Luann de Lesseps is making every fall part of her dance. The Real Housewives of New York star has had a turbulent, whirlwind of a year so far in 2018, from the fallout of her arrest to her stint in rehab, but she’s somehow managed to turn every setback into fodder for her career.
Despite facing a slew of charges that could land her in jail for up to five years, the Housewife made a triumphant post-rehab return to New York and promptly took to the stage for the debut of her cabaret show, Luann and Friends, during which she joked incessantly about her legal predicament.
So, just how serious are the charges? Here’s what we know about the case – and what Luann’s been up to since emerging from the scandal.
She’s pleaded not guilty
The charges against Luann include a second degree misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, a first degree charge of trespassing, and a third degree felony charge of resisting arrest; the latter of which carries possible jail time of up to five years.
Luann entered a “not guilty” plea to all counts almost immediately after her arrest.
She also turned down a plea deal
State prosecutors offered Luann a settlement in her case, but the offer was swiftly rejected by Luann’s attorney during a hearing in West Palm Beach in mid-February. No details were given about the plea deal.
A rep for Luann told People that “everyone is still in discussion” about the ongoing case. She’s due in court again on April 13 for a new hearing.
She did, however, issue an apology
Luann may legally disagree with the charges she’s facing, but she has taken some culpability for the incident. Shortly after her arrest, she tweeted that she was “truly embarrassed” by her actions and “has the greatest respect for police officers.”
“My actions alleged in the police report do not reflect my core values and my law abiding character,” she wrote.
— Luann de Lesseps (@CountessLuann) December 29, 2017
She linked the incident to “long-buried emotions” about Tom
It’s always about Tom! Luann’s Christmas Eve arrest came just days before the one year anniversary of her ill-fated marriage to Tom D’Agostino, whom she divorced in September 2017 after just nine months of marriage.
In a statement, Luann said, “This was my first time in Palm Beach since my wedding, and being here brought up long-buried emotions. I want to offer my sincere apologies to anyone I might have offended with my behaviour. I am committed to a transformative and hopeful 2018.”
She was spotted with wine on live TV
Luann voluntarily admitted herself to a rehab program in Florida after her arrest, but last week she was spotted on TV with a glass of wine on Watch What Happens Live. Luann appeared on the show alongside her RHONY pal Bethenny Frankel to surprise Housewives superfan Jennifer Lawrence.
After the episode aired, Luann claimed the wine glass was for show and that she is still committed to sobriety. Her rep told Page Six, “It was put on the table for a toast. Luann only held it [and] did not drink it as she is not drinking anymore. It all was for ‘show’ biz.”
She played ‘Rehab’ by Amy Winehouse during her cabaret show
Luann’s statements about her case have been super serious, but on stage during Luann and Friends she was cavalier about the charges, recycling jokes from her recently New York Times profile about how she cut “Jailhouse Rock” from the show.
She also joked about how her dress was from the “I lost ten pounds from rehab collection” and even played a rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” The show was chalk full of references to her predicament and anecdotes from her brief time in jail.
“I can say I’ve learned one thing from the whole experience,” she said on stage. “Everyone should memorize three phone numbers you would call if you go to jail. Think about it. When you get arrested, they confiscate your cell phone. Here I am in jail, on this metal freezing bench, freezing my ass off, staring at a payphone that’s right in front of me. I couldn’t remember one number to call. And the one number I did remember, I didn’t want to call.”
A post shared by bk (@bkess3) on Feb 27, 2018 at 8:40pm PST
She’s got a supporter in Bethenny Frankel
Luann’s had a hot-and-cold relationship with Bethenny since season 1 of RHONY, but this time around her co-star is in her corner. Bethenny recently told Real Housewives head honcho Andy Cohen that Lu’s one of the “most resilient, strong women” she’s ever met.
“She hit the wall going 90, and the way you handle something when something bad happens is really character building and shows a lot about a person,” Bethenny said.
“She’s not delusional about where she is. She’s sort of on a path and she’s in a good place.” she added. “I mean, she’s very honest about exactly where she is, about what happened, and about what her goals are. I’m honestly impressed.”
The Real Housewives of New York returns to Slice on April 4 at 9e/p.