Cast Blog: #RHOM

The Drama with Lea

Ana explains where she was coming from during the reunion.

"Whether in the courtroom or in the kitchen I bring the heat." The thought of having one particular tagline define me or any of the ladies on this show always seemed a bit simplistic. I found solace in that the message was mostly positive albeit a little silly. Asking someone to look away if they don’t like your smile or announcing that you don’t deal with stupid speaks volumes and could not have painted a more accurate picture of what was in store this season.

So many people were surprised to see the dramatic fallout at the reunion between Lea and myself. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Lea and I interacted very little on the show save for the Marysol debacle. I never felt I had much in common with Lea and for that reason kept my distance. I always got the impression that she was all "smoke and mirrors" as I said many times. She wanted people to buy into this persona and she tooted her own horn incessantly. Nothing about that particularly bothered me. I just kind of found her to be an odd yet amusing bird.

Weeks before the reunion I started hearing that Lea was boasting about town that she was "coming after me at the reunion." I was taken aback because we had never had much conflict. I knew she was upset about my defending Marysol but there was certainly no need for retaliation of that magnitude. There is a saying in Spanish, "Guerra avisada no mata soldados." It means that when you announce a war ahead of time you don’t get to kill any soldiers. And so I prepared. This soldier would not go down without a fight. It didn’t take very long and I didn’t resort to unethical means or ultra-sleuthing to discover anything. It was all there for the taking to anyone who spent a few minutes researching. I tucked all my findings neatly into the now infamous file folder and hoped I wouldn’t have to use it.

The reunion was sure to be a long and draining experience and I arrived at 7 AM as requested. I spoke to no one the night before except Joanna who came to my room to discuss jewelry and wardrobe. About 20 minutes before I went on set I was again reminded that Lea was "gunning" for me. I took my file sat in my designated spot (on the most uncomfortable couch in the western hemisphere) and hid my file behind a throw pillow. Within the first 3 minutes Lea attacked me without being provoked. Twice. The first thing she said (quite aggressively) was that my husband (now ex) has been sleeping around for years. I was not sure how that was a character flaw on my part. After all, even if that were true it certainly can’t be imputed on me. She then corrected herself when I reminded her that we had been separated for two years. She backpedaled and retracted saying that she never said "cheating." Sleeping around = cheating no? Thesaurus? So that was the big plan of attack she had spent weeks boasting about? She then took out what she believed was her piece de resistance; the dig about the little "mortgages at US Century Bank." To which I retorted by pulling out my file. What occurred after that was a cross-examination never before seen on a reunion show; so unexpected and full of interesting information that the other cast members were rendered speechless. Where, how, why? Good question. Stay tuned for that story.What you did see were bits and pieces of a very angry Ana and a very stunned Lea, a Lea who never expected certain information to be divulged. Sadly, the whole situation could have been avoided had she not bragged repeatedly about her reunion take-down. It became a domino effect. The thought of Lea’s audacity brought to the surface a lot of the things she had done and said all season long both in and outside the purview of the camera: Her never ending desire to damage Marysol’s business, her questionable friends, her constant digs followed by "JUST KIDDING!", her incessant name dropping, the disparaging manner with which she “handled” her husband (unless a camera was present), and finally, her ever shifting alliances on the show. One minute Lisa is a dumb wannabe philanthropist, the next she is her spiritual adviser and fertility cheerleader. One moment Karent is an annoying chatterbox and tool, the next she is the victim of unrequited love and the “mean girls”. Is anyone buying this? Anyone besides her hired guns and diligent blog posters? I think not.

Lea’s pattern of retraction, her disclaimers like "that is not my recollection", her tired overly rehearsed little lines about not "building her life into the camera but rather building the camera into her life", are a testament to her pattern of finding the proverbial escape route. Intelligent people don’t buy things like "my reasons are both qualified and quantified" because the statement is both nonsensical and laughable. People are smarter than Lea thinks -- both her cast mates and the viewers. She did not fool anyone.

