“Real Housewives of New York City” star Jessel Taank joined the series for its 14th season, which premiered in June 2023. While filming the Bravo show, Taank stated that she did not come from a privileged background. However, rumors began circulating that Taank lied about aspects of her childhood. For instance, Vice writer, Louis Staples, uploaded an X post in August 2023, where the journalist claimed the 43-year-old attended “one of the most elite private girls’ schools in London.” Staples released a subsequent X upload and stated that Taank had “very politely got in touch with [him] personally to clarify that this isn’t true.” The writer also apologized “for repeating false info” about the Bravo star’s education.
Taank addressed the allegations that she lied about her education in the September 10 episode of the “Two Ts In A Pod” podcast, co-hosted by “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Tamra Judge and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” alum Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave. Taank stated that an unnamed individual had created “a fake website” to make it look like she had attended the private school, St. Paul’s. The London native asserted, however, that her parents would have not been able to afford the school’s tuition.
“I think the fees are like $40,000 a year, which by the way is like my entire family’s like household income at the time, and someone posted it on Twitter, it was a writer,” said the RHONY star.
Taank acknowledged that she messaged Staples about the social media post and provided proof that she was not a St. Paul’s Girls School student.
“I went to public school, like I’m not going to make that s*** up because it’s everywhere, the internet is a wealth of information and I think being on a reality TV show, you can not say something if it’s a complete opposite of what you are saying. People are going to find out,” said the fashion publicist.
In addition, she shared she “was mortified” when the false information about her educational background began to spread. She suggested she was hesitant to address the situation because she did not want Bravo fans to think “she’s defensive.”
“’Now she’s, you know, lying and she did grow up in a certain way.’ And yeah, I mean I didn’t. I mean, listen, I wish I had the means to go to an amazing elite private school, but I didn’t,” said Taank.
She asserted that her parents immigrated to England and “started from scratch.”
“We didn’t have the means to do so and that’s not something I would lie about,” stated the Bravo star.
Jessel Taank Discussed Being the First ‘Real Housewives’ Star of South Asian Descent
Taank shared her thoughts about being the first “Real Housewives” star of South Asian descent in a July 2023 interview with “New York Live.”
“Listen, there’s probably like what 1.5 billion Indians in the world, and 50 are in the media, so it’s really important for me to – not to represent a culture, but really be kind of out there and doing what I’m doing,” said the reality television personality.
Taank shared similar comments in an August 2023 interview on Access Hollywood’s “Housewives Nightcap.”
“It’s been really, really fun. I think I’ve been having a really great time getting to share a little bit about my family and our culture,” said Taank.
Jessel Taank Spoke About Having Issues With Her RHONY Castmates
In the August 2023 Access Hollywood’s “Housewives Nightcap” interview, Taank revealed she thinks her British humor may have caused some issues with her castmates. As fans are aware, Jenna Lyons was upset with Taank after she made negative comments about her gifted lingerie. Erin Lichy also took issue with the London native when she found out she called her a “cackling hag.”
“I think as a Brit in America, I have always had this thing where no matter how innocent something is, the way I sound, is just not – it’s just not American, so I can say, ‘Oh my god, I love what you are wearing.’ And people are like, ‘That’s such a insult.’ Like what do you mean?” said the mother of two.