Whenever a new woman joins the group on a Real Housewives show, it’s like a science experiment. There are a lot of variables, and you could end up with an amazing breakthrough, or something could go horribly wrong. While some Housewives have come and gone with hardly anyone noticing, it’s taken Real Housewives of New York newbie Leah McSweeney only a few episodes to become an integral part of the group. It looks like Leah is here to stay, so we sat down with her for the Mention It All Podcast to talk all things RHONY.
Like the rest of us, Leah has been stuck in quarantine since season 12 premiered, but she says she’s been getting lots of positive feedback on social media. “I’ve been received well, which is really nice, because I cannot imagine being hated by the world during a pandemic. That would be too much for me.” Speaking of not-so-positive feedback, Leah definitely pays attention to what’s happening in the world of Bravo, adding “I don’t know how Sutton is doing it.” Ouch.
While Leah has meshed well with the RHONY cast, not everything has been smooth sailing. She shared her initial reactions to the women, saying she was “surprised” at how much she had in common with Luann, but that with Sonja and Dorinda, “there was some friction,” and that it “took a few episodes to get on the same page.” On the show right now, Leah is in a pretty great place with all of the women, but it sounds like it won’t be long before things go south between her and Ramona. Leah says she “didn’t take any offense to it” when Ramona initially gave her a hard time on the show, “but that will change as the season goes on.” Needless to say, we’ll all be watching eagerly to see what happens.
Leah also shared some previously-unknown details from that night in the Hamptons. You know, the one with the tiki torches. We all saw the vibrator in the chicken, but what did the cameras miss? “I tried on Elyse’s like, 25-carat ring, and it got stuck on my finger. That, you didn’t see—we had to grease my finger up, I mean, it wouldn’t come off!” Someday, I’ll party with the RHONY ladies, even if it’s the last thing I do.
For more behind the scenes RHONY tea, check out our full interview with Leah McSweeney on the latest episode of the Mention It All Podcast:
Image: Sophy Holland/Bravo
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Coming to you LIVE from my hotel room. The reigning queen (and my personal idol) is leaving The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny Frankel. We have seen her on RHONY since it first aired 2008, then she left to do her own spinoff and talk show for a few years, only to triumphantly return to us in 2016. But this time, her leaving feels final. And personally, I need some time to process this news.
When we first met Bethenny back in 2008 she was considered by some cast members “the underdog.” She wasn’t married, didn’t have children, and was out here trying to make something of herself. She came in hot with her one-liners, and quickly befriended Jill Zarin. But Bethenny was a force from the jump. She doesn’t take sh*t, period. And when she had an opinion, we heard it. She was a breath of fresh air, and the no bulls*t Greek chorus of the show.
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I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to you. I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you. I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. Thank you so much for your love and support. And stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come. I love you all and am so lucky to have you in my life! PS: New York City is still my playground. . ♥️xo♥️ . B
Throughout her tenure on the show we have seen her ups and downs—her pregnancy, the breakdown of her marriage to he who shall not be named, and finding HUGE success with her company SkinnyGirl. (Which btw, she sold for a record-breaking $100 million dollars.) Mind you, when she started RHONY she has said she only had $8,000 to her name. Business. Woman. Goals.
Variety broke this devastating news, and at first I thought, this is untrue, she wouldn’t do this to us. But then it read “it’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership…”. *cue jaw drop* As Luann de Lesseps once said, “How could you do this to me, question mark”. RHONY is truly an ensemble cast. They have perfected the art of reality television, and I personally don’t know what it is going to be like without her. Bethenny then confirmed her departure in an Instagram post, which you can find above.
Some of you may ask—why are you taking this news so hard? Why are you sitting in your hotel room and pondering life’s existence? Well, if you must know (going to get deep for a minute), honestly, because Bethenny is more than just a housewife to me. She is someone I look up to and admire. Someone I relate to in the most chaotic ways. Maybe it’s because we are both Scorpios, but she is a complex female character and moves through life unapologetically. Personally, I think the most interesting thing about Bethenny is that she is self aware in a way we rarely see in life or on The Real Housewives. She is hyper-cognizant of how she comes across, and even in her most manic states, she recognizes that. Bethenny never deflects her behavior onto someone else, and that is something I will definitely miss. Also, her ability to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes is great TV. Her old BFF Carole Radziwill once said “she’s either wound tighter than a top, or crying”. That sums her up perfectly.
What makes her exit different than Vicki Gunvalson’s recent demotion on RHOC is that Bethenny left at her peak. Last season was a great season for Bethenny, and we got to see a softer side to the tough B. She was still trying to cope with the loss of her longtime on-and-off boyfriend/best friend Dennis. Still, every single week she delivered iconic lines, snarky confessionals, and humility. Vicki, on the other hand, was demoted because RHOC has been struggling the last few seasons. (That’s a conversation for another time though.)
I will finish this up by saying what every celebrity public relations firm advises their clients to say after a break up: “I wish her nothing but the best and I enjoyed our time together. Please respect my privacy at this time”. But also don’t, because I just looked up how to get cookies delivered to me so I can eat my feelings. I am reeling.
Images: Shutterstock; bethennyfrankel, betches / Instagram