'RHONY's Tinsley Mortimer Talks How She's Changed Going Into Season 12
As if there wasn't enough Real Housewives of New York drama already. After getting engaged last November to longtime beau Scott Kluth, RHONY star Tinsley Mortimer relocated to Chicago, reportedly ceased filming, and had to put her spring wedding plans on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.
While her fellow Housewives have spoken out about their current relationships with Mortimer (some not so positively), one thing is for certain: Mortimer is loving life in her Windy City penthouse and enjoying engagement bliss.
Below, Mortimer opens up about her wedding plans, that infamous kiss with new Housewife Leah McSweeney, and holding her own on RHONY.
First of all, congratulations on your engagement! Will we see more of Scott and your love story this season?
Tinsley Mortimer: When we start off the season, we weren't together, so it's not until sort of halfway through that we ended seeing each other again, and then I was completely surprised by the engagement. You'll definitely see me discussing the relationship and everything but it's not so much with him being there.
Of course, especially since he was busy running his company in Chicago. What's it like living there now?
I love Chicago, I really do. I've been to Chicago several times before when Scott and I were together (and when we broke up a million times), and I've always really, really loved Chicago. I love city life and of course I love New York City, but Chicago is a smaller version of New York. It's really fun and you can walk to everything too, the shopping is great, the restaurants are great... I just love it.
Your apartment is so stunning there! You posted a gorgeous sunset panoramic Instagram Story recently.
It is quite an amazing place and I feel very lucky to be here. It's on the 92nd floor of a big building so the views are insane. You see all of Chicago and it's so incredible. It's pretty amazing—sometimes you're just totally in the clouds because we're so high up. The other day the clouds settled in and you couldn't see anything but then they kind of a parted just on the tip of the two other main buildings we see: the Trump building and the iconic Sears Tower. We just saw the tips of them coming out from the clouds and it was just so surreal, like nobody else was in the world.
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Jumping into this upcoming season, we saw you share a smooch with new Housewife Leah McSweeney in the trailer. How does she fit in with the core cast?
Leah is so great and I really adore her. We became so close — obviously so close that we even smooched! She's just a lot of fun and a good addition. Most of the girls are about 10 years or so older than I am, and sometimes they can act even older than that. It was just so nice and refreshing to have someone act at least her age, or sometimes wild and crazy and fun. I certainly don't act my age sometimes and maybe I should but I don't want to! It's so great to have Leah, and she was a nice welcome to everything and certainly to me. I really loved having her be part of it.
We see your mom Dale in the trailer, too! Can we expect her to help out with wedding planning this season?
She's so great. She is in this season a bit, but whenever we're filming it's kind of stressful because I never know what she's going to say! She's just so opinionated. She's still my mom, that's who she is. She was so excited to see herself in the trailer. It was fun.
I will say that I am not having her help out with planning any wedding details because I just don't want it to get too overwhelming and stressful. We want a small wedding and not anything too overly complicated. I've been married before and I had a huge wedding and my mom was very involved with that. She did a beautiful job but I don't want to go through that again. I'm older, I don't need all that again. The only thing I insist upon is having a huge, big white dress. I don't care what else happens besides Scott being there.
Are there any recent updates to your wedding plans?
Of course with all this going on [with the coronavirus pandemic] it's been difficult to plan anything because we just don't know what we're going to be able to do in the next couple of weeks or months. We originally wanted to do it in May in Japan. There was no reason to really wait... and then all of a sudden everything changed here. This whole big wedding planning doesn't have to be stressful because we're together, so we'll see. We're just happy being together and healthy and being here in Chicago with our dogs.
Throughout all of this and your move to Chicago, have you been staying in touch with the RHONY cast?
The last time I was in New York I saw Leah, and I was actually supposed to see her again the next time I go. I'm keeping in touch with her a little bit. I just can't wait until this is all over with and we can just hang out again.
In the trailer there is a sneak peek at trips to the Hamptons and Mexico. What has been your favorite getaway as a Housewife?
My favorite trip really was my first season going to Mexico. That was really fun, because obviously we are filming a TV show but it really felt like a vacation. It was also for me when Scott and I were just new. He sent this total surprise with these huge flowers for me and [former Housewife] Carole Radziwill. I was just so shocked because I had no idea how he would have known [where we were].
Our trips are always wild and fun. Even just the Hamptons gets a little crazy this year. I was actually so sick during the trip that I barely could even speak at one point, but then I decided to just drink my way through it. I was like, "I'm on so much medicine and it's not really helping, I just need to drink more." So that trip was really fun because I was drinking so much.
What do you think you learned most about yourself during your time on Real Housewives?
It's funny because when I joined the show, I had been in a really dark place. I had a bad relationship and I came off having a mug shot and embarrassment and all that stuff. So when I came on the show, I kind of felt like I had nothing to lose. I had been fully humiliated already, so why not?
I kind of felt like I was going to be myself right away and be back in New York, and it didn't happen right then. And then the next season I thought, "OK, I am so much more me and that's great" and then looking back, I wasn't really. It's such a good therapy session to be part of this because you do watch yourself back, and then just be thrown into a mix of these girls and having to come to terms with things and be supportive but also argue and hold your own—all these things help you as a person, in a weird way.
This season I had the most fun because I had coming into it even more saying "OK, I'm Tinsley again." I felt stronger, even against my mom and it's always hard standing up to her. I feel like for this season was really the most fun. It's a great therapy session. We'll have to watch it all and go back in time now.
Real Housewives of New York City, Season 12 Premiere, Thursday, April 2, 9/8c, Bravo