The Real Housewives Of Atlanta Returns Oct. 4th
The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Premieres Oct. 14th
The Real Housewives Of Orange County Returns Jan.'11

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dina-RHONJ talks to Entertainment Weekly

Q&A from Entertainment Weekly.

Former 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' star Dina Manzo talks about the drama, the rumors, and tonight's return to the show
by Emily Exton
BravoFormer The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Dina Manzo made a surprise exit this season, right before the hair extensions hit the floor. In tonight’s episode, the designer-turned-event planner returns for goddaughter Audriana Giudice’s baptism. EW caught up with the most mild-mannered of the Manzo clan to see how it felt to say goodbye to the camera, and what it was like to return.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So tonight you’re back for Teresa’s daughter Audriana’s christening. Did you have any concerns with appearing on the show after you had left?
DINA MANZO: Well, obviously I know it was going to be filmed. I did it because I am her godmother, and what am I supposed to do? Not show up? But I was against the church being filmed and I lost that battle big time. I just felt that something so sacred as a baptism shouldn’t be in the same episode as some crazy stuff that goes down in the show. If you can see in the previews, there’s a fight between Kim G. and Danielle that’s [pretty crazy], and then we’re baptizing beautiful Audriana. So for me, I’m super sensitive to that sort of thing because I take it super seriously. So maybe the world may not see a problem with that but I was kind of against the church being filmed. It was a beautiful ceremony, and the party was outrageous, and my company [Designer Affair] did design it, so I’m pretty excited to debut.

What else have you been up to since you left the show?
[Designer Affair is] working out great. I oversee the planning of these parties and the girls that I trained run the events. I was doing interior design for years — 20-some-odd years — and I flipped it over to event planning, so that’s primarily what I do now: plan events weddings, corporate events, anything and everything. [You're] designing a day instead of a home. It’s the same concept, it’s just about four hours instead of people’s lifetimes [laughs]. I love it. It really keeps my creative juices flowing. Project Ladybug of course is a huge part of my life and we’re in the process right now of opening up another chapter in another hospital. There’s two different hospitals, one in New York and one in Chicago that I’m talking with, and I’m super excited about extending it. That was my goal to bring the fun to hospitals around the country. So we’re working on that. Really exciting things are happening, and I’m super proud to have founded four years ago something that started around my dinning room table with some girlfriends that has really become national.

Would you say your idea of what Real Housewives of New Jersey was changed from when you began filming the series to when you left the show?
Absolutely. I don’t blame Bravo, because people love drama. They love to see that sort of thing. Especially because my family was involved, and we’re certainly not the normal family. We do a bunch of crazy things. But we’re good crazy — there’s a difference between good crazy and bad crazy. We’re fun crazy. But I felt it was going to be a really fun, family-type show, and especially with season 2, it went in a totally different direction and I felt it wasn’t what I signed on for.

Some reports on your reasons for leaving the show have to do with Danielle trying to make you lose custody of your daughter Lexi. Is there any truth in that?
The only thing I’ll say is the reason why I left the show is why I said I did on the show. There’s a lot of rumors spinning around, “Oh you left because your daughter wasn’t allowed on camera,” or “You left because you’re trying to hide your husband’s lifestyle,” and I’m like, I left exactly why I said I left. The drama was getting too much for me, I don’t need that in my life and that’s exactly why. I have no other reason.

And your husband was never on the show.
No, he didn’t want to be on it from day one, and I respected that.

How did he take your decision to leave? Had he always been your sounding board for all of the crazy that went on?
He was where I went to get away from it all. It actually made our marriage even better. You know, I don’t regret it at all. It was the best thing ever. He never told me, “I want you to leave.” I knew he wasn’t thrilled I was doing it, and he’d see how upset I was getting, [but] he’s not one to tell me what to do. But when I left, he was thrilled.
Has it been difficult at all with the rest of your family now that you’re no longer filming?
During the filming it was a little difficult, because there were certain places that I usually would’ve been that I wasn’t. You know, if they went out to lunch. Obviously there’s a trip to Italy coming up that I was invited to and stuff like that where I probably would’ve gone. It would have been difficult for me to go and stay off-camera. So here and there, yes it was difficult. As far as now, it’s kind of normal. We’re off-season, so it’s kind of business as usual. There’s nothing I’m trying to avoid other than talking about a certain someone, but other than that it’s pretty breezy.

Is it strange to watch the show as an outsider?
No, for me it was always I felt like I was watching a home video anyway. I never really grasped the concept that millions of people were watching myself and my family on television. So now when I watch, it feels like I just popped in a home video, so you never really get used to that. I kind of like it better now because I don’t cringe when I see myself. Like, “Oh I shouldn’t have worn that,” or “Why didn’t I put my eyelashes in that day?” It’s kind of like going to Oscars and not being nominated. You don’t have to worry. You just sit back and chill.

Do you think you were accurately portrayed on the show?
This season for sure. Last season, of course, they had so much footage — it was like a crazy amount of hours that they shot — and they were following a story, you know, with the book last year [Cop Without a Badge], so of course whatever aired was my reaction towards the book and all that nonsense so I seemed to be agitated all season. But I wasn’t. It was just when that storyline came up. So that was a little frustrating. Obviously, they don’t have time to follow us around to [see] everything we do, and especially if it’s not drama-filled they don’t really want to be there. It’s hard. They can’t show exactly who we are.

