Luann de Lesseps‘ arrest in Palm Beach, Florida, and subsequent trip to a 21-day alcohol rehab center left her Real Housewives of New York City costars offering their support to the former Countess — and having a few laughs at her expense.
On Wednesday’s all-new episode, the cameras picked up a few days into the New Year as the New York City Housewives returned to the Big Apple, where they reacted to the news.
As fans saw on the show a week prior, de Lesseps was arrested on Christmas Eve and charged with disorderly intoxication, battery on an officer, resisting arrest with violence and threatening a public servant (she’s since plead not guilty and rejected a plea deal in February).
In video captured by officers from the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department on the scene, the 53-year-old mother of two argued with deputies during her arrest. She was shown on the Bravo program slipping out of handcuffs in the back of a police vehicle before trying to exit the car, telling cops, “I’ve done nothing wrong” and asking them to “let me out, please.”
Learning about her arrest, de Lesseps’ costars all said they had reached out and offered their support.
“I was scared for her because that’s not a good place to be,” said Carole Radziwill, 54.
“I texted her right away and said, ‘Oh God,’ ” recalled Sonja Morgan, 54. “I know that Luann is strong and she is a proud woman and she will get through this. I just wanted her to know that I was there, and I’m not sticking my nose in it.”
Worried Dorinda Medley, 53, said: “I’m not going to say that I saw it coming, but I never believed that all is well. … Sometimes, God stops what you’re not recognizing you need to stop.”
Tinsley Mortimer, 42, happened to be not far from de Lesseps at the time of the incident. Having been arrested in Palm Beach before herself, Mortimer knew what de Lesseps was going through.
“I feel badly for Luann because I know that it’s actually going to taken by the press and go in a million different directions,” she said. “I’m sure when it hit her the next day, it hit hard.”
Ramona Singer, 61, was also in Palm Beach and in fact ran into de Lesseps’ ex-husband Tom D’Agostino, Jr. — he married de Lesseps in the Florida town last New Year’s Eve before their divorce seven months later — during the holidays.
“I saw him,” she told pal Medley. “Actually, I kept running into him! I ran into him three or four times.”
RELATED VIDEO: Sonja Morgan Says Luann de Lesseps ‘Has Embraced the Change’ Following Arrest: ‘This Was a One Off Event’
If Singer was uncomfortable seeing D’Agostino, one could only imagine how tough it must have been for de Lesseps.
She elaborated about the topic later in the episode, confessing that she had wound up at restaurants and bars that she and D’Agostino had frequented together when they were wed. “I thought I could handle it but let me tell you, all these emotions came back, all these memories,” she said. “I’m not blaming it on that, but all of it together was too much for me to handle.”
Her fellow Housewives were compassionate towards that.
“Luann wanted to go to say that she is okay and I get it,” Mortimer said. “Palm Beach is small. Where she was, was literally in the prime spot of everything. There are only a very few restaurants to go to and hotels to stay in. She knew her chances of bumping into Tom in Palm Beach were pretty much a given. She risked it and it didn’t work out that well for her.”
Added Bethenny Frankel, 47: “She’s had a s— year. You don’t plan a wedding, have a wedding, and the cheating and the cheating and the cheating, and then have it crash and burn and not be affected. So now I think the pressure cooker just exploded.”
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Still, this being the Housewives, the women couldn’t help but be a little playful with the whole thing.
“My favorite part is getting out of the handcuffs!” Radziwill laughed to Frankel at one part. “Of course in my mind it’s like she escaped and she’s running across the front lawn of the hotel screaming, ‘I’m going to kill you all.’ ”
“Having been in Palm Beach handcuffs before, I don’t know how you can escape them,” Mortimer joked in another scene, later teasing how the two of them both had “mugshots from Palm Beach” and that they even had spent the night in the same Palm Beach County Main Detention Center on Gun Club Road. “She got out of handcuffs! Lu’s a big girl, how did she get out of handcuffs?”
Frankel and Medley then compared her to famed escape artist Harry Houdini.
Regardless of their jokes, de Lesseps was grateful to have her friends.
“I really appreciate you girls understanding me and understanding what happened,” she told Medley in a phone call from rehab. “You’ve known me long enough to know the s— I’ve been through. I needed to come to a full stop and boy this is a hard way to do it.”
“I’m not proud of what happened,” she said. “But I’m learning a lot about myself. I found the right place to be to take care of myself. I’m finally dealing with what I was trying to drink myself out of — which is dealing with my emotions from the marriage to Tom. I knew that I needed help to get that under control, but I didn’t ask for it. And you know what? I hit a wall. I just wish it wouldn’t have been a brick wall.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.