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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

RHONY’s Sai De Silva Opens Up About Past, Moving to Brooklyn Alone at 16

“I think I used to just daydream and I think that was a form of manifestation. I didn’t know how I was going to get it, I just knew that I was not going to settle for mediocrity,” RHONY’s Sai De Silva shared.

By Jill Sederstrom

Sai De Silva made her own success in life, but she’s never forgotten where she came from.

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The sheer determination it took to overcome adversity continues to drive the new cast mate on The Real Housewives of New York City today as she juggles motherhood, marriage and her successful career as a content creator.

Sai opened up about her difficult past — and leaving home at the age of 16 — to her fellow Housewives during a girls trip to the Hamptons, as the ladies huddled around the fire pit at Erin Dana Lichy's sprawling Hampton’s getaway

“I think I remember growing up very broke, but always just daydreaming,” the Scout The City blogger said of where she found her drive. “I think I used to just daydream and I think that was a form of manifestation. I didn’t know how I was going to get it, I just knew that I was not going to settle for mediocrity.” 

RELATED: Sai De Silva Shows Why Brooklyn Is the Place to Be During Home Tour

Sai’s life today is the stuff that dreams are made of. She’s made a career of being up on the latest trends, exudes style, and lives with her handsome husband David Craig and two children London,10, and Rio, 5, in an upscale Brooklyn brownstone. 

But Sai shared she had a rough start in life, bouncing from one home to another and struggling with poverty. 

“I was originally born in LA. I moved to New York when I was two. My dad lived in Florida at the time. I spent a couple of years in Florida. I also lived in different places every seven months until high school when I stayed put,” Sai told the Housewives.

In a full-circle moment, Sai confessed in the season premiere of the revamped franchise that she used to walk by the same “tree-lined streets” in her Brooklyn neighborhood today and daydream about the lives of those living inside. 

“Sometimes I see people looking through my brownstone and low and behold look at me now,” she said.

For Sai, the constant moves meant the trend-setter was “always the new girl.” 

Sai De Silva poses for photo at NY fashion week.

“I always changed schools all the time and I got bullied a lot, but looking back on it, I’m a chameleon, I can adapt to any situation at any time,” she said. 

Money was even tight at the holidays. Sai remembered her father buying a tiny Christmas tree from the dollar store that he put on top of a speaker and piled presents around.

While Erin described the gesture as "cute," Sai wasn't seeing it that way as a kid.

“It’s not cute when you’re a kid and everybody has a Christmas tree and my Christmas tree’s from the dollar store, but you know what, it makes me look back and really appreciate those moments of just having family," she said.

Sai was just 16 when she moved out on her own, getting an apartment in Brooklyn with a roommate where “rent was super cheap.” To make ends meet, she worked at Sears.

“My parents didn’t take care of me,” she explained. “My mother was around but she couldn’t afford to take care of me.”

The fashionista knew she wanted to create a better life for herself and enrolled in college at Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn, but ultimately the tuition proved to be too much and she had to “drop out” her junior year. 

RELATED: Why New RHONY Housewife Sai De Silva Says Fashion Blogging "Sort of Fell into My Lap"

She relied on the kindness of friends just to keep a roof over her head.

“I pretended I was supposed to be there for summer school and I stayed with a friend in her dorm cause I didn’t have any place to live,” she said in a confessional. “Everyday I would go in there and I would just be like, ‘yeah, yeah, oh I forgot my ID upstairs’ or something and I think after a while everyone was probably just like look this b-tch is homeless, let’s just let her live here.”

Sai’s story resonated with fellow Housewife Brynn Whitfield, who was raised by her grandmother and also struggled to make ends meet growing up.

“Sai's often judged, myself included, for having this really tough exterior and now I understand why she had to be like that way,” Brynn later said in her own confessional. “My heart goes out to her, and at the same time, kind of like holds hands and relates to her because I know that feeling,” 

While the pair were clearly bonding in the Hamptons, Sai hinted to US Weekly the two were “not best friends” by the end of the season after a blow out at Brynn’s birthday celebration.

We’ll just have to wait to see exactly how that plays out, but when it comes to her past, Sai said it makes her “more appreciative” of everything she does have today.

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