The camera doesn't lie? The season finale of The Real Housewives of New York City revolved almost exclusively around the aftermath of Bethenny Frankel revealing to Luann de Lesseps that she had photographic evidence of Lu's fiancé (of roughly 10 days) cheating on her.
"How bad is it?" Luann asked Bethenny, who was curled up in a ball under the covers of her bed, seemingly so upset by the news she had to deliver. "It's bad," the Skinnygirl mogul replied. Luann glanced at the pictures, announced she was going to throw up, and ran out of the room. Lu's current bestie, Dorinda Medley, did her best to lend support, but to the camera, she argued Bethenny could have been delivered it in a "gentler" manner.
Denial Is a River in the Upper East Side
After Dorinda encouraged Luann to get all the facts, Lu returned to Bethenny to continue their chat. Luann argued that there was no time stamp on the photos. She argued that she was with him on the night in question. She commented that Tom was "probably drunk." Basically, she tried to figure out any semi-rational way to explain the photos besides the obvious: that her fiancé had blatantly cheated on her.
For each challenge, however, Bethenny had an airtight response. (Knowing Luann, Bethenny anticipated the countess would try to explain this away, so she had done her homework in advance.) Luann sighed and said, "I'm not going to let a kiss ruin my marriage." Bethenny just stared back at her, wide-eyed, like she was the biggest idiot alive.
"Run like a thief in the night!" Bethenny shouted to the camera. "I still don't get why everyone is so surprised," Sonja Morgan (who was bedmates with Tom for a decade) shrugged before adding that now Luann was "probably moving back in" with her.
Luann Was Right About One Thing
Tom was indeed drunk! When Luann and Tom finally got on the phone (he was in Los Angeles for business, and she was in Miami celebrating their engagement … err), he claimed he couldn't remember anything that had happened with the woman in question at the bar because he was too drunk. (Carole Radziwill quickly dismissed this as the oldest excuse in the book.)
As Lu flailed around Bethenny's bathroom (Bethenny was not superjazzed to be witnessing this conversation), the countess asked, "It'll never happen again? How am I supposed to know that?" Bethenny kept her mouth shut — for now.
Luann then reported back to Sonja and Ramona Singer. Her take on things was that they loved each other, but that he "f–ked up." Bethenny helpfully handed Lu a martini glass filled to the brim with vodka, and nothing but vodka, as the ladies discussed whether Luann actually had more money than Tom did.
Even thought Lu was acting as if she hadn't made any decisions yet, Bethenny was convinced otherwise. "She is going to stay with him, and that's embarrassing," Bethenny predicted. "There is zero question about that."
Home Sweet Home
Upon returning to the city, Luann did not head to Tom's apartment nor did she move back in with Sonja. Instead, she checked into a hotel. She and Tom met the next day, and apparently they made up — and concocted a plan to smooth over the whole mistake with the other ladies … by enlisting Dorinda to help. (Thankfully, she refused.)
When Ramona showed up at Dorinda's apartment, however, Dorinda didn't waste a minute telling her about what Lu and Tom had asked of her. While details remained somewhat murky, the basic idea was that Tom and Lu were going to invite two waiters from the Regency (the scene of the crime) to Dorinda's place to discuss what happened. Then Dorinda would explain everything to the rest of the group. When Dorinda said she wasn't participating in this plan, Tom told her she would no longer be invited to their wedding and would no longer be friends with Luann.
For her part, Luann was thoroughly convinced Tom had learned his lesson. It seems they'd had a fight earlier that night, and he went to the Regency to blow off some steam, where he fell into this other woman's "clutches." The way Luann described it, it sounded like Tom was an innocent animal being hunted, rather than a man who had cheated on her in a very public place that they often go to together, but she seemed at peace with her decision to stick by his side.
Luann Makes Her Choice
Carole and her boyfriend, Adam; Jules Wainstein and her husband, Michael; Ramona and a random date; Sonja and Rocco; Dorinda and John and Luann (minus Tom) all showed up for Bethenny's fiesta party. Within a few minutes of arriving, Luann began instructing everyone to stop talking about her and stop talking about Tom. Then she brought the conversation back to the topic of their relationship, reporting that they were doing therapy together (not actual therapy with a licensed therapist, but more talking it out amongst themselves).
When Ramona questioned whether Luann wanted to be married to Tom or be married just to be married, Luann snapped back that she wanted to be married to Tom. "I just feel like you don't know him that well," Ramona shrugged. Luann then moved on to give a piece of her mind to Bethenny, who had, since their return home, become the bad guy in Lu's eyes.
Luann demanded to know why Bethenny had tracked down so many details about Tom's straying. When Bethenny explained she thought the added info would help convince Luann that the story was true, Luann blasted back, "Stay out of my life with Tom, period! Tom and I are going to make it all the way!"
Bethenny took a breath and said, "I feel sorry for you." She then vowed that even if she saw Tom "f–king someone in the street," she would never again tell Luann. "I just want to be with Tom and be in my bubble!" Luann shouted before storming out of the soiree. It seemed like she might get that wish.
On the plus side, in the midst of all the Tom drama, Bethenny's previous tension with both Jules (who resented Bethenny for implying she still had an eating disorder) and Dorinda's boyfriend, John (who Bethenny just didn't like), seemed to have been resolved. Also, Luann was too wrapped up in her own love life to care anymore that Carole was dating her niece's ex-boyfriend. So that was a plus.
Lu was gone, but the rest of the ladies were there to raise their glasses to Bethenny's toast. "We've had men die on us, cheat on us, steal from us, but we are still standing," she announced. "Girl power!"
Tell Us: Is Luann right to stay by Tom's side?
The Real Housewives of New York City airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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