A confident Luann de Lesseps returned to the stage on Saturday night for the first time since leaving rehab, making her Countess and Friends cabaret show return at The Paramount in Long Island, New York. The Real Housewives of New York City star received a standing ovation from the packed crowd as she hit the stage.
“I’m so thrilled to be here, you have no idea,” she told the audience. “It’s been a rough year for me and I’m finally back home in Long Island. I love you guys.”
Throughout the show, Luann addressed her recent stay in rehab, telling the crowd, “I actually loved rehab, I loved it so much I went back.”
During a portion of the show where she read from her diary, Luann also discussed her Christmas Eve arrest.
“I don’t even know where to start, today was certainly the worst Christmas Eve of my life,” Luann read the diary entry to the audience. “It’s gonna take a while to process all of this, but right out of the gate, I can say I’ve learned one thing, everyone should remember three phone numbers from your phone so you know who to call when you go to jail. Because guess what? They confiscate your cell phone. So here I am in jail, me, sitting on this cold metal bench, feeling really great about myself. So I’m siting on this cold metal bench, I’m freezing my ass off and staring at a payphone right in front of me, and I couldn’t remember one number to call, and the only one I did remember, I didn’t wanna call.”
After performing “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” Luann did a Q&A with the audience, who couldn’t get enough of her sparkling jumpsuit by Jovani.
“Revenge body and rehab, darling,” Luann replied when an audience member said she looked “amazing.” And Luann definitely felt the love from the crowd, after the show, she told E! News it “was great” to be back on the stage.
“It was great, it was great to be back on stage I, you know, couldn’t wait actually I was so looking forward to it and so yeah it felt amazing,” she shared with us. “That’s my biggest venue I played to date…and it was sold out, it was great!”
Talking about how excited the crowd was to see her, Luann asked, “Isn’t it wonderful? That means the world to me, especially…I’ve been through a lot this last year. It means a lot to me that they’re in my corner, supportive, they love me, they love my music, that means everything.”
Luann also told E! News that this experience in rehab felt different this time around. “I feel great. I feel like I have more experience with the whole thing so I learned more, you always learn more and the second time around I learned a lot more about myself and it was very eye-opening and enlightening and spiritual and all of those things,” she shared. “I’ve realized that drinking doesn’t work for me anymore, it just doesn’t.”
The Bravo star will soon return to filming Housewives, without one cast member. When asked what her reaction was to Carole Radziwill leaving the show, Luann told E! News, “Listen, it’s always sad to see a cast member go, and you know, I don’t know the real story behind it, I mean, I don’t think she left, I think there was a problem…but I know that she loved to do the show so I know she didn’t leave because she wanted to leave.”
Luann made the decision to enter rehab shortly before the reunion show taping, a decision she made in order to put her health first.
“I was taking care of myself, that comes first,” she explained. “It was a big decision, but it comes first and I feel like, you’ll see…I can’t give away the storyline obviously but, but I feel like I was in a good place and I don’t really think I needed to be there. I would’ve loved to be, I love doing the reunion by the way, it’s my favorite, I really do and all the girls are like, ‘You’re sick!’ I like it because it’s your time where you can be honest and tell the truth about how you feel and you don’t alway get to do that on the show. So I like doing the reunion so I was sad to miss it, but my health came first.
Luann also shares that her co-stars have “all been great” and supporting her during this time. “Especially Bethenny [Frankel], she’s been to bat for me, so that’s nice.”
The Countess also talked to us about her daughter Victoria de Lesseps—who recently started a job with designer Nicole Miller—and the message she tries to send to her, especially in recent weeks.
“Putting yourself first and when you get knocked down you stand back up. There is no other choice in life,” she told us. “And words are one thing, but showing people is another. It was so important for me to show my daughter, that through all the trials and tribulations that I’ve had that you gotta keep it moving. Move forward, don’t spend too much time thinking about the past, I feel like it’s better to just keep on going forward.”
Luann, who told the audience on Saturday that she’s single, also addressed her friendship status with Dorinda Medley during the show’s Q&A.
“I love Dorinda, very much, you know, she’s a great girl Dorinda,” Luann said when asked about their relationship. “When somebody says something to you and it just hurts? You can get over it very quick–it takes a little time to heal, so I’m still healing, but I love Dorinda, but it takes me a minute, I have to get over it. She really hurt my feelings, so I’m being perfectly honest about that because, she did. So you know we’re still repairing our friendship. I still have the bandage on, I’m not ready to take the bandaid off yet.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)