We caught up with Linda Hogan recently as the season of Couples Therapy was winding down to talk about the big reveal from the season finale: her engagement to Charley Hill. We wanted to know if she had any idea that Charley was planning to propose (nope!) and what’s in store for them now that the show, which she says was incredibly healing, is over.
Congratulations on your engagement!
Was your proposal a total surprise, or did you have some idea?
It was totally a surprise. They had that setup for the other couple that was there to get engaged, Mike and Deja, and they wanted us to go to the ring shop to look at rings. My inner thought was okay, we’re couples with troubles, but a lot of us will have happy endings, and everyone wants that happy ending, everyone wants to be the bride. I thought that the point of that exercise was to make everyone think twice about our relationship, because every exercise we did had a point to it. So we were looking at rings and Charley asked me “Do you see anything you like in here, babe?” and I was like “Hmmm. I haven’t even thought about it.” And, no offense, but my last marriage, I had an eight and a half carat pear-shaped diamond and nothing in the store compared, but then again, nothing compares with Charley. I’ve been there, done that, and my relationship with him is based on pure, simple, “I like you, you like me, we’re good.” But I was open-minded and I said “If I had to pick a ring, what would it be?” and I found one and really started looking at it, it was just a beautiful, classy setting, and I pointed to it without thinking too much…
And then you actually got it!
Next thing you know…
Was it weird to be proposed to in front of the rest of the cast?
I don’t think the cast was surprised by it because we really got along very well and one of the reasons we were at Couples Therapy was because I asked Charley “Would you be willing to go do this show with me, it’s a therapy thing,” and none of us knew what to expect, but it really was therapy. Yes, there were cameras, but once you really got into it, you didn’t care that there were cameras, you didn’t remember that there were cameras, a lot of us are used to the cameras and work well with them around, but the therapy was so heavy and so helpful, it brought out the inner turmoil we were all dealing with and it was so healing to open up, knowing nobody was going to condemn you. Dr. Jenn was honestly amazing. She said to me right away, that she had a feeling she was going to have to break me and Charley up. The age difference just doesn’t work, she said “You’re both too dependent on each other for all the wrong reasons.”
What did you think when you heard that, did you want to prove her wrong?
It scared me. It’s been my fear all along being with Charley, and of course the court of public opinion leaned very heavy on me. There’s a double standard for older women and younger guys, but this is just something that happened to me, I’m not trying to be a trendsetter. When they called me a cougar for the first time, I had never heard that and was kind of offended at that term, I took it almost as I’m a slut or I’m easy and a divorcee who’s hot to trot, but I had to come to grips with the fact that I really love him, and he loves me, and I don’t want to push him away. I want love in my life. It was hard to get that message across that I’m hear for all the right reasons and so is he. It’s been difficult in the public eye and we really wanted to show people what we’re about.
At the end of the day you always worry that you’re with a younger, good looking guy, and what if he cheats on me too? I’ve been through that and done that so much that I don’t think I would be as scorned going through it again, and I’ve braced myself for that, but honestly, if you knew who Charley was and the way he was raised and the family he came from, you’d see it’s either in you or it’s not, and it’s just not in him. He’s very conscientious and loving.
You can tell you guys are very in love. During the first few episodes you just seemed to have it together and my first thought was “Why are they there?” because, aside from the age difference, you seemed great together and so at ease.
Right. And it’s been him, Charley’s been so steadfast in his feelings for me, and I’m the one that’s been freaking out and, you know, it’s not that I want to go date other people or marry somebody older, but really when my mom and, at a certain time, Brooke, and certainly my ex-husband were going against me, you know, I’m sure he was envious that I was with a younger guy, but the machine of life was against me. The public didn’t understand. But why does it work? We came away from therapy knowing Charley probably does need to find his own niche but what we have is real and it’s worth going for it. It was a great feeling knowing I could be heard. Being on this show and having Dr. Jenn and the other doctors listen, was so healing, it felt so good to get all of this off my chest. Not to Charley, not to my mom, not to my kids, just to somebody who could hear me.
Do you still keep in touch with everyone in the house?
We all stay in touch. I would say the only one we really haven’t kept in communication with was Vienna. When we first got in the house, we met Chris and Angelina, then X and Tashera, Vienna and Kasey, and that first day, the other couple didn’t show up. So we weren’t sure if it would just be the four couples or what, but we all got along great and we didn’t know what to expect, and then we were out sitting by the pool and they said “The next couple is here,” and in walked Reichen and Rodiney, and we applauded them. To me, for a gay couple to be together on national television and really express their feelings and to come out on TV and admit they have the same problems as everyone else, we commended them. There was never jealousy or any of that, we were all just there for each other.
What’s next for you and Charley, is there a wedding in motion?
We’ve talked about it. It is exciting. I just feel like I’ve had so much dirty laundry from the first half of my life and I’m just waiting for the dust to clear and i feel like every time I’m getting to that point, something else happens. When is it going to be my time, and my turn? I always put my kids first. I’m also really proud that my ex-husband and I are speaking again, and you know, we just need to find a way to be a family again. Who’s to say what’s right these days? People come together and lean on each other and become a unit and you’ve got to get through life somehow. My ex is remarried, our kids or growing up and will get married and have babies, I have a hot, young boyfriend — which I still think it drives my ex crazy, probably always will. But we want to focus on being a unit, and we’re working on that.