I will not spend too much time on the "socially awkward" comment as it was the subject of many interviews I’ve done and practically trended on Twitter. I know most of you who post here know what really happened and perhaps even feel a little embarrassed that it was the viewers and not I who dubbed RJ that. Had Lea really thought I was referring to her son she would have lunged across the cocktail table at me. She sprung to her feet for far less at least 10 times during the taping. So many times in fact, that Andy had to ask her repeatedly to take a seat. The fact that she now uses her 10 year old son as a scape goat to garner the sympathy of the viewers after spending an entire two seasons in a vicious and bigoted attempt to attack and discredit the Cuban girls on the show is pathetic. Is it a coincidence that every girl that Lea has attacked is a Cuban girl? Cristy Rice during Season 1, Marysol during both seasons, and me during the reunion? I think not.  She stood idly by while Alexia’s Cuban husband was being badmouthed, but stood up and defended Thomas Kramer, a misogynist who has acted in a despicable manner for many years. Yes, I was angry and reminded Lea that at her age she needs to behave and not be a disingenuous hypocrite. But, if you watched closely throughout the season, I rarely became involved in any of the petty drama. I spoke up when it was necessary and made a difference (i.e. Thomas Kramer). I stood by and defended my friends. I had the same friends at the beginning of the season as I had at the end. I opened myself and my life up to the viewers at the risk of falling flat on my face -- even enduring being called a fool for mourning the loss of my 23 year marriage. I was honest, I was open, and I was real.

Looking back on the season there are some things I may have done differently. Looking back on the reunion there is so much more I wish you had seen. What you saw was a microcosm of the 10 hours we filmed. Had you seen it all, everything would be much clearer for you.

I’m glad the viewers saw my wonderful family this year -- my beautiful girls Kati and Beba, both of whom are well on their way to success -- Kati will be starting law school in the fall, and Beba will graduate next year at the top of her class from the University of Miami with a degree in Motion Pictures. And they both are great cooks, chips off the "old" block.

You had the opportunity to see a bit about what I've accomplished. I'm proud of my success as a lawyer for many years, and now I'm excited about my new plans to continue writing my books, launching my food line, and toying with the idea of opening a small restaurant. Unlike others, I have not sought to pimp my wares each and every week here on my blog, but instead shared an appropriate recipe that you might want to try. So, just in case you are interested and want more of my recipes, yes, you can buy either one of my books, Cuban Chicks Can Cook and Sabor, by going to this link: Stay tuned on my blog for more details -- not just about the reunion but also my book signings, food line, cooking demos, and my new books in progress, including one coming out this spring about the iconic and most important Cuban restaurant in the US -- the famous Versailles on Calle Ocho.

Thank you all for watching and for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate all the emails, tweets, and Facebook posts offering both your advice and support. I have always been flattered that you take the time out of your busy schedules to reach out to me and I do my best to respond in a timely manner. I would love to continue communicating with you and invite you to visit my website,, and to follow me on Twitter, @AnaQooks, where I will continue to blog and post recipes regularly. I wish you all a wonderful 2013 full of health, love, and surrounded by family and friends.


And yes, I’m working on starting over in my personal life too. Happy New Year!
12/31/12 after the Pitbull concert in Miami with Marc.


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Lea's Final Thoughts on the Season

Lea shares he status with each of the girls post-reunion.

It’s a Wrap!

It’s been an interesting season. I've been as honest and authentic as possible. I feel I owe that to myself and to you, our viewing audience. I've defended myself when wrongly accused or misinterpreted and in the process unfortunately, ugly truths have been exposed. I haven't gone out of my way to hurt anyone, but if I have, in the spirit of defending myself or setting the record straight, then so be it. I've had some fun, a few laughs, and experienced a lot of unnecessary stress.

I've showcased as many of my friend’s businesses as I could and got in a few shameless plugs for However, I haven't traded on the show or received any freebies, other than borrowing jewelry a couple of times! LOL! Some have interpreted it as being materialistic, I call it marketing. LOL!

I've listened to people re-invent the past, camouflage the present, and stoop to insults, foul language, and ugliness, all of which make me cringe. I've made closer bonds with some and made new friends along the way. I’ve learned to love and appreciate the work that goes into being on the show. Of course, I don't like what I see from time to time, but I hope I've maintained my integrity and what was important to me.I cracked a few jokes at others expense, made a few sarcastic remarks, and rolled my eyes a few times. I just can't (or won't) stop being myself. LOL! I've loved reading all of your comments and tweets. Even when I disagree, I'm OK with it if you were being intellectually honest. But the few comments which were mean-spirited, based upon uniformed conclusions, bias, or outside influence, I disregarded, ignored, and deleted. I have a low threshold for pettiness and unnecessary maliciousness.

Now, for the girls, in my usual style, let me be as honest as I can be.

