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Big Apple boss! Kelly Bensimon was a model in her teen years, traveling the world before settling down in New York City.
The Illinois native, who shares daughters Sea, 23, and Thadeus “Teddy,” 21, with her ex-husband, Gilles Bensimon, rose to fame after starring on The Real Housewives of New York City. Kelly joined the cast in season 2 but exited in 2011 after two years on the Bravo series. She has since popped up on a few episodes here and there, including a season 7 episode in 2015.
The A Dangerous Age author — who has remained close with a few Housewives, including Luann de Lesseps — has switched her focus from reality TV to selling real estate. She currently works for Douglas Elliman, which has offices all around the world, and is the cohost of the “Hey Guys, Hey” podcast.
Outside of her role on RHONY and being a mother of two, how much do Kelly’s fans really know about her? The former Bravo personality opened up to Us Weekly exclusively about herself — including which of her past careers was her favorite and what social media tricks she picked up from Kris Jenner.
Read on to learn more about Kelly:
1. I always have my riding boots, a bikini and running shoes in my car.
2. I’m a terrible dancer!
3. Kris Jenner taught me how to use social media to my advantage and to have fun with it. Her rules: Snapchat for quick moments; Instagram for great photos; LinkedIn for work; Twitter for interesting thoughts; Facebook for family.
4. My favorite meal is fried calamari and guacamole with chips. Chef Sheri’s chocolate chip cookies at Food Bank For New York City are a close second … if you count cookies as a meal!
5. For me, the best way to spend a weekend day is to drive out to The Hamptons with my daughters to go horseback riding and have brunch.
6. I’m not into swearing. My father, who’s a lawyer, taught me at a young age not to curse. He always said, “Don’t you know a better word?”
7. My hidden talents are snapping and whistling. I also speak French.
8. I’m an avid gum chewer. My physical trainer once told me to chew gum during stressful days.
9. My first ever modeling job was for Tyson chicken.
10. My heart belongs to James Taylor, but I’m obsessed with Harry Styles.
11. My first concert was Prince in Rockford, Illinois, in 1982.
12. My weakness is my daughter Teddy’s vegan peanut butter cookies. I would eat them every day if I could.
13. I’m a full-time single parent, and I work in real estate for Douglas Elliman in NYC, The Hamptons, Florida and Paris.
14. I’ve never watched a lot of TV, but right now I love Succession.
15. I wrote the book American Style in 2004 for Anna Wintour and the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
16. I’ve suffered from psoriasis my entire life. That is one reason I never wear my hair up.
17. I’ve been daydreaming about a safari in Africa with my girls.
18. I was the editor and creator of the magazine Elle Accessories. It was one of my favorite jobs.
19. This year, I sold $100 million in real estate at Douglas Elliman.
20. Pharrell [Williams] once winked at me across the runway at a Louis Vuitton fashion show in Paris. Swoon!
21. I’m a New Yorker who drives my car everywhere.
22. I’m out at night a lot for work, but I’m always in bed early.
23. I wake up to Mozart. I work out to Beyoncé.
24. I love the New York Rangers.
25. It’s my fourth year collaborating on designs for my shearling outerwear collection, EnVille x Pologeorgis. This season is all about making a statement with color.
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