Bryan and Bunny McSweeney are the parents of Leah McSweeney, the Married to the Mob fashion designer featured on Real Housewives of New York. McSweeney is the newest member to join RHONY, following the exit of Skinnygirl mogul Bethenny Frankel.
When McSweeney started Season 12, she revealed that she doesn’t often drink. She doesn’t consider herself an alcoholic, but said sometimes she can go over the top. In recent episodes of the hit franchise, McSweeney indulged in some booze while partying with the RHONY ladies in the Hamptons.
In the premiere episode of Season 12, McSweeney revealed she started drinking six months ago after nearly a decade of sobriety. “Me an alcohol have a very weird relationship,” she said. “I am someone who actually enjoys like, completely like, going crazy.”
Not everyone was happy about McSweeney drinking again. In last week’s episode, McSweeney revealed that her mother, Bunny, wasn’t talking to her. Her parents help take care of her 12-year-old daughter Kier, and McSweeney got emotional when talked to her ex about her mothers giving her the cold shoulder.
To find out more about McSweeney’s parents, continue reading for five fast facts:
1. McSweeny’s Parents Kicked Her Out of the House When She Was a Teenager
When McSweeny was 17 years old, she went to rehab. When her parents picked her up from the facility they wouldn’t let her come home. But she doesn’t blame them.
“I was a really f—ed up teenager,” McSweeney said on the Bravo series. “I put my parents through hell. My mother was like, ‘Hey, we really can’t have you in the house anymore because you’re disrupting your brother and your sister’s life.'”
McSweeney said her parents saved her life. “Now I realize that my mother was trying to save my life because she had to push my out and go, ‘You have to face the consequences of all your actions, all your behaviors,'” she said.
2. Her Father Drew a Picture of Her Mugshot
During her first episode on the series, McSweeney bonded with Luann de Lesseps after telling her she too had an incident with the New York Police Department. In 2002, McSweeney was arrested after she threw a water bottle at an officer. She had been kissing her crush outside Hammerstein Ballroom, People magazine reported, when police started breaking up the crowd.
When police pulled McSweeney away from her date, she said five police officers were beating him up. She instinctively threw her water bottle at one of the officers. “He turned around and lunged at me and punched me in the face,” she told People about one of the officers.
McSweeney was detained, but not before “one of them slammed my face into the subway grates and knocked my tooth out.” McSweeney wound up walking away with $75,000 from the incident and started her fashion line, Married to the Mob.
The reality TV star was able to turn something unfortunate into something good, and now it appears to be a family joke. “My dad is drawing a lovely portrait of me. Thanks,” she wrote on Instagram November 2, 2018.
McSweeney posted the finished product that Bryan, a retired city health inspector, created on March 9. “My father did a great portrait of my mugshot from 2002. @bryjpmcs going to frame it for the new crib. Thanks daddy!” she wrote.
3. McSweeney’s Mom Is Worried About Her Drinking Again
After nine years of sobriety, McSweeney started drinking again shortly before hanging out with the Real Housewives of New York ladies. Her mother was not happy to hear about McSweeney ending her sobriety.
“My dad called me and said your mother doesn’t want to talk to you right now,” McSweeney said on the show, tearing up. “When you had a nine-year period of not drinking, and then decide to start doing it, obviously, rightly so, my mom is going to be worried.”
McSweeney told her mother she started drinking again, and then Bunny stopped answering her text messages. When she reached out to her dad to see what was going on, he told her, “Mommy doesn’t want to talk to you right now.”
“For my mom, when she hears I’m drinking again, it’s just like a trigger for her,” McSweeney explained. “I definitely think that my mom still views me as that wild teenager. It’s very hard for her to accept me as a 37-year-old woman who’s got her shit together.”
4. McSweeney’s Mom Is a Therapist Who Helped Her Cope with Her Bipolar II Diagnosis
McSweeney was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder when she was 30 years old. In an op-ed for Hypbae, McSweeney talked about her mother, who is a licensed therapist, helping her find the right medication for her.
“My doctor kept upping my dosage thinking it would help,” she wrote in 2016. “At that point, I seriously started to feel like I losing my mind. I told my mom I needed to go to Bellevue Hospital, but instead she had me throw out the bottle of medication. She watched me fall apart and literally lose my life over seven months on it.”
McSweeney has partnered with her sister, Sarah McSweeney and her mother to help those who are struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The mental health ramifications of this pandemic are becoming more clear everyday. I have been reading and hearing about drug overdoses and suicides,” McSweeney wrote on April 14. “They have been hitting too close to home to ignore. Feeling somewhat helpless in this situation my sister @lilmcsweeney and I spoke to our mom Bunny who is a therapist and we want to start having weekly support groups.”
5. McSweeney Thanked Her Mom For Standing by Her
Despite their rocky relationship, Bunny has always been there for McSweeney. In a May 12, 2018, Instagram post, the RHONY star thanked her mother for her support.
“Love you hot mama Bunny. Sorry for the teen years,” she wrote. “Thanks for never giving up.”
In May 2019, she gave another shout out to her mom. “Thank you for helping me raise my daughter. Love you Mom,” she wrote. “Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who are moms, the men who are the moms in their kids life, people who have lost their moms, have not become moms yet but are yearning to be, if this is a painful day sending extra love.”
Don’t miss Real Housewives of New York when it airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.