In February 2019, reports surfaced that Woods, then Kylie Jenner’s longtime best friend, had hooked up with Tristan Thompson, the father of Khloé Kardashian’s child True. The cheating scandal drove a wedge between Woods and the famous family, effectively ending her friendship with Jenner, 22. It also led Kardashian, 36, and Thompson, 29, to split.
Now over a year later, Woods, 23, has opened up in a new interview (conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic) on the YouTube series Now With Natalie about the public scandal and how she dealt with the shame she felt in the aftermath.
“I remember just sitting in a very dark place. I had my family to talk to, I had you to talk to, but I just felt like I had no one,” Woods told host Natalie Manuel Lee. “You take everything you think you know for a whole decade, the people you think you know, the life you think you know, everything that you’ve grown up doing and you take it all away from someone. I didn’t even know how to feel.”
Woods recalled isolating herself after severe backlash online once news broke of the scandal. “I deleted everything off of my phone. I wouldn’t respond to anyone. I responded to about two people. I pushed people away that probably shouldn’t have been pushed away but I just couldn’t trust anyone. Everything in my life changed,” she said.
However, Woods has since learned to accept what happened — and did so by acknowledging her faults in the incident.
“Looking at the situation, ‘Okay what did I do, what role did I play in this, how was I responsible, how can I be held accountable, how can I take responsibility for what happened?’ Things happen and that’s what makes us human,” she said. “But just acceptance and accountability and responsibility. I feel like people in this generation lack accountability and when you can’t accept what you’ve done or you can’t accept that, then you can’t heal from.”
Woods continued: “It’s easy to beat yourself up over things that you could have done differently. But you can’t hold on to what you could have or should have done, you just have to accept what actually happened and then you can let it go. It might take you a month to let it go, it might take you a year to let it go but you have to start praying to be able to let it go.”
And while Woods has moved on from her fallout with the Kardashians, she still has regrets about what transpired.
“I’m not happy that people were hurt and people had to go through what they went through,” she said. “It was a lot for everyone, my family, other families, friends, and not in a million years have I had a negative intention to do something bad to anyone I love. I wouldn’t say I’m happy something like that happened, but I’m happy I was able to become who I am today.”
Woods, whose dad John died of cancer in 2017, added: “I’ve gone through, these past three years, some of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through. When your whole world feels like its crumbling down, everything you thought you knew, it’s really to be rebuilt again but much stronger.”
“A lot can happen in one year, a lot,” she said. “Over months, and losing everything I thought I knew and gaining so much knowledge, you just can only be happy. The amount of strength I’ve gained in this year alone, nothing else could have shaped me to the person I am today.”
In February, a Woods family friend told PEOPLE that the model has done her best to move forward after the scandal. The friend also said at the time that Woods and Jenner are no longer in touch.
“Jordyn’s position now is she’s going to just let it be what it is. She said what she had to say,” said the friend, who added that Woods, who made her acting debut in a guest-starring role on grown-ish last year and competed on The Masked Singer earlier this year, is focused on her career.
“She’s working. She had a stint on a TV show and she has a couple brand deals coming up,” said the friend. “She’s not doing too, too much, but is staying busy.”
Watch the interview below.