What about the other women? Is Teresa really how she is on the show?
Teresa is exactly how she is, the only difference is…I’ve been friends with her for 15 years and I’ve never seen her angry. She’s like the most laid-back person ever, so everything you see — bringing a million bathing suits for one night, and how silly she is and she has her Teresa-isms — that’s completely her. As far as her being crazy and chasing people, I’ve never seen that before. I think certain situations bring that out in her and I’ve never been around her for that.

Did you know Kim G. prior to what we saw this season?
I didn’t know her at all. Obviously my nephew is friends with her son, so I’ve heard of her and she’s neighbors with Jacqueline, but I never met her at all. Nor Kim D. My first meeting with Kim D. was on air at the Sheriff’s party.

Everyone seems a little confused by her, and obviously the viewers have their own ideas. What’s your opinion of her?
The girls seemed to have no problem with her. I don’t know her, so I don’t want to say whether she’s a good person or a bad person. In my opinion, I think she was vying for some airtime, and she did what she had to do to get it. I think she really loves being on television [laughs]. She worked it, and you know what she did a good job. Wait until you see this week’s episode, it’s crazy.

Would you say the same goes for Kim D.?
Well, you know what — I did have an encounter with her before, when we were shooting our opening shots for last season. She was Danielle’s stylist…

And I guess she didn’t like me ’cause Danielle didn’t like me, so I walked in and she slammed the door in my face, Kim D. So that’s the thing I knew about her, that this blonde woman slammed the door in my face, I was like, “Oh, hello,” and I saw her that night at the Sheriff’s dinner. So my first impression of her wasn’t a good one. Again, I don’t know her personally. I just know that maybe that wasn’t the kind of person I would [be friends with].

What do you think about some of the things that have gone down since you left? Especially the fight at North Jersey Country Club, the hair pull, the lawsuit, etc.?
Obviously, like everyone else, I think it’s completely crazy, and it’s hard for me. Because that’s my family, my friends that are in the middle of this. But I get it, like, when people lose it — you know when Ashley lost it and pulled [Danielle's] hair out — because I’ve been there. When somebody just pushes your buttons and pokes and pokes and pokes and finally you snap. So do I think it’s okay? No, but I get it. There are definitely points where I’m like, “Oh my god, how are we going to walk out our front doors anymore?” but at the end of the day it’s entertainment. Obviously America loves it, the ratings are going up and up, so it is what it is. There’s not much that we can change. I just wish that it didn’t get to all this. We could have had a really funny show on our hands if we just kept to our crazy family.

Have you seen Danielle since your last appearance together on the show?
I believe there was one Bravo event that we had to go to, but they kept us on different sides of the room. It was quite silly, really, that we’re all grown women, [but] it’s like back in high school. You know, just in case, they didn’t want us near each other.

Danielle seems obsessed with your friends and family. Do you have any thoughts on what she should do next? Any advice for her?
I tried to rationalize with her, sit, and have a conversation, so I don’t think I’ll be giving her anymore advice [laughs]. Again, it makes good TV. What’s unfortunate, what some people don’t understand [is that] when they go to the next franchise, when [Real Housewives of] DC comes out, we’re left with the sh–storm, you know? Like, our lives go on with this, it doesn’t go away. I don’t think a lot of people get that, that this isn’t a scripted show. It’s real life and the more things escalate, the crazier the show gets, and then it goes on and the next Bravo hit is out there and we’re kind of left with this mess. I hate that. I wish I didn’t get so dark, because unfortunately these things don’t go away right away.

How Do I Become Famous?

Post from NY magazine.

Kelly Bensimon Asked for Advice on How to Become Famous
By: Jessica Pressler
It's no secret that Real Housewife Kelly Bensimon has always yearned to be famous. "I wanted to put my name up there," she told Bazaar last year, of why she joined the reality show. "I was like, it's not enough for New York to know me. I wanted the rest of America to know me." And to get there, she apparently solicited advice from entertainment lawyer, and father of Lizzie, Allen Grubman. As he told the Journal this weekend:

"You know, Kelly Bensimon used to call me all the time and ask me, 'How do I become famous?'" he said.

Now. If she asked him, she must have asked other people the same thing. Which makes us wonder: Is Kelly Bensimon's whole DEAL the product of people reacting to that question with whatever popped into their head? Because if so, that almost ... makes sense. "Get arrested for abusing your boyfriend," we imagine Liza Minnelli saying to her in a martini haze. "Become the ambassador for wool," Isaac Mizrahi might have told her, just to be quirky. "Flash your vagine," said Paris Hilton. But Allen doesn't say what the advice he gave her was. Maybe he said, "Be in a car wreck, that'll get you on national television," but the connection was bad, and Kelly heard, "Be a car wreck on national television."

The Salahi's Say The Press Was Wrong

Video of the Salahi's.

Nene and Greg Working It Out?

A few pictures of NeNe and Greg at the W hotel in Miami this past weekend.

