When the first ladies of Gotham return to the small screen tonight, they'll be joined by a new face: Kristen Taekman. A model, mother and business woman, Kristen was brought into the fold thanks to her long friendship with Brandi Glanville, who introduced Kristen to Andy Cohen.
She's set to step out of her friend's shadow with the new season of RHONY. And she's ready for her close-up—even though she didn't do much to prepare for the show. "And I don't know if that's good or bad," she tells the Dish. "I have nothing to hide. I feel like if I'm hiding stuff, you're hiding insane stuff, and I'm not."
Prior to joining the cast, Kristen admits that she didn't really watch many Housewives franchises. "I mean, I watched, but not, like, every episode," she says. "I watched for Heather Thomson, because she's a friend, and Beverly Hills, because of Brandi. But I have two small kids and I don't really get to watch much TV. And I think that's a good thing! I wanted to come in fresh."
Now that she's firmly in the mix, Kristen says she's made some strong bonds with the other women. Especially Carole Radziwill. "We just had dinner together a few nights ago!" she says. "And we have a ton of mutual friends. I went to her book launch party with my husband Josh and there were 12 of our really good friends there, too. It's crazy how everyone knows everyone in New York City."
She might not be as enthusiastic about her relationship with Ramona Singer, however. "Once she got to know me a little bit, it got easier," Kristen says. "But you obviously see that she's hesitant, like, 'Who the hell is this new girl?'"
Even with her spot on RHONY, Kristen is continuing to pursue her original career of modeling. And she isn't necessarily doing it for the fame and money. "Modeling is the best job for a mom," she says. "You don't have to work every day, but when you do, you work for a few hours and get your hair and makeup done. It's way more glamorous."
What are your first impressions of Kristen Taekman? Tell us in the comments.