‘Real Housewives of NYC’ Star Dorinda Medley Says It’s ‘Hurtful’ to Be Called a ‘Drunk’ (Exclusive)

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Dorinda Medley enjoys a drink, but she says she’s not a drunk.

“I'm dreading to relive Bethenny [Frankel] calling me [that] horrible name,” the Real Housewives of New York City star tells ET. In the season 10 trailer, Bethenny is seen confronting Dorinda about her drinking, flat out saying to the 53-year-old’s face, “You’re a drunk.”

“It was very hurtful, and it was mean, and it was unnecessary,” Dorinda says of the moment. “Every season, she has to label someone. ‘You’re a whore. You’re a loser. You’re a drunk. You’re dead to me.’”

“I actually thought it was ridiculous and I think people are kind of getting sick of that,” she adds. “But I think it did what she wanted it to do, which was make an impact and get her on TV.”

Dorinda admits she does get drunk from time to time, as seen at her Halloween party featured on last week’s season premiere.

“I happened to get drunk,” she notes. “It doesn't define my whole life … That's a moment where you say, 'Hey, what's going on here? Is there something going on? And can I take you upstairs? You really shouldn't be at this dinner.' As opposed to use it as a moment of ‘gotcha journalism.’”

It's worth noting, Dorinda's co-star, Luann de Lesseps, gets sober this season on RHONY. She entered a treatment facility following her very public arrest in Florida, but Dorinda tells ET that she does not believe Luann to have a drinking problem, either. 

"I think the only time you should be critical is if you're directly hurting someone, or someone's directly hurting someone," Dorinda offers. "Whatever Luann or I did, we did it to ourselves, you know?"

At the party, Dorinda slurred her way through telling, and retelling, guests that her Lady Gaga-inspired costume was designed by a wardrobe person from Saturday Night Live, or as she kept referring to it, NSL, before stumbling out of the bar, losing her wig on the way to the car.

Watching the party back, Dorinda says her No. 1 thought was, “Oh my god, those orange drinks got me!” (Fans will recall, she and Carole Radziwill enjoyed some holiday-themed cocktails while getting ready for the party.) But she is adamant, she does not have a drinking problem.

“One of the reasons why I was drinking away my sorrows was, I was really sad last fall,” Dorinda shares. “I was going through something. I had realized [my daughter], Hannah, had moved out, that job was over. I was in my 50s, you know, I've been a wife twice -- that job's over. What do I do now?”

“It was a transitional feeling, a little bit, like, misplaced,” she confesses. “I just stopped. You know, I stopped running in the wind and I kind of let the wind just pass me by, and I started to realize, hmm. This is kind of nice, you know? I can be selfish. I don't have to look after anyone except me.”

Now, Dorinda says she’s in a much happier and, yes, selfish place, and she hopes that happiness translates onscreen as the season continues.

“It's a strong season,” she teases. “It’s riveting.”

The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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