Former Real Housewives of New York star Dorinda Medley has revealed she had ‘no electricity’ in her beloved Blue Stone Manor home when her husband Richard passed away – because she was completely clueless about how to manage her finances and bills.
Dorinda, 58, admitted she still suffers from ‘financial fear’ and said this was exacerbated when her second husband tragically died from liver failure in November 2011.
The blond reality TV star said she found out some shocking truths about Richard’s finances after he died because she had ‘got comfortable’ and let other people take care of her life.
Speaking on Trinny Woodall’s new podcast Fearless, Dorinda explained: ‘When he died, there was all kinds of stuff that I was completely unaware of. Things he had invested in, people he had invested in, money he had lent, promises he had made. It was almost like I didn’t know him, and that will never happen again.’
When Trinny asked: ‘Did you have chronic financial insecurity again? Did that come washing back to you? How was that for you?’ Dorinda admitted: ‘It was awful.’
Hard times: Former Real Housewives of New York star Dorinda Medley has revealed she had ‘no electricity’ in her mansion after her husband died
Sad loss: Richard Medley tragically died from liver failure in November 2011 at the age of 60
Lucky lady: Richard gifted Dorinda with nine-bedroom mansion Blue Stone Manor when they got married in 2005
Happy memories: Richard and Dorinda got married at a church in New York in October 2005
Referring to life before Richard’s death, Dorinda said: ‘After about four or five years, I got comfortable, and I let people start taking care of my life.
‘I let people start running things because I was like, “Maybe I am that woman, maybe I am the woman that just can not worry about things and go shopping and plan her lunches and fundraising dinners,” and that was the worst thing I ever did.
‘It was the last two years when I didn’t know what was going on. After Richard died, I had no electricity in my house at Bluestone Manor because I didn’t know who was paying the bills. Can you imagine that?’ she divulged.
‘It just once again dragged me back to, “F**k it, I can’t believe I did this, I can’t believe I didn’t have my plan B.”‘
Richard, who died at the age of 60, gifted Dorinda with Blue Stone Manor when they got married in 2005, and unsurprisingly, she is very fond of the nine-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot property – which is worth $2.2 million.
Trinny, 59, was keen to hear more about Dorinda’s ‘financial insecurity’ and asked the mother-of-one: ‘Is it still in your life today and how does it show itself?’
‘Everyday,’ Dorinda replied immediately. ‘I worry…. and even when I am fine and things, I fear money. I don’t like to have… I fear it.’
Referring to her daughter, Dorinda continued: ‘I’m always saying to Hannah, “Well we can’t do that because we’re broke”, and she goes, “You gotta stop saying that! I know you’ve got some bizarre comfort in feeling broke all the time…”‘
Dorinda explained that her financial fear stems from her childhood because her mother and father were ‘always so worried about money’ and raised her to ‘always have a plan B’.
Financial insecurity: Despite being wealthy, Dorinda admitted she still has a ‘fear’ of money
Mother and child: Dorinda’s daughter Hannah thinks her mom has a ‘bizarre comfort in feeling broke’
New venture: Reality TV star Dorinda launched Blue Stone Manor Bourbon in 2022
Throwback: Dorinda pictured with her daughter Hannah and husband Richard back in 2006
Speaking about her current insecurities when it comes to money, she said: ‘I think a little bit of fear is good. I’m surrounded by women that are in their fifties where it’s a financial disaster and it’s not gonna get any better. The earning power changes.’
Trinny then asked Dorinda if she had decided to join season six of RHONY in 2014 because she ‘felt broke’, but the blond TV star confirmed she didn’t.
‘No, by the time Housewives came along, I had gotten everything back in order and everything had settled and I’d sold most of the things like the boat, his life insurance had kicked in, Blue Stone Manor was fully transferred to me,’ she explained.
‘I did it because every one of my identities was gone. Richard left, everything I loved being about a mother, I had it so planned out our life after the kids left… motherhood had left because Hannah the same year went to college, and all these things that I felt comfortable with were gone.
‘And I felt too old and too young, too old to start afresh again.
‘It gave me permission to just not give a s**t. Like I was finally at like 40-whatever years old just gonna do whatever I wanna do. A lot of my fear and a lot of my guilt was just pure anger.
‘I was like, “F**k this! I’ve been a good girl, good wife, good mother, good daughter, I never slept around and had fun like everyone else. Why couldn’t I have done that! And this is what I get? The booby prize?” It was a lot of anger-based, I was defiant,’ she added.
Dorinda then revealed: ‘Every single one of my friends that knew me said, “Don’t do it,”‘ as Trinny mentioned her relationship with drinking on the reality show.
‘I was defiant, I just didn’t care and I gotta tell you the truth, I don’t look at it as a bad thing because that’s where I was at the time, that’s how I felt and I didn’t wanna answer to anybody.
Good mates: Trinny Woodall has been friends with Dorinda for many years and spoke candidly with her on her podcast
Group shot: Dorinda pictured with some of her RHONY cast mates in June 2022
‘I’m so responsible, I’ve been responsible my whole life,’ she admitted as Trinny suggested she might have been reliving ‘her teenage years’ on RHONY.
‘I had a ball! I’m sorry everyone, I don’t regret it! I’m happy it’s passed but I never even had that much fun at college,’ she revealed.
Trinny then questioned ‘at what age do women not look appealing when they’ve drunk too much’, as Dorinda argued: ‘That was mainly TV, I didn’t really do it off TV as much. That was like the environment we were in…’
As the podcast host suggested it was an environment that was ‘created’, Dorinda denied it and explained: ‘No, it wasn’t created because I don’t do that with Bravo, they don’t force your hand.
‘It’s a pressure cooker when you’re on the show, it’s 12 to 14 hours a day and of course they always have things available, and I definitely probably didn’t manage it much because I was both nervous and it was fun.’
In August 2020, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Bravo had fired Dorinda from RHONY.
At the time, a production source said it was ‘a big mistake’ as she was a fan favorite who people were ‘rooting for’.
Dorinda confirmed the news via Instagram and told her followers: ‘What a journey this has been. I have laughed and cried and tried to Make it Nice… But all things must come to an end.
‘This was a great outlet for me to heal when my late husband Richard passed away. I have met so many interesting people and learned so much about myself, about life and about women along the way. Thank you to Bravo and NBC for the incredible ride and to my cast mates for constant stimulation and entertainment. I wish you all health, happiness and success.’
Speaking about the axe to Trinny, Dorinda revealed she went ‘running home’ to her mother at the time and cried: ‘Mom, they fired me!’ and her mother replied: ‘Rejection is protection.’
But Dorinda thinks being fired was one of the best things that happened to her and described it as her ‘phoenix moment’.