While Tinsley Mortimer‘s mother Dale regularly appears on The Real Housewives of New York City, we’ve heard very little of the the reality star’s father. However, Tinsley recently opened up about her dad George Riley Mercer Jr. during Season 11 of the Bravo series, who passed away four years ago from complications related to alcoholism at age 68.
While sitting down for lunch with cast mate Luann de Lesseps, who recently returned to rehab after a forced intervention, Tinsley said, “I had never been around somebody who has had a drinking issue since my father died and recently, being around you is bringing up stuff with my dad.” Tinsley eventually broke down into tears and added, “I’m angry at him. I’m so angry at him. When I see somebody else having a drinking problem, I find myself pushing back from it only because when you watch somebody continually choose it, and you think it’s choosing it over you, I just have a different perspective.”
Tinsley’s father suffered from alcoholism, but it wasn’t the main cause of his death. As Tinsley explained, “He was drinking a lot and he ended up falling downstairs, had frontal lobe damage, and ended up going into a coma.” Her father ended up in hospice before he died on March 26, 2015, as there was nothing the family or doctors could do to help him recover.
Mr. Mercer was a principal in Mercer Rug and Carpet, a company he inherited from his father; George Mercer Sr. He also ran the George-Marshall Corporation, a real estate investment firm, and GII Corporation. In later years, he worked as a top-rated architectural consultant.
Mercer Jr. was a wildly successful businessman making millions, but also man who liked to party, and loved to drink. Like his Manhattan socialite daughter, Mercer’s name regularly popped up in Page Six of the New York Post for his drunken antics in public. In December 2009, he was kicked out of The Plaza Hotel after stumbling onstage and attempting to sing “New York, New York” during Michael Fredo’s performance. Those in the audience watching tragic scene take place included Martha Stewart, Betsey Johnson, Isaac Mizrahi, Courtney Love and Woody Allen.
After divorcing Dale, Mercer Jr. married Catherine Stamatacos, a surgeon from Baltimore. After they separated, he took up with a young girlfriend, Krissy Morrow, who was 29 to his 63. After a public spat with Dale outside his Fifth Avenue home, Morrow claimed his first ex-wife was trying to control all his money, and claimed that she and Mercer were no married.
However, Mercer told Page Six, “She’s a nice girl. But I was drunk as [expletive] at the time. The next thing I know she had dragged me in front of a judge. I signed something, but it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.” — especially, because he was still legally married to Stamatacos. “[Krissy and I] hang out sporadically, but have never so much as kissed. She’s Tinsley’s age.”
It seems Tinsley and her family have come to terms with Mercer Jr.’s death. Not liking, yet understanding that due to his alcoholism, he wasn’t himself at the end. When Tinsley mentioned her father in Season 10 of RHONY, she said, “My sister Dabney, my mom, and I still can’t believe he’s not here. It might seem strange to some, but we really like having his ashes with our family. We simply are not ready to bury him yet. Dad travels to Palm Beach for the winter and to Newport for the summer with occasional stops in Virginia. It’s just nice still having him around.”