Several relationships are on the rocks in Netflix's Bling Empire, but none more so than Kelly Mi Li and Andrew Gray's. After a major blowup in Paris, the couple attempted to repair their fraught relationship throughout Season 1. The season finale ended with her going to his place after a night of partying, but are Kelly and Andrew still dating? "The short answer is that we're still together," Kelly tells Bustle. "We're doing better than ever. We're still working through our differences and continuing with therapy."
She adds that she's used to being in relationships that are "not short on drama," and Bling Empire caught her and Andrew at a "very difficult and dark time" in their lives. The filming "magnified" their issues, she says, "just because there were so many other people in our private life." Despite that, she explains that the show's premiere has had a positive impact on their relationship. Instead of trying to sweep their problems under the rug, she says, she and Andrew addressed and found solutions to them. "I was able to learn things about myself that probably would have taken a lot longer to discover," she adds.
Bling Empire set up Kelly and Andrew's volatile relationship from the start. In Episode 1, Kelly's friend Anna Shay invites them on a last-minute trip to Paris to celebrate Kelly's birthday. Things seem to be going well until Andrew wakes up and realizes that Kelly let him sleep off the jet lag while she went shopping with Anna. He makes his feelings known on an angry phone call to Kelly, which of course Anna and the viewers hear on speaker phone. "What the f*ck is going on? Your lack of effort drives me f*cking crazy," he says. He reprimands Kelly for not letting him know she was leaving, and yells at the top of his lungs that he's "upset" and would never "treat you that way."
"I haven't figured out the exact best strategy to deal with Drew when he gets in these bad moods or episodes," Kelly admits to the camera. "Unfortunately this is not the first time Drew's yelled at me or spoken to me this way."
Andrew tearfully apologizes afterwards, admitting that he overreacted and is "not happy with my actions." The two end up attending couples therapy, where they decide it's best to take a break and separate their living spaces. They stay apart for a while — and Kelly even goes on a date with castmate Kevin Kreider — but it's not long before Andrew and Kelly end up in a messy maybe-casual, maybe-something-more relationship.
Kelly pushes back on that framing. "At the end of the day, a relationship requires work like everything else in life," Kelly says. "Everybody's into instant gratification, so a lot of time relationships don't last. People want to be there for the good times, but they don't want to be there for the bad times."
She contrasts Andrew to her ex-husband, who she says only pretended he was happy, but secretly harbored resentment towards her. "The top quality I really admire about Andrew is that he is very honest and truthful," she says. "So there's never any hiding. If he's angry, he's angry and if he's happy, he's happy."
She explains that they're still living in separate households, and are now working individually with therapists. "I do see small changes in [Andrew's] behavior," she says. "He's a lot calmer, and there's times that he's even trying to calm me down." They plan to start couples therapy (with a new therapist, not the one seen on the show) again soon. "I think one of our big issues was codependence," she says. "So now it's just about being the best versions of ourselves ... We just have to do a lot of self care and self healing."
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