Simon van Kempen: When LuAnn Is Being the Countess She Isn’t “Being Real” – Exclusive
Former Real Housewives of New York House-husband Simon van Kempen never shies away from talking about insider drama on his former show. So, when Wetpaint Entertainment ran into him at STYLE360 Presents Gretchen Christine Collection by Gretchen Rossi during New York Fashion Week, we had to chat him up about all the drama going down on and off camera.
Look, my opinion of the Countess is one opinion, my opinion of LuLu is another. LuAnn plays a character and she’s allowed to take on her own persona. When she puts on the airs and graces she’s false. I’m known for being real. I released a single called “I’m Real.” And when LuAnn is the Countess she is not being real. She’s admitted that the whole contretemps in St. Barts has affected her and Jacques. This is after Radar put out that story that her and Jacques are on the rocks and she denied it. I mean of course it has. These shows do affect her real life. Was she dumb to not turn off her microphone? Absolutely. Did she lie about the Italian? She admitted to that. She’s now said that she’s a liar. She called it a “white lie.” Well no, it was a black lie, a bad lie, a stupid lie. LuAnn, after five years on the show, turn off your microphone. Don’t speak French so doucement, so slowly.
Did she have sex with Tomas? I think she was too drunk to be able to do that. Who knows. Did Sonja? I don’t know, I don’t wanna know!
You’re on Vh1’s upcoming season of Couples Therapy. What else do you have going on?
Housewives gave us a platform. Would we be on Couples Therapy without Housewives? Probably not.
I talk to my Twitter followers that talk to me. And people said, Simon, you were critical of Bethenny when she went to a therapist on TV, and now you’re doing it. All I’m saying to them is, watch the show. Me and Alex had three weeks of intensive therapy. It was a group therapy. And we were on with this weird couple called Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchinson.
I love Courtney and Doug!
You love them?
Well, they are the campiest thing ever.
I can’t say anything. I can’t talk yet. The show will air. I say my piece. Alex shows her piece, so to speak.
You’ve been very vocal about RHONY’s lackluster ratings this season. What do you think is the reason behind the dip?
For six years they’ve had a phenomenal franchise with the Housewives. Same with Top Chef. But Bravo is not getting any new hits. Miss Advised, Gallery Girls, Most Eligible Dallas — all their other shows are not cutting it. Bravo has an amazing watercooler sensation with Housewives. The amount of blogs that follow Housewives, from Wetpaint to Radar to Julie Klausner at New York Magazine, and so on. They all talk about Housewives. But RHONY, not even 2 million people watch. Last week, VH1’s show [that went up against RHONY] had 4 million viewers, with a 2.2 rating in the demo versus RHONY which has a .8 rating.
Bravo is really in trouble. They were my friends for four years. They weren’t my friends after they fired me. Or fired Alex and I had to go along with it. But we’ll see what happens with Bravo. Bravo needs another hit. Housewives will have it’s time, whether it’s this year or next year.
But what do you think Bravo needs to do to get their next hit?
Bravo needs a show that turns back on the twentysomethings. RHOA and RHONJ rate very well, but demo ratings are not very great. I don’t know what Bravo needs to do, but they need do something more than they’re doing, because Top Chef and Housewives can’t sustain them indefinitely.
The Real Housewives of New York airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
Maria Mercedes Lara is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter@maria_mercedes.