Real Housewives of New York City star Ramona Singer has no clue how to filter for her thoughts, which is partly what makes the 62-year-old such a fantastic reality tv cast member, but it wasn’t until 2015, when Singer released her memoir entitled Life on the Ramona Coaster, that she opened up her troubled childhood, and in particular, memories of her allegedly abusive father.
From Ramona’s point of view, her rough upbringing and success as a reality star are one and the same. She writes in her book, “It’s easy for me to block out the cameras. Probably because, growing up, I had to block out all the noise in my family. I shut the cameras out, just like I shut out my father’s yelling.”
Ramona’s father, Bohdan Mazur, was born in the Ukraine, while her mother, Veronika Teransky Mazur, came from Budapest, Hungary. While her mother wanted to go to college, she soon got pregnant with Ramona, and such plans were dashed. When Ramona graduated high school, and wanted to go to college, her father said said it would be a waste of time and refused to give her money. As described in her Story Exchange essay, Ramona was determined to prove him wrong. She took out a student loan, worked 30 hours a week, and took 21 credits a semester to get a B.S. in business while studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
During a memorable episode of RHONY, when the women were visiting former cast member Heather Thompson’s country house in the Berkshires, Ramona was instantly reminded of her childhood home in upstate New York. “I believe my father moved us to the country so he could just hurt my mother and the neighbors couldn’t hear,” she said. “It brought back memories of my parents arguing, and that’s just something I don’t want to remember. As a child to hear that every day is stressful.”
In her book, Ramona questions why her mother couldn’t just leave her father. “How can she stay married to this abusive man?” she wrote. “Maybe she’s given up, but I haven’t. I have to protect her. Sooner or later my father is going to cross that line again and I never want him to hurt her the way he did that night in the kitchen.”
In 2015, Ramona’s younger sister Sonya Mazur also came out with a tell-all memoir, Cocaine and Champagne: Road to Recovery, and detailed that horrific scene in the kitchen. One night, when her father came home after having too many drinks, she claims that she saw her father knock her mother down to the ground, and then pull her by the hair across the kitchen floor. She wrote, “I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified. I thought my father might kick her, stomp on her head, or even kill her.”
Their little brother, also named Bohdan, and nicknamed “Nicky,” wrote a memoir in 2014 detailing his descent into drug use, Aspen, Snow Blow and Blo, but when he had a heart attack while driving and died in 2009, Ramona’s relationship with him had long soured. She told US Weekly at the time, “We weren’t close anymore,” and didn’t attend his funeral. But “because of this death, I got closer to my niece. I flew her out… for about a week, and I spoke to her and said that I was really sorry about her dad’s death, but if it wasn’t for his death, you wouldn’t have bonded with [my daughter] Avery and I. So we have this whole new relationship we never had.”
Ramona is always one to look at the bright side of things, and while she remains estranged from Sonya and her other sister, Tonya, when asked about her ultimate role model, she names her mother “Growing up, my mother wanted to make sure that I didn’t make the same mistakes she made. She told me to develop my own career and become financially independent. Even with a great marriage, she would say, when you are your own person, your husband will respect you more.”
Veronika Mazur passed away from leukemia on New Year’s Eve just before 2006.