Leah McSweeney is floating into Season 12 of The Real Housewives of New York City like a breath of fresh and fabulous air. The born-and-raised Manhattanite came in swinging (literally) with her "high end and sporty" fashion sense, "zero filter" attitude (as Tinsley Mortimer put it), and a refreshing openness about her past.
And then there's the tattoos. "I have a lot of tattoos," Leah told Tinsley and Sonja Morgan during an al fresco happy hour at NYC's City Winery in the April 9 episode. "I'm getting a big one removed on my back... It's a tramp stamp." Sonja, Ramona Singer, and Dorinda Medley were fascinated by Leah's tattoos, to say the least. As Dorinda pointed out, Leah's the only one in the bunch with any permanent ink — besides Tinsley's hidden "RLS" stamp in honor of her ex-husband, of course.
But Leah's not here for the shade against her ink: "It's not like I have a penis tattooed across my forehead or a gun tattooed on my neck. I have pretty, little, cute tattoos. I have a Chanel tattoo!" she said in the episode. (Fair point.)
We at Bravo's Style & Living love ourselves some body ink, so we asked the RHONY newbie to tell us about all of her tattoos, starting with the hotly-debated tramp stamp. "I got it when, I think I was 16 or 17?" Leah told BravoTV.com. "I definitely wasn’t the legal age to get it... I thought it was just the best idea ever to get my name on my lower back. I don’t know why... probably because I was an idiot teenager."
Leah's favorite tattoo is on the inside of her wrist. "It's my daughter's name," Leah explained of the script lettering that spells Kier. "She’s 12 and a half. She’s going to be 13 on June 1."
On the inside of her arm is another tribute to a special person in her life. "That is Kiki's dad's name," Leah said of the stamp on her inner arm. "We got it before she was born. He has my name and I have his name. We got that pretty early on."
Perhaps her most noticeable ink are the "small and delicate" markings on her fingers: "It’s DM and then I have a shamrock, then it’s SD. It’s Dad, Mom, Sarah, Daniel. I got a shamrock on my middle finger… I don’t even know what the thought process was behind it. I don’t think that much about these things. I’m like, 'OK, I want to get this tattoo and I’m going to get it.'"
Also on her hand: the Chanel logo. "To me, [Chanel] symbolizes the best of the best. I just appreciate the brand so much and what it represents," Leah revealed. "It’s not even like I like most of the clothing. I love the shoes, I love the bags, I love the accessories. A lot of the clothing is just not my style. It’s more about the absolute decadence. It’s the cream of the crop."
The tattoo on Leah's foot is a replica of a long lost piece of jewelry: "When I first started my brand [Married to the Mob], Evan Yurman, who is David Yurman’s son, he made me two Mob necklaces. I have unfortunately since lost them."
Leah's also got some cheeky ink on her backside. "I just wanted a little heart on my butt!" she shared. "I remember I was out of town when I decided to get it. I had this guy Big Steve, he’s the guy that has done most of my tattoos. So, I think I was in L.A. when I came up with the idea and then I got it when I came back to New York."
"I have one inside of my finger," she added. "It’s a money sign. I cannot remember when I got it, where I got it, no idea."
Want more The Real Housewives of New York City? New episodes air every Thursday at 9/8c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.
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