‘RHONY’: Why Is Luann de Lesseps Still a Countess?

Luann de Lesseps’s life looks much different from when she first appeared on Real Housewives of New York City. However, one thing remains: She is still a countess. Despite divorcing her aristocrat husband, Count Alexandre de Lesseps, the reality star still very much identifies as “royalty.”

But, if she is no longer married to a count, why is Luann still a countess? Find out how she justifies her royal title, ahead.

Luann de Lesseps
Luann de Lesseps | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

How did Luann become a countess?

In order to be a countess, one must marry a count. In 1993 — long before she was a Real Housewives of New York City star — Luann de Lesseps married French entrepreneur and aristocrat, Count Alexandre de Lesseps, aka “The Count.” As the wife of a count, Luann automatically assumed the title of countess.

Why is Luann still a countess?

After divorcing her husband in 2009, reality television’s most famous countess refused to give up her status. And, despite no longer being married to a count, Luann de Lesseps was allowed to keep her countess status as a courtesy title. But, in 2016, when she remarried Tom D’Agostino Jr., she technically had to give up her title. Despite the technicalities, Luann continued — and still continues — to call herself a countess.  

Why is Luann still a countess? According to her, it is less about royalty and more about her personal brand. As a reality television star on the Real Housewives of New York City, Luann de Lesseps has lots of unique opportunities to partner on products and even have her own cabaret show. Because of that, Luann felt it was necessary to keep “countess” as part of her identity.

“Well I’m Luann de Lesseps and The Countess is always going to be a part of me,” she told Andy Cohen back in 2017, after announcing her divorce from Tom D’Agostino Jr. “Now I have my bedding collection coming out. And it’s a brand that I own. Like Queen Latifah, is she really a queen? I mean, right? So it’s part of me and I was a countess. So It’s a brand that I own as Luann de Lesseps,” she added.

Does Luann still keep in contact with The Count?

Count Alexandre and Luann de Lesseps share two children, Victoria and Noel, together, so they are still part of each other’s lives. In 2018, Luann reunited with her children and ex-husband at her home in Sag Harbor, New York to celebrate six months of her sobriety. However, things went south two weeks later when Countess Luann was sued by her ex-husband and their children for not holding up her end of the divorce deal.

According to US Weekly, the countess purchased a $3.1 million estate home in Sag Harbor, New York, but failed to create a trust “that would entitle the kids to the home as outlined in the divorce proceedings.” The children and ex-husband also accused her of wanting to sell the home to buy a new one “without giving the children their entitled share of the funds.” The lawsuit was later dropped and all is, reportedly, well — at least, between her and her family members.


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