Jenna Lyons Had One Big Condition Before Returning for 'Real Housewives of New York City' Season 15

The former J.Crew fashion exec had her hesitations coming back to the Bravo series.

Jenna Lyons admits that more opportunities came her way after she was cast on season 14 of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City -- but she still had pause about returning to the series. 

On Friday, it was confirmed that Lyons and all her season 14 castmates -- including Sai De SilvaUbah HassanErin LichyJessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield -- are in for season 15. 

However, ultimately the former J. Crew beauty executive had some non-negotiable demands that needed to be met before she agreed to come back.

Rumors started swirling as to whether Lyons would be returning to RHONY after she skipped out on BravoCon 2023. ET asked her about missing the event, and she simply said she "had some things to do."

Jenna Lyon at Frame Spring 2024 Campaign Celebration Dinner with Gisele Bündchen during New York Fashion Week at Indochine on Feb. 12, 2024 in New York City. - Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

"I had an event and I had some other things that I had to do that were personal," she shared in November, just after BravoCon.  "...It didn't work out."

In a new interview with The New York Times, Lyons says that Bravo was "very amenable" when it came to her requests. 

One big condition involved Lyons' romantic life. "I have a relationship, but I would like to not name her. I want to keep her out of the press," she says of what's off limits on the show. "That is my commitment to her. It's off the table. I joined this process. She did not."

The 55-year-old style-savvy star also says that she wanted to make sure she would have time for her new romance while filming the show. "There was some concern about my ability, just time-wise, to commit to it, and that was a big deal," she explains. "I also have a new relationship and wanted to maintain privacy. It was not just me. We all had to figure out, like, Can this work? I wasn't sure. Definitely not sure."

When it comes to rumors that she's engaged, Lyons plays coy about the ring she's been wearing on that finger. "This is a very serious answer," she quips. "She kept telling me, 'Jenna, your shirt is buttoned down too low.' And I was like, 'If you want me to button my shirt, you have to put a ring on my finger.'"

Jenna Lyons at the Maria Cornejo x Roman + Williams Dinner held at La Mercerie on Feb. 8, 2024 in New York, New York. - Dolly Faibyshev/WWD via Getty Images

On top of her romantic life, Lyons is protective of her son, Beckett Mazeau, and how much he is featured on the reality series. "There was a lot of filming in the home, and it was just exhausting. It's so disruptive," she shares. "They were very open to reducing that exposure and not having so much 'home time.' My son is prepping for college. It's a very intense time."

One big reason she did decide to come back for another season were the RHONY fans. 

"I did pay attention to my comments. What I was shocked by, and one of the reasons I did feel comfortable going back, is people were so nice," Lyons says. "I thought I would take heat for some things, here and there, and I didn't at all. Particularly in the beginning, I would scan through the comments, like, Let's just see if anybody's coming at me. All the things that I was afraid of didn't really happen."

RHONY also helped her career. The Times notes that Lyons' Instagram following quadrupled and her beauty business, LoveSeen, flourished. "It was shocking to see the results," she admits, noting that before the show, her false eyelash company was "struggling in places where people didn’t know who I was."

And Lyons isn't shy about saying that she's returning to RHONY "for my business." As for whether she's getting paid more for season 15, Lyons confesses, "Everyone gets paid more, and that I'm not going to talk about too much."

That being said, Lyons is happy with how her presence on the show is reaching women who watch. "But I will say, what is consistently surprising to me, and such a tender moment, is the number of people that either DM or come up to me on the street and are like, 'It's amazing to see an openly gay woman on national television being themselves,'" she notes. "I know that seems trite. It's not the reason I'm doing it, and I wouldn't lie to you and say that it is. I don't think I'm here to be the spokesperson. That has been a really nice side effect of the show."


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