“I had polished off two bottles of rosé, and that still wasn’t enough,” the “RHONY” star explains.
Luann de Lesseps is almost eight months sober, but her second whack at clean living didn’t start off so pleasant.
During the "Real Housewives of New York" Season 11 premiere, Lu explained that her relapse was sparked by her kids’ and ex-husband’s lawsuit against her (alleging that she was supposed to set up a trust fund for the kids when she sold the original house), but we had no idea how bad things got for the Countess until she and some of her closest friends — including Bethenny Frankel and new "RHONY friend Barbara Kavovit — rehashed "intervention weekend" on Wednesday’s episode of the Bravo series.
"You’re very lucky to have people who love you around you, I swear to God," Bethenny said at the table, adding that she had become very close to Lu’s longtime friend, Anne, after they met at the intervention.
"It brought you all together," Lu said. "Thank you, girls. You know, in retrospect, I’m happy that I didn’t get this big mega-mansion."
The night of the intervention, Bethenny said Luann had been "making a lot of irrational financial decisions," including trying desperately to buy a $6 million mansion in Upstate New York. Lu didn’t have $6 million for the 8,000-square-foot home, so she called "everybody" she knew — including Bethenny’s late boyfriend, Dennis Shields.
"I had to have it," Lu said of the mansion. "I was manic. I wanted that house more than anything. I would’ve sold my soul at that point. That’s how bad I was."
"I had been sober for months, and gradually, I added a little glass of wine here, a little glass of wine there," she explained. "And then having this lawsuit with my kids was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had polished off two bottles of rosé, and that still wasn’t enough."
"The house was a fixation," Bethenny added. "That was the worst of all of it."
At the time, Luann was livid none of her friends would help her out.
"She got mad at me and was telling everyone, ‘Bethenny is a bad person because she won’t give me $6 million for this house,’" Bethenny said. One of those people was Sonja Morgan, who recalled Lu telling her over the phone, "I don’t know why B’s not getting me the money from Dennis!"
"She goes, ‘I’m not losing this f–king house! I’m paying a million dollars more so I don’t lose it to the other people!’" Sonja added of the manic phone call.
"You go, ‘It’s five, but I’ll pay six!’" Bethenny recalled.
Anne said she and the other women who had gone over to wrangle Lu would watch her send an email to someone begging for the money. "But we know the code to your phone, so we would then go ahead and email back and say, ‘Do not do that. Disregard that last email,’" she said.
Barbara claims the situation got so bad that she wound up calling Luann’s lawyers and getting power of attorney. Lu said she had no recollection of any of it.
"If Luann refused to get help, we were literally going to strap her down, put her in a car and bring her to rehab," Barbara said. "She had no choice."
Lu thanked her friends profusely, saying, "I owe you for the rest of my life." But Bethenny assured her she didn’t. "That’s what friends are for," Barbara added.
Some of the other "RHONY" women weren’t as supportive of Luann’s journey to recovery. In fact, on Wednesday’s episode, both Dorinda Medley and Ramona Singer expressed their doubts that Lu had been sober for as long as she claimed she’d been — 55 days at the time.
Dorinda said she felt Luann’s cabaret show was a triggering environment and thought Lu jumped back into it too quickly after rehab. Regarding Lu’s second stint in treatment, Ramona said, "How do you go to rehab for only 14 days? That’s not really rehab; that’s like a vacation."
Luann addressed the comments on Wednesday’s "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen," clarifying that she stayed at the treatment facility for three weeks, not two. She also defended her cabaret show, telling Andy, "It makes me so happy."
"Walking out on the street, being in this clubhouse — everywhere is a trigger," she said. Lu also noted that, at the end of the day, her cabaret show is a job, regardless of how fun it is.
"The Real Housewives of New York" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
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Dorinda Calls Out Luann After 'RHONY' Costar Said This About Her Drinking
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