Andy Cohen Loves To Stir The Pot

Q&A with Andy Cohen from Movie Line.

by Julie Miller
If you haven’t yet caught on, Movieline is completely fascinated with Andy Cohen, the senior vice president of production at Bravo who also hosts a late-night talk show for the cable network and recently posted a blog entry on the network’s site called We’re All Going to Die. So when I spotted the exec and star during a Top Chef demonstration at this week’s TCA Press Tour, I cornered him to ask about his dream talk show guest, his attraction to controversy, and the guest who indulged a little too much in the Watch What Happens Live open bar.

I watched you and Stephen Colbert re-enacting the Real Housewives of New York City the other night on the Colbert Report. That was brilliant.
I know, wasn’t that fun? Wait, do you guys write about the Stupid Andy Cohen Moments each week?

Awesome. High five.

So, Colbert Report… did Stephen come up with that idea, or was that something you wanted to try?
He did. He came to me in the green room and they had picked the scene. It was a cold read. No rehearsal.

Did you talk to Bethenny or Kelly after?
I talked to Bethenny this morning and said “You have to watch this.” She asked me, “Well did you get this part and this part?” We got some of her good lines, though.

When did you realize that you wanted to host a talk show? Did that come before your behind-the-camera aspirations?
Oh, I always knew — even before I got into production — that I wanted to be myself on TV, whatever that would be. So I worked in TV news at first, and my dream would have been to be on the Today Show or something like that. Then, I worked at CBS News for ten years and I’ve been at Bravo for six and [before that,] Trio for four. This whole thing came about so organically. [Bravo head] Lauren Zalaznick knew that I wanted to do this, so this kind of organically happened as a result of my blog and my online show.

Who is your dream guest?
My dream guest is Madonna or Michelle Obama.

You always play games with your guests. If Madonna was on your show, what game would you coordinate for her?
Oh my God. I think she likes lemon drops, so I would play some kind of a drinking game with lemon drops. I think I would want to go head-to-head with her in Madonna pop culture questions.

You and your guests drink on your show. Has anyone gotten really inebriated on air?
Yes, well, Bethenny arrived fairly drunk last week. Ricki Lake was hammered. She turned to me at the beginning of the show and whispered, “I am hammered.” And actually, early in the run of the show, I probably used to drink more than I should have been drinking on the show. Now, I only sip — like, I hosted this Millionaire Matchmaker live reunion show like five months ago, and it was on at 9 o’clock but I was in the Bravo clubhouse and I didn’t drink at all. I didn’t drink at all because it was on at 9 and you know what, headline news: You’re actually much sharper when you don’t drink beforehand. I’ve been really cutting back since then. I really only sip, but last week was my finale and during the break before the last act I guzzled my whiskey. So, it depends on the guest, it depends on the vibe.

What prepared you to deal with all of these big personalities growing up?
For some reason, I’ve always just navigated minefields of big personalities. That’s always been something I’ve been good at. Friends, family…

Are you drawn to conflict in your personal life? Real Housewives and the Real Housewives reunions thrive off it.
You know what, I’m a sh*t-stirrer. I am a legendary sh*t-stirrer. If I go to a dinner party and it’s kind of boring, I’ll be like, “Let’s all say who we would want to sleep with in this room.” It’s so funny how natural doing those reunions is because I am a sh*t-stirrer. That is what I am and that is what I’ve always done.

Jill's New Bedding Line

Pic./Tweet from Jill.

@jillzarin with her new bedding line! It is far nicer than we could have imagined! So excited, exclusive 1st look!!

Jill-RHONY On "Money Rocks"

Pic./Tweet from Jill.

In green room for fox business new show money rocks with Eric billing on tonight 8pm ch 46 in NYC.

Kelly Training

Video of Kelly training for her marathon.

The View Was Tough On Teresa-RHONJ

Post From

Posted by SunnyChanel
Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice was probably pretty giddy to be going on The View. Just last week the President was sitting on their couch dishing with the ladies. But Teresa’s visit to the view was not filled with rainbows and sunshine. It was a pretty intense interrogation that did not veer away from the topic of her family’s money woes. So what went down?

Photo: INF
Teresa seemed like a deer in headlights. Not being the casual, off the cuff Teresa we have got to know and perhaps love, but a Teresa who came off guarded, nervous and tense. Right from the start the hosts began to quiz her about her money issues. Teresa defended their enormous $11 million dollars of debt as being from their investments in apartment buildings which prompted Joy Behar to ask if her husband was ‘slumlord’. A phrase the seemed foreign to Teresa.

The couple apparently have four huge apartment building in East Orange, NJ which Joy also referred to as “tenements.” Teresa stated that when the economy went bad, people couldn’t pay their rent, which means that they couldn’t pay their mortgages on the buildings. But their ex-business partner (who they are in two lawsuits with) claimed that Joe didn’t even pay the utilities on the building, hence the whole slumlordy thing.

Teresa also claims that she lives within her means and now only uses her debit card and isn’t racking up credit card debt. And that she doesn’t live excessively stating that,“I don’t have gold toilets…” and that “I cook for my kids. I don’t a nanny, I don’t have a cook.”

