"I may float like a butterfly, but I sting like a bitch" is the tagline new RHONY Housewife Leah McSweeney is using to make her grand entrance. So, yeah, don't expect a calm presence. The latest addition to The Real Housewives of New York City is replacing Bethenny Frankel. But, while they have a couple things in common (entrepreneurs born in New York), it looks like Leah will take things in her own distinct direction.
To start, in the RHONY season 12 trailer (below), Leah can be seen chasing Sonja Morgan around a pool while naked, pulling a waiter's head into her boobs, kissing her friend Tinsley Mortimer as they both fall to the ground, and pulling an octopus out of some sort of seafood display while screaming. Sonja sums up Leah as "kind of rough around the edges."
While this is quite the collection of clips to get to know someone, there's more to Leah than a few wild moments. Professionally, the 37-year-old is a fashion designer and founded the women's line Married to the Mob in 2004. "At that time, there was no streetwear for women at all," Leah told Page Six in a recent interview. "I was wearing guys’ stuff and tying it up or cutting it up or whatever." (Anyone else getting flashbacks to Heather Thomson?)
Adding to her new bad-girl-of-RHONY image, Leah was able to fund her line when she received a $75,000 settlement after being involved in a police altercation in 2002. "The cops were beating up a friend of mine outside the Hammerstein Ballroom at around 4 a.m.," she told the New York Post in 2010. “I had a bottle in my hand and — though I shouldn’t have — I threw it. That’s when the cop punched me.”
Leah recently looked back on this moment when she appeared at BravoCon in November with the RHONY cast. "Maybe it’s a coincidence but the fact that Bravo Con is at the same venue where I was assaulted by NYPD has me in my feelings!" Leah wrote on Instagram (below). "Full circle shit."
In addition to designing — and now being a reality TV star — Leah hosts a podcast called Improper Etiquette with her friend Laura Stylez, which gives listeners "a raw and real perspective on what it means to be a boss woman."
As for her personal life, Leah is currently single (as she told Page Six, "My DM’s are open") and has a 12-year-old daughter, Kier, with her ex, Rob Cristofaro. He and Leah are in the same business; he's the founder of the men's streetwear brand Alife. Leah's dating life previously made headlines when an odd text message conversation she had with Saturday Night Live's Michael Che was featured in Page Six in 2017. (The whole thing is bizarre and includes some comments that are questionable at best. You've been warned.)
Leah has a wacky personality, an interesting past, a business of her own, and has been repeatedly featured in the Post. Sounds like she'll fit right in on RHONY.