Kristin Cavallari Facts Even Her Biggest Fans May Not Know
Since she burst onto the reality television scene in the mid-2000s, Kristen Cavallari has been one of the mediums most well-known – and sometimes reviled – faces. However, we’d wager even her biggest fans don’t know all these Kristin Cavallari facts.
In her decade-plus in the limelight, Cavallari has evolved from reality villain to wife, mother, businesswoman, and best-selling author. Along the way, she’s had a career – and frankly a life – that’s taken some wild turns. Follow the most interesting facts of her life here, and be sure to SHARE them on social media.
Born in Denver
Despite her public persona being nearly entirely defined by California, Kristin Elizabeth Cavallari was actually born in Denver, Colorado on January 5, 1987. From there, Cavallari’s family spent her junior high years living in Illinois.
The Cavallaris finally moved to California during Kristin’s sophomore year of high school, in a move that would change her life forever.
Makings of a Teenage Star
Upon the Cavallari family’s move to California, Kristin enrolled in Laguna Beach High School. During her junior year, Cavallari began an on-again/off-again relationship with fellow student Stephen Colletti, who was one year older than her and would later go on to further fame as a regular cast member on One Tree Hill. The duo caught the eye of MTV Producers, where were looking to film a reality series on the school’s campus…
That series, Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County was first conceived as a “reality” version of the then popular Fox teen soap The O.C. Initially, the show’s producers wanted to focus on the on-campus lives of a group of students completing their education at the school.
However, after Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in February 2004, the school’s board began to feel wary at the thought of working with MTV, who’d produced the ill-fated Jackson performance. The series was then retooled to follow the off-campus social lives of a group of students, including Kristin Cavallari and her then-boyfriend.
Initially, Cavallari’s parents were split about her appearing on the series. Years later she explained:
My parents are divorced and I was living with my dad at the time. My dad was very excited about me doing Laguna Beach and he thought it was a great opportunity. My mom (pictured above), however, living in Chicago, was a little nervous. I mean she had some reservations about MTV. I think there was a point in my life where I wasn’t even allowed to watch MTV! I think I would be nervous too if my kids wanted to do a reality show for MTV at age 17.
Televised Love Triangle
When Laguna Beach launched in 2004, Cavallari’s sometimes-relationship with Colletti became a major plot point of the show’s first season. In particular, the show presented the two as part of a “love triangle” with Lauren Conrad. Since Conrad was initially positioned as the show’s protagonist, which in-turn led to Cavallari being presented as the “villain.”
Of course the reality of any of these situations is up for debate. According to Cavallari, “So the love triangle was a real thing. However, it was real before MTV came. I think they sort of kept it going by having my boyfriend at the time going and hanging out with Lauren, which was hard! I was 17 and that was hard for me.”
The 'Reality' Wasn't All That Real...
In a 2013 interview, Cavallari claimed that nearly everything on Laguna Beach – including her “bitchy” attitude – were manipulated and basically scripted by producers.
She said at the time, “I was fifteen years old when Laguna Beach came in. I think it was really unfair how they messed with our lives like that. We were so young. We didn’t know exactly what they were doing. Watching the show really broke my heart. When the first episode of Laguna Beach aired, I locked myself in the bathroom and was crying for hours because I was so upset about how they were portraying me.”
...Except When It Was.
While Cavallari has stood by her claims about the show bing scripted, she does claim that one major part of the series was real: her feud with Conrad. In a 2012 interview, she said that she and Conrad didn’t really get along, though she did say of her former costar, “She is a very pretty girl… she’s very successful, and we actually have had a lot of really fun nights together, so she can be a lot of fun.”
While admitting the feud was real, Cavallari still put most of the blame for the rift on MTV and producers, saying, “I feel like [the show’s producers] put things in our heads. I mean, we were 17 and 18. They made it a lot worse than it was.”
In a further interview with Buzzfeed, Cavallari said of her relationship with Conrad, “I think because of the show, the rivalry between Lauren and I sort of escalated. We were never friends. We just weren’t. I didn’t hate her before MTV came and the way it sort of turned into. And that’s because I felt like she was trying to steal my boyfriend.”
The Focal Point
Cavallari became the focal point of Laguna Beach during the show’s second season, taking over narration duties from Conrad and being presented in a slightly more well-rounded light than the “bitch” persona that dominated the first season. Cavallari, and the rest of the remaining original cast members, departed the series following the conclusion of season two in 2005.
At the height of her Laguna Beach fame, Cavallari guest-starred on an episode of the cult classic television series Veronica Mars. She portrayed a lesbian high school cheerleader caught up in an extortion scheme. While we won’t give full spoilers for the episode (though it’s over a decade old people, if you haven’t seen it, what’re you waiting for?) we can say that Cavallari’s character is befitting her Laguna Beach characterization.
The 'Party' Ended Fast
After Laguna Beach ended, Cavallari signed on to host a reality series on UPN known as Get This Party Started. The series followed “a special events coordinator, and a team of celebrity event planners to create a unique and extravagant party for a different person each week.”
