**From my Huffington Post archive, 8/24/17
Tinsley Mortimer is the most recent addition to the cast of Real Housewives of New York (RHONY). Currently airing its three-part reunion, the franchise offered an epic season filled with drama, drunken shenanigans, developing friendships and relationships and the dissolution of others. I recall briefly connecting with Tinsley when she was on the CW’s “reality show” High Society (you’ll see below why Reality Show is in quotes). The bubbly blonde, no stranger to the gossip columns in the early 2000s, reentered New York society via her Bravo debut this season after experiencing public humiliation – and a mugshot she wouldn’t let us forget about!
Although Tinsley is currently trotting the globe with steady beau Scott Kluth, she took time out of her busy schedule to answer questions for The Huffington Post. (Please note: This interview took place before the airing of Part 2 of the reunion when the ladies discussed voting – and not voting – in the last presidential election.)
You’re not a stranger to reality TV or the spotlight. Did taking part in this season of RHONY meet or exceed your expectations going in? How was this experience different (and BETTER, I’m greatly assuming) than High Society?
Taking part in this season of RHONY was a crazy, wild, tumultuous ride which exceeded my expectations on every front. These adjectives come to mind: hysterical, embarrassing, humiliating, frightening, and fun! Yes I’ve done TV before; however, I don’t think anything can prepare one for the rollercoaster called RHONY. If you can imagine getting ready for an event and the necessary preparations it takes…hair, make-up, clothing choices, etc., try having to do this almost every day! Now throw in dealing and interacting with some of the most confident and assertive ladies in New York, and you will have an idea of what it’s like to be on RHONY. This show is completely different from High Society, which was at times scripted. RHONY is an absolutely authentic depiction of a group of very strong, smart, tough, and opinionated New York women with varied and interesting pasts. Though our crazy behavior may seem unbelievable, everything you see is totally real.
Which of the ladies did you know before? How well did you actually know Sonja?
Sonja and I have been friends for fifteen years. She would chat with me at parties, she was always sweet to me. We reconnected a few years ago in Palm Beach, and she sometimes kindly called to check in on me. As for the other ladies, I occasionally ran into Luann at restaurants or functions in Palm Beach and I’ve run into a few of the other girls at events over the years.
You and Carol seem opposite in some ways. What is the key to the ‘magic’ of this friendship? I love watching the two of you and to me, you guys seem like a great duo to hang out with.
I did not know Carole before the show so my friendship with her was unexpected and a nice surprise. Clearly, she is a girl with extraordinary intelligence, integrity, and character. She’s a very ‘cool’ chick and she could have looked at me in another light. Instead, she took the time to get to know me without any prejudice about my being a former ‘socialite.’ I think the ‘magic’ is the same as with any other good friendship…to be supportive, kind, and to have fun together.
You and Bethenny were a slow burn. Do you two hang out off camera now? Are you friends in real life?
The ridiculous story that Sonja leaked to Page Six really got to you. Are the two of you in a good place now? Do you have a friendship?
It wasn’t the Page Six piece itself that was so upsetting. It was the fact that someone I considered a friend would volunteer information to the press with the intent and purpose of making me look like someone I am not. So many untrue things have been written about me, particularly last year, so, of course, I am sensitive. I had just come out of an upsetting and humiliating experience and Sonja reached out to me when I was vulnerable. She generously offered me a safe haven that I could escape into and get my life back on track in NYC. I confided in Sonja, I trusted her, and she was the last person I thought would turn on me. I will always love her, however, for her extreme generosity in inviting me to stay with her. I sincerely hope we can repair our friendship, and I am confident we can.
What is it about Scott that makes him stand out and gives you more promise than previous relationships?
Scott is an amazing man. He comes from a strong family background and was raised with great morals, values, and integrity. He is incredibly brilliant, a self-made man, and a true gentleman. I so admire his work ethic and devotion to his business CouponCabin.com which he started when he was just 24. Scott’s authenticity and kindness is apparent to everyone. He’s really unlike any man I’ve ever known.
A bunch of us went back to binge the CW show High Society (shoutout to listeners of the Emotionally Broken Psychos Podcast and to Liz Bentley of EBP and host of Feathers in My Hair). Are you in touch with or do you have anything to do with any of the cast mates now?
I hope you enjoyed watching the show! I want to clear up a big misconception about “High Society” once and for all. The show wasn’t reality, it was satire. The producers initially wanted to film a docuseries that followed my real life. It was supposed to be called “Tinsleytown,” showing my life behind the red carpet and the glamour of New York as opposed to the glamour of Tinsletown or Hollywood. However, after my mom, sister and I signed on to do it, the producers decided to change the intent of the show. The entire storyline was altered to include feigned fights with “friends” who were not really my friends. We were placed in situations that were not real to us and that sometimes made us uncomfortable. Somehow the show turned into this satire on “high society” and how others might expect these people to behave. Other than my family, I don’t see any of the people who were in the cast.
You can catch up on past episodes of RHONY through the Bravo Now app and also On Demand. A brand new season is now airing Wednesday at 9/8c on Bravo.