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

Andrea Simpson / August 7, 2012

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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.

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