We are halfway through the work week and Miranda Lambert and her messy new husband continue to rain gossip down upon us. First there was the surprise wedding announcement and then there were details about an ex-fiancée (Jackie), a newborn baby from another relationship, and some very tight relationship timing (click here to catch up). 

The story has only gotten messier in the last day. Let’s start with the sanctioned stuff in PEOPLE magazine, including this curious paragraph: 

The NYPD officer, 27, had been engaged to another woman — fellow Staten Island native Jackie Bruno — until just months before marrying Lambert, PEOPLE confirms. He proposed to his now ex-fiancée with a 1.21-carat, round, brilliant cut diamond ring, set in an 18-carat white gold band, a source close to McLoughlin tells PEOPLE. The ring and matching wedding band were worth approximately $15,000, according to documents viewed by PEOPLE. 

Since when is PEOPLE in the jewellery business? Why are they reviewing documents about an engagement ring he gave an ex, and not even his most recent ex? To get a full picture, we have to go to OK! Magazine (I know, I know). OK! Is owned by AMI, the same company that owns US Weekly, which had an exclusive interview with Jackie’s mom, Carol. She also went to OK! (or likely had a package deal with AMI and the magazines were able to split the stories) and this story is the level of pettiness we are looking for). 

Carol said that because of the breakup (and let’s be real, the cheating), Jackie decided to sell the ring because Brendan was boasting about how much it cost. When she went to sell it, an appraiser told her the ring had been clarity enhanced, meaning it was much less valuable than Brendan made it out be. 

Look, not spending $15k on a ring is of course fine, but lying to your ex-fiancée, who you are trying to win back after getting someone else pregnant, about something that is so easy to prove is some Dirty John-type sh-t. 

And what’s interesting is that Brendan seems to be OK with looking like a cheater, but hot cop doesn’t want to look cheap, so that is why PEOPLE was conveniently able to get their hands on those documents. Carol has Miranda and Brendan shook! Do not f-ck with Carol!

Another source (Carol wearing sunglasses and a scarf) told OK! that even though Brendan cheated on Jackie and she had to find out about the baby from the other woman (and not from him), he still begged her to take him back and wanted to get married quickly so she could help him raise the baby. Jackie obviously declined because girl has some sense in head. With a mom who doesn’t suffer fools, I can see why. 

In terms of strategy, Miranda is playing a losing game here because she is responding to stories, on his behalf, and not creating the story. When you have to send over a ring receipt to PEOPLE, things are shaky. Get it together Team Lambert, Carol is kicking your ass.

Beyond this drama, TMZ is reporting that there was no overlap with Miranda and the mother of his child, Kaihla, which is a pretty strong stance to take considering even PEOPLE, which has been so friendly with the happy couple, reported that he spent Thanksgiving (on November 22, 2018) with Kaihla and the baby and a source told said, “he has a history of cheating.” 

Considering how glowing PEOPLE’s coverage has been, who is the source that is going off-script? Is it someone from Brendan’s side that they were able to talk to? Or is it someone on Miranda’s team who sees what is happening and bracing for the inevitable fallout and trying to protect Miranda in the process? If they set him up as a cheater now, well, she can’t really be blamed when it falls apart.

But the marriage is less than a month in and the couple is forging ahead. TMZ is also reporting this will be a commuter marriage, with Miranda in Tennessee and him working and raising his son (who he has 50% custody of) in New York. Long distance works very well for some people and for others, it can be incredibly difficult, particularly at the beginning of a relationship. (Or in this case, a marriage.)

If they went into this marriage knowing they would spend a year doing this (per TMZ’s timeline), combined with the new baby, the obvious question is: what is the rush? The desperate need to get married might seem romantic (and people will always come at you with the “my parents knew each other for a month before they got engaged and have been married for 52 years” anecdote) but if we look at all of the circumstances here, from the new baby to the salad flipping, this is beginning to sound like a cautionary Lifetime movie. I would be worried if we weren’t dealing with Miranda Lambert, who is tough. The only thing she’s scared of is Carol’s tea.