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In St. Barths, I raised my voice, pointed fingers, and name called. I was wrong and have tried to express my remorse to those I hurt. Sonja truly got caught in the crossfire, and no one deserved my rants, frayed nerves or not.
I have learned the hard way that I do have a tendency to over-exaggerate to make a point. Unfortunately, the substance behind my words often gets lost. For example, was I really ceasing my friendship with Carole because she was smoking pink cigarettes? Of course not, I was just being flippant with a good friend who gets my humor.
The breakfast with Ramona, however, was a different matter. Yes, it was the aftermath of St. Barths, but my frustration with Ramona had been building for a long time and finally it came to a head. It is so much easier to say nothing and ignore things, but a cancer growing is not good either. While I sounded shrill, I could not keep it all bottled inside any longer.
Do I think Ramona needs to go to "rehab?" No. I am certainly not the appropriate person to comment on people’s drinking. I’m not an expert, but my mom died six years ago of alcoholism. I’ve seen the havoc and devastation that alcoholism can wreak, and it makes me overly sensitive to heavy drinking. I need to remove myself from that topic as it is too close to home. The footage speaks for itself, and I will let you be the judge.
Here is what I do think about Ramona:
She is rude and insensitive to most people most of the time.
She prioritizes her “turtle time” before anything else.
She will stop at nothing to cover up the truth. She will lie, discredit people, run away, or over-talk to deflect attention from her bad behavior.
Ramona brags that she is “honest,” but honesty without kindness is sheer brutality. Honesty doesn’t give one a license to be rude and cutting. I learned that lesson. Ramona, however, seems to relish slamming others, both to their face and behind their backs. With that kind of honesty, I think I’d prefer polite deceit.
At the time of the breakfast, I had finally had enough of her appallingly rude behavior, her mean verbal assaults cloaked as "honesty"(for example, spreading vicious gossip about LuAnn’s family, condescending to my catering staff in Miami, calling Sonja an "airhead", telling me when to get out of the pool etc.) and utter lack of self-reflection. There are so many solid examples of her treacherous and disturbing behavior, which I will not enumerate here, but suffice it to say I felt so stupid that I had ever attempted to defend her. It’s my fault for overlooking things for so long, but my eyes are now wide open.
As you all have witnessed, my dad can be wildly inappropriate at times. Believe me -- I have repeatedly asked him to behave, to tone down the sexual comments and “dirty old man” routine. But he’s a grown man, and I can't change him. All I can do is turn red, be embarrassed, and pray that he doesn’t get his face slapped.
Growing up, my dad was my hero. He was an amazing father and husband to my beautiful mother. When I had my accident, he was the one who told me to "keep screaming" while I was trapped for three hours in the conveyor belt, even though others were trying to quiet me down. He was the one who told me that I would be the "bionic woman" when we learned the doctors would have to amputate my leg. He taught me never to be a follower and always believe in myself. He has always been funny, real and my champion -- the way a great father should be.
Before my mom died, my dad didn’t behave as outrageously as you have seen. I know I’ve been taken to task for his behavior, and I can understand why it seems I condone it. But, please recognize, he is my father, not some stranger or acquaintance. I love him unconditionally. I don’t know how many years he has left, and I choose to accept him. I cannot be held accountable for his actions, but truly he is harmless and fundamentally kind. And NEVER would he throw anyone out of his home, vacation spot, or party. Please try to look beyond his schtick -- he is a decent, good man.
My dad had no idea it was a girls-only event. I was supposed to go with him, but at last minute decided to opt out. Suddenly, he found himself in a situation where he felt he had to protect his daughter. Truth be told, he, Ramona and Mario were friendly and in touch after Miami. He corresponded with them often and felt comfortable asking Ramona nicely for an apology. I am sure all of us can relate to a parent feeling protective of their children.
All I can say is that Ramona should not have had two guards eject my father from her party. It was a vile moment that says more about Ramona's relentless need to be seen in the best light than my father’s behavior. For the record Ramona's self serving overreaction to my fathers touching her arm was the worst bad acting I have ever seen. I was very surprised that Ramona wouldn't accept my check. This was about a charity, where personal feelings should not get in the way of money given to help those in need.
If the tables were turned, I would never order the removal from my home or party of one of Ramona’s relatives. Believe me, my father was rattled and speechless.
I am so looking forward to supporting Heather's very important charity event benefitting The Kellner Foundation. It was hilarious that she asked me -- we all know I'm a klutz with a tendency to trip and fall in public.
I would also like to cheer for my new friend Bradie. She lost her leg recently in a boating accident. She is 17 years old and lives in St Louis. This week she got up for the first time in a new temporary prosthesis. I am so proud of her strength, courage, and perseverence. Bradie is kind, outgoing smart and quite the stunner. Bradie, thank you for reaching out to me. I wish that all of your dreams come true and more.
Bradie, on left