Bethenny Frankel Details Luann de Lesseps' Intervention: 'It Was a Very Emotional & Crazy' Time
Luann de Lesseps' return to rehab forced her to miss The Real Housewives of New York City season 10 reunion taping, but that didn't stop the cast from talking about her recent relapse
On Wednesday’s reunion part two, the 53-year-old Countess’ costars opened up about the state she was in prior to checking herself back into an alcohol treatment center, with Bethenny Frankel detailing what lead to de Lesseps’ friends staging an intervention.
“I would say she did not come to her decision entirely on her own,” Frankel said. “There were a few people there and it was the right thing to do. It was a very, very emotional and crazy weekend. … It was time to face reality.”
“There’s a lot going on that’s all a part of it. It all got so much larger than life and so much intensity at the same time and it needs to be leveled. She has a journey to go on,” Frankel added. “She really wants to be loved. She’s so big so you think she’s so tough. But she’s really like a big baby. I feel for her. It’s sad.”
As PEOPLE had reported exclusively in July, Frankel was by de Lesseps’ side when she made the decision to attend rehab for a second time.
“This weekend, Luann was surrounded by her girlfriends and decided — with their support — that in light of recent circumstances, it is the healthiest choice for her not to attend [this season’s] reunion taping so that she can continue in her healing process,” Frankel, 47, told PEOPLE at the time. “Luann is now surrounded by a core group of people who truly have her best interests at heart and who are working to make sure she gets the help she needs.”
“Bravo has been very supportive of Luann during this time,” Frankel continued. “It’s a brave and honest decision by her, and everyone is rallying around her and wants the best for her.”
RELATED VIDEO: Luann de Lesseps Says She Relapsed After Her Ex-Husband and Kids Sued Her: ‘I Felt Betrayed’
After a little under three weeks at the facility, de Lesseps checked out at the top of August and returned to the stage for her #CountessAndFriends cabaret show. “I’m in a really good place,” de Lesseps told PEOPLE on Saturday, as she hit her 40 days sober mark. “I don’t feel like drinking. I’m committed to my sobriety. I want it more than anything.”
So what caused her to relapse? According to de Lesseps, it was a lawsuit filed against her over an $8 million house sale from her first husband, Alexandre de Lesseps, and their children, Victoria and Noel, that pushed her to drink.
“That was devastating,” she told Megyn Kelly Today on Aug. 14, adding that she “felt betrayed” and “fell off the wagon” after learning about it in the press. “I had two or three [watermelon martinis] 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 didn’t know when to stop.”
That may have been the bender that led her back to rehab, but on Wednesday’s reunion, many of the New York City Housewives — including Frankel — hinted that de Lesseps had been drinking before then.
“She had taken a bit of a turn and I think the recent situation with her family certainly didn’t help the matter,” said Frankel. “There’s a lawsuit going on with her and the kids. She’s very clear that the catalyst of this lawsuit was not the best thing for her.”
Ramona Singer got into more detail, claiming that there were a few incidents of public intoxication that never got out in the press.
“She was at the Beacon, I didn’t say anything,” Singer, 61, alleged. “Luann was very out of it, so much so she put her head back in my girlfriend’s lap between her legs, kicked her legs up, and the Beacon had to escort her out. That was like, three months ago.”
There was also another party de Lesseps attended that she was asked to leave, Singer claimed.
Even Andy Cohen suggested de Lesseps was “a little off” when he went to see her cabaret show in late June.
“I think she thought she could have one,” Medley said. “I think she was hiding it well.”
No matter what, all the Housewives agreed that it was good de Lesseps was getting the help she needed.
“I give her a lot of credit,” said Sonja Morgan, 54. “She was doing really, really well. I think going to rehab was the right move and she’ll get back on track.”
Still, they all warned that de Lesseps keep her ego in check — something they say swelled 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.)
“[Luann] was feeling herself,” Frankel said. “She did feel the arrest made her more famous than it ever had before.”
“She was losing some people in her life, besides me,” agreed Medley, 53, who has recently fallen out of favor with de Lesseps. “There were people saying I can’t deal with the ego. I think she got confused between fame and infamy. My mother always says in the face of devastation, humility should prevail, not ego. And maybe that was a defense mechanism.”
RELATED VIDEO: Luann de Lesseps Says Her Arrest Cost Her Friends and Boyfriends
Meanwhile, de Lesseps told PEOPLE on Saturday that she’s grateful for Frankel’s help in helping her get sober again.
“It meant a lot to me,” de Lesseps said. “I had Charlie’s Angels swoop in! I had one friend who took care of my financial situation, one who was really looking into what rehab I was going to go to, and then Bethenny — who really took care of the television side and helped orchestrate that. So she really was instrumental in helping me get sober. She just wiped it off my plate. She was like, ‘You have to go to rehab, I’ve got this.’ ”
The Real Housewives of New York City reunion concludes Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.