She also admitted that she had no idea that they had this kind of financial troubles brewing and that Joe had kept it from her so she wouldn’t worry. And added that their financial crisis had actually brought them closer.

But poor Teresa, the whole chat was just about her money troubles but there was a little tidbit at the end where she got to inject that she’s working on a second cookbook and that she’d love to go on Dancing with the Stars. But that was about 2% of the discussion. She later tweeted “Whew! It’s over! I knew The View wasn’t going to be a lovefest, but you gotta take the tough questions sometimes…” and “Thank you all for your encouraging tweets. I’m fine. I’m a tough cookie. It takes more than an old comedian to bring me down. ”
Do you think they should have been a bit nicer to this Real Housewife?


Danielle And Lori Have A Private Birthday Dinner

Post from Radar Online.

Photo: Liz Borden
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub recently celebrated her 48th birthday, and has exclusive details on her intimate dinner date with best gal pal and rumored girlfriend, Lori Michaels.

Lori picked up Danielle for their “low key” dinner at Houston’s in Hackensack, NJ last Thursday, and once they got there the reality star got her fair share of birthday wishes from fellow diners.

“The place was packed with more than a few ‘Danielle’ fans,” Lori told in an exclusive interview. “The bar was in a bit of a frenzy that she was there!”

Getting the star treatment, the undercover couple was seated right away, but even in the dimly-lit restaurant Danielle and her date were spotted while they enjoyed spinach dip, French fries with a plain veggie burger and sashimi salad.

“We had a lot of interesting ‘visits’ from people there coming to our very visible table,” Lori revealed. “In fact, two women actually came right up and told us they were going to ‘sit down and join us,’ and one older gentleman came back two times asking Danielle if he had left his teeth on the table,” she marveled.

Far from the villain that she is portrayed as on the Bravo show, Danielle was as nice as pie to all her admirers as she shared a ‘birthday’ Key Lime pie with her special date. “The waitress brought out her cake, but hid the candle and I didn't sing because we didn't want to draw extra attention to the table,” said Lori.

“Danielle posed for every picture requested, talked to everyone, young and old,” explained Lori. “The waitress commented to us that famous people go there all the time and she has never seen people react like they did for Danielle.”

The couple, who have kept mum about the nature of their relationship since they first performed their duet ‘Real Close’ in June, laughed and managed to go a whole dinner without talking about business, Lori said.

Instead they just enjoyed the moment and celebrated the big event. “We had lots to drink cranberry and seltzer – we were wild!” exclaimed Lori.

Bethenny's Advice To The RHODC

Post from Hollywood Life.

By: Lindsey DiMattina

“Keep your kids [away from the cameras] as much as possible,” Bethenny suggests. You don’t want them to go bananas like the Jersey housewives’ kids!

Keeping your kids under control is hard enough to do, let alone when they’re raised in front of reality TV cameras. Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel understands this, and she wants the new Real Housewives of D.C. to keep their children away from the camera as much as they can for fear that their kids may turn out just like Jersey housewife Jacqueline Laurita’s crazy teenage daughter Ashley. (She’s the one who pulled Danielle Staub’s hair in the current season.)

“Look at what happened in Jersey,” Bethenny said to exclusively during a conference call for Ameda’s “I breastfeed because … ” campaign. “I haven’t really been watching, but I hear one of the Jersey daughters [Ashley] is in a fight with one of the Housewives [Danielle].”

“It’s a little crazy,” Bethenny continued. “One of the daughters got involved in a rift with one of the Housewives and now she could go to court and have a record!”

“I would say keep your kids out of it as much as possible,” Bethenny suggested to the new cast of The Real Housewives of D.C. “You’ve got to be an adult and know how to deal with it.”

Bethenny also suggested the gals “not take themselves too seriously because none of this is that serious.”

“Be true to yourselves and don’t manufacture who you want to be on the show” she advises. “It’s not fool’s gold — you don’t go on television to be rich, famous and successful . You have to have something to back it up.”

Bethenny also wanted to thank Stacie Scott Turner and Mary Schmidt Amons for calling her the role model of all the Housewives. “I think it’s really nice that the D.C. housewives say I’m the housewife role model,” Bethenny said. “That’s flattering and so nice!”

Ramona-RHONY At The Southhampton Inn

Article from Newsday.

Yes, that was Joe Biden at the Southampton Inn
By Lee Fryd
Do paparazzi stalk the Southampton Inn? “Yes,” admits owner Dede Gotthelf, “because we never provide names of our famous clientele.” Like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi? Locals couldn’t miss the Secret Service hovering around the hotel this summer when they were in town. “I really can’t comment,” said Gotthelf. Trust us, they were there. Who else? The guest list has run the gamut from Aretha Franklin to Pink Floyd to Flavor Flav to Rudy and Judy Giuliani to Joyce Carol Oates.
Photo: Lee Fryd

Photographers find them by lingering outside Oso, the hotel’s elegant restaurant where the celebs duck in to dine.

