At the start of Real Housewives Of New York season 9, I noted how much the long-in-the-tooth reality show needed a shake up in the form of Tinsley Mortimer. After watching some combination of Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn (de Lesseps) D’Agostino, and Ramona Singer feud over glasses of pinot grigio for almost a decade, the series needed some new, young blood. Socialite and former teen show guest star Tinsley was supposed to supply that, with her vaguely criminal past and obsession with fake eyelashes. Yet, all Tinsley has been allowed to accomplish in her freshman year on Bravo is a passive aggressive tension with Sonja Morgan and anxiety over moving into a new apartment. The latter issue is what has me very concerned about Tinsley following last night’s "Regency Reunion."
In the episode, Tinsley goes to see two different apartments, both costing about $9,000 a month. One is in the West Village, and more cramped than what the Southern princess-turned-NYC-It-girl is used to. It's clear this isn't what Tinsley's fur coat-wearing mom Dale Mercer was expecting, as she dramatically and condescendingly says while looking out of a window, "It's like... a little village out here."RHONY then cuts to Tinsley’s Upper East Side option, which is exactly what Mother Mercer wants for her daughter. The apartment is spacious, bright, and comes with a contraption to hang all your ballgowns on. The decision between the two apartments drives Tinsley to start sobbing in the middle of a showing. "I’m just starting… I honestly feel like I’m going to cry right now," she chokes out while what looks like a hive begins growing on her cheek. "No, I don’t know. It’s a lot right now. It’s just a lot."
Tinsley nervously picks up her mane of blonde waves and finally calms down, but still doesn’t look happy. "I don’t think that I’m capable of being as mature as I thought I could be," the 41-year-old explains in a confessional. "I understand that people don’t really understand what’s going on in my head right now and the trauma that happened to me." Of course, Tinsley is referring to her toxic Palm Beach relationship with ex-boyfriend and sugar heir Alexander "Nico" Fanjul, which the socialite says was abusive. Tinsley was hospitalized "due to a possible battery" on Christmas Day 2013 and suffered multiple lacerations and bruises over the nearly four years she saw Fanjul, the New York Post explains based off of police reports. All of this information makes Tinsley’s emotional outburst in her prospective apartment make more sense, since she only began crying after her mom brought up West Palm Beach, Florida.
Throughout RHONY season 9, Tinsley has randomly brought up the time she was arrested for "trespassing" on Fanjul’s property in April 2016, and the famed mugshot it resulted in. The former Gossip Girl guest star says constantly talking about the sad incident is "therapy" but it seems she’s still extremely distressed and no one is noticing. Previews for next week’s New York episode proves things aren’t getting better anytime soon for Tinsley. The Bravolebrity goes to talk to a professional, and explains with tears in her eyes she’s having "bad dreams" about her allegedly abusive ex. The soul-baring moment doesn’t seem to be for the cameras at all. Later in the trailer, she explains to all of her cast members while crying, "A lot’s happened to me in the last couple months and I feel like everybody’s like, ‘Oh, get over it. Get over it!’ But, at the same time, it’s not that easy to get over!"
After such an honest admission it would be nice if the fellow RHONY women could rally around their clearly traumatized friend. Instead everyone basically ignores Tinsley's literal cry for help and tells her to get over it. Let's hope when the cameras are off, someone — anyone — gives Tinsley the very real support she needs.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.
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