A deep dive into the drama. Kyle Cooke exclusively gave Us Weekly the run-down of the long-standing tension between him and Summer House costar Carl Radke that led to Carl’s exit from Loverboy.
“It was a long time in the making,” Kyle, 40 — who founded the alcohol brand in 2018 with wife and Summer House costar Amanda Batula — told Us about Carl’s departure from the company while promoting season 7 of Summer House. Noting that the Pennsylvania native quit in November 2022 “after many, many months of him not really focusing on work,” Kyle shared that he paid his friend “a full-time salary for an entire year when he spent most of it checked out.” (Carl, for his part, explained to Us earlier this month that the reason he chose to leave the gluten-free hard tea brand was because “it didn’t feel like it aligned authentically for me” after getting sober in 2020.)
Kyle, who acknowledged that the topic is a “sensitive subject,” shared that “some of [his] frustration” with Carl was when he brought up “feeling under-appreciated and underpaid.”
“I’m like, you know, let’s not forget about all of the things that I put up with. I’ve been … patient [as] a boss,” Kyle said, noting that “part of [his] patience was letting [Carl] try to literally redefine his role” at the company, going from a sales position to “the face of the brand,” throwing parties for Loverboy.
Kyle also set the record straight that he did not fire his colleague — “he resigned in good graces,” the Bravo personality noted — but that didn’t mean that Carl pushed his luck a time or two.
“He gave me plenty of opportunities to fire him,” Kyle said, confirming that the Syracuse University alum left on his own accord, though he believes that Carl’s fiancée, Lindsay Hubbard, encouraged him to leave.
“I think there’s definitely Lindsay in his ear convincing him he’s under-appreciated,” Kyle claimed, emphasizing his opinion that Carl was respected by the staff. He was also “disappointed” how “Lindsay and Carl … [made] our business everybody’s business,” explaining that he “didn’t see that coming.”
And though the Loverboy founder freely admitted his own regrets about how their business relationship went down — “I said some things in the heat of the moment that I probably regret,” the Maryland native told Us — he understood that an alcohol-fueled environment was not the best place for someone trying to maintain their sobriety.
Carl, for his part, told Us last week that “it’s hard to watch” the Bravo series “when Kyle has such strong opinions about whether I’m checked out or [if] my relationship changed me ‘cause I don’t think that that’s necessarily the case.”
He continued: “I mean, I’ve spent the last three and a half years giving my all to Kyle and the business. I’m very proud of everything I’ve done, and we’ve worked really, really hard — and that’s what Kyle demands.”
While Carl noted that he “want[s] the best” for his friend, he also acknowledged that the two are trying to navigate the best way to move forward — which Kyle told Us was “a little surprising to hear,” given they got dinner and hashed things out.
Ultimately, without the distraction of Loverboy, Kyle told Us, “I think now more than ever, we can focus on our friendship.”
Sign up for Us Weekly’s free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Summer House airs Mondays on Bravo at 9 p.m. ET.