"I’m in a house that is a reminder of my entire marriage," said The Real co-host who split from ex-husband Freddy Harteis in January

By Hanna Flanagan
July 24, 2019 02:13 PM

Jeannie Mai is ready to move on.

After settling her divorce from Freddy Harteis in January, The Real co-host embarked on a living room renovation with interior designer Kahi Lee.

“I was here for six years when I was married,” Mai, 40, said in a video posted to Lee’s YouTube channel on Tuesday. “I recently got divorced — congratulate me. Now I’m in a house that is a reminder of my entire marriage and I need to move on…I need to evolve.”

Lee understood the talk show host’s concern: “So you want to de-spouse this house?” she asked.

“What she said!” Mai added.

The How Do I Look? alum revealed she chose rustic-style decor to make Harteis — who announced he was expecting his first child with girlfriend Linsey Toole six months after splitting with Mai— “feel comfortable in L.A.”

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As for the redesign, Mai asked for something to match her newly single status: “I want to go more grown; more sexy; a little S&M meets glam,” she told Lee.

And about halfway through the video, Lee unveiled the finished product — her version of a “bachelorette pad,” according to the video description box.

“You totally nailed it,” Mai said of the living room renovation. “The biggest thing was change…new chapter.”

To achieve the edgy aesthetic Mai was looking for, Lee added a black leather bench, a green velvet sofa and gold decor accents. She made the space feel more cozy and inviting with circular seating, tall fig plants and bright lighting.

“[The redesign] invites me to change my lifestyle,” Mai said. “It made me now want to cleanse everything. It feels clean. It feels new.”

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Mai has spoken out about the difficulties of her divorce several times in recent months. In March, she got candid about having to pay alimony to Harteis during an episode of The Real. 

“I was married to someone who had more money than me, but because I was the stronger earner and we lived in California — a shocking thing slapped me in the face when we divorced and I had to end up paying him my earnings,” Mai explained to co-hosts Adrienne Bailon Houghton, Loni Love and guest host NeNe Leakes before adding that the experience taught her a lesson about “looking out for myself.”

Getty Images

RELATED: The Real’s Jeannie Mai Reveals She Was Sexually Abused by a Family Member at Age 9

Last year, the star made it clear that she and Harteis were not on good terms during an episode of The Breakfast Club, despite previously saying the separation was amicable.

Freddy Harteis and Jeannie Mai
John Sciulli/WireImage

“It f—— sucks. It’s terrible,” Mai said on the talk show. “You wake up with a rock in your heart and you feel like you can’t really make it through the day because it’s just so heavy. Especially when finances get involved. Especially when people change.”

“This is where you learn how things change,” she continued. “People say money changes people. So does ego and so does social media. And so does the press. I think that all of that mixed in between— you really gotta keep yourself grounded.”

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