During a recent interview, Jessel shared what that scene entailed while she also addressed a number of other hot topics, including the IVF secret she kept from her mom, Brynn Whitfield‘s flirty behavior with Erin Lichy‘s husband, Abraham “Abe” Lichy, and her twin sons’ preschool.
“I’m doing the best I can,” Jessel, 43, told Variety on August 27 of her new role as a reality star. “The first two or three episodes I shared a lot, and there were not-so-great conversations happening about our marriage and how I am. I surround myself with such positive energy and positive vibes that to be exposed to all of this gossip and not-so-great opinions was tough. I could have very easily come in there and said, ‘I’m great. My family is great. My kids are great, and I have this great life.’ But it’s not true.”
“Don’t get me wrong, things are great — but it’s not perfect,” she continued. “I think in the media or on Instagram, and even on my Instagram, you see this perfectly curated page with pictures, outfits, families, and vacations. I think it was important for me to go behind that.”
According to Jessel, it wasn’t always easy watching herself back on the show, and there were moments when she thought, “Oh my God, please delete that.”
“But I think it’s the best learning to see how you are, how people perceive you and what you can do better to receive compliments or criticism,” she reasoned.
While Jessel was called “spoiled” and “entitled” throughout the first half of RHONY season 14, she credits viewers’ reaction to her to a “cultural disconnect.”
“I feel like I’ve lived in the United States long enough, but I’m still very sarcastic and dry,” she explained. “Things I find funny and dry, people don’t… It’s the delivery and tone and how you sound. If someone raised in the States said that, I think people would be easier on them … There is no malintent with anything I say, ever. Half the time, I feel like I’m laughing and joking and I have a playful tone, but people didn’t tap into that for some reason. They thought I was being contrived, or whatever it may be. No. It’s just sarcasm.”
As for the reception she’s gotten from the Indian community, Jessel said 98 percent has been supportive.
“They’re so proud and so excited. A lot of my close friends or even acquaintances are like, ‘If anyone is going to do this, it should be you.’ And there’s the two percent that are very judgy, and saying, ‘Why are they talking about that on TV?'” she admitted.
One particular hot-button issue was Jessel’s use of IVF to conceive her twin sons, Kai and Rio — a secret she kept even from her mother.
“I wanted to open that narrative up. In doing so, I’ve received an overwhelming amount of messages from girls who are going through IVF, and hiding it from their parents. And friends who ask me, ‘What vitamins did I take?’ but also ask me not to say anything to anyone else,” she noted. “No one talks about it in our culture. I went through it alone, and I think that there are so many women who are isolated and feel very alone going through it. I wanted to give them a reason not to feel alone.”
During the early episodes of the season, Jessel and her husband, Pavit Randhawa, were seen discussing their children’s venturing into preschool. And while Pavit was understandably shocked at the pricing of the education of their toddlers, he and Jessel ultimately took the plunge.
“We just got their first assignment and we’re really excited,” she revealed.
Continuing on about Pavit, Jessel addressed her threesome suggestion to Jenna.
“Pavit adores Jenna — he would probably kick me to the curb, and nerd out with her on all things business,” Jessel joked.
Although fans have had mixed reactions to Jessel, many have fallen in love with Pavit, which came as no surprise to Jessel.
“I think it’s very easy to love him. He’s the funniest guy in the room at any given time, and he is the life of the party,” she gushed. “He’s someone who’s quietly confident — and he’s not the loudest, but once you get to know him, you are addicted to being around his personality.”
Moving on to more recent happenings of RHONY, Jessel looked back on the flirty behavior of Brynn, 36, saying that while she sees both sides, she knew Brynn wasn’t being serious.
“I knew Brynn was 100% joking and didn’t mean anything,” she shared. “Erin’s husband, Abe, was laughing during the whole interaction, so I didn’t feel like he needed saving. Because believe me, I would have stepped in if there was even a slight sense that this wasn’t pure banter.”
As for the scene she wishes fans saw between her and Jenna, 55, Jessel said it featured her apologizing to her castmate.
“I did it the night of the sushi dinner when we were sitting around the table. I had bought her a thank you card and had written a soliloquy, a beautiful letter, because I felt really bad about my reaction to [her lingerie gift],” she revealed. “That’s not something that I would do, necessarily, but we were all joking about lingerie. I don’t think I put myself in her shoes in a way that I should have — I gave her my note, and I said I’m sorry. It was this really nice scene.
Also during the interview, Jessel teased fans about what is to come in the remaining episodes of the season.
“I think everyone’s story is slowly trickling out,” she shared. “You see Jenna being this career woman, but you’ll see more of her personal life start to come out, because everyone is very curious about Jenna Lyons. Same with Ubah and Sai. But we all have our moments, and I think it helps put into context who we are as women.
The Real Housewives of New York City season 14 airs Sundays at 9/8c on Bravo.
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