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Reality Bites: Hard

Nov
19
Reality Bites: Hard
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Before I address a few things let me say this: I have no regrets about having participated in The Real Housewives of Miami. It has opened doors and created amazing opportunities for me and my daughters.  In fact, I believe it has opened doors for everyone- sadly not everyone has known how to walk through them.

As promised, I am writing this blog to clear up some things once and for all:

First, I am not bitter that I am no longer a “housewife”. It is an unfortunate reality that this show did not perform as expected. Maybe it failed to provide that magic element that makes a show a hit. But I have been quite satisfied sitting on the sidelines. All season I felt like I had dodged a bullet, and I am grateful that my airtime was significantly reduced. Had it been up to me, I would not have appeared at all this season, particularly since I was not given a voice.

Another matter that merits addressing is the Cuban bashing by Lisa this season. It was uncalled for and it is unacceptable. If you have a problem with the Cuban community, perhaps Miami is not the place for you. There were at least 3 instances where she mentioned Cubans in a derogatory way. The look on her face and the disparaging manner with which she said “Cuban” coupled with the mocking and deliberate mispronunciation of my last name (she said it correctly many times) is a testament to her bias. Had there been 3 African American women on the show, I doubt Lisa would have indulged her political incorrectness. Saying someone is part of a “Cuban gang” is the equivalent of saying someone is part of a “Black gang”- and you can be certain that would never be televised.

Other than her disdain for Cubans, I have no real issues with Lisa. She is someone who has not accomplished very much in her life, at least not yet. I hope she realizes one day that life is about more than partying, plastic surgery, and Birkins. Much more.

An issue that has come up on occasion is the nonsense of me supposedly attacking Lea’s son. From what I have seen RJ is a smart, good natured young man. I would never attack a child. I am saddened that anyone would say that my “socially awkward” comment was directed at him. I was defending my daughters from a comment Lea made (that did not air, of course) about my girls being “socially inept potty mouths who would never marry”. Truth be told, it is those people who believed the comment to be about RJ that should be ashamed. It is those people who labeled him, not me.

Furthermore, when I uttered the words “socially awkward” Lea merely rolled her eyes (she knew exactly to what I was referring) yet everything else I said incensed her to the point that she had to dramatically stand up and point fingers to retort. If she thought I was referring to RJ, would she not have lunged at me in his defense? She has certainly lunged at others for a lot less.

As far as last year’s reunion is concerned, I did not “act out” to secure another season. Frankly, I never thought my role was in jeopardy. Maybe I was naïve, but I felt that my storyline along with my beautiful, smart, and interesting (albeit sometimes inappropriate) daughters was enough.

What you saw at the reunion was nothing more than my reaction to some facts, some rumors, and a whole lot of strategically planted information. Add to that my insatiable quest for truth and justice- and the result is… well, explosive. Needless to say, a reunion couch is no courtroom, Andy is no judge, and perhaps most importantly, trials are never ever edited. Regrets? None. Lesson learned? Absolutely.

Lea went through a lot of trouble this season to debunk the statements I made at last season’s reunion. Her attempts to address my “allegations” head on did more to solidify my position than to disprove it. And let me tell you what my point was once and for all:

I never said Lea didn’t work hard, I said she had the help of men along the way. For example, her partner Al Perkins (now deceased) and with whom she was romantically involved, http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20105209,00.html either provided the seed money for her “cosmetics empire” or was an expert in under eye concealer. I’m willing to bet it was the former. She even admits that she remained in a relationship with Perkins until a few months after she went out to dinner with Roy “to reminisce about the trial”.

Ultimately, her cosmetics line (started decades ago) would not have all but disappeared from the market had it been as successful as she claims. Let’s face it, Lea is no Estee Lauder, but I do give her credit for trying.  It is certainly more than a lot of the other ladies have done.

Because I was not present at the reunion and many of you are curious, let me address the state of my relationships with the other ladies and what this show has taught me about friendship and loyalty.

People who want to be on TV will do anything to do so, at the expense of their friendships, at the risk of being exploited or exploitive, and most importantly, at the expense of their own dignity. Perhaps they will never have another opportunity to quench their thirst for the spotlight. I have no real animosity towards any of these ladies, I even consider a couple of them friends, but I certainly would not call on any of them if I needed a kidney transplant.

While I spent many an episode last year defending Marysol, she and I are no longer friends. There was no dramatic fallout or any one explosive altercation; just the quiet, slow, and painful disintegration of what I believed was a true friendship, and the realization that I had been duped.

