Luann de Lesseps' decision to return to rehab came as a surprise to both her fans and her costars

By Aurelie Corinthios
July 19, 2018 10:12 AM

Luann de Lesseps‘ decision to return to rehab came as a surprise to both her fans and her costars.

Appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Wednesday, Real Housewives of New York City star Tinsley Mortimer opened up about her reaction to the news, admitting that she was “totally in shock” when she found out.

“Because I was so proud of her … I had a mugshot in Palm Beach, too, and I just feel like I turned it around and I felt like she was doing that,” said Mortimer, who was arrested in April 2016 for allegedly trespassing at her ex-boyfriend Alexander “Nico” Fanjul’s Palm Beach, Florida, home. (Their relationship was highly tumultuous and there was a history of alleged abuse prior to the arrest, including an incident on Christmas Day in 2013 when Mortimer was hospitalized with head lacerations.)

Mortimer, 42, also praised De Lesseps’ recent return to show business, which included a string of sold-out cabaret performances called #CountessAndFriends at New York City’s Feinstein’s/54 Below.

“The cabaret show is so amazing, and I was just so proud of her,” Mortimer said. “It’s just sad. I wish her the best, and I hope that she can work everything out.”

RELATED: Inside Luann de Lesseps’ Ups and Downs, from a Cabaret Comeback to Her Return to Rehab

Tinsley Mortimer (left) and Luann de Lesseps
MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock

On Monday, PEOPLE exclusively broke the news that de Lesseps, 53, had checked herself into an alcohol treatment facility for the second time. Costar Bethenny Frankel was authorized by de Lesseps to speak on her behalf.

“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 Tuesday’s reunion taping so that she can continue in her healing process,” Frankel said. “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.”

De Lesseps did not tape the season 10 reunion this week, but host Andy Cohen has confirmed that Lesseps’ treatment would be discussed by the other Housewives.

“Bravo supports Luann’s decision to focus on her health,” the network said in a statement. “She is part of the Bravo family and we continue to stand by her as she copes with this challenging situation. At this time, we hope everyone will respect her privacy.”

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’s since pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea deal in February.)

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.”

RELATED VIDEO: Luann de Lesseps Says Her Arrest Cost Her Friends and Boyfriends

De Lesseps’ decision to seek treatment for a second time came just days after news broke that her first husband 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.”

Frankel told PEOPLE, “Recent additional family stress was a catalyst to [Luann] taking a break.”

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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