Raw Emotion

Alex talks about her own modelling work, her emotional talk with Bethenny, and more.


This week I’m writing the blog early since our book, Little Kids, Big City, is coming out! On Monday Simon and I closed the NASDAQ, the book launched Tuesday and we are off and running with signings in NY and NJ all week until we head to LA on 4/13. You can check out mccordvankempen.com for pictures, book tour information and to order a copy! With that said, let’s get to episode 6, where we start on the Brooklyn Bridge with Bethenny taking a ride on what she called the Ramonacoaster.

Lordy, all Simon and I did was agree to meet the girls for brunch! We coordinated coffee and tea and things at Almondine, a really cute bakery right under the bridge. Ramona and Bethenny showed up looking like they’d gone three rounds with Mike Tyson, complete with ear gnawing. They were both trying to put on a happy face but had we known then just how intense it was on the bridge perhaps we’d have taken more drastic measures of distraction, like dunking them in the river or putting on a mime act or something. Watching the conversation on the bridge I was relieved that Ramona did realize she was mouthing off and not listening to Bethenny – she dialed it back and kept Bethenny from either jumping or throwing her off the bridge.

Moving right along past the slumber party and flatulent dog, we met at Simon’s and my good friend Cory’s agency to cast for Loris Diran’s show. The three of us actually met at a Bravo party but became friends in real life, and I was so happy the network allowed us to cross-pollinate a little (and I’m writing this on his birthday!) So before the committee arrived Bethenny and I talked. For some reason she and I are always pretty raw with each other, and although most of the time the viewers have seen us discussing things going on with her, it does go both ways.

That conversation touched me so deeply – when I understood that her dad was still lucid and would be able to know she was there, I really wanted B to go and tell him everything she had to say. I wasn’t just giving blind support either – my father suffered from Alzheimers, but in the end he died very unexpectedly of a heart attack. There are things to this day I wished I could have shared with him and that’s where the “go clear the air” pep talk came from. Although I loved my father so very, very much, that disease did its dirty work and by the time of his death I felt wronged by him and didn’t trust what he said anymore, so I could relate to Bethenny’s non-relationship with her dad. Even if you think you can’t stand someone in your family, it still feels like being hit in the face with a two by four when you lose, or realize you’re going to lose them. I was sorry to hear when she got back from that trip that he hadn’t been willing to see her.


Models? Oh yes, there were some gorgeous ones. I have to say, although models do get judged on things they can’t control and yes, they do take out the garbage, I wasn’t buying Kelly’s “poor models” line. Listen, I don’t make as big a whoop-de-do about it as some of the other girls but I did two seasons in Milan. In fact, I could probably talk more about being judged than Kelly could because nine times out of ten, I’d be the model who would get optioned but ultimately not cast. Did I feel like saying “oh, poor me, I’m beautiful but my lips are too thin?” Hell no, I was 19 and had a great time living in Italy and traveling to France and Germany, being paid to stand around wearing gorgeous clothes for the jobs I did manage to book, and spending my paychecks on shoes and bags. I didn’t stress out about being alone or being judged. If I worried about that, I wouldn’t have modeled then and I wouldn’t be on a reality show now. The models at the Brooklyn Fashion Weekend casting that day didn’t seem too downtrodden either, they strutted their stuff, did what they had to do and a few of them got hired.

Not long after the casting, I invited Jill over to the house and wow, you can tell I was uncomfortable because my neck was breaking out in hives! Although I did own that I had been mad at Jill, I prevaricated a little about Brooklyn Fashion Weekend – I should have said, “I was mad at you so I didn’t involve you. Now we’re better so I’m inviting you to be a part of it.” Instead I developed a rash and yapped louder than Ginger about how it all happened sooooo fast. Anyway, we got into talking about Bethenny and I wanted to make it clear to Jill that things were dire, without betraying Bethenny’s confidence. Jill already knew Bethenny’s father was ill – which isn’t surprising because as he’s a well-known horse trainer his illness had made the papers, and yet she didn’t have any desire to reach out to her. I threw up my hands and let it go for the moment. By the way, Bravo, when you put together the lost footage, can you find that clip of Madge confronting Ginger? The 13-pound cat vs. chihuahua throwdown was pretty funny.

On to the last bit. Jill was not going to allow a face-to-face conversation, and although both she and LuAnn hated it, I don’t fault Ramona one bit for setting up that meeting as it was the only way to get the two of them together. Remember the scene in the Sex & the City movie where Miranda and her husband had to meet halfway across the bridge? Right, that would never have happened with this relationship. Bethenny would have walked all the way to the Hamptons without seeing Jill coming to meet her. We were all trying to get them back together in different ways. Sure, Jill felt ambushed because she didn’t have time to prepare. It’s funny to see this 6 months later – I actually met Bethenny right after she left Ramona’s and I remember her being like a guarded, wounded animal at the time. This was one of the first episodes where we saw raw emotion beyond the sniping, and there’s more to come.

Please visit www.mccordvankempen.com to see where we’re going on the book tour, and we’ll be writing our blogs next week from California where we’ll be at the Grove Barnes & Noble and Costa Mesa at the South Coast Plaza Borders!

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