Not only did I embrace Marysol’s friendship, I made her part of my family (as many can attest). I included her in every birthday celebration, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years, Groundhog Day, you name it. If there was a meal or a celebration, Marysol was included.

Marysol doesn’t know how to be a friend, at least not in the true sense of the word. Perhaps her reluctance to defend me at Thomas Kramer’s dinner should have been a clue. Sure she’ll invite you to parties and events (with invites she garners by using the “housewives” moniker), but don’t expect loyalty. Loyalty is not Marysol’s strong suit. Yes, I was warned. Not only by Lea and Elaine but by many people around town who know her well.  Even Mama Elsa’s insistence on maintaining a friendship with Lea, her daughter’s nemesis, was very telling. But still, I didn’t believe them. I was certain they were wrong. I am, after all, a great judge of character. Aren’t I?

Not long after we started filming Season 2, I became close with Marysol. I didn’t know her well before RHOM, I only knew of her because of the events she organized around town. I was very flattered by Marysol’s interest in my friendship. Like children in a playground, we all like to be invited into the sandbox. Little did I realize that she was simply creating alliances for this “game” I now jokingly refer to as “Survivor: Socialite Edition”.

Once Marysol and I were downgraded- something that relieved me tremendously but devastated her greatly, she began to position herself as an instrumental part of every fulltime housewives storyline. Well, at least those who would have her. She began to share confidential information which I had entrusted to her with producers to leverage her position. She excluded me as often as she could, but much worse, she failed to include me when she easily could have.  She knew that eliminating me would ensure that she had more airtime. I found her disloyalty painful but I continued to be friendly with her despite her antics. After all, she was keeping me from being on a show I had very little interest in anymore.

She called production constantly looking for ways to be included in that day’s shoot. She called on people like Lauren Foster (a well-known GLAAD activist and former VOGUE model) to serve as her prop. And anyone who knows Lauren Foster can agree, she is nobody’s prop. That relationship has since ended as well. She even went on WWHL and told Andy that her father had asked Elsa to remarry him. Marry? Did they even get divorced? As of Nov 12, 2013 the answer to that is a resounding no. The case is nowhere near final judgment and has been ongoing since October 2011. Did she learn nothing from the Adrianna debacle?

Marysol seemed determined to get back to full time status at any cost.  Her biggest concern was getting a frail Mama Elsa out of the hospital so that she could film with her.  After all, Andy loves Elsa and the viewers adore her. But after having a serious stroke and brain surgery at her advanced age, filming a reality show could not have been Elsa’s top priority and certainly not that of her medical team. Who knows, perhaps some YouTube video with a bedridden Elsa will emerge debunking this statement. I think the video of a very sick Mr. Patton at this year’s reunion (which by the way, proved nothing) exemplifies the lengths Marysol will go to appear “relevant” (the most overused word in the housewife lexicon).

The final straw was when she contacted my friend and fellow lawyer directly because I had not set her up on a date with him like she had repeatedly requested (he was in a relationship at the time). She lied to him and put me in an awkward and embarrassing position and later denied it. I have since cleared the air with my friend; in fact, we managed to find humor in her delusional behavior and lies. This final act made it abundantly clear that Marysol was not the kind of person I wanted in my life. The games and nonsense surrounding the show are one thing, interfering with my personal and business relationships is quite another. That is where I draw the line.

One thing I have learned by being in the public eye is that it is impossible to please everyone. There will be those who criticize me for sharing this. There will be those who will criticize me for not showing up at the reunion. Some will even accuse me of sharing this to make myself more, wait for it…RELEVANT. The reality is that my fans, those who interact with me on social media, those who attend my events, and those who have really followed the trajectory of my career know that being “relevant” on RHOM is number 1,000,000,000 on the list of the things I care about.  More importantly, the fans that tweet me, Facebook and Instagram message me, and email me on a daily basis have a right to know the truth.

Finally, let me say that you are the absolute best fans in the world. I am humbled by your loyalty and tenacity. I am blessed to have you on my side celebrating every victory, consoling me during difficult times, defending my position, offering sage advice, and generally adding joy to my life. I always say that you make me want to be a better me. I want to live up to your high standards and expectations, I hope I have not disappointed.

I am at a wonderful place in my life right now. I, like many of you, have had my share of heartache and disappointment- but there was always a light at the end of the tunnel beckoning me and encouraging me to power through. It was worth the effort. I feel lucky, I feel blessed. I am excited about the future and the opportunities that have presented themselves to me. I will continue to keep you abreast of my wedding plans, my books, my food line, and my upcoming TV projects. I hope that you will keep me abreast of all the blessings in your life too.

With love and gratitude,

Ana

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