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The Daily Dish Bravo Insider

Leah McSweeney Reveals Where Things Stand with Her Ex Rob

The Real Housewives of New York City mom, fashion mogul, and author also opens up about some of the darkest moments in her life in her book, Chaos Theory.

By Anita Abedian
Daily Dish Rhoby Leah Mcsweeney Rob Cristofaro

When we first met Leah McSweeney back in Season 12 of The Real Housewives of New York City, she quickly became known as the vivacious and outspoken RHONY rookie whose bold presence, candid personality, and signature style made a splash with her fellow Housewives. And her sophomore season was no exception, as fans continued to witness the fashion designer, proud mom, and native New Yorker navigate personal and familial struggles, including her journey with sobriety, and the devastation of losing her grandmother, which she herself has attested, was the “most challenging experience with the show” during Season 13.

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And Leah continues to open up about the most challenging experiences she has faced, putting it all out there like never before with her new book, Chaos Theory: Finding Meaning in the Madness, One Bad Decision at a Time. Now, the Married to the Mob designer has added published author to her list of accomplishments, and with her book, hopes to help others while also helping to, as she put it, “make sense” of her own struggles.

“I was being really open about mental health and addiction on the show,” Leah said during an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider in April. “It’s always been a dream to write a book because I love to write, and it’s a great outlet for me.”

She went on to add that it was beneficial, in a number of ways, to acknowledge and confront some of the darkest and most turbulent years of her life.

“It was also, in real-time, as I was writing it, helping me make sense of these things that I went through. So, it was really kind of therapeutic and cathartic,” said Leah.

Though the outspoken entrepreneur has definitely been candid about her life, Leah admitted that bringing that kind of no-holds-barred approach to writing vividly about her struggles wasn’t easy. Particularly, when it came to opening up about her longtime relationship with ex, Rob Cristofaro, with whom she shares a 14-year-old daughter, Kier.

“It was hard to write about the breakup with Rob. That was actually really hard,” Leah said. “When I read his chapter to him out loud, I started crying.”

In addition to detailing her substance abuse issues beginning in her teenage years, Leah also recounted the beginnings of her romance with Rob, crediting him in her book for being “a truly good person and incredible parent” as well as inspiring her on a professional level.

The couple first met in 2002 at Rob’s streetwear store on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan and went on to have a deep and impactful relationship, which Leah details in her book, calling their meeting, “one of the most significant moments” of her life. It wasn’t long after that she became inspired to launch her own successful fashion line, Married to the Mob, which celebrated its 15-year anniversary with a party during Season 12.

Leah and Rob are still thick as thieves these days, and Leah further explained in her interview with Bravo Insider how much her relationship with her ex-boyfriend meant to her.

“We’re best friends,” she said, going on to jokingly add, “Sometimes, I’m like, should we just move in together and, like, save so much money on rent?”

But, all kidding aside, Leah revealed the meaningful bond she shared with Rob, who also recently joined her in the Bravo Clubhouse as a guest bartender during Leah's April 5 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

“Honestly, I’m my most happiest when I’m with him, and Kiki [daughter, Kier], and I’m cooking dinner for them and hanging out with them," she said. "That’s just where I’m at right now. I’m spending a lot of time with them lately.”

Recently, Leah gave a glimpse at some quality time spent at home "cheffing it up" with Rob by her side. "Anyone find cooking therapeutic?" she wrote in the caption of her Instagram post, which featured a fun (and funny) moment of Leah cooking, and Rob's attempt at helping her get ingredients for their dinner. She went on to add, in part, "This is new to me. At least I now know what a simmer is. Just don’t dare suggest celery from Duane Reade!"

Earlier this year, Leah opened up on Instagram about reasons why she penned her book, writing in the caption of her January 23 post, "As I struggle right now with some gnarly depression and anxiety like so many others, I am reminded why I wrote my book. Of course, I touch on things like NYC in the 90’s, fashion, motherhood, my club days! But it’s a story about my mental health and addiction journey. It’s a JOURNEY. It never ends. It is not linear. Re-adjusting to meds is a BITCH, feelings, grieving, relationships, the pandemic, and life can be a bitch too. We must break the stigma, normalize asking for help and most importantly knowing we aren’t alone in it and there is hope. That’s why I wrote this book and what I want people to take from it."

Leah also shared in her interview with Bravo Insider how much Chaos Theory delved into parts of her life that some might find surprising. "I think a lot of the stuff [in the book] people are going to be surprised about. I thinkeven Andy [Cohen] said on WWHL [back on April 5], he didn't know the extent of my addiction [and] drug issues, like, no one realizes I went to rehab three times before I was 18. I lived in a therapeutic community, in a halfway house," she said. "No one realizes, I think, what kind of impact addiction had on my life when I was younger."

Leah went on to add that she hoped her honesty and vulnerability in confronting her struggles, and working to overcome them, would resonate with those that read her book.

"I really hope that it helps people who are struggling with substance abuse issues and mental health issues, and maybe someone that is struggling with motherhood," she said, adding, "I hope that it just makes someone feel better, or feel less lonely."

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