Real Housewives of New York’s Bethenny Frankel shocked us all when she decided to bail on the show. For Bethenny, the timing was right. According to Ramona Singer, Bethenny’s co-stars found out this juicy information through the press. Ouch!
So, who would Bravo pick to step into Bethenny’s fashionable shoes? We learned that Leah McSweeney apparently signed on for Season 12 of RHONY. Since Bravo doesn’t comment on casting, this hasn’t been confirmed. We also don’t know if Leah will be a full-time Housewife or Friend of the Housewives.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Leah is a mother and creator of a street brand called Married to the Mob. Leah has also been spotted filming with her friend, Tinsley Mortimer. And Leah was already spotted arguing with Tinsley and Luann De Lesseps at an event. Welcome to the show, newbie!
But it seems that Leah comes with some baggage, and it is
concerning controversial. In 2018, Leah wrote an article for Penthouse magazine titled “Can We Talk About Toxic Femininity?” The article was about deceased chef Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento, his partner. Leah put forth her opinion that Asia had a consensual relationship with Harvey Weinstein and chose to take advantage of the #metoo movement.
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In response, Asia posted a link to a column on The Root. It was titled “Why Thirsty White Women Like Leah McSweeney Are a Menace to Society.” This piece detailed an alleged interaction between Leah and Saturday Night Live actor and writer Michael Che on a dating app. On her Improper Etiquette podcast, Leah called Michael “arrogant, rude, and disrespectful.” And, in an article on Queerty, a series of deleted tweets show Leah’s reported homophobic and racist comments. Really? Sigh. That is a lot to digest.
Now another new cast member is joining RHONY, and I am crossing my fingers that she is less polarizing than Leah. US Weekly has confirmed that Elyse Slaine has begun filming for Season 12. A source stated, “Elyse isn’t a full-fledged housewife yet; they’re always testing new women.” The source added that Elyse will have “a prominent role on the show,” but is still considered a “friend” at this point.
She has been filming with the entire cast, but the insider pointed out that Leah is “the only new official Housewife.” Still, Ramona posted a picture on her Instagram with Elyse and Sonja Morgan from a cast trip to Newport, Rhode Island.
Elyse does have an interesting back story. In 2010, Elyse split with her husband David Slaine. David was an undercover informant for the FBI from 2007 to 2009. He aided the FBI with making cases against several people for insider trading.
Elyse was the subject of an article by The Observer called “The Wall Street Ex-Wives Club.” In the piece, Elyse explained her differences with her husband. “My interests became a little more diverse. I like to travel. I enjoy theater. David, the one time we went, fell asleep,” she explained. Valid point, Elyse.
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Let’s hope that Elyse and Leah are ready for some cabaret with the Countess, and a holiday trip to the Bezerkshires with Dorinda Medley. That is probably the one thing that we know we will see in Season 12 of RHONY.
TELL US: DOES ELYSE SOUND LIKE A GOOD FIT FOR THE CAST? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LEAH? ARE YOU PLANNING TO WATCH Season 12?
[Photo Credit: Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images]