Leah McSweeney built her clothing line, Married to the Mob, from the ground up after receiving a $70,000 settlement for injuries sustained during a brawl with members of the New York Police Department. During a new interview, she confirmed her brand was started with just $4,000.
After dishing on the motivation behind her company, the newest addition to the Real Housewives of New York City cast opened up about her struggles with Sonja Morgan and her appearance on Millionaire Matchmaker before revealing that Ramona Singer once turned down a chance to star in one of Luann de Lesseps‘ music videos.
“I started [Married to the Mob] with $4,000 [in 2004],” Leah revealed on Reality Life with Kate Casey. “The reason I started the brand, to be honest… I started the brand because I had some friends that had their own brands that were going on free trips overseas. I was like, ‘Wow, these guys are getting to have so much f**king fun. They’re making money with their clothing lines and getting free trips to Japan and Europe. Like I need to start my own sh*t.’”
While Leah admitted to making mistakes along the way, she said she always learned from the challenges she went through. She is now writing a book about the “many ups and downs” of her business.
“As you saw with the tattoo comments, when she was like, ‘I’d never sleep with you,’ that was so mean,” Leah recalled. “I laughed about it but my feelings were definitely hurt. I felt like I was on a date with a guy [who] knows [I’m] way better than him and he’s like trying to make himself seem bigger and better so he says all these things to put [me] down.”
After suggesting Sonja was putting her down in an effort to make herself feel better, Leah said that while Sonja is often known as the “fun one” and the “party one” of the group, she’s also the “most complex.”
“Sonja is very difficult to know and to reach. I still am trying to figure her out,” she explained.
Although Leah has experienced hardships with Sonja, she’s also established close friendships with the other ladies of the show. This includes Luann. Leah joked about dressing Luann in Married to the Mob clothing for an upcoming music video.
“Let’s pray. I mean, I hope I’m her backup dancer for that,” she noted.
Leah then revealed that Luann recently told her that Ramona had a chance to star in one of her past music videos but turned down the opportunity.
Before landing her gig on RHONY, Leah appeared on an episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. Looking back, she said she was happy she participated in the show, even though she was hesitant at first.
“They were begging me to come on that show,” she recalled. “I said ‘no’ twice. I told my business partners at the time and they were like, ‘Leah, you have to go on. It’s going to be really good exposure.’ So I was like, ‘Alright. Fine. I’ll do it. Why not?'”
While Leah had a fun experience on the show, she didn’t appreciate the way Patti Stanger slammed her on Twitter after their meeting for looking “so much older than 27” and like she’d “been through the ringer.”
“I was like, ‘Give me a break. I had a kid at 24, and running a multi-million dollar company at age 27. Leave me alone,'” she said.
The Real Housewives of New York City season 12 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
Photos Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo