"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" has a new cast member to shake things up for season seven — Dorit Kemsley. This businesswoman and mother of two has a lot on her plate — Kemsley oversees artist management agency, Nixxi Entertainment, with her husband — but keeps it all together with poise and style. Kemsley chats with us about living with Boy George, the serendipity behind meeting her husband and the drama that’s already bubbling between her and co-star, Erika Girardi.
Are you a fan of reality TV yourself?
I dabbled in reality TV. I certainly watched the Housewives before. I took a little time off in the last few years because I was having babies and I didn’t find very much free time for television. But when I joined the cast I tried to do a little catch up and watched last season. I haven’t watched the others yet, but once in awhile I’ll catch New York or Atlanta or O.C.
Are there certain cast members you feel closer to?
I love Lisa Vanderpump — she’s a dear friend and I really just adore her. We were out for dinner last night even — she and I get together quite a bit. We have a great laugh together. We really bonded and spend a lot of time together socially.
I love you and your husband on the show. How did you guys meet?
My beloved and I met in New York, very randomly in a bar/restaurant. I actually wasn’t supposed to be there and neither was he so it was like the stars were aligned. I know that sounds cheesy, but it really was [meant to be] because later on we found out that there was a good half a dozen times where we were in the same room.
I know. We had mutual friends and it was kind of crazy. In fact, a little side note, six months after we had started dating, he was helping me fill out information about my one of my businesses and I had an office in a building he had owned in New York City. He didn’t even know that I was a tenant in his building. So weird. We were always meant to meet that’s for sure. It just was the right time and the right place.
How do you stay balanced with all that you have going on?
I’ve got a great support system in my husband. I’ve got a beautiful family. I’m a strong woman. I believe that we can do far more than we think we can do and so I think when you also have a partnership like I have — you lean on your husband, you’re there for your husband and you find that balance more easily through that relationship.
So there’s another man in the house at times. Does Boy George really live with you?
Yes. Well, Georgie is family. He does. My husband and I manage him, but he’s also my daughter’s godfather. When he’s in Los Angeles, he lives with us. He goes back and forth to London, but over the last few years, he has stayed with us for up to four to six months at a time. This is definitely home. We love him and he’s like family. It’s pretty extraordinary having Boy George living in your house.
Now I have to ask — what is the drama with Erika about?
I’d like to know myself. I don’t really know — she kind of came at me in the beginning. She’s a strong individual. She’s a bit reserved. I didn’t have the warm welcome from her that I had from the other ladies when I first met them. I don’t want to give too much away, but you know we had certain instances where she sort of came at me a few times and things weren’t really the same. We have our sort of ups and downs in the season.
When the claws are flying how do you deal with it?
You’d never believe it, but I absolutely detest drama and conflict. I just can’t stand it, but equally so, I’m not one to shy away from sticking up for myself — I’ll always do that. I’m a woman with a lot of pride. In terms of handling it, I deal with it in the moment. I’m certainly not one that runs away with my tail between my legs. I’m the daughter of an Israeli paratrooper so that probably has a lot to do with it. [Laughs]
That’s fascinating! What are other things people don’t know about you?
I’m a very good dancer. I love a blend of salsa meets hip hop. I’m a serious lover of glamour and fashion. I’ve always been. I relish in it. [Pause] My husband is next to me saying “You make a mean breakfast burrito.” So yes, I’m a very good cook. [Laughs]
What else do you like to cook?
Any type of pasta dish. My 10 years in Italy almost made me a master in Italian cooking. My mother cooks very ethnic food and she’s a fantastic cook so I make a lot of the dishes that I grew up with — some Moroccan dishes, some Israeli dishes. I love to use a lot of spices and I definitely inject a lot of love into everything I prepare — both for my husband and children.
The next episode of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" airs on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 9 p.m.