We sat down (exclusively) with New York’s Dramatic, Hilarious, and Messy New Real Housewives


We sat down with the New Real Housewives of NY Getty/Bravo

It’s no exaggeration to say that during his 13 seasons, RHONY redefined pop culture, with iconic moments like “I’ll tell you how I’m doing: No good, bitch!” make meme history. But after the ratings finally plummeted, Bravo put the show on hiatus (IYKYK) before completely revamping the franchise for this new season, which kicks off July 16.

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The women responsible for resurrecting it are Jenna Lyons, former president and executive creative director of J.Crew and current co-founder of LoveSeen; Sai De Silva, creative director and blogger at Scout the City; Ubah Hassan, model and philanthropist, fashion publicist and brand consultant Jessel Taank, marketing consultant Brynn Whitfield and Erin Dana Lichy, real estate agent and founder of renovation and design company Homegirl.

Since the casting announcement, fans have gleefully devoured all the social media teases while wondering if the reboot will become date TV, taking over our streams to Scandoval-esque levels. Based on this exclusive roundtable with the stars over drinks at 30 Rock’s swanky Pebble Bar, the answer is yes.


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When the first The Real Housewives of New York launched in 2008, the actors had no idea what they were getting into. But you all knew exactly what the show is about. What made you want to do it?

Jenna: I’m not going to lie, I have a business. I do it for a specific reason, to connect with people and make them care who you are. Also, aside from Ellen or Rachel Maddow, there isn’t much gay representation on television.

Bryn: In 2021, I went to see a psychic and thought, “Where is my soulmate? Where is he? When am I getting married?” He told me that I was going to be on The Real Housewives of New York. I thought I just flushed $300 down the toilet.

Jessel: I am the first Indian housewife to appear in the franchise and I love being the first. I am Hindu and Ubah is Muslim and there are certain taboo subjects for women which are stigmatized. I really wanted to come and eradicate some of that stigma.


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How your version of RHONY be really different?

Jenna: Where the franchise began was trying to capture this ambitious Upper East Side enclave. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t speak to all of New York. New York has always been a bit grittier and cooler than the Upper East Side.

Erine: The women in front of us in New York, how to put it nicely? They have grown. I work like crazy. I have three children. I balance everything. New York is filled with moms hustling and I think that’s something cool to show off.

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Sai: We didn’t get up to marry rich men and hang out on our yachts. We work. None of us have a private plane. I mean, I wish.

Jessel: As women, you want to support each other. Talking down other women is so boring.

Wow: There’s a lot of ‘shut the fuck up’ and then there’s like ‘okay, I screwed up’.

Bryn: It’s this thing about New York: we’re not nice but we’re nice.

Wow: Nice is fake anyway.


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Some of you knew each other before the shoot. But what were your first impressions of the women you had never met?

Sai: I thought Jenna was going to be a crazy bitch. But in fact, she is extremely sweet.

Bryn: I needed an outfit for an event and I texted Jenna and asked if I could borrow something? She told me to come over and we go through her closet and at some point I stopped and was like waiting ten years ago I would freak out about this. I literally started going around touching everything!

Have other Housewives reached out to offer advice or say hello?

Wow: Ramona was so funny. I love Ramona because… it’s Ramona! We met in a living room and she asks, “Are you married?” and I said no and she said “forget it after this show”. You might think that was mean, but it was hilarious. She’s fucking right. I tell the boys now you have to put a ring on it because my price is about to go up.

Bryn: I spoke to Lisa Vanderpump, actually. I knew her before the show because her daughter is my good friend. She said be yourself and have fun. Have fun.

Erine: Sai and I had lunch with Jill Zarin and her daughter Ally, then I ended up driving Ally to that party in town, like now I’m her mom! She was great.

Sai: They all say the same thing: be true to yourself because the public will see through you.


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Jenna: Ramona wanted me to come to her daughter’s thing.

Erine: Joey Gorga called my husband Abe and the advice he gave was incredible: “You better watch your wife!” Better make sure it doesn’t go to his head! He was like, “Get all the guys drunk, get them fired!” We were like, we don’t have a lot of guys.

Sai: I met someone who wasn’t very nice, but I won’t say who.

Erine: I think she was mean to a lot of people.

Jenna: Yeah, she’s definitely… she’s salty.

Wow: Chanel Ayan told me, “Don’t go below the belt. With any human you interact with, don’t go somewhere where you can hurt someone’s soul.”

Are there things you have filmed that you are nervous or anxious about people seeing?

Bryn: I had a difficult childhood growing up. I have shared a lot about this. I’m not necessarily ashamed or ashamed. But afterwards, I felt the need to call my brother, my sister and my nieces and it really helped my personal relationships with my family.

Sai: I’m not a very vulnerable person and what I share online as a content creator is organized. I share what I want people to see. But with the show, the cameras follow me everywhere and I can’t handle it. I could cry, which I would never, ever want to show.



RHONY has a messy history with diversity and inclusion. (The show didn’t get its first black housewife until season 13. Other members have been accused of racist behavior on and off screen over the years.) Have you thought about how to address that when you were cast and when you were filming?

Sai: I don’t think we have to approach it at all because we all come to the table that way. This is what our circle actually looks like.

Bryn: I’m biracial – my dad is black and my mom is white – but for me I was thinking about diversity in the sense that I live in New York, I’ve been engaged, I’m 37, I don’t have kids, I’m single, grew up in welfare poverty and created a fabulous life on my own.

Wow: In New York, your soul is free. For a woman who was born into a culture where women are repressed, the idea that I don’t have a bodyguard in the middle of the night, that I can dress how I dress is incredible. It makes me want to cry. It is literally paradise.

Can you describe the season in three words?

Wow: Inspiring, beautiful, fun.

Sai: Inspiring, entertaining, funny.

Jessel: Vibrant, fiery, and oh my god, it’s a track.

Brynn Whitfield

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

West Village
” I am 37 years old. I am a tenant. During interviews, I kept saying, “Is this the bachelorette?’”

Sai De Silva

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

Boerum Hill
“I love these women. Sometimes they make me sick. But it’s friendship.”

Erin Dana Lichy

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images


“Only one of us has fake boobs.”

Oubah Hassan

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

“I go from the butter knife to the machete.”

Jenna Lyons

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

“There are so many types of beauty in New York.”

Jessel Taank

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images


“New York is the emerald city. This is where dreams are made.

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