Tinsley Mortimer is the newest cast member on RHONY, but what do you really know about the 41-year-old NYC socialite? Well, she’s long been considered by most of the NYC social scene to be their top “It girl,” which might lead you to believe that she’s led a charmed life. The truth is that she’s hit a few rough spots along the way, which is sure to help her bring plenty of drama to the show. Here’s 10 things you didn’t know about Tinsley Mortimer.
1. She has strong southern roots.
Born into a high-society Virginia family, Tinsley Randolph Mortimer’s middle name pays homage to her ancestor Thomas Jefferson. She is also a descendant of Patrick Henry, James Madison, and John Mercer, the author of the first Code of Virginia. When she wasn’t attending boarding school, she could be found at the family mansion known as Graymont, or the former Gottwald-Mercer mansion in Richmond, VA. Of course, she was a debutante and made her debut at the Bal du Bois.
2. Tinsley’s a published author.
In 2012, Tinsley made her writing debut when Simon & Schuster published Southern Charm: A Novel. The book details the move of a southern girl to the Big Apple and her attempts to acclimate to her glamorous surroundings. Though it never made it on the New York Times Best Sellers List, reviewers deemed it “charming and funny” and “a good beach read.”
3. At 18, she got married.
After meeting Robert “Topper” Mortimer (a member of NYC royalty) during her senior year of high school (1992), the two secretly eloped. When word got out the two were married, Topper’s father sent him to the Dominican Republic to get an annulment. They remarried in 2002, but divorced in 2009.
4. Her marriage ended after a dalliance with a prince.
While touring Europe, Tinsley was introduced to German prince Casimir Wittgenstein-Sayn, who took her on a tour of his family’s 800-year-old estate. Before long, the two were romantically involved. Although her husband, Topper, was said to be heartbroken, the same couldn’t be said for Tinsley. In a 2009 interview with New York Magazine, she said, “We’re not hiding. I have filed for divorce. I am allowed to date other people.”
5. She was a beauty editor at Vogue.
After graduating from Columbia University with a BA in art history, Tinsley landed the coveted position at Vogue. She also worked as an events planner for Harris & Shriftman, which catered to NYC’s elite. However, in late 2002, she decided this wasn’t the life for her and quit both to become a full-time socialite.
6. This isn’t the first time she has starred on a reality show.
Following her divorce, Tinsley partnered with CW for High Society, a show many referred to as “reality TV’s answer to Gossip Girl.” The show focused on Tinsley and her group of besties as they made the rounds of NYC’s biggest and most prestigious parties and black-tie events. Only 8 episodes of the show aired before it was pulled from CW’s lineup.
7. Dior named a lip gloss after her.
In 2008, Tinsley served as a Beauty Ambassador for the high-end cosmetics line. Tinsley not only helped create the color, but became the first Dior Beauty Ambassador to have a lip gloss named for them. The lip gloss is a soft powder pink with a high-shine, shimmering finish. A portion of Tinsley Pink’s sales were given to Operation Smile. Unfortunately, it was only available for a limited time.
8. Tinsley spent a little time in the Palm Beach County jail.
In April 2016, Tinsley was attested for trespassing at the residence of her “on and off” boyfriend of 2 years, Alexander Fanjul. Since he was entertaining a new girlfriend at the time, he called the cops who reported she was “crying and screaming irrationally” when they arrived on the scene. In a 2017 interview with People, Tinsley discussed their relationship, referring to Fanjul as “abusive and violent.” Police records indicate they were called to the home on numerous occasions to break up savage fights.
9. She has an impressive estimated net worth.
As of 2017, Tinsley is estimated to be worth $35 million. Some of this was likely part of her divorce settlement, but she has also earned money through various fashion endeavors, including a clothing and handbag line, which was especially well received in Japan. As the daughter of a successful real estate investor and builder, there is also the possibility that some of her net worth comes from family money.
10. Despite all that money, she’s living at a cast mate’s house.
Tinsley is currently living with close friend and fellow cast mate, Sonja Morgan. In an interview with US, Sonja said, “Tinsley is homeless and living in my house and walking around in ball gowns! She’s homeless but glamorous.” The two have been friends for years, so Tinsley didn’t think twice about moving into Sonja’s daughter’s room when she was invited.