wedding!
Katie: We have definitely figured out some things from then until now, and we’re stronger together and as individuals than we were, so this year has just been awesome for us.
Tom: Sometimes we’ll get drunk together and reminisce about the wedding. We don’t miss the spotlight, per say, but I kind of miss the glory of having a wedding. It’s such a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime moment. Well, hopefully once-in-a-lifetime moment! [Laughs]
Katie: Yeah, but the last year for us has been our best ever. It’s been really nice.
What have you learned about one another in your first year-and-a-half of marriage?
Katie: A year ago I wanted to be a better person for myself and get back to being in a good place mostly because I wanted to be a better wife for him and a better friend to my friends. I wanted to feel at peace and not be so angry all the time. I wasn’t in a good place, so with him I’ve learned that he can shut down if I get too emotionally charged.
Tom: Sometimes it’s warranted, but she used to be drunk on her emotions on such a consistent basis and now she has her emotions under control. She is a master of her own emotions now. Listen, I always worry that I sound like a robot or something, because I’m not always objective and sometimes I also fall apart and spazz out, too.
Katie: And now I can just take a deep breath and calm down. We’ve learned to speak to one another and talk about things in a more productive and less explosive way. We don’t ever really fight; we bicker, but we don’t really fight.
Which is saying something, because there has been a lot of fighting on this season of "Vanderpump Rules." There's just a lot happening in general, which makes for great TV.
Katie: It’s great. I’m enjoying it. [Laughs]
Tom: There have been great moments, but experiencing it was such a whirlwind. I’m still sort of processing it all.
Katie: It was honestly hard, especially with Brittany and Jax and what was going on there and just trying to be there for her. I wanted to be a support system for her.
You guys were sort of on opposite sides of that situation, with both of you being better friends with one of them. Did that create any tension between you two?
Katie: In the past, it would’ve, because in the past I would’ve been way more…
Katie: Yeah, and just more upset. But we’ve learned to not let the issues that are going on with our friends and what’s going on in their relationships spill over into ours. It can be very toxic.
Tom: Most of our fights stem from other people’s relationships. I try to be objective to a fault. With Jax, I wasn’t sympathizing with the guy, but I was like, “Alright, it happened. So how do you move forward?” There’s no reason for me to slap his wrist. It happened. I love the guy, and I was all about finding a solution.
Katie: But we didn’t carry it into our relationship.
Tom: Well, I got called a "guppy" and a "Jax sympathizer"...
Katie: We’ll always accuse you of that. That’s not just me. Everyone calls Tom the "Jax Guppy." [Laughs]
Tom: I just like to see the best in people!
Katie: He’s Jax’s publicist.
On another note, your biggest hurdle as a couple this season was when a story came out that Tom had drunkenly made out with someone else. It's been discussed a lot on the show, but what did it take for you guys to get through that as a couple?
Tom: It wasn’t like a traumatizing incident. It was completely unacceptable and douchey and regrettable. When I see it play back, I’m laughing half the time -- not because I don’t take it seriously, but because I really didn’t remember it. I was laughing at the absurdity of it, but when I take into account how much I hurt the person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with, it’s a real bummer. It’s sobering.
Katie: That whole alleged story that came out was very confusing and, even though he didn’t remember it, we were like, “Let’s say for conversation’s sake that it did happen.”
Tom: It must have been embarrassing for you. It was pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things, but still.
Katie: Big picture, it wasn’t going to end our marriage. But it was embarrassing, of course, with the way it came out and everything. Everyone was like, “He’s the worst!” But I know him and, for me, it scares me that he would get so drunk that he wouldn’t remember something like this. What if his life had been in danger [and he was blackout drunk]? It’s more serious than, “Let’s not blackout!” Worse things can happen. Best case scenario, you make out with someone who’s not your wife! It’s scary and that was my main concern.
Tom: It’s so ridiculous. Like, how does that even happen? She knows me: I’m a flirt, but I don’t pursue women. I’m not aggressive; I’m super passive. I have no idea how that even happens.
Katie: There’s more to that story. We didn’t see picture proof!
Something that has come up multiple times this season is the idea that people are putting information and stories out there without the best intentions. And there have been a lot of rumors being spread.
