Over the last six months, we’ve gotten scraps of details about Luann de Lesseps’ 2017 Christmas Eve arrest in Palm Beach, where the Real Housewives Of New York star was charged with disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest, and battery on a law enforcement officer. In a People profile, she copped to drinking a lot of rosé on the day of the incident. On Watch What Happens Live she bemoaned not being able to remember a single phone number other than the digits of the man who drove her to “self-medicate” with rosé in the first place, ex-husband Tom D’Agostino.
But we’ve never gotten the full, unfiltered story from The Countess. That is, until Wednesday night’s RHONY, “Every Mayflower Has Its Thorn,” which detailed Luann’s return to New York City following her trip to jail and subsequent rehab stint. Of course, Luann’s first order of business was explaining to her Bravo castmates exactly what happened in Florida. Her lengthy retelling dispelled a few rumors swirling around the arrest, while also spilling a few unheard secrets.
The No. 1 thing Luann wants viewers, and friend Dorinda Medley who gets the arrest story first on RHONY, to know is that she was not with a man in his twenties during her Palm Beach escape. Instead, she was with a polo player her own age that evening. The unnamed paramour in question was also the man Luann dated before she began seeing her ex-husband in 2015. The mystery athlete met Luann at the Colony Hotel on Christmas Eve after the reality star decided to leave her friend Julie’s home, where she was originally supposed to stay in Palm Beach. Julie has cats, and they apparently drove Luann up the wall, as you can tell from her mock meowing in a talking head interview.
While listening to Luann recount the prelude to her arrest it becomes clear that every single thing she did that ill-fated day was a dark recreation of the events of the year before, when she wed Tom in Palm Beach on New Year's Eve. First of all, Luann went to Palm Beach when it was fully unnecessary; she was actually supposed to head to her family’s house in Jupiter, Florida — a 30 minute drive north of Palm Beach — and, ultimately, a wedding in South America. Julie was a bridesmaid in Luann’s 2016 wedding. The Colony, where Luann was arrested, was the place where the Bravolebrity held her wedding brunch the year prior.
At the Colony with The Polo Player, as Luann begins to call him, she checked in, got a room key, and then settled in at the bar to listen to a jazz singer. At this point, she was “feeling good” while sipping a drink, and eventually got a tad “rambunctious.” Upon realizing how “rambunctious” his companion was, Polo Player urged Luann, who had still not visited her room yet, to go upstairs. In the elevator, a drunken Luann pressed the button for the fourth floor. Luann’s room was on the third floor. On the incorrect fourth floor, Luann dropped her bag while searching for her room key. As Polo Player went to pick up Luann’s bag, she found a room that was unlocked and walked inside. Apparently, a maid was in the process of turning down said fourth floor room and left it open. Polo Player, having no idea which room Luann was supposed to be in, followed her inside. After all, why would Luann be in the wrong room?
The part of this story that gets the most laughs from Luann’s fellow RHONY stars is what happened once she accidentally stumbled her way into the incorrect room. “I’m kissing my friend — we’re kissing… And, two seconds later, security is at the door.” Apparently, the maid who had been turning down the room returned to see two strangers making out in a random hotel room and immediately called for help. Security, along with The Polo Player, tried to convince Luann she was in the wrong room, but she was too intoxicated to listen. There was even evidence the room wasn’t hers, including a BlackBerry. Luann doesn’t own a BlackBerry.
Soon enough, the police arrived and handcuffed Luann. Somewhere between the arrival of law enforcement and Luann’s placement in the back of a squad car, she closed a bathroom door on the face of an officer “by accident” — as opposed to kicking an officer, as rumors reported — because she was “trying to avoid being arrested.”
While Luann didn’t avoid being arrested, she did somehow manage to slip her handcuffs off while inside of the squad car, as police footage shows. That Houdini trick didn’t save her from ending up in jail, where she was sadly left shoeless, wearing just a sundress. “No blanket, no water, no nothing,” she tells Dorinda. Yet, Luann was fed a bologna sandwich, which had the world’s worst surprise hiding inside of it. “I took a big bite out of that and inside was the mustard packet,” Luann recalls with disgust. “I pull [it] out, almost like this dead fish hanging out of my mouth.”
In the morning, when Luann was brought in front of a judge, she was taken into the courtroom in literal shackles. “Why is that necessary?” Dorinda asks. Luann’s answer, “Maybe because I tried to slip out of the handcuffs.”
At least Luann is in a much sunnier place in the Real Housewives “present,” after leaving a yoga-filled rehab. The reality star, who is now living a sober lifestyle, looks more than happy to sip on a glass of Diet Coke filled with citrus fruits while her co-stars drink wine. In fact, she is so zen, Luann barely engages with castmate Ramona Singer who tossed the Countess under the bus twice. First, Luann learns through the grapevine that Ramona desperately tried to gain an invite to Tom’s New Year’s Eve party, which was held on the same boat where the de Lesseps-D’Agostinos hosted their rehearsal dinner one year prior. Then, Ramona posted a photo of Luann out at dinner where multiple glasses of wine were visible. The Instagram upload blew up Luann’s spot in two ways: it outed her rehab exit, which had been a secret until then, and could harm her legal case in Florida, considering all the alcohol on the table.
Although Ramona refuses to see the error of her ways, Luann truly doesn’t seem to care.
Now, about five months after “Every Mayflower Has Its Thorn” filmed, Luann is looking at a July 25 court date, where she will accept a plea deal and plead guilty to her crimes, which have been lowered from multiple felonies to a misdemeanor charge. Money can't buy you class, but it can buy you very good legal services.
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