LuAnn de Lesseps apologizes for her ‘blackface’ Diana Ross costume

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The last time we checked in on LuAnn de Lesseps – formerly Countess LuAnn – she was getting absolutely bonkers-wasted and assaulting the police officer who was trying to arrest her. That was over the Christmas holiday. As it turns out, LuAnn spent much of the past year being a total wreck, and now that Real Housewives of New York’s new season has started, LuAnn is obviously doing a lot of promotional appearances, and as such, it’s become sort of an apology tour. One of the things she’s apologizing for? Her Halloween costume, wherein she put on orangey blackface and a bad wig and dared to call herself Diana Ross. Apparently, THAT was in the premiere episode of RHONY.

The newly divorced Luann de Lesseps stepped out as Diana Ross on Wednesday’s premiere of “The Real Housewives of New York,” marking her first appearance on the series following her summer split from Tom D’Agostino after seven months of marriage. Wearing a white jumpsuit and a sky-high wig, de Lesseps’ look at co-star Dorinda Medley’s Halloween party raised a few eyebrows from castmates because of what appears to be darker makeup on her skin.

“I’m Diana Ross because she’s fabulous,” de Lesseps proclaimed during her confessional interview. “Tom is not in tow, so I’m feeling liberated. It’s been a while since I’ve felt my girl power.” Castmate Carole Radziwill, however, found de Lesseps’ ensemble “disrespectful.”

“Something’s a little off about Luann’s costume,” Radziwill, 54, told the cameras. “I think she’s tone-deaf when it comes to cultural stereotypes. She’s generally tone-deaf anyway,” she added.

Bethenny Frankel had her own choice words.

“Luann’s got the balls of a burglar,” she said. “You’ve gotta give it to her. She gives zero f—ks, well, I take that back.”

Before the show’s premiere on Wednesday, she addressed the controversy.

“I had makeup on, but not anything that would make me look– I had like, tanning cream on,” de Lesseps told ET. “I think that the tanning cream, and the big hair piece I have, which was amazing… I was doing my version of Diana Ross.”

While she added she “wasn’t at all worried” about how her look might be interpreted, she did offer an apology.

“I was being an impersonator for Halloween. I didn’t mean to offend anyone by being Diana Ross for Halloween, it just didn’t even kind of enter my mind … I wasn’t at all worried about that, and all of a sudden it became a thing,” she said. “I’m so sorry. I don’t want it to be a thing, so I apologize if I have offended.”

[From Page Six]

“I don’t want it to be a thing, so I apologize if I have offended.” Drunk bitch please. LuAnn LOVES that people are talking about whether she did blackface. Personally, looking at the ‘gram, I don’t think it was blackface, it was orangeface. She did it on purpose too, because she knew it would be too “controversial” to actually attempt blackface, so she just bronzer’d the f–k out of her skin so she would be a deeper orange. LuAnn also stopped by Watch What Happens Live, and she apologized again, saying: “I never meant to hurt anybody’s feelings. I love Diana Ross and I totally respect Diana Ross… I had bronzer on, that I wear normally, like the rest of my skin — I’m tan right now. So I didn’t add anything, or try to ever, ever dream of doing a blackface, ever.”

But!! In the stills from all of the “party scenes” during the RHONY premiere, her skin definitely looks darker than in the Instagram?!?! Fuuuuck, she really did do blackface, not bronzeface.

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Photos courtesy of Instagram, WENN.

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29 Responses to “LuAnn de Lesseps apologizes for her ‘blackface’ Diana Ross costume”

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  1. Margo S. says:

    What a dumbass.

    • Lahdidahbaby says:

      Man, she really Rachel Dolezalled herself up, didn’t she.

      • jente says:

        When will people learn you don’t do black face, it’s horrible and racist and offensive. Gawwd she looks awful.

  2. Alissa says:

    I think it’s still orange face, I think the lighting in the still from the party is just darker. But that doesn’t change the fact that I agree that she was probably just looking for controversy and that’s a really crappy way to do so.

  3. Clare says:

    “I had makeup on, but not anything that would make me look– I had like, tanning cream on,”

    Luanne, your privilege/ignorance is showing. Utterly disgusting, but no surprise coming from her.

    Also, its not any less inappropriate to colour yourself ‘orange’ than it is to colour oneself ‘black’. To wear make up as costume to imitate another race is not ok. Doesn’t matter what that race is. How are we still talking about this? F*ck.

    • Kitten says:

      I don’t know why this is so difficult for us (white people) to understand. If you want to dress up as a black icon, you can wear the outfit but don’t touch your skin tone. Actually, better yet–maybe white peeps need to just stop dressing up as black icons/characters for Halloween. I mean, maybe just leave it alone. We have plenty of options for costumes that don’t require robbing other cultures for sh*ts and giggles.

