Leah McSweeney Calls Out 'RHONY' Alum Carole Radziwill Over 'Sex Child Trafficking Bestie Ghislaine' Maxwell
Leah McSweeney claims Bravo alum Carole Radziwill has close ties to Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The damning accusation came on the heels of an explosive episode of The Real Housewives of New York, during which Leah got into a heated exchange with another ex-RHONY star, Heather Thomson, over damaging claims Heather once made about her former co-stars in a podcast episode featuring Carole as her guest.
Truthfully, since their respective stints on the Big Apple franchise, Carole and Heather have rarely had good things to say about Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan.
Though Radziwill and Thomson's simultaneous runs on the show never overlapped with McSweeney's, the Married to the Mob founder still felt the need to defend her cast mates.
And she did so – aggressively.
Following the chaotic episode, McSweeney took to her Instagram Story to share a screenshot of Radziwill's Instagram account. It showed that Carole had blocked Leah.
"This is so weird," the designer wrote over the screenshot. "I've never uttered a word about her ever but I do have a question for her..."
"How is the sex child trafficking bestie Ghislaine doing?" she added.
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After Maxwell was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking last summer, swarms of photos of celebrities schmoozing with Epstein's alleged accomplice began making their rounds on the internet.
In one of those photos was Carole, who was married to the late Anthony Radziwill, the son of socialite and actress Lee Radziwill (the younger sister of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis) and Polish Prince Stanisław Albrecht Radziwill.
Anthony was not just John F. Kennedy Jr.'s cousin; they were best friends. Meanwhile, Carole was close pals with JFK Jr.'s wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, until a plane crash in 1999 killed them both.
It's safe to say Carole ran in elite social circles back in the day, and unfortunately for her, so did Ghislaine.
During a February 2020 interview on Heather McDonald's Juicy Scoop podcast, Radziwill was asked about the connection.
"Before the interview started, I asked Carole, 'Can I ask you about a photo that has gone around?' It was a Getty image of you at a movie premiere with Ghislaine Maxwell, who has a strong association [with] Jeffrey Epstein, as you guys know," McDonald told her listeners at the top of the interview, noting that her guest "just really wants everyone to know that she believes survivors of sexual assault and has a lot of sympathy for anyone who has ever had to go through anything like that."
Nonetheless, Carole said she and Ghislaine "were friendly in the early 2000s," adding that "people are gonna regret saying mean things about me if they're saying mean things about my friendship [with Maxwell]."
"To be honest, I haven't seen her and really talked to her in over a decade. I don't remember," she said. "I think the last time I saw her was at a movie screening for Amelia Earhart or something. It was a movie [where] somehow she was involved."
Prior to actually meeting in person, though, Carole says she got a cold call from Ghislaine.
"Right after my husband died [of cancer] in 1999, I was in London ... for the holidays, because I just wasn't handling things perfectly," Radziwill told McDonald. "I just wanted to get away, and I didn't want to be around anyone ... And I was there kind of on my own."
"Ghislaine and I had a very good mutual friend," she went on. "So randomly, I get a phone call from Ghislaine Maxwell, who I never had heard of, didn't know, and she said, 'Our friend, Lisa, told me to call you ... I know a lot of people in London, and I want to make sure you're OK and you have things to do.' And it was very nice."
In fact, the viral photo of Carole and Ghislaine features a woman named Lisa Heiden.
Shortly after Radziwill got off the phone with Maxwell, she said she received a call from Prince Andrew, who in 2019 stepped down from his royal duties over his association with Epstein. Assuming Prince Andrew had heard about her husband's passing, Radziwill claimed that the Duke of York said to her, "'I would like to take you to dinner and to the ballet, if you'd like. I would love to do that for you.'"
Six months later is when the former reality star claims she met the alleged madam, for the first time, in New York.
"I met Ghislaine ... I think at a movie screening or something like that," Radziwill recalled. "And then we got to be friendly for a few years." She did not elaborate on their relationship further.
While her name reportedly appeared in Jeffrey's "little black book" years later, Carole told Heather that "this was before all this Epstein stuff [came out]" and maintained she never actually knew him personally. "I was at one party, like a cocktail party with a lot of people, that I think he was at ... I didn't meet him other than to say, 'Hi, nice to meet you.'"