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The Daily Dish Backstory

Luann D'Agostino Opens Up About Her Humble Beginnings and Career as a Nurse

"There's a lot more to me than meets the eye," the #RHONY newlywed said.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Before Luann de Lesseps Was a Housewife...

After nine seasons on The Real Housewives of New York City, you would think that we'd know everything there is to know about Luann D'Agostino at this point. But there's actually another side to the RHONY OG that she wishes fans understood. 

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Though we'll always know Luann as the Countess, even if she no longer holds that title, she recently told Woman's Day that she hopes people understand that she's down-to-earth and that she came from humble beginnings. "You know, I love people. I love to have fun. I'm an approachable person. Like I said, I have a big family and I'm very close to them. I don't bring them on the show because that's my life and they have different lives," Luann said. "A lot of people don't know that I'm a nurse as well. I think people think, oh, the Countess, and they have these preconceived notions that I'm this stuck-up countess—it's so not true."


Luann went on to give readers more of a peek inside her life as a geriatric nurse, which she said wasn't a very glamorous occupation. "I grew up in a middle-class family as one of seven children. I happened to marry a French aristocrat but I had worked since I was 16 years old, babysitting and washing dishes in rest home. I became a nurse because I fell in love with elderly. Then I became a model, moved to Italy, and worked for Italian television. I have a whole past." 

And Luann hasn't stopped working since. "I'm busy being a mother to my children, even though they're grown, children always need you. And I have a business. A lot of people think I don't work, well, I do. I had a apparel line, and I have a bedding line that's coming out this fall—a hopeless romantic collection for brides. I'm having a great time with it," she said. "I'm busy being a mom, being a wife, and being a businesswoman. There's a lot more to me than meets the eye."

Luann still shows her pride in having been a nurse and her support for others in the profession today, recently teaming up with Einstein Bros. Bagels to treat nurses at NYU's Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Luann opened up more about her life before RHONY in her Before They Were Housewives special. Learn more about her early life, below.

'It was Just Magic'
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