What viewers didn’t see. Real Housewives of New York star Leah McSweeney exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about how being on a new medication for depression affected her during season 13 — and why she wishes fans would have known.
“Season 13 wasn’t the easiest,” the Chaos Theory author, 39, tells Us. “I was dealing with my grandmother’s death. I was dealing with COVID, you know, depression, just like a lot of other people were.”
While the Married to the Mob designer doesn’t “have any regrets” about the season, which ended in August 2021 and was filmed during the pandemic, she would have liked for her “struggle” to find the right depression medication to air as part of her story line.
“I was … struggling with the medication that I was on, and I was put on a different medication for my depression,” she explains to Us. “I talked about it, but like, it didn’t get picked up to follow the story of it.”
McSweeney added that it might have been “better to just be like, ‘This is what’s going on with me. And I feel like crap right now, and I’m trying some different antidepressants.’”
The reality star also noted that the subject matter would have been relatable to viewers, as everyone was dealing with the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly amid quarantine.
“I think a lot of people could have related to it because like, who wasn’t [having a difficult time]?” she asked. “We were living in like, a ghost land in the city. And it was such a weird thing to go out outside and [see that] the streets are empty. Like, it just does something to your soul.”
The fashion designer was “distraught over it,” she said of the ongoing pandemic. “And at the same time, trying to film the show and … this is supposed to be funny and entertaining, but I’m not really feeling funny or feeling like entertaining people.”
McSweeney, who has been sober from alcohol for two years, revealed that all of these hardships made her “want to drink” — but she abstained.
The fashion designer has starred on RHONY since joining the cast in 2020 for season 12. In her two short seasons on the show, fans have seen the drama play out when it comes to her (past) drinking, her feud with Ramona Singer and her relationship with her mother.
When discussing the idea of RHONY being split into two different shows, McSweeney — who shares 14-year-old daughter Kier with ex-partner Rob Cristofaro — initially hesitated at the notion of being on one of them.
“I think it would depend which one and who’s on it and you know, all that,” she told Us, though she quickly confirmed that she would join if asked.