“I still believe in love,” Mortimer, 41, says in the latest issue of PEOPLE. “I still want to be married again and be happy and be in a relationship. I always hope for the best.”
Mortimer was arrested in April 2016 for trespassing at ex-boyfriend Alexander “Nico” Fanjul’s Palm Beach home, but police records later surfaced, revealing there was much more to the story.
According to the reports, cops were called to the residence multiple times including an incident on Christmas Day in 2013, where Mortimer was hospitalized with head lacerations. In the police report, she stated Fanjul, 31, had grabbed her arm, causing her to lose her balance and hit her head.
According to another police report, cops were once called to the residence for an altercation where a neighbor signed a sworn statement that he witnessed Fanjul “tackle” Mortimer and “push her head into the pavement.” Fanjul also claimed Mortimer attacked him: According to the police report, he says Mortimer scratched him, leaving minor lacerations on his chest and back.
“I had moments of feeling like I wasn’t going to make it,” she says now. “I was going to be one of those tragic stories you see on TV.”
Mortimer says she hid the violence for nearly two years but her arrest was the final straw. She left Palm Beach and sought therapy to deal with the trauma. “I’m so grateful and I feel so lucky,” she says. “That’s my past and I learned from it. I will never put myself in that situation again.”
- For more on Tinsley Mortimer, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Back in New York, Mortimer says speaking out about what happened to her has been positive. “Having been in a violent relationship, girls will open up to me and talk to me about similar experiences ,” she says. “It happens to a lot more people than you think.”
Looking back, Mortimer can’t believe how much her life has changed for the better. For now, she’s looking forward to her future and one day starting a family.
“I’m ready to get back to my life,” she says.
The Real Housewives of New York City season 9 premieres April 5 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.