The publicity for her feminine streetwear line, Married to the Mob, didn’t hurt either.
But her second season, which aired last year, felt different. And not just because she had stopped drinking, a decision motivated by how she saw herself on screen. “The show is a good mirror,” she said.
Returning sober and in the midst of the pandemic, as her grandmother died, she struggled to give birth. “The producers said, ‘Leah, light it up,'” she said. “I just couldn’t. I’m so new to it. The other women are good at compartmentalizing. I can’t turn off that part of myself.”
She persevered, and when the season ended, with “RHONY”‘s fate undetermined, she began writing her book, detailing her mental health issues and a history of substance abuse. The first version was exceptionally raw. And even after working with an editor, the book remains raw.
“I can’t believe I just tell people I had a crystal meth addiction,” said Ms. McSweeney, who described a period in her teens when she went in and out of rehab. “This is not something I talk about openly. It happened a long time ago. It’s kind of a world away. It was scary to be open about it.”
Scary, but apparently also healing. “I think it just put me in touch with myself,” she said. “I kind of lost myself.”
Mrs. McSweeney had no problem being at the spa. After maximizing 10 minutes in the sauna, she threw herself into the icy plunge pool and recovered with a warm shower, leaving her feeling serene, floaty. “You align your body, mind and soul,” she said.
In the brightly lit restaurant, back in her bathrobe, she relaxed with a ginger juice and a bowl of vegetarian borscht. Hurricane Leah, a nickname that became the title of a “RHONY” episode, had downgraded to a light drizzle. Wall Street Bath had done its job.