The show bombed, and bombed hard. Only two episodes aired before the series was pulled due to dismal ratings. In fact, the show holds the distinction of being last out of the 156 programs which aired on the six major American broadcast networks in the 2005-06 season.
Run for 'The Hills'
In 2009, four years after she left Laguna Beach, Cavallari returned to reality television when she joined the cast of Laguna Beach spin-off The Hills, ironically replacing her old “frenemy” Conrad, who was departing the series.
According to Cavallari, the network wanted her on the show for a long time. She explained, “MTV didn’t come to me to star in my own reality show, but they came to me to go on The Hills numerous times. I kept being like, ‘No, that’s Lauren’s thing — I’m NOT going to do it.’ But with her leaving, obviously, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
According to Cavallari, she was much better prepared for the scripted nature of the The Hills, saying in the aforementioned interview, “Going into The Hills, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I wasn’t going to let them mess with me. That’s why I went into it saying, ‘Whatever you guys want me to do, I’ll do. Don’t mess with me. I’ll be a participant.’ They’re very shady with you. And that’s what they did when we were doing Laguna Beach and we were so young to be doing that.”
However, that’s not to say that Cavallari’s days on The Hills were all fine and dandy, as she still had some issues with how she was presented – specifically editing that implied that she was drinking and using hard drugs – saying in the same interview:
Basically, all that was to get ratings. I was on the cover of Us Weekly saying I need to go to rehab and that my parents wanted me to go to rehab. Both of my parents were like, ‘Oh, really? Why don’t they call me?’ It said that I wasn’t showering. It was so unbelievable. It came and went because obviously I didn’t have a problem whatsoever. But that really pissed me off because MTV did that and there was one producer in particular who was behind all that. So that was really, really hard actually. That was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. I’m so over it by now. But everything else, I was a willing participant.
Heidi and Spencer's Wedding
Cavallari made her first appearance on The Hills in the finale of the first half of the show’s fifth season, as a guest at the wedding of cast members Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, where she caught the bouquet and had an uncomfortable (or at least edited to be uncomfortable) encounter with Conrad.
Despite Cavallari’s addition, The Hills would only run for one and a half further seasons (22 episodes total).
Years later, Cavallari reflected on the series saying, “I didn’t hang out with those people. I had all my friends that were never filmed. It was work three days a week. We’d go to work, do three scenes a day, change, do another scene, and then you leave and you have your other life, your private life.”
'Dancing with the Stars'
Like many reality stars before her, Kristin Cavallari appeared on Dancing With the Stars during the competition show’s 13th season in 2011. Despite being paired with two-time champion Mark Ballas, Cavallari was the third contestant eliminated from the series.
'Laguna Beach' Reunion
Ironically for someone who’s fame began thanks to a reality show focused on her high school years, Cavallari was forced to miss her 10-year high school reunion due to the birth of her daughter.
I was SO upset about that; I was really looking forward to it. Laguna Beach was small so literally everyone in my class I wanted to see. I have kept in touch with a lot of people and I do hear about everyone else through the people I do keep in touch with.
Marriage and Motherhood
In 2010 Kristin Cavallari began dating former NFL QB Jay Cutler. The couple had an on-again/off-again relationship through 2011, but reconciled permanently that November when they learned Cavallari was pregnant. She gave birth to their son Camden Jack in August 2012, and the couple were married in August 2013.
The couple had two more children – son Jaxon Wyatt and daughter Saylor James – in 2014 and 2015 respectively. In 2014, the couple came under fire for announcing that they were choosing not to vaccinate their children.
According to Cavallari, in 2016, she turned down numerous requests to appear on more reality series so that her kids could grow up in a normal environment, saying, “I get approached all the time to do a reality show about my family. I’m always saying no because I want my kids to be kids. I want them to live as normal of a life as possible and not have to worry about all that comes along with being on reality TV.”
'Balancing in Heels'
In 2016, Cavallari released a biography entitled Balancing in Heels. The book detailed Cavallari’s life up to that point, and discussed her journey from reality fame to motherhood.
At the time of the book’s release, she said, “I wanted to write Balancing in Heels because I feel like in the last 10 years since everyone’s been introduced to me — I’ve come a long way. People think they know me, coming from reality TV, but they really don’t. I’m finally at a really good place in my life where I’m ready to share that journey with everybody.”
Kristin Cavallari experienced heart-wrenching family tragedy in 2015 when her brother Michael died of hypothermia following a car crash.
Cavallari released a statement on Instagram that read:
My heart is in a million pieces. Mikey, I could always count on you to make me laugh. You had such a good heart and will be forever missed. I’m at a loss for words but I know u are in a better place and finally at peace. I love u so much RIP 💔
Back to Reality
In 2018, Kristin Cavallari’s public life came full circle when she returned to reality television on the E! series Very Cavallari. While she had previously sworn off doing more reality television, the series’s focus on her business ventures as opposed to her personal life presumably influenced her decision to appear.
Very Cavallari follows Cavallari’s life in Nashville, Tennessee, as she balances family life with the launch and operation of the flagship store for her Uncommon James jewelry line.
As of July 2019, the series has aired two seasons with a third in production.