RHONY's Luann de Lesseps Defends Maskless Party Photos, Denies Jeopardizing Show Production

Luann de Lesseps is not about to take the fall for something she didn't do.

De Lesseps slammed a report that claimed she put production of the Real Housewives of New York City in jeopardy after she was photographed attending an indoor party in Coral Gables, Florida, with friends earlier this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In several photos, de Lesseps was seen without a protective face mask.

But the reality star, 55, told Page Six that all guests were required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entering the party.

"I took the mask off for some photos," she told the outlet. "Knowing everyone had tested negative, I felt comfortable doing that."

Her behavior came into question after the production of RHONY was forced to shut down for a second time earlier this month. A source told PEOPLE that a cast member had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

After one of the women received the positive diagnosis for COVID-19, the source said production swiftly came to a halt and a previously scheduled cast trip was also canceled as part of Bravo's strict safety protocols.

In October, filming on the New York City franchise was partially suspended after a crew member tested positive. Despite a report claiming at the time that production on season 13 was shut down after a member of the cast tested positive, a source close to production said that "a Housewife never tested positive for coronavirus."

Along with de Lesseps, the new season will feature returning Housewives Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney and Sonja Morgan, along with newcomer Eboni K. Williams. Williams' casting news was announced in October, making her the show's first Black Housewife.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the  WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Source: Read Full Article