Real Housewives star Luann de Lesseps apologizes for her Diana Ross costume
Luann de Lesseps is in damage control mode after Wednesday night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City incited an uproar from viewers. The reality star appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and apologized for tanning her skin and dressing up as Diana Ross for Halloween, a costume many saw as perpetuating blackface.
“I’m horrified,” Lesseps told Cohen. “I’m horrified, meaning I never meant to hurt anybody’s feelings. I love Diana Ross, and I totally respect Diana Ross, and it was really a tribute to her, and it was Halloween.”
Cohen pressed her about the apparent blackface, though she claimed that’s not what she was doing. “I had bronzer on that I wear normally, like the rest of my skin. I’m tan right now,” Lesseps said. “So I didn’t add anything or would ever, ever, ever dream of doing a blackface, ever. I’m very sorry to everyone out there if I offended anyone.”
Lesseps shared a photo of her as Diana Ross back in November during filming of the episode, and even then it sparked intense comments on Instagram.
“I would like to clear the air,” she tweeted last night as the episode aired. “I love and respect Diana Ross, this was my tribute to her I was showing my sincere admiration. I in no way altered my skin color and I did not mean to offend anyone.”
Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.