Dripping in jewels and designer threads, the Real Housewives of Auckland – Louise Wallace, Julia Sloane, Gilda Kirkpatrick, Angela Stone, Michelle Blanchard and Anne Batley Burton – have undoubtedly got the fortune, but not all of them have had the fame … until now!
When we spoke to the six soon-to-be reality stars, they were squaring up for their debut in one of New Zealand's most controversial reality TV shows. And now that we've gotten our first taste of the series, it's clear the manicured nails are out and the tongues have been sharpened - and the drama won't be dying down any time soon.
“These women get seriously vicious,” whispers our source. “It’s certainly not an act.”
As the privileged posse converged at our Woman’s Day photo shoot, it’s clear allegiances have been formed and battle lines drawn. Back-stabbing, bitchiness, betrayal, Botox, boobs and bubbles are the buzzwords for this diverse gathering of luxe-loving ladies.
“Some have exposed their true selves from the start,” fashionista Angela reflects as she casts her eye across her fellow Housewives. “There’s no turning back now!”
It’s not yet midday, but Champagne Lady Anne, who imports France’s finest sparkles into the country, pops open the bubbles. The pint-sized glamourpuss says three glasses of champers a day beats dementia – and judging by the rate these women are knocking it back, we’d expect their memories to be top notch!
With their chic and enviable wardrobes packed with luxury labels like Gucci and Stella McCartney, it’s clear that money is not the reason for these ladies to sign up for reality TV.
Mother-of-three Angela tells us it’s a great way to promote her fashion consulting business, while “it girl” Gilda wants to show Aotearoa she is more than just the queen of the Auckland social scene.
The Iranian beauty, who is mum to Lucan, three, and nine-month-old Kyan, is a successful children’s author and released her second book in her intergalactic series, Astarons, earlier this month.
Actress and former broadcaster Louise says her husband, advertising guru Scott, did not hesitate when it came to his wife taking part. With privilege, it seems, comes a thick skin! Louise tells, “He said, ‘Go for it – everyone hates us anyway, so doing this won’t make a difference! We’ve had people envy and talk about us all our lives, so what’s new?’”
While the stunning six reveal their other halves have been incredibly supportive of their new-found spot in the limelight, their men aren’t all so keen on chasing fame. Savvy businesswoman Julia told us her husband Michael Lorimer swore not to even tune in when the debut episode premiered on Bravo and TV3 on August 22.
“He said, ‘If you want to do it, then I’ll support you, but keep me to a minimum and I won’t be watching it,’” says the proud mum to daughters Dunbar, 15, and 13-year-old Ella.
The ladies are excited about the show’s debut, but they admit there have been downsides. Angela confesses she’s struggling with the lack of family time, thanks to her busy filming schedule, and Louise’s biggest challenge is “remaining dignified” and not holding grudges against her co-stars. She says viewers need to be prepared for excess at every turn. “It’s conspicuous consumption … clothes, shoes, food, booze, gossip, laughter, bitchiness and betrayal!”
Back in front of the camera at our exclusive shoot, Gilda’s bestie, Brit-born Michelle, proves her worth as a former high-fashion model, loudly telling everyone around her that her mane is all natural.
And as Anne takes centre stage for her close-up, fashion stylist Angela is there to support her gal pal from the sidelines.
“She’s come a long way,” beams Angela. “She used to hate having her photo taken – and she’s only three glasses of bubbles deep!”
As the chatter dies down and our bustling photo shoot wraps up, someone calls out that an Aussie news site has reported on their reality show, mentioning Gilda’s impressive bust is “two good reasons to tune in”.
Without missing a beat, the Persian princess quips, “The same could be said for Louise.” Let the catfights begin!