Tom: Even though these are my friends, I was blown away by some of the revelations of this past year. I had to ask myself if I was naive. There was some serious stuff going down.
Katie: I’m always surprised, but also not surprised. [Laughs] I should be, but I’m not. Once people start throwing stones, that’s when stuff really starts happening. He who’s without sin may cast the first stone, and that's nobody [on the show]!
Tom, on "Watch What Happens Live!" you said that you regretted confronting Scheana. What exactly did you regret about that moment? Was it what you said to her?
Tom: It’s not in my nature to be contentious. I get really bad guilt pain afterwards. It’s not in me, and I’m not a confrontational person. I was kind of drunk on the moment and laying into her.
Katie: I thought it was awesome!
Tom: But Bubba will tell you, I never do that. I get angry sometimes in traffic, but I never do that with another person. But something she said rubbed me the wrong way.
Katie: She accused me of being a fake person because I had squashed my beef with Lala and we were becoming friends. I had turned a new leaf in my life, and I was doing a lot of work on myself.
Tom: It was such a cynical outlook on the situation. Anyways, I felt bad. I apologized pretty quickly afterward. I’m surprised they didn’t show this, but I rage texted her! They didn’t put them in even though they asked me about them 50 times. They’re out there somewhere. They’re mean and nice. If you read them, you’d be like, “That’s so Tom!” I was so mean, but I had to add some good qualities as I was being mean to her. It was balanced. It was like, “You’re a shallow human being, but you have a big heart!”
Katie: I think you also used, “Depth of a mud puddle.”
Tom: She was cool about it because it was so over-the-top. [Laughs]
As a viewer, it's felt as though Scheana is especially far from Katie, Stassi and Kristen this season.
Katie: I feel like she really created a lot of distance between us. We were friends! She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. I’ve loved and cared about Scheana for a long time. We’ve struggled in our friendship. It was hard, but we were great for a while, but then I would hear her saying stuff here and there, so I confronted her about that. She took that as rage texting. I don’t know if it was because she and Lala had grown close, and she wanted to create this divide, but I feel like she has worked hard at painting me in a really bad light and as a bad person and bad friend. That hurts just because I did value our friendship, so it was difficult to hear her speak that way. I just want to be friends or friends-adjacent, you know?
Tom: You are now! But maybe you guys tried to force something deeper? Your friendship should just remain simple and casual.
Katie: It was! I don’t know if we tried forcing anything, but there were just a lot of crossed wires.
She did tweet that really nice message to you ahead of your "Watch What Happens Live!" appearance after you opened up about your accident.
Katie: Yeah, I didn’t expect that. It was nice.
Why did you wait six seasons to open up about your accident on the show?
Katie: It’s not that I waited until now, necessarily. It’s not something that I bring up all the time, but it’s a part of me and who I am.
Tom: But it’s not something that has ever defined you.
Katie: I think because I had resolved some of the lingering emotional trauma, it was part of the growth I’ve gone through. It’s not so much that I waited, but more that it needed to be the right time and place.
Tom: You got to a point where you could look at it objectively and assess the effects that it had on you.
Katie: It took a long time to do that, though. It was hard for a long time, because I had survivor’s guilt and I didn’t understand it fully. I wasn’t totally loving myself.
Tom, you must have been proud of her for opening up about it, too.
Tom: For sure! The physical stuff was rough, but the scariest thing to me was thinking about you losing control of yourself or that you hit your head and experienced a traumatic brain injury and you lose a little piece of yourself or become a different person. That's terrifying to me. It’s not like it’s drastic -- it could be a subtle change -- but it’s hard to pinpoint that.
Katie: It took me a while to grasp that, but also to get to a point where I was like, “I’m here. I’m fine. I’m working!”
Tom: It’s a harrowing story, but ultimately it’s uplifting and inspirational. It’s about pushing forward and being resilient.
Finally, I need an update on Tom Tom. How have you been involved in the past couple of months?
Tom: Right now we’re just kind of flies on the wall. We want to be involved, and we’re excited, but time is money with this. As much as we want to be in there, [Lisa and Ken Vanderpump] are veterans. We’re minority stake investors, and we’re just happy to be part of this. We’ve been working on the cocktail list. I want it to be successful, but I won’t be managing it. But we’ll inject our essence in there. I want so much for it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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