Jeff Lewis’s daughter has started at a new preschool just weeks after being expelled from her previous one — but she didn’t get in on merit alone, according to her dad.
On Tuesday’s episode of his SiriusXM radio show, Jeff Lewis Live, Lewis, 49, revealed that he and his ex partner Gage Edward, 35, have found a new preschool for their daughter, Monroe Christine, who turns three on October 25.
Monroe was expelled from the prestigious Montessori preschool she had been attending in mid-September after Lewis made negative comments about the elite institution and the parents of some of its students on his radio show.
The former Flipping Out star took the blame for her expulsion on air after it happened. Now, he’s getting candid about just how he got her education back on track.
“I did get her into a new school but I did have to pull a Lori Loughlin and make a donation,” he said in the episode, making reference to the former Full House actress at the center of the college admissions scandal, who allegedly paid $500,000 to get her daughters into the University of Southern California.
“I mean, I didn’t have anyone take a test for her, you know. I didn’t do anything like that,” the Bravo alum continued.
“Everyone is like, ‘How did you get her in school so quickly?’ and I’m like ‘I don’t know, I guess they just had a space!’ Well I sponsored the carnival, that’s how it happened,” he joked.
One of his guests, Real Housewives of New York‘s Jill Zarin, suggested Lewis might want to keep that information to himself.
“That never happened, that didn’t happen,” Lewis then followed up, sarcastically.
Back in March, Loughlin and Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman were among 50 people — including business owners, a parenting expert, a doctor and a dentist — to be indicted as part of the nationwide scheme involving elite colleges and universities.
On September 13, a federal judge in Boston ordered Huffman, 56, to serve 14 days in prison after pleading guilty. The fate of Loughlin, 54, who has maintained her innocence, has yet to be determined.
According to Lewis, the decision to expel Monroe from her former school was made by administrators after they received complaints about negative comments Lewis had made about it on his radio show.
Those included criticisms he has lobbied about a recent “Back to School Night” for parents. Lewis had also read two internal emails from parents and mocked them (without using their full names).
“Apparently I’ve mentioned a few things about the school on air,” Lewis said, later apologizing about his words. “I take full responsibility. … I am really, really sorry. I feel terrible about what happened. I know how it has affected Monroe. I will never do this again.”
The famous house flipper said that he appealed to the Montessori school’s headmistress to fight his daughter’s expulsion, apologizing and asking for a second chance. The school was apparently unwavering in their decision, leaving the outspoken star feeling frustrated.
“The conversation lasted 20 minutes. For the first 12-13 minutes I groveled, and then when I realized there was no hope, it got a bit contentious,” Lewis recalled in a recent episode. “I said, ‘I cannot believe this is the Montessori way!’ You don’t get to make amends. There are no second chances, no warnings — nothing. It was immediately, ‘They’re expelled.’”
The school did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
“They’re tougher than Sirius,” Lewis joked, noting how he had been disciplined by the streaming radio company’s HR department in the past. “Sirius at least gave me warnings!”
In another episode, Lewis recalled breaking the news of Monroe’s expulsion to his ex, Edwards.
“I had to explain it to him via text,” Lewis said. “Gage was really, really upset and he did yell at me and he did say some things that he probably regrets now.”
Lewis recounted their alleged exchange: “I said, ‘I think this is all for the best’ … and then he hung up on me.”
The famous house flipper claims he then texted Edward to continue the conversation. “I wrote, ‘Gage this is happening for you, not to you’ and he wrote ‘F— off’ in caps,” Lewis continued. “I said, ‘I never liked that school anyway.’ He said, ‘You are so delusional. You are trying to justify your actions.’”
Edward did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but according to Lewis, Edward reached out to the headmistress of the elite institution to try to smooth things over, but was unable to do so.
Lewis and Edward only recently came to a temporary custody agreement over their daughter. The two split in January after dating for 10 years.
Jeff Lewis Live airs weekdays (12 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102).