Lisa: I feel she and I have a lot in common, and I'm closer to her than the others. I think she has a good heart, but is a little too sensitive. I think she often takes things too personally. She wants to have fun; she has a wonderful spirit and loves a good party. She did get on my nerves while attempting to be “the connector" but I understand the reasons and know her intentions were good. She can always depend on me, and we enjoy a loving and brutally honest relationship.

I'm the next closest to Joanna. I love a lot of things about her. Her love for animals, how much she works , her willingness to speak publically about her very personal problems, endure public scrutiny, and the manner in which she let's things go and moves on are all admirable. She doesn't live or die based upon the opinions of others. I am disappointed with some of the things that she said things during the reunion shows. I know she has suffered for it, regrets it deeply, and wishes she could take it back. But because of some of her choices, I have a reluctance to fully embrace or trust her. She knows exactly how I feel.
Alexia: For three seasons I have defended her, had her back, and given her the benefit of the doubt. Watching her all season, week after week, speak one insult or mean-spirited comment about me, knowing many of them were lies, causes me to wonder if she did it to patronize the hate club, play all sides, or if she has some hidden resentment towards me. Perhaps she did it for air time in an attempt to make herself more relevant? Maybe she just doesn't like me and doesn't want to say it? Whatever reason she got her digs in, it is not justifiable; they were uncalled for and she should regret it and say so.  Whenever the cameras weren’t rolling, she’d tell me how much she loves me and what great friends we are. So even though she threw me under the bus several times, as recently as the reunion, I'm not interested in going tit for tat. I wish her and Herman well, and I have a lot of empathy for her personal issues.

Now to Adriana:  Everyone knows how I feel about her. The one thing she did which showed her real inner self is when she ripped my son’s heart out and stomped on it. She intentionally, out of hatred, kept her son away from my son. To this day, I know that I’ve done nothing but try to help her or defend myself against her lies.  She has expressed her gratitude by stabbing me in the back. Whatever her motivation (I have my own conclusions), nothing will ever put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I can put the past in the past and be amicable towards her, but let me make the following point crystal clear: I will never fully trust her. And I really just don't like who she is. Since the show either she has changed or who she really is showed up. Either way it’s not compatible with who I am and what I want in my life.
Marysol: Again, I've called Elsa many times over the months, and I've continued to do so, whether Marysol chooses to believe it or not.

And to set the record straight, yes Frankie is a friend of mine. He is a comedian and has a You Tube channel of impersonations, he is a Broadway star and an entertainer. He only impersonates people he finds interesting. No, he never knew Elsa was sick and no, I didn't see him make the video, and no, I wasn't in the background. All of which can be proven. But if it was a big secret, he wouldn't have posted it on You Tube.

And by the way, he made the You Tube video months after the show was no longer filming. But of course Marysol brought it up about 5 months later, so she could justify and explain away her behavior of the season.

Overall, it’s been a learning experience. I've been surprised to discover how people will behave and how far they will go for attention, relevance, a storyline, or to make someone look bad. I've always said reality TV brings out the best and worst in people, and I stand by that belief.

My tag line “I live my life like everything matters, because I think it does" is true for me. As easy as it may be for some to just live in denial and brush things aside, I believe everything we do matters, including who we are to ourselves and to others. And who we are produces consequences, both good and bad. I choose to live my life trying to create good consequences and limit negativity.
Not all drama has to be negative. One doesn’t have to criticize others in order to justify their own poor behavior or make themselves feel better about their lives.

So maybe I'm a fit for reality TV or maybe I'm not, that would be up to the viewers. The one thing I am certain of is that my real friends, my family, my son, and my husband understand me and are more important to me than anything and everything else. They know that my charitable work, being true to myself, living like everything matters, giving more than I take, my sense of right and wrong, making a conscious effort to live a life of purpose, setting a good example for my son, and being mindful of future generations are the most important things in my life.

I love nice things and love living the good life, and sharing it, and I've earned every right to do just that. I will never apologize for my lifestyle, but I won't be defined by it either.

Thanks for watching. Life is time, and you took time out for us, and for that I am forever grateful. Whether you enjoyed me on the show or not, know one thing, I put as much into it as I possibly could, and then some. LOL! Thank you POP, our amazing producers and their incredible team, the Bravo Network, and the viewers for the opportunity to cross paths. Did we bond yet? LOL!

Spread the love and keep the peace.

Love, Lea

Please comment below, it would mean a lot to me to hear your final thoughts.


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A special thanks to Bravo digital for the privilege of letting us share through our blogs each week.

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