'The Real Housewives' star Luann de Lesseps and count splitting
By John Bracchitta, 03/31/2009
Countess Luann de Lesseps probably wasn't "count-ing" on this.
The Real Housewives of New York City star has been dumped by her husband Count Alexandre de Lesseps, the New York Postreported Tuesday.
Luann was reportedly "blindsided" by the breakup of the 16-year marriage, which occurred when Alexandre -- who had already been married three times prior to his marriage to Luann -- confirmed her suspicions of infidelity in an email message.
"They decided to separate. She got wind he was seeing somebody and he didn't answer her when she called," a close friend told the Post. "He finally sent her an e-mail saying he was with an Ethiopian woman in Geneva and he was serious with her."
"They have basically lived apart for many years -- he lives in Europe and comes and goes as he pleases, but she never thought this would happen," the friend added.
A representative for Luann confirmed the couple has split but added that they plan to remain close.
"It is obviously a very difficult time for the countess and count, but they plan to remain friends and their primary focus will be to do what is best for their two children," the representative said, according to the Post.
Luanne's friend seemed to confirm the representative's statements.
"It has been very rough for her and the children [Victoria and Noel], but she's taking the high road and will remain friends with him," the source told the Post. "She has no intention of making it bitter or becoming angry. She's just trying to come to terms with [the separation and impending divorce]. She feels this is the ultimate test for her to handle this with dignity and grace."
Luanne, a former registered nurse and model who was raised in Connecticut, married Alexandre, a French aristocrat of the Suez Canal dynasty, in 1993. She adopted her Countess title after the marriage.
The Real Housewives of New York City has been repeatedly shown her showing off her title with a great sense of pride. Her new manners and etiquette book, "Class with the Countess," is scheduled to be released next month.
However, despite the impending divorce, Luanne reportedly has no plans to give up her title any time soon.
"I will always be the countess," she told friends, according to the Post.