Sunday night a wire shutterbug followed Ramona Singer into a private dinner hosted by TV personality Katlean de Monchy and husband, Next Island chief executive officer David Post. Singer and DeMonchy are longtime friends and part of a tight knit girls tennis game that meets twice a week in the Hamptons, often at Singer’s Har-Tru court in Southampton. Others in the elite group, and Katlean’s birthday dinner: restauranteur Jeffrey Chodorow’s wife, Linda, Miami Beach Realtor/investor Diane Lieberman – also known as Jason Binn’s mother-in-law -- and Susan Kremer (wife of politico Jerry Kremer).

Ramona didn’t give the wire service a shot. But she and Katlean did pose for Newsday, with Southampton Inn owner Gotthelf, who presided over the private, gourmet five-course meal with husband, Terry Moan.

Bethenny Partners with Ameda To Promote Breastfeeding

Post from

Photo: Brian Doben
From optimal health outcomes to emotional closeness, there are many reasons why a woman decides to breastfeed. Now Ameda, a proven leader in breast pump innovation and trusted by moms and hospitals for over 65 years, launches the “I Breastfeed Because…” campaign to give moms a voice on this important subject in time for World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7. Mothers who are currently breastfeeding, plan to breastfeed or have in the past, are encouraged to upload 20-second videos that share the reasons why they chose to breastfeed. For each video uploaded, Ameda will make a $5 charitable donation (limited to one daily donation per entrant) to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. To increase awareness of the campaign, Bethenny Frankel of Bravo TV’s hit show “Bethenny Getting Married?” shared her honest take on why she decided to breastfeed her daughter.

“Breastfeeding was very important to me because it is the healthiest option out there and has allowed me to bond with my baby even more,” says Bethenny Frankel. “I am excited to partner with Ameda on this campaign because it gives moms a voice and allows them to share their views on this subject.”

How to Join the Campaign
Parents around the country can join Bethenny by uploading their own videos and viewing others at starting August 1, 2010. Every video, comment or tweet shared, will prompt Ameda to make a daily donation per entrant of $5 (video) or $1 (tweet or comment) – for a total maximum donation for the entire Sweepstakes of $10,000 – to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), a charitable association of non-profit donor human milk banks established in 1985 to set standards for and to facilitate establishment and operation of milk banks in North America. Also, mothers who share “I Breastfeed Because…” videos, tweets or comments will be entered to win the grand prize of a $2,500 nursery makeover or one of 25 secondary prizes -- $50 American Express gift cards.

Breastfeeding Matters
Mother’s milk is much more than a food. It has living cells, growth factors, and other unique components that provide infants with information needed for normal growth. Breastfeeding has been shown to be an integral part of normal health in both babies and moms. Breastfeeding supports normal development of babies’ immune and digestive systems and prevents illnesses like respiratory disease and ear infections. For mom, it resets your metabolism after pregnancy, which later in life reduces your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. In addition, it also calms and comforts your baby and enhances your feelings of closeness.

The Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump is the world’s only breast pump with proven Airlock Protection. During pumping, the diaphragm barrier keeps air from coming in contact with breast milk. This, in turn, helps protect breast milk from bacteria, mold and viruses. Purely Yours Ultra breast pump and accessories are now available at Babies “R” Us. The comprehensive 18-item launch includes the Purely Yours Ultra breast pump, milk storage and breast care products, are also available on The pump kit retails for $299.99 and accessories range from $6.99-$29.99. The launch is supported with a brand new interactive online destination,, featuring how-to-use videos, access to lactation consultants, a supportive mothers’ community, and more.

Video of Bethenny talking about breastfeeding:

About Ameda
Ameda has been the first name in breast pumps for over 65 years. First developed by Swedish inventor and civil engineer Einar Egnell to mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm and intensity, Ameda used this innovative technology to create a breast pump that was simple, comfortable, and efficient. Today, Ameda breast pumps continue to utilize Einar Egnell's breakthrough technology—along with advanced features that today’s mothers expect. Ameda was acquired by the Evenflo Company, Inc, in 2008. Evenflo, headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio, was founded in 1920 and is a top supplier of infant and juvenile products to key retailers such as Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart.

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is a charitable association of non-profit donor human milk banks operating in the United States and Canada for over 25 years. The organization includes twelve milk banks (and seven developing milk banks) that collects processes and distributes donor milk to the intensive care units and post premature or ill infants by prescription. HMBANA, as a member of the US Breastfeeding Committee, aligns itself with the non-profit and governmental agencies in developing strategies to promote breastfeeding and the ability for infants to have human milk when the mother is unable to provide for their child. Visit HMBANA online at:

“Cirque Du Salahi: Be Careful Who You Trust”

Book about the Salahi's that is being released in paperback on September 24th. Book description and author details are from Amazon.

Cirque Du Salahi: Be Careful Who You Trust” tells the Inside Story of Michaele and Tareq Salahi --the never before revealed details of what happened before, during, and after their November 2009 appearance at the Obama administration’ first state dinner.

This journalistic autopsy reveals how one event can capture a ravenous media’s attention, become the fodder for bogus political drama, and with razor-sharp and misplaced attention, ruin the reputation of a politically connected couple who did little more than attend a White House function for which they believed they had an invitation.

Make no mistake. The copycat journalism surrounding the Salahis, which resulted in headlines like, “White House Gate-Crashers Investigated, Likely to be Indicted,” could happen to any citizen who stumbles into the eye of a media storm.