      • Clare says:

        What’s super depressing is that SO many Americans, including the highly educated ‘elite’ (I would hazard a majority – even the ones who didn’t vote from Cheeto), think shit like this is ok. The number of times I’ve heard ‘what’s the big deal’ and ‘you’re being oversensitive’…

        I find its actually even worse in Europe. The cluelessness about how its not ok to wear race as a costume, is shocking. Like it’s not enough y’all colonized and terrorized people for centuries, now you gotta treat race and culture as a commodity, too?

      • Betsy says:

        I don’t think blackface is appropriate, but to not be able to be inspired by anyone or anything African American or from any other culture? That seems to be the pendulum swinging in the opposite direction, isolating that culture over there and that culture over there. I’m not talking about cultural appropriation and blackface, both of which are inappropriate.

      • Kitten says:

        Eh…maybe. I mean, I’ve seen costumes of white people dressed up as Michonne from TWD that were good in the sense that it was costume only without the racist face paint.

        I don’t know…we are living in a time when white society turns a blind eye to people of color getting gunned down by law enforcement. I guess I just find it annoying and somewhat in poor taste that we think it’s just fun escapism to dress up as a black character for a night or whatever. That, when so many of us don’t even care enough about people of color to fight for their basic civil rights.

        Or maybe you’re entirely right and I’m just being oversensitive. Just how I’m feeling ATM. *shrugs*

      • Stephanie says:

        Other cultures? Pretty sure the black people in America are American.

  4. RBC says:

    She looks more like Marge Simpson had enough of Homer and the children. Decided to get dressed up and go out for a night of clubbing with her sisters Patty and Selma.

  5. Talie says:

    I’m so happy RHONY is back…RHOBH and RHOA both sucked. The premier ep of RHONY alone blew both those seasons away.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    “I was being an impersonator for Halloween. I didn’t mean to offend anyone by being Diana Ross for Halloween, it just didn’t even kind of enter my mind … I wasn’t at all worried about that, and all of a sudden it became a thing,”

    White privilege in a nutshell.

  7. TheBees says:


  8. Neelyo says:

    She did blackface. And the wig was just as offensive.

    She’s trash and so are all of her cast mates for not calling her out on the spot. But that would require a level of introspection, compassion and plain common decency that no Real Housewife could ever have.

    • greenmonster says:

      I agree.

      She was going for a toned-down blackface because she thought that would be ok. The wig is just as offensive. It looks like a caricature of Diana Ross.

    • elimaeby says:

      I LOVE that Andy called her out on that ludicrous wig. That was as offensive to me as the “orangeface”. She looked nothing like Ms. Ross. She looked like a cartoon of a disco-era black woman.

  9. Jenns says:

    I love this show. It’s the standard, scripted Housewives formula, but with a bunch of hot mess characters that are fun as hell to watch.

  10. DesertReal says:

    Yes! I watched this episode on demand yesterday and my mouth was open when she walked through the door.
    It was every bit as dark as that footage from the party, and I thought Carole’s assessment of Luanne being “tone deaf” was entirely too kind.

    • HK9 says:

      I saw the episode yesterday and from the hair to this skin it was offensive. It wasn’t orange-I knew exactly what she was trying to do and it was bad. I also know what Diana Ross looks like and it’s not that.

  11. Alix says:

    Stupid-ass bitch.

    Also, the word “if” automatically nullifies any so-called apology.

  12. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    If you have to explain why this is wrong, you’ve already lost that person. In 2018 and with history out there to prove it, I shouldn’t have to explain to anyone why “blackface” or altering yourself to look like another race, is racist.

  13. Rumi says:

    Stupid, silly woman but she’s a reality star so it’s expected. Shock and awe. Bread and butter for a reality show people.

  14. Betsy says:

    Based on how much bronzer the housewives usually wear, how could anyone tell?

  15. Bridget says:

    First off, that Instagram handle? Maybe she should change it to FormerCountessLuAnn.

    And LOL at this whole thing. The costume is SO BAD. That wig? The bronzer? It’s bad. It doesn’t matter if it’s tanning cream or face paint, don’t darken your skin for a costume.

    • Betsy says:

      It’s shocking to me that at this point anyone needs to be told that changing their skin for costume is unacceptable. When my eldest wa three he wanted to be for Halloween a local uniformed store worker, literally just the guy he talked with on a regular basis. He really, really wanted to dress up as this guy, who is African American, so I made him a uniform and got glasses and no one got their face painted. My son was incredibly happy and the man was incredibly flattered (neighbors trying to guess his costume were a little confused, I think). No blackface needed.

  16. Anastasia says:

    I oranged up my skin once, but it was to be Snooki, not a black woman. And Snooki WAS orange.

    This woman? Needs to sit down and shut up with her non-apologies.

  17. Lilith says:

    This woman is an immature, disrespectful moron. She wishes she was even close to as sexy and taleted as Miss Ross. Take several seats hun.