‘DC Housewives’ Star Lynda Erkiletian: Don’t Call Me A Cougar

Lynda Erkiletian (Bravo)

Lynda Erkiletian (Bravo)

When you hear the words “energy field” and “centered” within the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise, the ominous presence of Danielle Staub might flash before your petrified eyeballs! But fear not: This time they’re coming from ‘Real Housewives of DC’ Lynda Erkiletian, and her temperament is a lot more synonymous with the enigmatic ‘Love and Light’ we keep hearing about (even if her run-ins with the Salahis don’t show her at her ‘highest self’).

The 52-year-old Housewife and successful entrepreneur took some time out of her busy schedule to chat about her new venture into the vortex of reality TV, why she’s not so fond of the Salahis (but who needs an explanation, right?), how she feels about being called a cougar, and who’s the gayest Housewife.

Did you watch the season finale of the ‘Housewives of NJ’ and what do you think of your fellow east coast Housewives?
I actually stopped watching New Jersey after the 3rd episode. I love watching it when I can laugh, but when it becomes more painful than laughter then I have to stop…there was too much meanness; it just didn’t feel right in my energy field.

I think the reunion is going to be even more intense.
Could they get any more crazier?

How are you feeling about your season so far? How do you feel about being portrayed as the Salahi instigator?
Because I try to remain in a more centered place, I try not to be the person who looks judgmental. But if you had the background that I had with [the Salahis], you’d better understand why I look that way. I look that way because I am behaving that way, and I take full responsibility for that.

Are you frustrated with how much attention the Salahis are getting on the show?
By the time we complete the nine episodes we’ll all have equal timing. As far as what [the Salahis are] getting prior to the show, I don’t think that anyone would want that kind of publicity.

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I’ve read on your blog that you’ve known Michaele for 15 years and that your comments about her on the show have come from a place of concern. At what point did your friendship dissolve?
I have a very small circle of friends—I’m an extremely busy person. I met Michaele 15 years ago when she was a Trish McEvoy makeup artist. Michaele was the type of person who was always a busy bee, running around—actually more like fluttering around like a butterfly that stings like a bee—but I think that when she met her [current] husband she moved out to the country. When she did that very few people would see her.

I was never opposed to her at the time; I just saw her as an innocent sweet soul. Then I started doing business with them, and I very quickly realized that it became ‘He said/She said/We’re not responsible.’ I had too many clients complain they weren’t getting paid. Michaele continues to explain to the public why there’s this dark cloud following them and that it’s just not their fault. Well, at some point people have to take responsibility.

I wish them well. I wish that they could really get it together. I don’t respect the way they’ve handled their business in our city.

Catherine’s seemed to have ruffled a few feathers—especially Stacie’s—so far this season. As much as it seems that you really like her, do you think sometimes she crosses the line?
I think everyone gets catty eventually. I just think you have to get to know her. It’s really hard to get to know someone in three episodes. I feel very uncomfortable when I see what’s going down because I know who Cat is. What you didn’t get to see [at Stacie’s aunt’s house]…she was there early, her daughters were at home, she’s editing a book, her husband’s traveling, her babysitter had to leave—you know, a lot of things were happening. I think as time goes you’ll find Cat has a very sweet soul.

You have a great relationship with your 35-year-old boyfriend Ebong, but people have labeled you a “cougar.” How do you feel about that?
I don’t like that word. I don’t feel that there should be categories if you fall in love with someone that’s younger, older, taller, shorter—it’s like really? I think love lies within your heart, and it’s not about age, race, size. I’m so happy that [Ebong’s] 6’5; he keeps me looking up, and I get to see the blue skies more often. He’s just a really good soul.

The Housewives franchise is watched mainly for its characters getting involved in dirty catfights and meltdowns, but the majority of you on the show seem to be pretty stable characters. Do you fear that that stability translates into bland and boring and might detract fans from watching?
Well I don’t think we’re boring. I didn’t know that the Housewives were perceived as a bunch of catfighting—that’s terrible! I had hoped that Washington would be able to show substance, give people insight to DC, educate people on the many facets we represent in addition to politics—because we’re not politicians. We’re women having fun, showing how it’s possible to be mothers working, juggling. We definitely want people to laugh more than cry for sure…it remains to be seen based on the ratings.

Is Paul Wharton the unofficial sixth Housewife?
I think Paul is a Housewife. I think he spends as much time in front of the mirror as any of us. I love Paul; he adds a lot to the show. I wish Andy Cohen would consider making him the first gay Housewife of the ‘Housewives’ franchise because if we were to ever have a gay Housewife, it should be in DC!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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