“You have issues.” It’s one of those things people say to a person with different sensitivities and coping mechanisms than they themselves possess. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of that hastily-spewed remark, you may have questioned your sanity, the thickness of your skin, your hormonal balances, and the perspective of the person commenting. Whether you legitimately ‘have issues’ or not, you may have become introspective in the aftermath of the insult. If you enjoy watching Reality TV and you’re like me, you probably are thankful there are no cameras around to capture those unfavorable moments of your life. This is not at all the case for LeeAnne Locken, who chose to open herself up to a national television audience by participating in Bravo’s Real Housewives of Dallas (RHOD).
Now that her second season on the show has ended - and I arrived at the Rodeo after everyone else left (I literally just caught up on all the riveting episodes) - LeeAnne took the time to talk with me and reflect. She dished about some of what went down with her cast mates, their criticisms of her behavior, and dealing with anger management and feelings of abandonment. We also spoke about the friendships she solidified through RHOD.
At the start of the season, my colleague and friend Michael Cook interviewed LeeAnne https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/real-housewives-of-dallas-co-star-leeanne-locken_us_59923597e4b0caa1687a62f5 and I caught up with her for the post-season Round-Up:
Do you look back and have any regrets about being so vulnerable, raw and exposed on camera?
There were moments when I was completely not in control of myself. I would never have said some of the things I said behind the closed door had I been in control. I was so medicated before surgery...49 sheets to the wind. I regret not being more aware and also not looking at the larger picture, seeing what could be twisted. At the same time, if you have ‘regrets’, you haven’t lived life as honestly and as boldly as you can. The only way to grow is to fall and I’m an amazing fall artist.
I heard you say once in an interview that you cried every day of last season when it was airing (Season 1). What in the world possessed you to come back for another season?!
I’m not a quitter. I had the philosophy of ‘ you really can’t make me look much worse.’ I thought if I controlled my drinking and was more aware and conscious of my actions, the audience would get a more balanced perspective of me.
You and cast mate Brandi Redmond were getting along terrifically in the very beginning, but then things turned. Did you fully trust her throughout the season to remain your friend or was your guard up at all. Some viewers, including Amy Pinson, mentioned to me (and I agree) that she seems fickle.
Over the summer, when we were on hiatus, we genuinely became friends. She was struggling with the dissolution of her friendship with Stephanie Hollman. My goal with her was to show what a mature, adult friendship is like and support her in a way that she’s never been supported. If you choose Door A, these are the possibilities and if you choose Door B, this can happen and I will be here no matter which door you choose.
I thought we were friends the whole time and then right before the season started airing, she tweeted out that we were never friends. At that point, I kind of assumed some bad crap was going to happen. So as disheartened as I was, I was somewhat prepared for it.
How did things get so bad between you and another cast mate, Cary Deuber?
Cary and I have never been friends. We’ve always been cordial in public, but never spent one-on-one time alone together. When the season started, I told producers I felt bad that Cary and I didn’t get to really know each other, and that I wanted to make a positive effort to become friendly with her. There’s a scene of one-on-one alone time at a dog park where I tried to get to know her. However, the second I drove away she was on the phone with Stephanie telling her negative stuff about me! Cary has no desire to be friends with me, and the reality is: that’s a choice she made. Because she made that choice, there won’t be another LeeAnne taking the step forward with Cary. For her, it’s all about Cary and not a mutual respect.
Are you still working with the therapist we saw on the show? Has she weighed in on your interactions with the other ladies since the reunion?
I’ve currently put that on hiatus because I’m doing a different form of therapy, Behavioral Reactive Therapy, to rework my brain’s reaction to things. So the therapist you saw is kind of on hold. In either case though, I’ve never asked someone else to give me an opinion of how I handled things except for what you see on camera with the therapist. I am also the kind of person that if I don’t completely agree with the decision, I still do what I want. Due to all I’ve been through, my ability to trust others is very, very thin.
We saw you working through some of those trust issues when your mom came to town. Do you think that attending therapy with her helped, or is it still something you have to massively work on?
My entire past hasn’t been discussed. Stephanie and Cary poo poo it, so I don’t really go into it. I was abandoned by mom at two and a half and when I wasn’t working at the carnival at age 3 during summers, I was sexually molested during the school year by my best friend’s father. The other ladies can laugh all they want about my mentions of my past, but the damage is permanent. It’s not ’oh I’m going to choose to get over it.’ For me, it’s about how I learned and continually learn to pick up the damaged part of me and live with it. My ability to have intimate realtionships is gone. My ability to trust is gone. There’s still a lot of work for both me and my mom in that regard.
You talk about not being able to trust, yet you have an incredible fiance.
I always tell people that my grandmother who raised me was the biggest blessing, and Rich (my fiance) is my second biggest blessing in this life. This is real love and I’m with him because he genuinely respects and loves me unconditionally, just like my grandmother did.
I love your new cast mate D’Andra Simmons. My friend Elie Haller Salomon asked: Is she the only one you feel you can trust from the cast? We all also noted how you hit it off with Kameron Westcott.
What I love about Kameron is that when she says she lives in her own pink bubble, the bitch is not kidding! I mean, it’s awesome. Can you imagine being able to create your own bubble where life doesn’t harm you? it really is genius to me. With every person on the planet, I have a different level of what you’re calling ‘trust’. I’m kind of a wordsmith and so is D’Andra, which is why we get each other. Words genuinely matter to me. If I’m not friends with someone, I will tell you that ‘friends’ is a very big word. Trust is giving someone the ability to destroy me and having the faith that they won’t. The only person I ultimately trust is myself. D’Andra is a straight shooting, awesome boss bitch and who doesn’t love that! She’s not at all pretentious. We are super close and were actually just talking before this interview.
Another misunderstanding about Kameron was the one that arose through Brandi’s insecurity. Kameron was not looking down on Brandi for living in a different area. Kameron was never actually the one who said ‘zip code’. Cary was the one who stirred all that up! I thought that was very kind of her considering that she and Kameron were friends...
Cary and Stephanie also loaded Kameron up with all this BS about me before we started filming. They said horrible things and Kameron even had to call the production office to ask about me. She was scared I might attack her for no reason. But she made the choice in the end to go in with an open heart. Once she got to know me, she said to me: ‘You are nothing like what they said.’
Me, D’Andra and Kameron are legit friends in real life today. Since the season ended, Brandi has actually reached out to me. But it’s like the frog and the scorpion. The scorpion tells the frog ‘Why would I sting you?’ and convinces the frog to give him a ride across the pond. When the scorpion stings, the frog asks ‘Why did you do that?’ and the scorpion answers ‘Because I’m a scorpion.’
I feel like Brandi’s intention going into season 2 was to befriend me and find out things about me, but I don’t share what I’m not interested in sharing on camera. I think those 3 girls (Brandi, Cary and Stephanie) don’t think I’m as intelligent as I am. While I didn’t accept my MENSA invitation, I’m not dumb.
The majority of the bullshit that was said this season was said in the confessionals and NOT to my face! There is a tremendous lack of bravery and courage.
Another viewer, Jay Reyna who lives in Dallas, asked if there’s going to be a season 3. He said he thinks it was supposed to film around now and wonders about the scheduling and filming.
Lots of people speculate. I think the momentum we’ve gained is huge. I see no reason why we shouldn’t be back!
Are you personally looking forward to entering a new season - hypothetically?
I definitely want to have some conversations beforehand, but again, let’s wait and see! Season 1 was only 10 episodes and Season 2 was supposed to be 10 also, but we gave them so much that we went to 12 and then a 2-part reunion. I personally would like to see certain cast members step it up or some new cast members join a new season. It is exhausting to have to create stories for other people! It is annoying when other people are not sharing more of what they can be sharing. We need some interesting story lines that are integral to this show.
Did you not think that Stephanie stepped it up?
Let me ask you: What did you think? When has she shared herself? Brandi and her husband had a hard time and Brandi was candid about that. Stephanie has had a hard time too, but she wants the audience to think she’s a sweet-as-pie little girl. Then you see her poke at me, but be more vicious, vile and disgusting in her testimonials. She said she did not care that I had a flesh eating disease. She never once called me or inquired about it. She could care less. Yet, she’s seen as ‘the most compassionate’ member on our show! To me, it’s interesting that she’s a social worker by training. Is it that you give so much to your clients that you need to take it out on others? Or is it that you shouldn’t be a social worker?
To me, those who don’t share (who they really are) are wasted space on this show. It just means that those of us who do share have to work harder.
If you could take cast mates from other Real Housewives franchises and bring them to RHOD, who would they be?
RHONY: Bethenny to see her flat-out call bitches on being boring
RHOA: Nene, the same damn thing!
RHONJ: Teresa to watch her flip the damn table and say ‘yeah bitches, I’m dangerous!’
RHOC: Kelly Dodd to say ‘let me show you how drinking is done!’ and Kelly is just fun and not quiet at all, which is what I love. I really appreciate loud and big personalities.
RHOBH: Erika Jayne. It’s all about over-the-top personalities. I don’t know what to do with little, small mousy ones.
Put 3 big personalities in one room and THAT’S television!
Catch up on Season 2 of The Real Housewives of Dallas by using the Bravo Now App on iPhones, or by watching it On Demand.