Real Housewives of New York City star Jenna Lyonss might be making a name for herself as a reality TV star, though she has chosen to keep her love life out of the spotlight by keeping her girlfriend off of the show.

“Because I’ve had so much press, I am very quiet about that so I’m not sharing that,” Jenna, 55, told her costars Jessel Taank, Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan and Erin Lichy during the Sunday, July 23, episode, after revealing her romance.

When a producer asked why she has chosen to keep her girlfriend’s identity a secret, Jenna explained that her “life has put [her] in the public eye for my job and other things [she’s] done.”

“And that is my choice,” the Bravo star continued. “And someone does not want to be in that with me, then I have to respect that.”

Jenna didn’t share any more information about her partner. However, she did assure her costars that she is happy.

While Jessel, 43, said that Jenna’s happiness is the “most important thing,” Sai, 42, wasn’t thrilled about her decision to keep her love life private.

“I want to know what’s going on with her relationship,” Sai said in a confessional. “She knows my husband, why can’t I know her girlfriend? We’re friends, that’s what friends do — we know each other’s spouses. I’m hoping she’ll let her guard down a little bit.”

Earlier in the episode, Jenna – who was married to Vincent Mazeau from 2002 until 2011 – opened up about the moment she realized she was a lesbian. She said she had the realization while out to dinner out with a female friend towards the end of her marriage.

“I was in a tricky situation,” Jenna recalled. “My very close friend was gay, and we were having a conversation, and my relationship was falling apart with my husband. And I asked her, like, ‘What happens with women?’ I just like, was curious — I had no idea, honestly, same way you probably don’t. And by the end of the conversation, after a lot of detail, I realized that I was… I felt sort of… hot. I had never had that feeling before. I just wanted to kiss her.”

After noting she was “completely surprised” by the feelings for her friend, she said that “something kind of went off inside” of her and she had “dreams” about the friend.

“Something happened when I turned 40,” the former J. Crew president, who shares son Beckett, 16, with Vincent, explained. “I had this beautiful little boy; I had this great job. I had this feeling inside that I wasn’t happy, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I don’t want to feel like this for another 40 years.'”

One month after the dinner with her friend, J. Crew’s CEO and their head of PR called Jenna to tell her that the New York Post had information that she was seeing a woman.

Jenna Lyons Reveals Why She Won’t Show Her Girlfriend on ‘RHONY’: ‘I’m Very Quiet About That'
Richie Buxo/Shutterstock

“Even talking [about it] right now, I just got hot,” Jenna admitted. “I was already in the process of getting divorced, but I had not told my mom, I had not told my brother, I had not told my family, I had not told anyone at work. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was three weeks into this thing! I had no idea. It was so early.”

The TV personality said that being outed was “one of the hardest things” she’s “ever experienced,” though she’s now thankful for the support she received during the difficult time. “I’m so grateful by how incredibly gracious everyone in the office [was],” she said. “Not my mom, but everybody else.”

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