Luann de Lesseps has given her first interview since she checked out of rehab earlier this month.
Sitting down with Today‘s Megyn Kelly on Tuesday, the Real Housewives of New York City star opened up about her recent relapse, which prompted her to check herself into an alcohol treatment facility in July for the second time in the past year.
De Lesseps’ decision to seek treatment again came just days after news broke that her first husband Count Alexandre de Lesseps and their children Victoria and Noel had filed a lawsuit against her over an $8 million house sale. According to court documents obtained by The Blast, she breached a stipulation of settlement in her divorce by failing to create a trust “for the benefit of her two children.”
“I wanted to change my life,” she explained to Kelly. “I wanted to move upstate New York and I found a beautiful home. I have this beautiful house in the Hamptons, as a lot of people know, and I wanted to sell that to get this property up there and the children weren’t happy about that because it’s their home and I understand that.”
“But I just wanted to move,” she continued. “I needed more privacy and a lot of people know where I am and I just needed a fresh start. But the kids were not happy with it and the ex-husband came to visit and he decided to block me and sue me. And I’m so nice, I let him stay at my house because we have a great relationship. And we still do. I mean, I understand why he did it because I was really going big up there, upstate, with a really big property. Since then, I’ve decided to take something smaller and keep my home for the children because I love them.”
De Lesseps, 53, said she found out about the lawsuit in the press.
“So that was devastating,” she said. “I felt betrayed, I felt so hurt by that because I really wanted to move on and I really wanted to flip this house and get the other one. … I had my heart set on that house. … I was devastated, and so I lost it.”
That night, de Lesseps admitted she “fell off the wagon.”
“I had a girlfriend with me and she goes, ‘I love making watermelon martinis’ and I said, ‘I’m in,’ ” she recalled. “I used to drink those at Bungalow 8 years ago and I love them. Anyway, I had two or three of those and then I had I think two bottles of rosé by myself. And then I had probably a six-pack of beer or something. I was dancing in my kitchen with a bikini on and a Panama hat. … I don’t know when to stop.”
On July 16, PEOPLE exclusively broke the news that de Lesseps had checked into rehab. She left the facility a little under three weeks later, on Aug. 2, in time for her Countess and Friends cabaret dates.
“It’s great to be back,” she said on Tuesday. “I feel good. I feel great, actually. But every day is a struggle. I take it day by day. I’m going to be 30 days sober tomorrow.”
“I have this whole new life,” she continued. “I go to AA meetings and I follow up with my treatment and I take it very seriously. I love meetings and I have a whole new family and a way of supporting myself.”
Reflecting on the experience, the Bravo star acknowledged that she can no longer drink socially.
“I can’t be like most normal people and have a glass or two of wine,” she said. “I’ll drink the whole bottle. … It just doesn’t work for me. I’m not wired that way.”
De Lesseps is particularly grateful for her successful cabaret show, which she said is “saving my life right now.”
“I get to do what I love to do,” she said.
RELATED VIDEO: Luann de Lesseps Says Her Arrest Cost Her Friends and Boyfriends
De Lesseps first checked into rehab in December 2017 after she was arrested on Christmas Eve in Palm Beach and charged with disorderly intoxication, battery on an officer, resisting arrest with violence and threatening a public servant. (She recently struck a plea deal in the case and will avoid jail time.)
She later apologized for the incident, admitting that being back in Palm Beach for the first time since she tied the knot with Tom D’Agostino Jr. there before divorcing him seventh months later had “brought up long-buried emotions.”
The season finale of the Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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