But this book is about more than what happens when the unsuspecting find themselves in the crosshairs of the national media. It reveals the truth about Michaele and Tareq Salahi: where they came from; what shaped their personalities; what obstacles they overcame; and what motivates them to do what they do. It is quite simply the background of the story heard ‘round the world and how this couple, from the tiny town of Hume, Virginia, was able to survive the onslaught.

What happened to the Salahis is much more than any reality television show can capture. The true story about this couple should serve as a mirror held up to the media to point out the disturbing trend of trimmed-to-the-bone newsrooms overreacting and exploiting certain stories. It also offers a wake-up call to Americans who believe that their news sources of choice are still trustworthy, when in reality they are often simply parroting the poorly researched work of others.

The reader will be left wondering what ever happened to good journalism but not wondering what really happened that night at the White House.

About the Author

Diane Dimond, award winning investigative journalist, made her reputation working on multiple media platforms – as a TV correspondent, a syndicated crime and justice columnist and an author. She has worked at National Public Radio, CNBC and MSNBC, Fox News and Court TV. She is currently a Special Correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.

Dimond, raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico credits her middle-America upbringing with shaping her common sense, humanistic approach to journalism.

Dimond has a gift of unraveling complicated events, whittling them down to the most basic and understandable elements in order to tell informative and compelling stories. She believes that only when we can comprehend the behavior behind the events-of-the-day can we reach any real understanding of those events.

Dimond resides in Rockland County, New York with her husband, broadcast journalist and voiceover artist, Michael Schoen. They have one daughter and two cats.

Jacqueline/Caroline-RHONJ With Ryan Seacrest

Pic/Tweet from Caroline.

 Caroline/Jacqueline were on  Ryan's show today

Teresa At The View

Pics./Tweets from Teresa.

Me and Mario Cantone from "Sex & The City" - backstage at "The View"

Add Backstage at The View!

Kelly Shooting In The East Village

Pic./Tweet from Kelly.

Shooting in east village

Salahi's talk to Carol Joynt

Five part interview that the Salahi's did.

Kelly-RHONY At Rock N' Roll Half Marathon

Picture of Kelly when she attended the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Chicago.

Sonja Morgan

Pic. from Sonja.

Ramona And Her Girlfriends

Pic./Tweet from Ramona.

At the party wearing white with my tennis girls and bday girl Kat

Another Bad RHODC Review

Article from the Huffington Post.

By:Nancy Doyle Palmer
Spoiler alert - I've seen the first episode and I am, among other things, a real wife who lives in a real house in DC - so given these credentials and a little extra digging around let me take some time here to answer the top questions surrounding this Thursday's premiere of Bravo's "Real Housewives of DC".

But first, let's take a deep breath - it's a TV show - a reality TV show that is part of a franchise of shows pitting wealthy attention-seeking attractive women of a certain age against each other while lots of cameras are rolling along with an ingredient recently described by a Bravo producer as "just add vodka..."

Whether Washington DC will provide the same kind of drama and ratings as Orange County, Atlanta, New York and New Jersey remains to be seen; what is apparent already is what this show does and doesn't say about life in the nation's capital. And what's the deal with Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashing the State Dinner? Why does Bravo seem to be downplaying the scandal's role in the series while promoting the living daylights out of it? Let's take it one at a time...

Photo: Bravo
What is this show? People either watch reality TV or they don't - I know that sounds simple but it matters here -because once many of the women in Washington approached to participate saw a few episodes of the franchise they ran for the hills while others stepped right up. The show presents character-driven stories and relationships played against a background of a certain geographical and sociological milieu (i.e. money, mostly new). Out-sized personalities do best, excess entertains and cat fights with bleeps and furniture tossing provide great "best-of" moments for the reunion shows hosted by Bravo's Senior VP of Original Programming and Development producer Andy Cohen.

Why DC? Abby Greensfelder was a top executive at Discovery Communications before forming Half Yard Productions and is the executive producer of " Real Housewives of DC". Her husband is Frederick Foer, editor of The New Republic and it seems she had to venture pretty far out of her own social and professional circles to find the cast, but she did it, and brought the show to Bravo.

She's fond of saying that going in "we'd never thought we'd get Nancy Pelosi to be a housewife" but adds that she wanted to showcase a Washington that wasn't just "three piece suits, bad shoes and helmet hair - there is a whole vibrant part of Washington ...even more in this post-Obama time - the city has gotten energy, glamour and was important to look at different people who represented different parts of Washington - not just politics and embassies - all social types."

Producer Andy Cohen admits "look, there are more people in Orange County who are anxious to be Real Housewives than in DC but this show was picked up based on the casting Half Yard brought to us."

While none of the women on the show are directly involved in politics Greensfelder says the show accurately reflects DC's rules of engagement. "Politics in always in the frame - politics is the wallpaper of Washington and it's always there." She adds, "It's different from New York or Los Angeles, here the rules have to do with proximity to power, how you act in situations. Our show is nuanced and reflects that anthropology."

So who are they?

1) Mary Schmidt Amons - married mother of five. Socialite from McLean, VA (hence her proximity to Colin Powell ) with dubious bragging rights about being the granddaughter of broadcasting legend Arthur Godfrey. Gets buzzed in first episode and says it's time to integrate beauty salons. What?

