“I’ve said it’s [the] closure that I didn’t realize that I needed,” Craig, 33, exclusively said on Tuesday, June 21, while promoting season 8 of Southern Charm. “As tough as this is to say about some things, I’m happy that it happened. It was just closure that I was able to be, like, ‘You know what? I can finally see what I want for my future and life.’”
Craig and Naomie, 29, called it quits in September 2017 after dating three years. While both moved on — Craig with Natalie Hegnauer and Naomie with Metul Shah — there appeared to be some lingering feelings.
Once the L-Abeye founder split from Metul, 31, in July 2021, amid affair allegations, Naomie and Craig briefly reconnected in Las Vegas.
The hookup happened before cameras were rolling for the Bravo series but will be covered on the season premiere on Thursday, June 23. (Craig, on the other hand, was casually dating Paige DeSorbo during the incident, after splitting from Natalie in early 2021.)
Naomie exclusively told Us on Monday, June 20, that the exes’ fling was “a very temporary comfort thing,” which Craig confirmed was the case.
“We had a long history together, you know, we knew just because we hadn’t talked in four years, we still dated for three,” the Sewing Down South founder told Us on Tuesday. “So, I think she had gotten her world turned upside down — finding out [Metul] was cheating on her was terrible. I think temporary comfort’s a good word for it. It was good for her and it was the closure I needed.”
Craig recalled why he and Naomie originally called it quits, noting that things fizzled out when they were supposed to.
“It was the relationship that most people have to have in their twenties. You think you found your person and it doesn’t work out. And then after that, you live a lot and that’s what we needed,” the Delaware native explained. “For the first time in my life, I was with someone that was like, my first love, basically. And I’m like, ‘Oh, this is gonna work.’ And then you realize that there’s a lot more to a relationship than just [that feeling].”
Costar Shep Rose chimed in telling Us, “It’s not all fairy-tales and cupcakes.” The 42-year-old reality star also noted that Craig and Naomie had a “pretty combustible” relationship before they parted ways for good.
While the “Pillows and Beer” podcast cohost knows that “everything happens the way it’s supposed to,” Craig confessed he felt bad that Paige, 29, had to deal with the drama. The Summer House star wasn’t “exclusive” with Craig when he hooked up with Naomie, but he still regrets how it all played out.
“It’s a tough situation for anyone to be in. I really do applaud her for that,” Craig told Us. “You know, I hate that I put her in that position. But she handled it great.”
The attorney noted that although he and Paige had an “open understanding” about where they stood at the time, “She didn’t expect that she’d have to hang out with” Naomie as much as they have over the past year.
“But I think she handled it well. And as the season goes on, you will see how that situation really develops because there’s a lot there,” Craig teased. “So, you’ll see this season that I get more combative about it because, you know, moving back to Charleston’s one thing and us welcoming you in. But [more things happen when] she’s around … as the season goes on.”
Southern Charm season 8 premieres on Bravo Thursday, June 23, at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi