As The Hills barrels through its sixth and final season, betrayals, drug scandals and catfights are rampant — and nearly every friendship seems to be in ruins. But while many believe Kristin Cavallari, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag and their castmates brought the drama on themselves, it seems the producers may be largely to blame. According to insiders, Hills execs have been plying cast members with alcohol, paying them to spread rumors about each other — and even encouraging them to make sex tapes and leak them to the press, all for the sake of ratings. Far from being protective of their young stars, “some producers are definitely manipulative and dishonest,” cast member Alex Jervy Smith tells In Touch. And another Hills source agrees. “It seems they could not care less whether the cast is on drugs or out of their minds,” says the source. “They’ll create situations to stir up drama. And then everyone winds up hating each other. The cast will be fighting — which is what the producers want to happen in the first place.”
Lauren “LC” Conrad’s ex Jason Wahler says producers ended LC’s friendship with Heidi years ago. He believes producers encouraged Heidi and Spencer to spread false rumors that LC, 24, had a sex tape. “It really hurt Lauren’s feelings, and it wasn’t true,” he tells In Touch. And the trend continues. “They wanted Lo Bosworth to do a sex tape with her boyfriend Scott and leak it,” the insider reveals. “Lo refused.” Still, many of the Hills stars have seen their love lives put through the ringer for the sake of onscreen drama.