Juliette Porter Says Kelsey Owens ‘Wasn’t Fired’ from Siesta Key

Kelsey Owens’ abrupt departure from Siesta Key was a surprise to fans — but there’s much more to the story, according to her costar.

The reality star announced her exit from the MTV hit — now titled Siesta Key: Miami Moves — in August after four seasons, claiming producers told her “with absolutely no warning” that she’d “be cut moving forward.”

However, her costar Juliette Porter exclusively tells PEOPLE what actually went down.

“I was there when it happened. I remember. Yeah, we were all there, actually,” Porter, 25, recalls. “Look, she knew how much time she would be in Miami. Well, kind of. She knew what she signed up for. This is a job at the end of the day. It is our real life, but she kind of knew ahead of time how much time she was going to be on the show for — I think.”

Porter continues, “I wouldn’t say she was fired. I mean, she wasn’t fired. But every allotted amount of episodes was up and that’s how it worked.”

While the JMP The Label designer does think Owens “should have been told in a different way,” she says her former castmate “phrased” her statement “wrong.”

“She wasn’t fired. And I think that it’s just the real story didn’t fully come out,” she explains. “I mean, there’s two sides to every story. Production, they messed up by telling her in the way that they did. But by no means was she fully fired.”


Porter does think there’s a chance for Owens, 25, to come back. But a the same time, Porter points out: “I do n’t think she she wants to anymore.”

“I think the way that it was handled was wrong on everyone’s part. I don’t think there should have necessarily been the Instagram post she posted. But I’ve never been in that position yet, so I might be upset too,” she continues. “I don’t know. Everyone handles everything differently, and I think we all learned from that experience.”

PEOPLE has reached out to Owens for comment. MTV didn’t respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The long-running reality series is set to enter a new phase as the show — and cast — shifts their attention toward Miami. Front Siesta Key: Miami Moves, the cast says goodbye to their life in Sarasota as they make the move to Miami. They’ll soon encounter a series of changes across the board, from career challenges to relationship woes.

Teasing what viewers can expect going into the new season, Porter says: “I think they’re going to see a lot of changes when it comes to our priorities.”

“I definitely am focusing on being the best version of me, and really focusing on myself a lot, on my new relationship [with Clark Drum]trying to maintain that and keep it healthy,” she says. “Most importantly, I want to focus on growing my business and branching out into the real world, because I kind of felt like we were in a little bit of a bubble in Siesta Key.”

“This is the real deal now. Yeah, they’re going to see a lot of stress with all of us because we’re really trying to make it out here and prove to ourselves that we’re more than just kids from a small town,” she adds.

Though Porter admits to going through moments of doubt after her move to Miami, she shares that she’s doing “better now.”

“I think that that was partially me just lacking a lot of confidence and self-love. And I think it’s really all a mindset. And I was working through that. Moving is a lot in general. And I think there was so much going on that it was just a lot for me. And I was scared that I wasn’t able to handle it all,” she says.

“It’s just so different here. This is an actual, large city with different walks of life and so many different types of people. It’s more expensive. There’s more to do. There are restaurants. There’s just more interesting people,” she continues. “Siesta Key is very much the same type of person. There’s less there, and I’ve met everyone, I’ve done everything. There was nothing left for me. I wouldn’t have been growing.”

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Siesta Key: Miami Moves premieres Thursday at 8 pm ET on MTV.

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