Leah McSweeney will replace Bethenny Frankel on Season 12 of Real Housewives of New York.
What do we know about McSweeney? Who is she, and how will she get along with the other women? Here’s what we know:
She Is the CEO of a Streetwear Line
Leah, who has a 12-year-old daughter, is a businesswoman through and through. She was raised in Chelsea and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for one month. She then decided to drop out and focus on her own business.
These days, McSweeney is the CEO of a streetwear line Married to the Mob and co-hosts the podcast Improper Etiquette, where she dissects the topic of female empowerment.
Since 2016, McSweeney has also written a monthly advice column for Penthouse Magazine called Hotlines by Leah.
Upon learning she had been selected to join the cast of RHONY, McSweeney tells the New York Post that she was “terrified and so happy” at the same time.
She also admits to being part of a “hazing process” of sorts. She tells the outlet, “They were like, ‘Whoa, who is this girl?’ I don’t really think they knew that much about me going in. There’s this competitive aspect that we can’t help, just because it’s a show, and there’s a next season and [always the question of] who’s gonna be on it. That’s in the air, you know?”
McSweeney divulges that Ramona took her under her wing and took a liking to her straight off the bat. She also says she got along well with de Lesseps. “I didn’t see me and her like really getting that close, but she’s f–king amazing.”
Other cast members seem to be taken with McSweeney, as well. Medley tells the Post, “I thought that I was the badass in town when I joined the show, but I think [McSweeney] puts me to shame.”
She Knows Bethenny Frankel Well
Interestingly enough, Leah and Bethenny know one another quite well.
In February, a source told People that the two met through mutual friends, and after meeting, Bethenny recommended her for the show.
Another source told the outlet, “Bethenny really knows what makes great TV. It’s her superpower. She saw a lot of potential in Leah… The two have a lot in common; they’re both single moms and strong businesswomen. She would have been a strong ally to Bethenny, which she hasn’t had on the show since her friendship with [Carole Radziwill] fell apart.”
An anonymous source in the cast added that Leah was in talks to join the show even before people knew Bethenny was leaving.
Is McSweeney single? Absolutely. In fact, she tells single men who are interested: “My DM’s are open.”
The new season of Real Housewives of New York will air Thursday, April 2, at 9pm ET/PT.