Apparently, it all played-out like a slightly (very slightly) less camp version of an episode of Dynasty, circa 1982. At a recent dinner at the Baccarat hotel thrown by Qatari Ambassador to the U.S. Mohammed Jaham Al Kawari, Martha Stewart and Luann De Lesseps (the former “Countess” from the Real Housewives of New York), had a moment or two of verbal fisticuffs – and in the presence of the Ambassador no less. According to Page Six, the ex-countess was having a conversation with the Ambassador in which he was inviting her to visit Qatar. During the course of their conversation, the Ambassador told De Lesseps that he knew that she was on a popular television show, and that he would love to be on it. At this point, Martha Stewart, who apparently was within earshot (and eavesdropping no less, how very un-gracious indeed!), leaned-in and whispered something in the Ambassador’s ear. You don’t want to do that. It’s lowbrow, very B-list Girl… whaaaat? Not one to ever err on the side of grace (her “book of manners” notwithstanding), De Lesseps responded by loudly saying “Martha, I can hear you”. Apparently Stewart, normally the arbiter of all that is considered acceptable and gracious, immediately backed-off, back-pedalling and insisting that she was kidding. Characteristically, De Lesseps responded in kind.
Should I tell him about your shady past?
Boom. The Ambassador allegedly was, as one would expect from a guy who is in fact an Ambassador, nonplussed. After all, if he can’t handle a couple of self-important “etiquette and domesticity experts” (snort), he would be ill-suited to the more rigorous expectations of the position he currently occupies. He apparently insisted to De Lesseps that he would love to be on the show, to which the ex-Countess replied “Aha!” and walked away in a cloud of triumph. Because, of course. Apparently Stewart’s people have confirmed that this actually took place, but have hastily added that it was all done “with a sense of humour”. De Lesseps has remained uncharacteristically silent on the matter, which we are taking as her version of “taking the high ground.” So. Who can actually claim the moral high ground here? In our opinion, neither of them are faultless. While Stewart was definitely the “aggressor” here, De Lesseps simply did not need to engage, although we have to admit, we are a little bit sad that we weren’t there to witness the look on Stewart’s face when the ex-Countess brought up her past. In case anyone here has forgotten, here’s a quick review. Martha Stewart broke the law back in 2001; she was accused and convicted of insider trading. It all went down when she began taking some investment advice from a doctor friend of hers, who was helping his friends and family invest in a biomedical company called IM Clone. The investments to IM clone were contingent upon the company getting approval from the Federal Drug Administration, which they did not get. Unfortunately, Stewart’s doctor friend warned Stewart and a handful of other people about this – using information that at the time was not public knowledge. In the financial world, this is considered a serious criminal offense, and she was ultimately convicted of securities fraud, obstruction of justice (for her continual insisting that she did nothing wrong, despite all evidence to the contrary), and a few lesser crimes. Stewart spent five months in a federal minimum security prison, five months on house arrest, and an additional two years on probation. What’s interesting about Stewart is that due to her incarceration, she seems to have become more popular than ever. During her lockup, she made friends with her fellow inmates, shared recipes, and made the most of her situation. It seems that these days, the public has all but forgotten about her criminal ways, so it must have been a blow for De Lesseps to bring it up in such a public venue. However, De Lesseps herself is no stranger to controversy. A cast member of the always controversial (but usually entertaining) Real Housewives of New York City, De Lesseps has peered down the bridge of her nose at many a costar during her tenure on the show. The whole crux of her television persona is based on the fact that she was…was married to Alexandre de Lesseps (the couple are now divorced). M. De Lesseps is a French entrepreneur with royal connections, and their marriage allegedly bestowed upon her the royal title of “Countess” – something she loved to drill into the narrative at any possible opportunity. I mean seriously, you couldn’t get away from it. On the back of this rather creative appropriation of a persona, She has written a book titled Class with the Countess: How to Live with Elegance and Flair – We can’t wait to read the chapter about calling-out your contemporaries’ past criminal records at fancy parties. She also has three rather awful songs she has recorded that are floating around out there (why is it that every housewife thinks they can be a singer just by showing-up?) Really, if Stewart had wanted to get the last word, she could have easily gone there…the singing thing. Personally, we think it would have been pretty hard to resist that little nugget…but then, we’re still upset because we missed the whole thing.