After making her social media public, Jo Wenberg addressed her first season on Vanderpump Rules as Tom Schwartz‘s friend following Scandoval.
“I’m going public with my Instagram tonight. I hope you guys will all be kind to me. I haven’t gotten the nicest stuff on any type of platform. But I wanted just to make sure that you guys could [see] just me with no makeup or filter. This is who I am,” Jo, 35, said in an Instagram video on Monday, November 6.
The hairstylist reflected on filming season 11 of the hit Bravo series, adding, “I did film this season of Vanderpump Rules, and it was a very big, eye-opening experience. I am usually behind the camera, and being in front of the camera was very hard for me. But I will say the producers were really awesome.”
Jo became a major topic of conversation during season 10 after Schwartz’s divorce from Katie Maloney. The former couple announced their split in March 2022, months before filming the series. Viewers watched Schwartz, 41, explore the dating scene on screen, which included a hookup with Raquel Leviss at Scheana Shay and Brock Davies‘ wedding in August 2022.
Schwartz’s close bond with his then-roommate Jo was mentioned in multiple unaired scenes from season 10. As new episodes continued to air, news broke in March that Raquel, 29, was having an affair with Tom Sandoval. Fans and cast members were quick to question whether Schwartz’s brief fling with Raquel was a front for the infidelity.
During the reunion, which was filmed later in March, Schwartz defended his brief connection with Raquel. He also finally offered context for his relationship with Jo.
“No, [Jo] wasn’t [my girlfriend]. Especially not at that point. It did evolve into a situationship or a friends with benefits thing with clearly defined boundaries,” Schwartz said in the May special. “We were both coming out of long-term relationships, and for a minute there, we were each other’s happy places.”
Katie, 36, for her part, took to social media to throw shade at Jo before the reunion. “Jo is spooky. I mean none of us could stand to be around her. Her energy is on par with a crackhead,” she wrote in an Instagram comment in February. “But when Tom and I announced our divorce almost a year ago the last thing she text[ed] me was, ‘I love you, and I’m so supporting of your inner thoughts and visions / live in the moment, you’re a gem and I’ve always respected you. I love you. Xo Jo.’ She is a psycho and I will also light her on fire.”
As cameras started rolling on season 11, Jo was spotted filming multiple times with Schwartz and Sandoval, 41. Katie had plenty to say on the subject when she responded to a July Instagram snap of Jo with Schwartz, Sandoval, James Kennedy and Ally Lewber.
“I can feel that energy from here. Yikes,” Katie wrote in the comments section of a Bravo fan account.
Jo, however, praised the Vanderpump Rules stars who welcomed her to the cast.
“I also will say that Lala [Kent] was so nice to me. She gave me grace,” Jo said in the Monday uploads about Lala, 33, making her “feel at ease” during filming. “I didn’t even really know her and I thought that was such a sweet thing. We don’t even follow each other on Instagram and we don’t have each other’s phone numbers. But I wanted to give a shout-out about her because she was so sweet.”
The newbie called Schwartz “awesome” before weighing in on Sandoval’s recent drama.
“That doesn’t make any sense [what I just tried to say]. This is probably why people think I am a crackhead. I just really suck at talking. I’m not a crackhead, can we just make it clear? I’ve never done it in my life,” Jo added, referring to Katie’s digs at her. “There’s always moments in your life where you find certain people and you start to care about them. And one of those people is Raquel. And I am also allowed to care about Sandoval as well. I’m very, very proud of both of them individually, and that is all I will say.”
Jo, who was not in attendance at BravoCon, said she was excited to speak more about her experience.
“I’m really afraid of actually pulling the plug and going public. The reason I am doing this is because I don’t think it will harm me. At this point, you guys will see the season and I had no idea what I was doing. There’s a couple of people that I truly love. Billie Lee, I love her,” Jo shared before taking a long pause. “I just think you all have to go see her stand-up show. She’s good.”
Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules will return to Bravo in January 2024.