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Who Is Leah McSweeney? Everything You Need To Know About The Newest Real Housewife Of New York

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Who Is Leah McSweeney? Everything You Need To Know About The Newest Real Housewife Of New York

Season 12 of the Real Housewives of New York premieres tonight.

The New York part of the popular franchise is officially returning. However, one fan favorite, Bethenny Frankel, will not be returning for the much anticipated season, which started to prompt questions as to who could possibly be replacing her. 

Rumors swirled that Married to the Mob streetwear brand founder Leah McSweeney was in talks to join the cast. Then, she was spotted filming scenes for the popular Bravo show with current cast member, Tinsley Mortimer.

But who is Leah McSweeney?

In addition to her clothing brand, the 36-year-old is also an advice columnist for Penthouse and co-hosts a podcast called Improper Etiquette.

And now that the new season is set to premiere, it has been confirmed that McSweeney is the newest housewife that's replacing Frankel. 

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Here are a few things to know about the newest addition to the cast. 

She's a NYC native.

Leah McSweeney was born and raised in New York City. She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart on the Upper East Side.

When she was 13, she was expelled from Sacred Heart. Her family then moved to Newtown, Connecticut. She moved back to Manhattan after high school and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

She's already a reality TV veteran.

McSweeney has already been around the block a few times with reality TV shows.

She was a client on a 2010 episode of Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker. Her appearance was well received and led to cameos on other reality shows, including VH1's Love & Hip Hop: New York


A post shared by Leah McSweeney (@leahmob) on Jul 13, 2019 at 3:58pm PDT

She's bipolar.

Her bio reveals Leah is a strong advocate for mental health awareness. She has been open about having Bipolar II Disorder and has shared her journey on occasion.

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She had a run in with the NYPD in 2002. 

In 2002, McSweeney, then 20 years old, got into a physical altercation with the NYPD. She suffered several injuries as a result of the incident. She took the NYPD to court and was awarded a $75,000 settlement

She launched her clothing line, Married to the Mob, in 2004.

McSweeney took the $75,000 settlement and used it to start her line of feminine streetwear called Married to the Mob in 2004. As of 2018, her brand had carried in more than 100 retailers.

Married to the Mob has also collaborated with Reebok and Nike and has been featured in ComplexElleEssenceInkedNylonPaper and Vogue.

On the brand's website, their purpose is to “voice and edginess to women who could hold their own (in the likes of a man), but had the finesse and appeal of a lady.”


A post shared by Leah McSweeney (@leahmob) on Feb 9, 2019 at 12:02pm PST

She's a mom.

McSweeney has a 12-year-old daughter, Kier. McSweeney's baby daddy is Rob Cristofaro, her former boyfriend and the founder of streetwear brand Alfie.

There had been rumors that Tinsley Mortimor was leaving the show.

Last year, Mortimer skipped town to be with her now-fiancé Scott Kluth, who's based in Chicago, and that's when rumors started that she might be quitting the show to spend more time with him.

However, Mortimor assured fans that there was no truth to the rumors, saying, “It’s important for me to set the record straight. Any reports saying that I had to decide between Scott or the show are 100 percent untrue. We are enjoying this incredibly happy time in our lives.”

The other housewives are excited for her to join the cast.

They've recently opened up about the newest addition.

Luann de Lesseps said, "She's a great addition to the cast. It's not easy shoes to step into. And I feel like she walked in and kind of fit right in. So excited about that because I really like her. She's a mother and a business owner and, at the same time, has a vulnerability to her that I think fans will really relate to her."

Mortimor also weighed in, adding, "It's fun to have Leah come in as the new Housewife. She's a lot of fun. I was like at a time of my life too where I just felt like I wanted to be like louder and more wild and have fun. And so Leah was like a perfect addition and so fun to get to know better and she's an awesome girl."

Ramona Singer said jokingly that they had hazed the newcomer: "You know, we give every new girl a hard time. It's a hazing experience. With her I just took on the role as her surrogate mother and you'll see during this season... You'll see when you watch how I was her surrogate mother and because of that, I held [her] to a different standard and a higher level, which sometimes we butt heads about in a big way."

What does McSweeney think about joining RHONY?

McSweeney herself also opened up about joining her fellow housewives for the new season.

She said, "Of course there was a little bit of like, 'Who is this girl?' I think some of them didn't want to like me, even though they ended up liking me, but at first, you know, they're all like, 'Who is this chick?' Like, 'What is she bringing to the group?' I mean, there's definitely a little bit of a hazing process. And I respect that. Listen, I respect that, but at the same time, I'm not gonna let someone you know, step all over me."

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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.