The Real Housewives of New York City are back for their landmark 10th anniversary, with Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel, Carole Radziwill, Dorinda Medley, Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Tinsley Mortimer all making their return after an incredibly dramatic and entertaining ninth season. To celebrate the show’s comeback, we got the opportunity to put some questions to the show’s longest standing cast member Ramona, finding out a little bit about what we should expect and how the relationships stand between the ladies now…
This is your 10th season of Real Housewives of New York, congratulations! How does it feel to be the only cast member to have been a part of the show every season to-date?
I never really thought about it to tell you the truth. Thinking about it now – wow, it’s really a 10th-year anniversary show?! I started filming in 2006 for the first show and I knew it would be successful from the moment we started filming, but I never knew it had this longevity.
Why do you think fans love RHONY so much and have kept the ratings so high for so long?
I think there’s a lot of different reasons. Number one, New York City is such an iconic city; it’s so special and so vibrant, and people want a peek at what New York City is about. Getting a glimpse of different women’s lifestyles in NYC is a very interesting thing.
Number two, we as New York women; the group of us are very diverse and we are all very successful in our own ways and in different ways. We’ve all been successful in our businesses – current businesses, new businesses, and old businesses – which I think makes us different. Also, we have a lot of issues that people can relate to. Even though we may live a different lifestyle, viewers can see we have the same problems. We struggle with our marriages, our children, with our workplace, our friends, and I think we’re all very honest about that forthright. I think viewers enjoy watching that. They see we’re just like them – with the same problems.
Every season of RHONY there’s something new to enjoy, so what should viewers expect from this season?
From me personally, viewers will see me much more settled in myself. The divorce is behind me now. I just feel more comfortable with me, myself and I, and it reflects the way I act towards everyone. I am not dating at all. I really have gone back to my roots. My mom told me: “Be your own person and make your own money.” You’re going to see me create a new business based upon what I love, and what I love is looking good for my age and as young as possible without going through surgery. One of the reasons people are always saying to me, “Why do you always look so good for your age? You’re reversing backwards like Benjamin Button”; it’s because I use skincare. So, I said to myself, you know what, I should really develop my own. And I developed my own - Ageless by Ramona - with a top chemist and I have a leading New York City doctor, Dr. Lewis, who’s endorsing my formulas. Which is very exciting.
You’ll see different friendships, which reflects life too. Your friendships come in and out at different times. Certain friends become more important to you than at other times. You will see a big shift between Carole and Bethenny, which kind of makes everyone else shift. All of a sudden, I am really close to Dorinda and Carole. You will see a dynamic change between Sonja and I, that we’re not so “Ramonja” anymore. You’ll have to watch and see how that transpires.
You’ve spoken openly about your divorce on the show and this season, we’ll see you revamping your Hamptons home – was this quite a liberating experience that helped you find peace with closing that chapter of your life?
In season 8, the viewers saw me as a peacemaker with everyone. I think I was in shock over what was happening to me. I was in a very successful marriage for over 20 years, which I think is a great accomplishment in any day and age. It was a shock to me and I was just trying to make all the other ladies get along.
In season 9, the reality of the divorce actually hit me and I think I was acting out a lot and people saw me acting out and not quite [being] myself.
This season, I am really comfortable with who I am and what I am. Part of that evolution and me evolving was to take my current home in the Hamptons and to completely redecorate it and remodel it and update it through construction. I loved doing it. I did everything. I was a decorator, I did work with a fabulous contractor, but we worked in tandem together. I think viewers will be pretty impressed that I did it in six weeks. I am impressed myself, to tell you the truth. And on top of that, I developed a skincare line.
Can you tell us a little bit about the cast trip this season? Was there the usual scramble for the best bedroom?
I think we’ve all matured a little bit when it comes to the bedroom issues. Even me. We basically did a different way. We’re being more diplomatic about it. We didn’t exactly draw numbers this time, but Tinsley was the host of this trip and she picked quite an ingenious way for us to do the rooms, which I thought was quite clever and sweet and nice and thoughtful.
Where do you currently stand with Bethenny? Your relationship has been through perhaps the most of any we’ve seen on the show…
I respect Bethenny. I only wish her the best. I just think she is a very unhappy person and you will see her acting out on the show because of it. Whether it’s with me, with Carole or whomever, Bethenny’s either crying or yelling at someone.
How do you view her relationship with Carole? We’ve heard a lot about their friendship coming to an end – is it repairable?
I think Carole says it herself, it takes time to get to know someone, and she saw qualities in her [Bethenny] she didn’t really respect and saw things she didn’t quite like as much and things that upset her that Bethenny did. You’ll see whether they’re able to resolve it or not.
Luann has also had quite the dramatic past few months; how is your relationship with her right now? Have the ladies stood by her during what could be seen as some of her most traumatic times?
I always say: it’s not about the fall, it’s how you get up. She really got up strongly. Luann is really in a great place and I have to say one thing about all these women: we may fight like cats and dogs and get angry and have rifts, but when someone needs us we’re right there – and all the women rallied around her. I support Luann tremendously and I am really proud of the progress she’s made. You’ll see for yourself on the show.
Finally, what’s next for you in the coming months?
Now that my home is completed I am launching my skincare product by the end of May. So that’s really big for me.
The Real Housewives of New York City season 10 is available to stream and download Thursdays on hayu, reality on demand.