2) Lynda Erkiletian - divorced mother of four, owns modeling agency. Maybe the most socially with-it of the five - been around fashion circles a long time. Funny bitchy. Would fit in on any of the other Housewives shows. Hot younger boyfriend named Ebong.

3) Stacie Scott Turner - Realtor, Harvard MBA, husband used to work for Mayor Adrian Fenty. Backstory of being adopted from foster care and finding her birth mother and father developed in the series. Has her own charity now for teenage girls in foster care. Has several great 'what have I gotten myself into" reaction shots in first episode.

4) Catherine Ommanney - British - kissed Prince Harry, WAS married to Newsweek photographer during the series but now they are separated. Crashes into the series with lots of awkward bravura. Hates Tyra Banks, loves George Bush and is annoyed President Obama did not respond to her wedding invitation. Over-the-top British accent.

5) Michaele Salahi. Keep reading .....(N.B. the others have it in for her from the start.)

But are they really DC?

In fairness of course they are. They live here and are on a TV show about themselves. They don't need any more legitimacy than that but Washington being Washington some others need to weigh in.

Abby Greensfelder says they represent a genuine slice of the city. "Lynda comes from Georgetown, Mary lives in McLean, Stacie is from the city, Cat lives in Chevy Chase and Michaele is from horse country. We didn't sit there with a map but these women do authentically represent a cross-section."

Michael Clements is the Executive Editor of Washington Life -a monthly lifestyle magazine that often focuses on what he calls "the creatives" meaning the hair/fashion/design world which is where he insists most of the cast comes from:

"I would say that Lynda and Mary are and have been part of circles and communities that exist here in Washington -no, they're not part of what we might consider real society of Washington - Sally Quinn, say, or Lucky Roosevelt but that's because the most socially connected people in Washington wouldn't be on Bravo reality television. That's the difference here in Washington - it's not going to be about the life on Capitol Hill, some things in Washington don't belong on reality TV."

Sally Quinn, legendary Washington Post society writer, Ben Bradlee's wife and a serious power player in her own right basically throws in the towel on this one:

"This show is not going to help people become part of the elite because there is no Washington elite anymore - there are many - there's no inner sanctum."

Amy Argetsinger, who along with The Reliable Source partner Roxanne Roberts have covered this story from day one for the Washington Post:

"They've done what I thought they would end up doing, not 'real housewives of Washington' but the Mclean and Potomac, MD socialite scene - it's Washington-based but not unlike the social scene you'd fine in Miami or Malibu or the finer suburbs of Pittsburgh..."

She adds, "Look, if you want to do a show about politics or Capitol Hill you just can't get access to anyone who really works in that world. They are discreet by nature and worried about their careers. These are people who defer to the boss - the congressman is in front of the camera, not the staffer....every connection on this show is second hand"

Tammy Haddad - veteran network producer and political insider "I would say anyone who wants a long term political future in Washington doesn't do two things. One, put photos on Facebook and two, they don't join any show with 'housewives' in the title."

What's the deal with the Salahis?

Michaele and Tareq Salahi entered the national celebrity radar like well-dressed meteors when they showed up uninvited to the first official state dinner hosted by the Obama White House in November of last year. The flap that ensued dominated the media for days and weeks after, revealing, among other things, that they weren't exactly the wealthy vineyard owners and polo match charity event planners they said they were - claims of unpaid bills and other legal problems compounded their notoriety. They are still under federal and state investigations for the White House incident and other ventures.

Washington Life's Clements knew of the Salahis before the gate-crashing episode. "It had always been hard to pin down what was happening with their events and who was involved....obviously I think Michaele is interested in promotion and they're going to give the cameras what they want. I think she's hoping this will legitimize this image of celebrity she's been trying to cultivate for over a decade, maybe longer - kind of a 'fake it 'til you make it'."

Carol Joynt, a former network television producer and current blogger, interviewer and contributor to the New York Social Diary puts it more bluntly:

"I think the Salahis has been swimming upstream for a long time...look, this is Washington. We uncover spies here. We see through people. It's not like you can say 'I'm an A-lister' so if you say so you must be. We don't fall for people's bullshit."

Joynt thinks Bravo may have been as clueless as the Salahis were about their invitation to the White House. "So many people involved were dumb about Washington - unsophisticated and un-clued in as to how this city works. It's entirely possible the Bravo producers also thought you could get into a state dinner based on an email."

Once it was clear that Michaele was indeed a Real Housewife and that the film crew accompanying them to the White House was from Bravo public opinion really turned against them. Letters and emails to the Washington Post called them grifters, con artists and dinner crashers whose "unique audaciousness" made them "famous for trying to become famous."

Even fellow cast member Stacie Turner was both dismayed and mystified. "My feelings about Micheale and Tareq are that they are nice people and we had a lot of good times prior to the White House. Once that happened they disappeared. I felt pity for them, it was such an appalling, horrible incident...I'm interested in what's divulged about the motivation for doing it." (worth noting here - she's ON the show and doesn't know how it turns out?)

