Bravotv.com: Why did you decide to ask Brandi to teach Sofia how to dance?
Marie Reyes: Since Sofia was a toddler, she's been a passionate songbird. When she was just 5 years old, she begged me to let her take singing lessons. We settled on the Septien Group, internationally known for launching acts like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc. She has performed on stage at Septien showcases since she was 6 years old. She wants to grow her stage presence confidence.
Since Brandi cheered in front of hundreds of thousands of people as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and LOVES to dance, who better to teach Sofia some dance moves and to increase her stage confidence? Brandi's got some serious moves and although some of her moves can be a little risqué, like at La Bare, she kept it totally PG-ish for Sofia and was super sweet with her as well. Brandi rocks!
Bravotv.com: How do you feel about LeeAnne after what happened at your cocktail party?
MR: Let's face it, LeeAnne acted pretty crazy at my cocktail party and then deliberately lashed out at almost everyone who engaged her at the party and afterwards she sent me some pretty nasty and scary texts regarding her whereabouts even suggesting she might soon be "dead in a ditch." Tiffany and I were texting each other trying to figure out how to help LeeAnne! Tiffany was engaging me and texting me back and totally agreed that LeeAnne's behavior was bizarre and how WE shouldn't tolerate it anymore and that LeeAnne's actions were a form of self-harm. Needless to say, during the exchange of texts around LeeAnne's behavior at my cocktail party, both Tiffany and I agreed, the behavior was atrocious.
Some might want know more about my friendship with LeeAnne. I first met LeeAnne in 1997, during a modeling shoot. She was there as wardrobe stylist. She was friendly, very talkative, and quick to share that she too was a model but the photographer had contacted her because his regular stylist cancelled at the last minute.
LeeAnne and I ended up being two of the three spokesmodels selected to represent Peterbilt Motors at its conventions across the U.S. Each of us were interviewed by no less than three executives of the company - all of whom were extremely interested in being absolutely certain none of their spokesmodels would ever tarnish the stellar reputation of the trucking industry for high class couture accessories like mud flaps with chromed naked girls on them and chromed bull balls used to class up your trailer hitch.
The job would span eleven years and required travel to internationally renowned cities like Louisville, Kentucky, home of the world's largest trucking convention and the finest bourbon in America. I am a firm believer that you don't get to really know someone until you travel with them!
LeeAnne and I formed a deep friendship over the years and saw each other through many of life's milestones including breakups, deaths, divorce, marriage, and my favorite, the birth of my daughter, Sofia. Have I seen LeeAnne "lose it" during all of those years? Of course! Do I ever condone that behavior, hell no.
In my estimation, Tiffany saw LeeAnne maybe five times over the past 19 years. LeeAnne did not attend Tiffany's wedding. However, LeeAnne was instrumental in planning and decorating for my wedding reception and was at the hospital when I delivered Sofia. I will always be grateful for her presence and participation during each of those life milestones.
None of the Housewives will ever get to know LeeAnne because she probably won't let anyone get to know her. I’m glad I got to know and become friends with LeeAnne when my financial livelihood didn't depend on me being her friend. That is the LeeAnne I loved and liked and that’s the LeeAnne I hope will come back around on our friendship. I’m not going to write her friendship off, however, we’ve not spoken to each other for a very long time.
Bravotv.com: Do you stand by what you said on the couch with Brandi?
MR: I stand by what I said to Brandi on the couch...I worked for several years as a psych nurse and I continue to do weekly volunteer work at a local hospital, and I think we could all benefit from therapy, and yes, that includes LeeAnne, especially considering she’s told everyone about her childhood trauma. Had it just been LeeAnne and I on the couch, I would've said the same thing, therapy might help. LeeAnne knows that her behavior was unacceptable, indeed, she acknowledged that in a recent blog post,“[a]nd secondly, my sincerest apologies for losing myself like that. That’s the best way I can say it: I lost myself. Please understand that it was never my intention to go on national television and break down in such a way, but let’s face it, I was broken that night.” Some of LeeAnne's personalities are always on high alert, but this looks like progress!
Bravotv.com: What do you think about Tiffany sharing your text messages with LeeAnne?
MR: Did my deer-in-the-headlights look give things away - or did my fascinator distract everyone?
