There are no secrets at the Polo Lounge, nestled inside the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s a place to see and be seen for celebs, industry execs, and Botoxed ladies who lunch. On this April day, Adrien Brody has taken a seat at a corner booth, while Joan Rivers grazes nearby. So it’s fitting that Lisa Rinna has come here to discuss her new book, Rinnavation. ”People said, ‘You should write a book about fitness and diet,”’ says the 45-year-old mother of two, who’s also on the May cover of Playboy. ”But it morphed into what it is now. It goes into my spirituality, my search for happiness, my sexuality, my motherhood, my marriage. Everything.”
She’s not exaggerating. The Melrose Place star and wife of Harry Hamlin spills on everything from oral sex tips (”Lemme tell you, it works. It’s really good stuff”) to her own plastic surgery (”It’s not like it’s a big f—ing secret”). She wants the book to empower women — and maybe a few gay men. ”When I share things, people seem to respond,” she says. Rinna considers her stint on Dancing With the Stars her biggest lesson or, as she calls it, ”rinnavation.” ”It sounds so corny, but dance touched my soul,” says Rinna, who is about to release a third cardio dance DVD and co-owns a dance studio with Stars partner Louis van Amstel.
Ultimately, she’s hoping to mold herself in the image of another entrepreneurial TV sex symbol: Suzanne Somers. Rinna already owns boutique Belle Gray, and she’s in negotiations to attach her name to skincare and clothing lines. Plus, she has a unique business strategy: ”Whatever I do, I have to love it. Eat it. F— it. Whatever. I have to walk the walk, otherwise I’m not gonna do it.”
Rinna hopes to return to TV in a reality series with Hamlin about their daily lives raising their daughters, Amelia and Delilah. Her run as a red-carpet commentator with Joey Fatone for the TV Guide Channel is over; their contracts weren’t picked up. ”It’s funny because Joan Rivers is behind you,” she says, hinting at the irony of sitting within spitting distance of the woman she replaced on the TV Guide Channel. ”Do I think that was my niche? No. It was a stepping-stone. Obviously — I got fired.” Rinna is similarly Zen when discussing the future. ”I’m gonna just leave it open to the universe,” she says. ”Show me the way.” As Rinna leaves the restaurant, she says hi to Rivers. The universe clearly knows she likes a challenge.