When Carole Radziwill first met new The Real Housewives of New York City cast member Tinsley Mortimer, she was instantly stunned by her beauty. "My very first impression was, well, I thought she was very pretty in that sort of Barbie doll, little cute figure with the blonde hair and the double fake lashes," Carole recently told The Daily Dish. "I thought, 'Wow. She's almost like an anachronism from a time in the late '80s or something.'"
But once Carole heard more about Tinsley from her good friend, Sonja Morgan, the RHONY author soon realized that there was way more going on behind that blonde hair and those eyelashes. "Honestly, she seemed to have a lot of issues... [Sonja] said, 'Oh, did you meet my friend Tinsley? What do you think?' And I said, 'She's great. She seems really sweet. My hospital is full. I can't take on anymore right now.' So I was really that in the beginning," Carole explained. "I think she really seems sweet and I love her double fake lashes because I haven't seen that in a while. She's just unapologetic about it, the hair and the whole thing. I like that, but there's some other stuff going on that I just wanted to keep it light and bright, and I do."
That "other stuff" included Tinsley's 2016 arrest for trespassing at the home of her ex-boyfriend, Domino sugar heir Alexander "Nico" Fanjul. But that doesn't mean Carole was opposed to getting to know who Tinsley is now. "You'll see over the course of the season that Tinsley and I do get to become friends, and especially at the very end of the season, I do become a little bit like a fairy godmother," Carole teased. "And I won't tell you how or why that happened, but it sort of happened."
As someone who was at one time a RHONY rookie herself, Carole said she shared some words of wisdom with Tinsley about joining the show. "My only advice is to just be real and be authentic and don't try to pretend," Carole said. "This is a woman who was definitely the It Girl at a certain time in New York society when people cared about that kind of thing. And she took what is a spectacular fall from grace and ended up in a police station in Palm Beach getting a mugshot. And it's sort of like a comeback kid story. I like that story. And I told her that was a good story, and if she could explain that story and the show could show that story and how she comes back to New York, and not only how it all works out — if it does — the missteps along the way, I thought that was a good story to tell. And I told her that she should tell that story. And be authentic and real. And I think she is. She likes to have fun, she likes to drink, she likes to do all those things that some people would not like to show on camera, and she does."
By sharing her story, Tinsley may even be able to help other women who have also gone through difficult relationships, according to Carole. "I think it's relatable. A lot of women find themselves in these kind of destructive relationships [that are also] very tumultuous. It's 'I love you, I hate you, I love you, I hate you.' And hers got to a point where she was arrested," Carole said. "So it's a cautionary tale for a lot of women, but I think it's a good story to tell. But that was my only advice, just tell your story and don't be afraid of it."
Learn more about Tinsley's life before RHONY, below.