This past spring Joynt interviewed the couple on her local Q&A forum at the Ritz Carlton. It's as real as any Housewife episode, and possibly more entertaining; there is actual growling:

Is it the Salahi Show?

Andy Cohen says no. "Look, this is not the Salahi show. That's what people will see when they see the first episode. That incident is one twentieth of what happens and it happens late in the run."

"The story is the story" says producer Greensfelder, "It's very transparent - it speaks for itself." She emphasizes a distance between Bravo and the White House incident, "We were with Michaele that day and up until she went into the dinner but we weren't credentialed to follow her in," and maintains that at the time it came about "We believed they were invited... I don't make judgements now one way or the other. They told us they were invited. And we covered all the events of their life...Our job as producers is to present what happens authentically, cover it and present it without judgement."

The Post's Amy Argetsinger: "The big mystery is whether the Salahis will help or hurt them. It's a concern as to whether viewers want to see this, if it's a turnoff or a draw. My immediate reaction is that this ruins the show ." She continues. "I think the editing of this story will follow the three part Salahi series we did, they have crafted it around the story arc of the Salahi exposure and humiliation ...everything is up in the air pending the federal investigation into the White House incident."

Bravo actually considered cancelling the series altogether because it was impossible to edit Michaele out of the storyline but finally made the decision to move ahead with this week's air date of Aug 5. It's been suggested by several insiders that NBC brass was concerned about the show's potential to embarrass the Obama White House and waited until the upcoming NBC merger with Comcast seemed to be a done deal with legislators in Washington.

"There are two ways to cut the White House episode" says Carol Joynt, "one way so it embarrasses the President, or you can cut it so it embarrasses the Salahis."

It's a safe bet it's going to be the Salahis who take the fall. There is a line in the opening of the show - "Washington is not a forgiving city" and it's not hard to figure out who they're talking about.

"Unless Bravo faces any legal exposure, I don't see why they'd care if the Salahis get prosecuted or not," says the Post's Argetsinger, "Frankly it's just more of a story for them."

How's Michaele?

I interviewed Michaele Salahi and it's difficult not to like her. She's been laying low, "trusting only my family and keeping it to attorneys and close friends" and says it makes her sad to even think about the last nine months. "It was painful and horrific."

She adds, "Without my mom and the strength of who she is, at 82 - I wouldn't have made it, she's still my strength."

She says she is moving forward, "returning to who I was, even better, with a focus on what matters, who matters. I'm still the life of the party but I know what's important and who is important. I'm still going to have fun, I have a great love of people, but I'm going to know you have to pause and learn who people really are."

From all accounts her fellow cast-mates fully turned on her by the end of the series and she admitted she hadn't seen them until the recent weeks leading up to the premiere.

"After that period, testifying before Congress, I did feel very left out," she says, "The women thought I was trying to get attention - no one would want this kind of attention. I felt on my own."

"Michaele has an eternal brightness," says Carol Joynt, "But that doesn't mean it has anything to do with reality. Whether it's sinister, con-artistry or cluelessness, I don't know, I haven't plumbed those depths."

The Salahis collaborated with celebrity journalist Diane Dimond for a book due out any day now and look for a big magazine spread on Michaele coming out in September.

How will the show do?

Big surprise, the Washington Post hates it - three articles this past Sunday reflect this city's uneasy, near xenophobic relationship with lowbrow celebrity.

The paper's TV writer Lisa Morales recently asked "Are 'Reality TV Series' and 'Washington DC' mutually exclusive" citing poor ratings for Bravo's "Top Chef" series based in Washington as well as bad numbers for MTV's "Real World DC".

It's not a secret that people in Washington find themselves far more interesting that people everywhere else find them. Will the Housewives franchise change that?

"We're adding a little sparkle to Washington," says Andy Cohen, "It's DC as I've never seen it before - there is some real glamour, DC is sexy in this show."

Adds Greensfelder, "People will be surprised. They will go in thinking they are getting one thing and my hope is they come out being entertained in ways other than they expected."

There is a new Ford Commercial out with Discovery's Mike Rowe interviewing real people as they purchase their cars. At the end he says, "You can't script reality".

But of course you can. Whether this series will be mutually beneficial to Bravo and the Five Housewives or mutually exploitative to all parties remains to be seen.

"I think Bravo is going to take their pound of flesh, fairly, or unfairly, from each of these women," says Washington Life's Michael Clements, "and each of them should do the same to advance their own careers...I just hope each of them gets as much out of Bravo as Bravo is hoping to get out of the DC Housewives."

Something to keep in mind as some significantly cringe-worthy moments come our way this fall and we witness just how much dignity these women are willing to risk for any kind of fame.

The Princess Leaves RHOA

Post from the

by:Alicia Edwards
Princess Banton-Lofters best known for producing Real Housewives of Atlanta, launched her own television production company, Loft 22.

Loft 22 Entertainment creates, produces, writes, pitches, and develops television show concepts for celebrities and major networks all the way through to pre- and post-production. The company is also committed to selecting and casting their own talent for their shows.
Atlanta's stylemakers came out to celebrate Princess on her dream accomplishment.

Lynn's New Blog Post About The RH Book Sales

Click HERE to read Lynn's latest post. Lynn breaks down the book sales of the RH.