“Selling Sunset”: Jason Oppenheim Says Navigating Chrishell Stause and Nicole Young Feud Was ‘Awkward’ (Exclusive)

'I care very much about both Nicole and Chrishell,' the Oppenheim Group founder tells PEOPLE of his costars

<p>Andrew Chin/Getty; Phillip Faraone/Getty; Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images</p>

Andrew Chin/Getty; Phillip Faraone/Getty; Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

This story contains spoilers for season 7 of Selling Sunset.

Chrishell Stause and Selling Sunset costar Nicole Young continued to clash in season 7 of the Netflix reality series, out now, and Jason Oppenheim was caught in the middle of their feud.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Oppenheim says the situation was “awkward and difficult” to navigate.

“I put that up there with Lou and Chrishell,” says the Oppenheim Group founder, referring to Stause’s confrontation with his ex Marie-Lou Nurk, which is also documented in the new season.

“I care very much about both Nicole and Chrishell,” he continues. “I deal with a lot of drama and interpersonal conflict between people on and off camera all the time, as a broker of 75 agents and someone who's on two reality shows.” (Oppenheim also appears on Selling the O.C., which follows the lives of agents at the O Group’s Newport Beach office.)

<p>Sara Mally/Netflix</p>

Sara Mally/Netflix

“It's definitely exacerbated and more difficult and there's more sensitivities involved when it's two people that you care deeply about,” he says. “So I've talked to them both privately many times and just want them both to know that I love and support them.”

The bad blood between the pair started in season 6 when Young, a longtime O Group agent who had just joined the show, accused Stause of taking credit for two of her listings three years earlier.

Oppenheim says he’s learned not to resolve other cast members’ conflicts by trying to take the lead.

Related: Jason Oppenheim Says Clash Between Exes Chrishell Stause and Marie-Lou Nurk Gave Him 'Anxiety' (Exclusive)

“Sometimes things need to play themselves out, and sometimes it's better just to listen and not try to always provide answers,” he says. “So I think I've done a better job at that and I think that's probably helped my sanity and maybe allowed me to protect those relationships even when they're not getting along.”

One particularly heated exchange in the new season takes place at Chelsea Lazkani’s 30th birthday party after Stause’s pal Emma Hernan confronts Young for calling her a social climber.

“Nicole, I make more than you in five minutes than you could ever make in five years,” Stause tells Young, adding, “You rearranged your whole face.”

“You’re an awful person,” Young fires back at Stause.



In a later episode, tensions flare after Oppenheim enlists Young to work on Stause’s listing while Stause recovers from surgery to remove an ovarian cyst.

During a meeting with Oppenheim, Stause tells Young she hopes they can move forward, calling the confrontation at Lazkani’s party “ugly” and “gross.”

“I want to apologize because I know that I got really upset and triggered about certain things and so regardless of what you did or said, I just want to be responsible for how I contributed in that night," Stause says. "I don’t like where it went, and I don’t intend to let that happen again.”

“I’m sorry for taking it to a dirty place,” Stause adds.

“If we could avoid any of that forever, I think everyone would be a thousand times better off in every way,” Young replies.

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p>

Courtesy of Netflix

However, Stause isn’t happy with her response.

Talking to the camera, she says, “The one thing I’m missing is Nicole’s accountability in any of this. You know, she didn’t say anything, and she did so many things.”

Related: Jason Oppenheim Says 'Everyone Misses' Heather El Moussa amid Reduced Role on Selling Sunset (Exclusive)

Ahead of Friday's premiere, Oppenheim described the new season of Selling Sunset as "complicated," saying viewers will get to know the agents "in different ways" and "see some different dynamics play out that maybe they didn't expect."

Oppenheim added that the show feels fresh after seven seasons due to "a never-ending supply of very interesting dynamics between the women."

Selling Sunset is streaming on Netflix.

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