Looking back on things I wish I had understood Tiffany's motivations for undermining LeeAnne's friendship with me better. Tiffany showed up in a town she'd lost touch with almost 20 years ago. Because she suffers from failure to launch syndrome she has to hang onto LeeAnne for dear life, it's her and her husband's last hope! So, while it was quite juvenile for her to share bits and pieces of messages behind my back like a middle schooler, it doesn't surprise me anymore because the more I've reconnected with Tiffany, the more I understand how shallow, transactional, and financially motivated her friendship needs are. All of Tiffany's hopes and dreams are riding on Dallas and her friendship with LeeAnne. Who am I? Only the person standing between her and LeeAnne?
What was really cowardly and underhanded about Tiffany showing LeeAnne “the printed text messages" was that Tiffany highlighted the ones that would serve her motives to drive a wedge between LeeAnne and me. I might have said some things that LeeAnne may not have liked, but Tiffany tried to make a mountain out of a molehill by showing specific messages to LeeAnne. It's clear to me Tiffany had the agenda, after all she tells LeeAnne "you have the upper hand" and this "conversation has to happen today and this needs to be nipped in the bud." Then Tiffany goes on to say "we're about to settle this now…(finger snap)" Settle what now? Prove who's a better friend? Drive a wedge between LeeAnne and me? WTF?
For a gal who claims to be all about sunshine, puppies, and unicorns and who protests to anyone who will listen that her life now revolves around positive affirmations that purportedly uplift women and improve their life outlooks, she sure was quick to "help" LeeAnne "decide" whether I was a true friend or not, all while being deceptive. Disingenuous layered with a high degree of dissonance would be a great way to describe Tiffany's actions.
Bravotv.com: What was going through your mind during the sit-down with Tiffany and LeeAnne and did you know what they wanted to discuss?
MR:: I thought Tiffany and LeeAnne were coming over to discuss my RAGS2Riches skin care line design aesthetic. That's why I was wearing the Red Valentino rose gold dress with matching fascinator! I was leaning towards a rose gold aesthetic for my packaging and I must have subconsciously wanted them to lean that way too – hence the choice of dress color and head gear. I had just received my first batch of sample products and I was eager to show it to them and get their thoughts on the bottling and packaging design. When we all sat down on my couch, I had no idea what was coming.
Obviously, the two of them had planned and schemed about how to attack me. It was a surprise ambush attack and the looks on my face bear that out! Why did I sit there and take it? Because I love LeeAnne and our friendship, and I thought Tiffany did, too. Throughout the entire ordeal, it was hard for me to understand Tiffany's motivations. Now however, as Tiffany noted, hindsight is 20/20, and I should've shown LeeAnne all of the text message string with Tiffany so she could see for herself my messages were out of concern for her.
What was confusing to me at the time, and also saddening to me, is that Tiffany's "new" life now revolves around positive affirmations that supposedly uplift and support other women. I mean, really, have a look at Tiffany’s last blog post where she has this to say “I pride myself in being a maker and maintainer of peace. Like Matthew 5:9 says, 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called [the] children of God.' Perhaps the peacemakers aren't always the most exciting, but I don't care because at the end of the day - I have to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of how I live my life.” I see through this transparent nonsense. Just think about whether that statement squares with her deliberate and pre-meditated attempt to attack my integrity. Regardless, I also still have hope that Tiffany's actions will one day match her words.
Bravotv.com: How did you feel after the conversation?
MR: After being ambushed by Tiffany and LeeAnne, I felt sick to my stomach and just horrible. I kept wondering why I was being attacked for trying to be a real friend, not just a transactional friend, to LeeAnne. I was genuinely worried about LeeAnne after her texts. It sucks to have your loyalty and integrity attacked, especially when it is done in such an underhanded and scheming fashion. The only explanation I have now is that Tiffany did what she thought she had to do to hang onto LeeAnne ’s friendship. Instead of trying to see whether there was anything we could do to help LeeAnne feel better, Tiffany decided that attacking me would make LeeAnne feel better. Again, I can't square Tiffany's behavior during that time with her sunshine, puppies, and unicorns blather, but maybe I’m too literal in that I expect people's actions to match their words. I thought we resolved the text gate issue by the end of our conversation. And while I’ve let it go, I’m not willing to remain silent on the issue of Tiffany’s role in the row with LeeAnne.
Bravotv.com: Give us the deets on that fab fascinator!
MR: I thought the fascinator looked awesome! Seeing it during tonight’s episode made me think that it looked like I had a giant wire spider on my head! Ha! In hindsight, maybe, just maybe, had I known I was steaming for a knock down accusation of friendship disloyalty, I would've rethought my head gear. Since I’m sure all the viewers will be rushing out to get one for themselves…wander down Melrose Boulevard and keep a sharp eye out for giant wire spiders.