The Countess dishes on her new role.

on Jan 8 - The Dish0

When the Real Housewives of New York City returns to Bravo on March 11, fans may notice one star is missing from the first three episodes: LuAnn de Lesseps.

But fear not: the Countess will be featured in Season 6, but she's decided to take on a new role. She'll be featured as a friend of the Housewives this year.

"I'm still featured on the show," she tells E! News. "I'm still very much a part of the show but it's not a full-time thing. It's very engulfing when you're on it. It takes up all your mental and physical energy.

LuAnn says her schedule has been taken up with additional professional and personal pursuits. "I just took an improv acting class," says the Countess, who has had roles on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Royal Pains. "I loved it."

She adds that RHONY has always had a special place in her heart. "It's been part of my life for so long," she says. "I'm really close to the women…I just made the decision to step back so I can spend more time doing my things with business and my family."

How does she feel about her new place among the rest of the 'Wives? "It's a win-win for me."

Watch a preview of the new season below.

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From the clips, it looks like the maturity level is further declining. What a fun, vicarious pleasure it is to watch such wealthy, supposedly intelligent women act like women you would never want to be caught dead with. I always give them the credit that the producers set up the squabbles and direct them at will. The amazing thing is that they go along with it for a few moments of notoriety and a possible product pitch. So deliciously shallow!


I somehow doubt she made the decision to step back. I also saw her role on SVU. I'm glad she's taking classes. I do like her though. She's pretentious and a bit obnoxious but somehow very likable.