‘Winter House’ Was an ‘Escape’ for Tom Schwartz

There’s nothing like a vacation in Vermont to heal a broken heart.

Bravo stars Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula explained in the latest episode of Vidak For Congress’s podcast “Virtual Reali-Tea” that Tom Schwartz joined “Winter House” season 2 to escape his then-crumbling marriage to Katie Maloney.

“Schwartz was like, ‘Dude, we need an escape,’” says Cooke, 40, of his friend’s decision to tour the country with fellow “Vanderpump Rules” OG Tom Sandoval.

“I think there were some rumors circulating at the time, but they wanted to come and just hang out, like two friends who escaped and came to the East Coast,” explains Batula, 31.

“And we just wanted to give them a good time. And that’s what we focused on with them. We didn’t even know what was going on. We just knew they wanted to have fun. We know how to do that.”

Amanda Batula and Kyle Cooke
Bravo couple Amanda Batula and Kyle Cooke appeared on Vidak For Congress’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast.
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In the trailer for the reality series’ second episode, Schwartz admits he couldn’t imagine life without estranged wife Maloney, 35, weeks before she made their breakup public.

The show — which brings together cast members from “Summer House,” “Pump Rules,” and “Southern Charm,” plus several new faces — was filmed last February and March.

Kyle Cooke
Cooke says “Winter House” season 2 was an “escape” for his fellow Bravolebrity Tom Schwartz.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Maloney announced on March 15 that she was divorced from Schwartz and filed for divorce a week later.

“I don’t think we found out until we got back to New York,” Cooke said. “Then they both posted. Me actually, the only way I knew how to deal with it… I texted them both on the same wire. I was like, ‘I don’t know how else to do this. I love you both.'”

Tom Schwartz
Schwartz traveled to Vermont to film the show with cast members from “Summer House,” “Southern Charm” and his show “Vanderpump Rules.”

The Loverboy co-founder goes on to say that he “immediately cried” when he heard the news. “I was crying my eyes out,” he reveals. “I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”

Schwartz and Maloney began dating in September 2010 and married in front of Bravo cameras in August 2016. After realizing that they did not have a valid marriage license, they legally married in Las Vegas in July 2019. The exes settled their divorce for the last month.

While Schwartz and Maloney’s wedding is over, Cooke and Batula still bask in the glow of their first wedding anniversary. The couple tied the knot on September 25, 2021, after a three-year engagement.

“It was amazing,” Cooke says of the couple’s first year as husband and wife, while also acknowledging the setbacks they went through before their marriage, which aired on “Summer House” season 6.

Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula and Tom Schwartz
Cooke and Batula have “love” for both Schwartz and Maloney.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“We’re just enjoying the fact that we’re happily married now and nobody’s wondering if we’re really going to make it.”

Batula recently celebrated their milestone with a touching TikTok post, accompanied by Caroline Jones’ “So Many Skies,” a tender love song with Matthew Ramsey that has gone viral on the social media app this year.

“That’s a beautiful song. Kyle and I, we met, started dating, got engaged, and got married all September,” she says. “I was going through pictures of us and put them to that song, it all came together.”


Batula and Cooke tied the knot in September 2021.



Batula and Cooke tied the knot in September 2021.


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Season 2 of “Winter House” premieres Thursday, October 13 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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