‘The Randall Scandal’ Uncovers Lala Kent’s Role in ‘Vanderpump’ History

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Before Scandoval became national, headline-dominating news (much to Liev Schreiber’s chagrin), Vanderpump Rules cast member Lala Kent was bearing the brunt of bad press to do with sordid Bravo affairs.

The drama stemmed from Kent’s relationship with Randall Emmett, a Hollywood producer behind films like The Irishman and 2 Guns and the father of Kent’s daughter, Ocean. Emmett had been a mysterious presence on Bravo from the jump, remaining unnamed and off-camera for years before he was first introduced to audiences on Vanderpump Rules. In earlier seasons, Kent kept his identity a secret from her judgmental SUR employees who presumed (correctly, as it turns out) that she was dating a married man.

As the show went on, Kent opened up more about their relationship. “The first night we banged, I got a car the next day,” Kent told Stassi Schroeder in Season 7, adding, “There’s been a lot of times when I’ve gone to a hotel and put a wig on and I’ll have him meet me at the bar. I’ll be named Tiffany, and I’ll do anything to be in a movie, like give blow jobs.”

Kent ended her relationship with Emmett in October 2021, months before he became the subject of a damning Los Angeles Times investigation; the producer is facing a battery of lawsuits alleging that he would offer aspiring actresses work in exchange for sexual favors, and that he owes approximately $25 million in outstanding loans to a number of investors. The Times further reported that Emmett churned out several films with Bruce Willis over the past few years, despite being aware of the brutal toll the legendary actor’s cognitive decline was taking on him. Martin G’Blae, a former assistant of Emmett’s, also accused the producer of repeatedly using the n-word in a racial discrimination lawsuit last November.

All of these Emmett-centric scandals are the basis of a new Hulu documentary, aptly titled The Randall Scandal: Love, Loathing and Vanderpump, which tracks his downfall and Kent’s involvement in the whole twisted affair. The timing, of course, is canny: At a time when everyone is scrambling for any scrap of Vanderpump gossip they can find, further context on any cast member, even one as slimy as Emmett, is welcome.

The Randall Scandal shows us how Emmett got his start in Hollywood: Amazingly, when he moved to town, he was able to get in touch with distant cousin Jerry Bruckheimer, and in his mid-twenties, he became Mark Wahlberg’s assistant before clawing his way up the producer ladder. Before he ever met Kent, the documentary reveals, Emmett also fancied himself a reality star, even making his own slipshod reality show centered on himself called The Mogul.

Brett Pearson, a former personal assistant of Emmett’s, describes how he lost almost 60 pounds in only a few months while working for the producer. “The intensity and the anxiety that he brings… is palpable,” Pearson said. “I don’t think I was calm at any point once I met Randall Emmett.”

When Kent came into the picture, as Vanderpump Rules fans can recall, she would vehemently defend Emmett against anyone who disparaged him as a cheater or a sugar daddy. In a particularly iconic scene from Season 6 of the show, Kent exploded in rage at her friend James Kennedy after he drunkenly spat at her, “You fuck the fat man and he pays for your rent.”

“I think Lala was a little bit overwhelmed with everything that was happening,” Pearson said in the doc. “They would get into a fight, and the next day I would have to go spend $600, $700 on roses to send to her house.”

The documentary points out that Emmett and Kent were together and engaged to be married at the apex of his career, during the time when he was being lauded as a producer on Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. But the first person to call out the cracks in Emmett’s armor was none other than rapper/mogul 50 Cent, who ignited a social media firestorm when he publicly demanded $1 million that the producer apparently owed him.

What’s fascinating about Emmett is that his supposed awfulness seems to check every box of the Hollywood bingo card. At one point, his production company, Emmett/Furla Oasis Films, plotted to create a TV show called PUMP (in a bizarre coincidence, PUMP is also the name of one of Lisa Vanderpump’s West Hollywood restaurants) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Writers were hired and an entire season was drafted, but when Schwarzenegger moved on without ever having officially attached himself to the project, Emmett allegedly told the writers on the show that their contracts wouldn’t be paid out and essentially ghosted them. Even though an arbitrator ruled in favor of the WGA-represented PUMP writers, ordering EFO to pay the out-of-work scribes nearly $500,000, the studio refused, according to the documentary.

G’Blae, the ex-assistant who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against Emmett, recounts his own horrific experience working for the producer, which he said involved thousands of dollars spent out of pocket to do Emmett’s bidding, even flying to Puerto Rico on a moment’s notice to assemble a poker table for him and his buddies.

“Him using the n-word was the moment for me, the moment where this is unacceptable and now you’re blatantly displaying acts of racism,” G’Blae says. “At this point I was just so disgusted, I knew for my sanity that I had to leave.”

Deciding to further put himself out there as a Hollywood-savvy public figure on Vanderpump Rules, the documentary posits, became one of Emmett’s most ill-fated decisions.

“He loved being on Vanderpump Rules, and they featured him a lot because four of the cast members were no longer returning,” podcaster Heather McDonald says in the documentary. “Lala and Randall were a big part of it, so they made Randall a big part of it too. I think Randall may have drank the Kool-Aid a little bit then, and really loved it and had fun.”

Toward the end of the documentary, Kent’s mother shares that her daughter’s relationship with Emmett truly began to fall apart on the night that she gave birth to Ocean and he asked his then-fiancée if he could spend the night in a hotel room.

A few months later, after Emmett was photographed with two young women in Nashville, Kent asked to see his phone and Emmett tackled her to the ground, Kent’s mother alleges in the doc. Emmett denies tackling Kent. Shortly after that altercation, while Emmett was out of the house, Kent and her mother “basically escaped,” her mother says.

Unfortunately, Kent herself was not interviewed for the Hulu documentary, which would have been a prime opportunity for her to clear up the timeline concerning what she knew about Emmett and when she knew certain things. The reality star has received, both from fellow cast members and from the public, a deluge of criticism concerning the extent of her knowledge of her ex’s alleged misdeeds throughout their relationship, as well as misogynistic digs about gold-digger behavior and being his mistress when they first got together.

One plausible explanation for her absence is the ongoing litigation with Emmett regarding custody of Ocean, which Kent discusses extensively on Vanderpump. She also, for what it’s worth, has been quite vocal on the show about the desultory nature of her sex life with Emmett, even sharing that she hadn’t had sex at all since she conceived her child.

Fortunately, Kent meets a man she dubs “The Don” in Season 10 and exclaims, “I just had the best. Sex. Ever,” the morning after, so things, at least in one respect, are looking up. And in the meantime, we have more than enough Scandoval content to keep us satiated.

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