'Real Housewives of New York' LuAnn De Lesseps Addresses Carol Radziwill Dispute: 'I'm Not Racist' (EXCLUSIVE)

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Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City star LuAnn de Lesseps is coming to her own defense after a controversial episode Monday night in which fellow castmember Carole Radziwill takes offense to the Countess’ reference to Native Americans.

De Lesseps, who has talked about her own Native American ancestry on the hit reality show in past seasons, uses the word "Indian" which sets off all the drama.

In an exclusive statement to Celebuzz, de Lesseps said, “I want to say that if anyone thought that something I did on last night’s episode was offensive, I’m sorry. To insinuate that I am insensitive or racist is insulting and flat out not true.”

What else did the Countess say?

During the episode, Radziwill told de Lesseps, “Everyone over third grade knows not to say 'Indian.' I thought they were making fun of people who have a history of being neglected, discriminated against and abused. And that is not something you joke about."

LuAnn responded to her co-star: “Well, I guess I can because I am an Indian.”

Here is the Countess’ full statement to Celebuzz:

“Everything I say seems to bug Carole Radziwill. If I say tomato, she will say tomahto! First, I want to say that if anyone thought that something I did on last night’s episode was offensive, I’m sorry. To insinuate that I am insensitive or racist is insulting and flat out, not true.

“Let’s let the facts speak for themselves. The U.S. Census Bureau surveyed people of various races, asking what they liked to be called and over 49% of American Indians preferred to be called American Indian while 37% said that Native American was their preference.

“Furthermore, the museums dedicated to American Indian heritage in Washington, D.C. and New York City are both called the Museum of the American Indian. As The American Heritage Book of English Usage points out, 'the acceptance of Native American has not brought about the demise of Indian.' Now almost every style or usage guide describes these terms as synonyms that can be used interchangeably.

"Many people will no doubt favor one appellation over another -- and will have strong reasons for doing so -- but such choices are (or should be) no longer accompanied by a sense of righteousness that one term is superior to the other.

“Carole never passes up an opportunity to put me down and unfortunately this is what some people do to make themselves feel or look better.”

Watch the scene in question again below.

What do you think about the on-camera controversy? Sound off in the comments below.

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE) No changes are to be made to this player



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  • Tonia Means LVPT
    Tonia Means LVPT

    Luann needs to get it straight: There is a difference between her and real Native people. Anyone can claim whatever they want but you are not concidered to be Native unless you are a bonified card carrying Native, Indian whatever you wanna call us, but the way she acted at the table was childish get your information straight before someone slaps the wine taste outta your mouth cause I'd love to.

  • Bobbi Stone
    Bobbi Stone

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  • Lisa Jo Larry Kendrick
    Lisa Jo Larry Kendrick

    If only 37% like Native American, then why in Oklahoma does their licenses plates say "Native American" not "American Indian".

  • pam

    Ala Chick-fil-a, it's called the First Amendment, people. But, remember, just because you have the right to say/do anything, doesn't mean it's always a good idea. I don't have to like what you say, but, I'll damn well stand up for your right to say it!

  • LOLing

    you are an ignorant idiot. are you trying to insinuate that the united states is part of Europe?? only then would your "white country" logic make any sense at all. i'm not sure if you realize that it is a separate continent, dumb dumb. and that Europeans moved here. from Europe. LOL!!!!

  • ria

    I am also Native, and I'm not offended by LuAnn (for once). This quibbling over names is silly, and accomplishes nothing but division, impatience, and undeserved superiority complexes (not to mention an unfair burden on older Americans to alter their lexicon or be judged). One voice does not speak for any group.

  • Inyan

    This is disgusting! the blatant ignorance is disgusting. Just an FYI, the Smithsonian did not dedicated the Museum of the American Indian to the "American Indians". The naming of the museum was to pay homage to the individual, George Gustav Heye who "collected" these artifacts in his lifetime. In order for the family to continue in trust with his lending out of artifacts, the Smithsonian dedicated the name to the original name in New York City. And further the use of American Indian or Native American is not particularly offensive as in derogatory usage, as it just plain incorrect. No one (as in the government or the social media) has asked us as the original inhabitants of this land of the Americas, what we would like to be called - "politically". There is a obvious sense of pride to identify ourselves by our tribes. We had not seen ourselves as a group, until the term "Indian" was used at the turn of the century. And the negative connotation that comes with that term is nothing to be associated with pride other than I consider my native "Indian" brothers and sisters in peace and in the fight. And to those that think they received an education in this country about the native people of this country, do not kid yourself. The curriculum taught in our schools does not teach the truth about the original inhabitants, because if it did, I would be a feather dancing polytheistic squaw. (all of which you can find in your textbooks) Please get educated from a Native person, and one who grew up in their culture with their stories and livelihood in tact. One more point, many of our elders still believe it is better to assimilate as to not pose a problem for our children in mainstream society. That is why you will still hear the use of "Indian". In addition, I, for one, do not know many Native people in this country who willingly participate in the Census. So any numbers you might quote from are probably wrong or made up.

  • Tasha Foushee
    Tasha Foushee

    The ony thing insulting was Carole's elitist, arrogant attitude, and she is in fact incorrect with her statement "everyone over third grade ...". I am a physician and many patients identify themselves this way and certainly I have never been taught it was politically incorrect to use the term "American Indian". I must have missed that somewhere along the way to achieving my M.D. degree and during my training at Duke and the Mayo Clinic. Carole is a journalist and an author, and yet the grammar in her statement "everyone over third grade" is atrocious. Thank goodness for her editors.

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  • Daniel Genseric
    Daniel Genseric

    "ASIA FOR THE ASIANS, AFRICA FOR THE AFRICANS, WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!" Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY white country and ONLY into white countries. The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, but nobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them. Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites. What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries? How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACE problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem? And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this? But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews. They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  • Carei Arnold Bobbitt
    Carei Arnold Bobbitt

    Oh please! Coming from a native american Indian I was not offended. My Indian card says "Indian blood".

  • DebbieDammit

    By LuAnn's logic it's ok to call African Americans colored people because that's what the "CP" in the NAACP stands for . I also found it offensive that she was whooping and Jacques was next to her say "how". We used to do that kind of stuff when I was in 1st and 2nd grade in the mid-60s. The world has changed a lot since then and become more sensitive to stereotypes, but apparently Jacques and LuAnn are not willing to change.

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