Luann de Lesseps Says She's Now Sober After 'Self-Medicating' Prior to December Arrest (Exclusive)

By

Luann de Lesseps has “turned over a leaf.”

The Real Housewives of New York City star was charged in January with the felony of resisting an officer with violence as well as misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disorderly intoxication, stemming from her arrest in Palm Beach, Florida, on Dec. 24 at 1:25 a.m. local time. She was released on her own recognizance 10 hours later and pleaded not guilty on Dec. 29.

ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with de Lesseps on Tuesday in NYC, where she opened up about her arrest, and how it’s caused her to adjust her lifestyle.

“If I had just gone to the right hotel room, it would have just changed everything, but I didn't, and there was a reason why it happened to me,” said de Lesseps, who rejected a plea deal in February. “It really taught me a lot about myself.”

“So, that's when I decided to go to rehab and address the issues I was having in my life, because I just felt like it was an out-of-control moment for me, and I don't like to be out of control,” she continued. “It was very embarrassing and all I can say is that it changed my life in such a way now. I just feel like so much more control and happier.”

De Lesseps added that she feels like a “changed person” after the incident, for which she can face up to five years in prison. “Thank god for yoga and my music,” she expressed. “My cabaret show has been the most incredible therapy for me.”

De Lesseps admitted that prior to her arrest, she “was definitely self-medicating" in response to her divorce from Tom D'Agostino. “I was using alcohol to numb myself, and now that I’m aware of that, I don’t foresee that I am going to have this problem again,” she shared, noting that she’s currently sober. “Right now, I’m just not into drinking, because I feel so much happier without it.”

The reality star also credits her RHONY co-stars for helping her through the situation -- despite one appearing to call her a “convict” in a trailer for the show’s 10th season. “I heard from all the women after I got arrested, and they were all very supportive, and I needed that,” she said. “I went through a lot of pain, so the last thing I needed was to be kicked while I was down.”

“I think that people are looking at me now and going, ‘Wow. She just, like, fell down the staircase and she got back out and she's climbing again.’ And that's how I feel about my life,” de Lesseps said. “I feel like I'm taking control of my life again, and unfortunately I had to go to that extent to turn my life around, but it's OK and I'm OK with that.”

The 10th season of Real Housewives of New York City premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.

RELATED CONTENT: 

'RHONY' Star Luann de Lesseps Jokes About Her Disorderly Intoxication Arrest During Her Cabaret Debut

Luann de Lesseps Rejects Plea Deal in Felony Case

Bethenny Frankel Calls Luann de Lesseps 'a Really Strong Person' Following Arrest (Exclusive)