April 06, 2018 11:48 AM

Few reality show rivalries captivated fans quite like that of Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag on The Hills.

In a new interview with Paper magazine, Montag opened up about how devoted fans of the show took sides as their friendship fell apart on the MTV reality show, which aired for six seasons from 2006-2010.

“There was a lot of Team Lauren,” recalled Montag, 31. “And it was just a different time when people took reality TV very seriously. They were invested in Lauren emotionally, because she had come from Laguna Beach and was the narrator for each episode.”

“It was frustrating for me at the time — everyone just assuming I was this bad friend and bad person,” she added. “It was especially challenging when everyone was against my relationship [with now-husband Spencer Pratt]. The Hills machine was so powerful, and it was impossible to get over. The money definitely made it a little bit easier, but the repercussions were really hard.”

Heidi Montag (left), Lauren Conrad
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

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Looking back, Montag did admit to missing the cash flow of her previous lifestyle.

“That was really fun, going to the bank,” she said. “It was such a different carefree time in my life.”

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These days, of course, Montag and Conrad have moved on, though they do have one important thing in common — they’re both new moms! (Montag to 6-month-old son Gunner with Pratt, 34, and Conrad, 32, to 9-month-old son Liam with husband William Tell.)

“It’s weird to think I was a person before Gunner,” said Montag, who has opted not to hire a nanny: “I’m not ready to share him,” she said.

“The most sleep I get is two hours — sometimes three,” she said. “I’m usually up every hour with Gunner, it’s really intense. Gunner’s given me a whole new strength that I didn’t know. I feel like I am stronger than I’ve ever been emotionally. At the end of the day, I’m his mom, and that’s my main priority.”

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